Google+ Invites are in hot demand. Google’s new social network, Google+, is in the process of a limited access launch, with Google throttling the speed and intensity of the rollout by making sign ups ‘by invitation’ only. Google+ wannabe members have to know the right people to get an invite… or maybe not.
A limited number of Google users were given 15 invites that they could use to invite others, according to reports. Existing users could then invite other users, but reports are now indicating that that system was overwhelmed and is closed to new signups.
However, Google+ invites are being sold on eBay. As of this writing, there are 274 listings for the search ‘Google+ invite”. But some of them come with warnings by the seller, indicating that, while the invites still ‘work’, Google has shut down the means of actually creating new accounts. One particular seller says plaintively on his sales page “When it does open your invite will get you in, but i cannot guarantee when that will be” and “IF THIS IS A PROBLEM DO NOT BID! We are Google’s mercy.” Another says, in broken English, “WE ARE AT MERCY OF GOOGLE. IF THERE IS ANY PROBLEM ARISE AND YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO JOIN IN, I WILL SEND YOU THE full REFUND.”
There are ‘Buy It Now”s for the Google Invites as low as 99 cents, through some sellers are packaging invites along with other items, such as ‘tutorials’ and getting quite a bit more. A few are listed at $100 or so – however, most of those appear to be sellers who raised their minimum bids in an effort to get sellers – not – to buy them. One explains that he is having trouble with the invites, and writes “I am not accepting new purchases at this time. (Unless you think $99.99 is reasonable…. but you really shouldn’t).”
Some sellers do appear to be making pretty good profit with Google Invites. One seller has sold over 700 of them at 99 cents/each. Then there’s one particularly audacious schemer is trying to sell “freegoogleplusinvites.com” and “freegoogleplusinvite.com” for a million dollars. The seller doesn’t mention what the buyer might do with the domains when Google+ is open to everyone without the invite requirement, which is bound to happen after Google completes it’s limited access trials.
Will using a Google+ invite that was bought on eBay actually work? Well, according to PCMag, when a Google spokesman was asked about this, he said they weren’t sure.