Last year's picture of the Shick Intuition Razor.
Fans of last year's Holiday Craptacular—all three of you—may remember this. I put up twelve items last year, and all but one were sold. This was the sole reject. Why, I don't know, since at least it might prove itself useful, unlike much of the other stuff I palmed off on the good people of Ebay. But sadly, no one wanted it.
If I were a nice person I would have given it away to charity. If I were a competent housekeeper I would have thrown it away the instant the auction was over. I am neither of these things. Imagine my surprise to come across it in a box of "stuff" I am currently going through. I'm guessing by now the Cucumber Melon Goo has coagulated into a Cucumber Melon Brick, but I'm not about to open the near-pristine, unopened box to find out. I've learned THAT much from Ebay—once the box is opened, the value goes WAY down!
As a professional copywriter it is my duty to pause and reflect and see why something sold or why something didn't sell. I mean, it can't POSSIBLY be because no one in their right mind wants to pay money for a free sample, right? A REALLY good copywriter should be able to sell ANYTHING to ANYONE. Snow to the Eskimos; all that racist Fifties crap. So let's look at my copy from last year and see where I went wrong with this razor, shall we? I mean, not ONE FREAKING BID! What's WRONG with you people!
No... ahem! I'm sorry. It's not your fault. It is my responsibility. Somehow I did not attract you, the bidding public, to my obvious salesmanship skills. Yes... it is my fault. I have...(*sob!*) ... failed you. I see that now. Please forgive me. Please.
Let's take a look, shall we? A skip down Memory Lane.....
"Yes, my friends, Christmas magic has sunk to an all new low with this truly craptacular gift. I believe Santa himself gave me this. In my family, a gift from Santa can mean one of three things: a tiny stocking stuffer; a gift you give yourself but you don't want the family to know (not the case here I assure you); or a gift so putridly bad you are ashamed to attach your name to it for fear of reprisals. And believe me, my family WILL retaliate if you give them the slightest opportunity."
Hmmm. I can't see much wrong there. Start with seasonal imagery ... Christmas magic .... Santa ....
Ooops, wait a minute, perhaps I need to rethink the phrase "putridly bad". Some people might not appreciate things they may really want described in that fashion. Even here on Ebay, where "crap" masquerading as "slightly worn" is frequently the norm.
Next graf (that's what we old newspaper people call paragraphs, since we usually have trouble understanding words longer than one syllable):
"(For several years my family had a brick we used to give as a gift to other family members as a running joke. Our Brick Rules stated if they person guessed correctly it was The Brick before they opened their present, the giving didn't count and the brick owner had to try again. It lasted a couple of years until my mother got sick of trying to get rid of it (we kids got too wily for her) and ended up using it in her toilet tank to save water. (What a fascinating anecdote! Heartwarming AND environmentally responsible! Truly an inspiring tale of family togetherness and parental impatience with their children!))"
How the SIR looks one year later.
Hmmm. Boring digression, in retrospect. No one cares about the family brick. Now people will just think I'm weird. Cut it.
Next graf (oooh, see? NOW we're sounding professional! But let's not overdo it, or people will immediately think we're just jargon-slinging losers):
"Anyway, in this case Santa must have scraped the lint off the bottom of his sack before stooping to this. The box claims it's a free sample, but I can't tell from the copy if they mean it's a free sample of the razor, or the scented lather this thing apparently goos on you, or both. My guess is this is being marketed to the same slugs who are either too stupid and/or lazy to make their own peanut butter sandwiches and hence must buy them pre-made and frozen. What next in this societal slide toward infantile incompetence? I know (sez some overpaid executive): the growing market of women who for some reason forget to soap their legs prior to shaving them. I personally would not wish to give such obvious incompetents so much as a plastic butter knife, but this is America, so we are free to ply them with all manner of sharp objects and substances that are not meant to be taken internally."
Okay. I'm going to stop myself here.
Maybe it's just me ... but I'm sensing some sort of underlying negativity in this paragraph. I don't think I should have referred to the item I am trying to sell as "goo". Nor, perhaps, should I have portrayed my potential buyer out there as a "stupid, lazy, incompetent slug". If I were hiring me to write my copy, I'd suggest a rewrite.
Let's learn from my mistake, Ebayers. As painful as it is to have my obvious genius questioned, this is how we grow. Shall we continue? Next paragraph:
"The box warns you that there is a razor in it, so you'll at least have that much in your possession. The "Fresh Fragrance!" is "cucumber melon" as noted by the pastel green color. STUPID PEOPLE PLEASE NOTE: while the name of said "Fresh Fragrance!" appears to be a list of food items, I heartily suggest you do NOT attempt to eat it, even though the outside of the box surprisingly does not warn you against such idiocy. It DOES warn you, since there is a razor inside, that this craptacular gift is NOT intended for children. That way the rest of us are assured that your dubious gene pool will continue to annoy us for at least one more generation, despite Darwin's best efforts. (Gee, thanks, corporate lawyers!)"
Oh, dear. More references to stupidity. No WONDER this thing didn't sell. A slight attempt to bond with the buyer at the end with a cheap lawyer joke, but would someone as stupid as I'm insinuating they are really pick up on that? If it's not a two-by-four they just ain't gonna get it. Rewrite.
