How Much Would You Pay for a Storied Washing Machine?

How about $5,160 in New Zealand dollars, which is $3,296.55 in US dollars?

Much is written about storytelling in marketing and selling. It has been a while since I’ve seen such a profound example of how this kind of storytelling works.

“mikew4” in Auckland was selling a washing machine on a New Zealand eBay-like auction site. The bid reserve amount was a mere $1. He wrote an absolutely hilarious ad for the washer. His listing provoked 89 pages of comments when printed out (and I know because I inadvertently printed all 89 pages).

Since the washer sold, and the listing may be removed (and thus above link will be no good), I’ve pasted the text of the ad below. Although only one little piece could be considered a beginning-middle-end story, “mikew4” certainly knew how to make his product so legendary that the machine sold for far more than it would have been worth even new and without all its flaws.

The ad:

Old mid 80’s Fisher and Paykel top loader.

Goes like a rocket!

By ‘goes like a rocket’ I actually mean that literally.

It actually shakes the house.

It’s the loudest most violent sounding washing machine I have ever

It makes guests scared and children cry. I’ve lived with it like that for
almost a year and it still scares me.

Once while washing a load of towells it got a bit out of balance and it got
so out of control for a minute that I swear I actually saw a porthole to
another dimension open above it just for a second, there were dinosaurs on
the otherside and they looked scared too, it almost sucked me in but I held
onto for my life to the deepfreeze. It sucked my shoes and pants off though
and it got the iron as well which pissed me off because it was quite a good
one. Luckily it sucked it’s own power cord out of the wall and stopped
before the whole house went in.

I drew a picture of the dinosaurs i saw incase people didn’t believe me,
they are partly red because my green felt ran out half way through.

I think it would be good to paint it matt black and put steel spikes all
over it and draw demons on the front, however I have added an image of
another possible customization option for people who like horses.

On heavy duty spin cycle it sort of sounds a bit like the tortured howls of
1000 undead writhing in the sulphury pits of hell mixed with a train with
carriages full of scrap iron sliding down the road with no wheels, on fire,
into a bell factory.

Thankfully it’s bite is not as bad as it’s bark. It washes fine, completes
cycles, does everything it’s supposed to.

It leaks a bit when it’s running, always has.

Its a bit grubby, could do with a wipe down, I refuse to touch it because
I’m still getting over the whole dinosaur scare thing.

If your in a fix and need a cheap washing machine and are either completely
deaf or hate your neighbours this baby is for you.

$1 reserve, pick up only, Waterview Auckland.

Selling to pay for my counseling.