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Saturday, September 11, 2004

AC Dickson: PowerSelling Shrouded Sincerity 

We live in an era where the idea of determining presidential elections via reality game shows is plausible and carrying around Chihuahua’s in twelve-thousand dollar hand bags is en vogue. Our lives are saturated with tongue and cheek, perhaps because we have lived under the thumb of irony and sarcasm since Nixon waved his peace signs proudly and announced that he was, in fact, not a crook.

In such a jaded, sarcastic, and parody-soaked world, how does one sell a message of sincerity and conviction? How can a visionary turn on the masses to a message of peace and economic equality without sounding so preachy as to push people away?

Andrew Dickson has been grappling with these questions for months. Hell, he’s still grappling with them. His current hypothesis to this social dilemma revolves around two words, Honesty and Humor. And from all accounts he might be on to something.

Despite what you may be expecting from pre-show write ups of Andrew Dickson’s newest piece entitled "AC Dickson: eBay PowerSeller", Dickson is the real deal. He is a PowerSeller – boasting over $1,000 a month in eBay sales for over three years – armed with practical advice for audiences on how to succeed in an economic and social experiment he is certain will change the world.

In Dickson’s mind, lurking within the digitized nooks and crannies of eBay’s pages is a message of world peace and economic freedom for anyone with access to an internet-ready computer. He is here to highlight these messages, using one-liners, campy imagery, and a presentation model gleaned from late-night infomercials and self-help tapes.

His strategy to winning the world over to eBay’s economic revolution – empowering under-employed groups like stay-at-home-moms, forcing corporations to compete with individuals for a change, and encouraging a radical model of a more sustainable future – is three fold:

  1. Disarm the jaded masses with a self-mocking presentation style – a style which includes, but is not limited to, dancing to silly music, encouraging audience members to "share" with strangers, and running up and down the bleachers with sweat-stained armpits, demanding testimonials from individuals whose lives have been touched by eBay.
  2. When they’re weakened with laughter, blow their minds with the cold hard facts – Fact; Every nine seconds a car is sold on eBay. Fact: next year eBay is projected to do over $50 billion in sales. Fact: eBay has over 105 million registered users. Fact: Dickson sold a match box (yes, a box that was once full of matches) for over $4,000.
  3. Once they’ve bought into the idea, demonstrate just how easy it is for an individual to take ahold of the lines and pilot his or her ship to economic freedom – which entails, well, I’ll let Dickson tell you that.


Odds are Dickson’s message won’t win over everyone, but honestly, who can’t let loose a chuckle when they hear "Eye of the Tiger" or see a grown man running around wearing a microphone headset and tight, fire-engine red pants?

There’s a good possibility that the sea of economic change may be digitized, and that an economic utopia could be within our reach. Dickson believes it and wants to help take us there. He isn’t interested in selling you a fish. He’s more interested in arming you with a fishing pole and enough knowledge to fend for yourself on the open waters. If you’re willing to let down your guard and consider the sincerity of his message, Dickson and eBay just may change your life.


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