sellers market

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Sat Mar 20 12:34:23 1999

You're right, of course. The fact that they've decided on this auctioneer
model for their business is simply a business decision. Judging from the
price at which their stock trades, I'd say it was a good one. There is
absolutely an evironment implicit in their business model, which encourages
higher rather than lower prices. They get a cut of the final price. You,
Sam, object to that, meaning their business model, and I don't blame you.

I personally dislike even more, the fact that their
transaction-completion-ratio is so low. It also encourages overbidding
because it does not "force" either party to fulfil the obligations which are
part of the implied relationship between seller and bidder. As a
consequence, I, or anyone else, can overbid in an effort to punish the
seller for starting the bidding at too high a level, i.e. I bid 20% high in
the belief that no one will outbid that value, and then abort the
transaction after the auction ends. This gets the auctioneer paid at the
seller's expense, yet costs me nothing. Next month I use a different email
account to identify myself, and all's well with eBay.

You're right . . . it's not perfect. It's not my place to object,
however, until something more to my liking comes along. I don't see that
happening any time soon.


-----Original Message-----
From: Sellam Ismail <>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Saturday, March 20, 1999 11:07 AM
Subject: Re: sellers market

>On Sat, 20 Mar 1999, Richard Erlacher wrote:
>> Sam objects to "idiots" bidding against presumably rational people and
>> allowing the prices to escalate (he believes) due to the auction
>> presented by eBay. I don't happen to agree with him. The people who
>> their good at auction wish for a ridiculously hign price. They don't
>Of course they wish for a ridiculously high price. And my argument, which
>you did not address, is that ebay's auction mechanism encourages
>such ridiculously high prices.
>> It's true, that eBay seeks to benefit by this overall-inane-if-not-insane
>> auction environment, simply because their fee is tied to the final bid
>> offered. Sam objects to this, while I object to the high precentage of
>And thus it is in ebay's best interest to put mechanisms in place which
>encourage over-bidding for an item. In the end they will collect the
>most revenues from the auction!
>> A few days ago, I was visiting Best Buy, which is a common source of
>> computer hardware at reasonable prices. I declined to pay $180 for a
>> hard disk because I though the price was a mite high. That was not the
>> reason, but it was a factor. Twenty years ago, I paid $1500 for a 5MB
>> Winchester drive. Lots of other people thought the price was a mite
>> but I paid the price, believing that I needed the drive more than I
>> the $1500. Does that make me an idiot? Does that make all the people
>> didn't buy the things twenty years ago fools? I think not.
>Well, who really NEEDS an Altair 8800?
>> All this is an allusion to the fact that it's called a "free" market. I
>> guess that means that there's no restriction against fools and idiots.
>Its a free market sure, but the prices that come out of ebay auctions are
>by no measure "fair market value".
>Sellam Alternate e-mail:
>Don't rub the lamp if you don't want the genie to come out.
>                  Coming in 1999: Vintage Computer Festival 3.0
>                   See for details!
>                        [Last web site update: 02/15/99]
Received on Sat Mar 20 1999 - 12:34:23 GMT

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