Seller's market

From: Uncle Roger <>
Date: Wed Mar 24 15:00:27 1999

>If I sell to you for $50 when someone else offers $500, the blame is on me
>for taking less than the highest offer,

Keep in mind that money is not the only method of payment. That situation
could easily be $500 cash or $50 and a promise to care for it the way you
would want it to be cared for.

>You've undoubtedly read my comments about the low (70%) completion rate
>walk away, having ruined the auction by bidding out the more serious
>bidders, when there was no serious commitment to buy.

A couple of comments: sellers can (and often do) contact the second highest
bidder if the first "walks away". Also, I think there may be other reasons
for backing out than the malicious attacks on sellers suggested earlier.
Shipping might be one reason (I recently "walked away" from a couple of DEC
computers I bought on eBay because of the shipping. (I'm sending the guy
the full bid amount plus shipping on the items I *do* want; he was nice
enough to throw in a couple other computers to replace the ones I didn't
want!)) In any case, a 70% completion rate is not necessarily a sign of
people artificially raising bid prices with no intention of following through.

>EBay does charge the would-be seller a fee based on the final bid price and
>not on the actual selling price. It benefits them to have the prices as
>high as they will go.

Okay, so yes, the eBay people sit there, rubbing their hands and cackling
gleefully as they watch the selling prices for altairs soar through the
roof. But what is it that they do (other than provide the service) to
encourage the higher selling prices?

>My belief on this matter is that the very thing which drives the prices up
>is also the thing that causes the high transaction failure rate.

but eBay doesn't get paid if the trx falls through, so it would make sense
for eBay to prefer a lower commission on a smaller sale than no commission
on a sale that doesn't go through.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- O-

Uncle Roger "There is pleasure pure in being mad that none but madmen know."
Roger Louis Sinasohn & Associates
San Francisco, California
Received on Wed Mar 24 1999 - 15:00:27 GMT

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