"The beautiful box this thing comes in is approximately 7.5" X 4", so hopefully it will fit into your mailbox! Go for it! What do you have to lose, except some body hair (and the occasional quart of blood when the razor suddenly gets dull mid-shave)?"
A good start ('beautiful box") sadly degrades into "this thing" and then descends quickly into a bad horror movie. Dear, dear, dear, dear, dear.
Okay, rewrite time. (This is so exciting, isn't it, people? Your chance to see a professional copywriter in action. Okay, maybe watching a middle-aged woman in her bathrobe stare at her computer and type isn't as exciting as, say, watching an athlete or a supermodel, but let's face it, we Ebayers are all basically geeks hunched over our keyboards or we wouldn't be here, huh? But the magic of the internet lets us at least pretend I'm a supermodel slash copywriter, so imagine me writhing about in a bikini and pursing my glossy botoxed lips as I write the following exciting sexy copy to persuade folks to spend money on what was last year's free sample slash reject):
Oooooh. Smooth, sexy legs. You want 'em? Now you can have them with the amazing Schick Intuition Razor, the razor that apparently reads your thoughts as it hugs every silky curve of your body.
(NO! BAD copywriter! Stop being SNARKY! Okay, so for some stupid reason they're calling this razor "Intuition". Naming the thing is NOT YOUR JOB. It's DONE. We have to DEAL with it, and make it sound GOOD!)
(Ahem. Start again):
Ooooh. The Schick Intuition Razor hugs every silky curve of your body and transports you to a magical glade full of cucumbers and melons.
(Oh, dear. That's just plain WRONG, on so many levels. How about--)
....while fresh, fragrant goo (Ed note: need to come up with nicer word for "goo") delights your senses. (Ummmm.... goo. Slime. Gel. What does the package say? Oh, hey! Maybe I should read these things more often! It's not goo at all—it's a "Skin Conditioning Solid™! My bad! No wonder this didn't sell! I was MISREPRESENTING it! Gosh, I hope the big mucky-mucks on Ebay don't yank my account when they hear of this! )
(Wait, back to copywriting, remember? Geez, this is hard work. People think you just sit around and write stuff off the top of your head every day when really there is so much work and thought going into each carefully-chosen word. Did my husband eat the last ice cream sandwiches in the fridge? I hope not. I could really go for one right now. I think I will. Yep, I'll have ONE ice cream sandwich and then it's back to work.)
(Three ice cream sandwiches later):
(I really need to get this thing out of my house. I know. I'll pretend my whole family is being held hostage and their very survival depends on me selling this razor to some poor schmoe on Ebay. Okay, deep breath. Cue cheesy clip art animated gifs! Cue awful garish colored text! Cue super-obnoxious blinking (a tag NO web person in their right mind would EVER use)! Supermodel. Supermodel. Supermodel. Here we go again. This time we're gonna do it. We're gonna sell this baby! Hang on, Mom! I'll get you out of there! Oh, yeah, and the rest of you guys, too. Whatever. Mojo to the rescue!
Oooooh. Smooth, sexy legs. You want 'em? Now you can have them with the amazing Schick Intuition Razor. This incredible advance in razor technology hugs every ... silky ... curve of your body while fresh fragrance enraptures your senses.
But unlike the munificent Schick corporation I'm not the kind of girl who just gives things away! No, only the finest, smartest, bravest people can fully experience the intimate pleasure of Intuition ownership, complete with its patented Skin Conditioning Solid™.
Are you that special person? Because I don't hand over my beloved razor to just anyone! (Throaty giggle!)
WARNING: Use of this product may result in too much sexiness for some people to handle responsibly. Keep away from children, small pets, and social rivals.
What is Mojo's Craptacular?
I will make this short and sweet. People often give me things I have no use for, and I am too polite to scream "What were you THINKING?" right in their face like any sane, rational person would do. So I smile and nod and thank them, and throw it in a corner of my house and privately mutter things about the giver behind their back.Until one day I thought, why should I keep my snarky thoughts to myself? It's much more cathartic to crab about my pathetic life to a group of total strangers on the internet! And if I can foist off some of this crap sitting around my house, so much the better!
Last year I held my first Holiday Craptacular, and it proved to be fun enough to warrant a repeat. My family celebrated Christmas 'way late this year, so the holiday no longer really applies, but I figure I'll get a start on Spring Cleaning and beat all the other Ebayers to the punch on this important holiday.
So why should you buy this stuff, when you can just as easily get most of it at your local mall? Two reasons. First, there's no reserve on any of it. For all I know you might get something you really, really want for little more than the cost of S&H. Second, we're talking major regifting possibilities here. And if there's anything more fun than giving people gifts, it has to be giving people you secretly dislike gifts that are just borderline acceptable. You can have hours of fun watching their faces as they feign pleasure at your apparent thoughtfulness. You will drive them nuts wondering if your gift was a joke, or if you are indeed THAT lacking in taste and/or common sense. See? Everyone wins. Well, not people who lose the auctions, but you winning people will win. And that's the American Way.
Each Craptacular item comes complete with an official, signed Certificate of Craptacularity, perfect for framing or starting fires. It will also come with a copy of this professionally-crafted product description (for posterity's sake). So happy bidding, happy regifting, have fun, and enjoy the all-new Craptacular! Marginally bigger and marginally better than ever.