Seller's market

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Sat Mar 27 09:28:14 1999

The information I got from eBay's site suggests that only 70% of the
auctions which are completed result in actual sales. What I get from this
is that nearly one in three auctions which result in a fee to eBay don't
result in a sale for the seller.

I would say that the items with "ridiculous" initial prices are not included
in this figure. That situation seems quite plausible to me, as there is no
means availailable for "forcing" a sale. The fact that someone bids doesn't
obligate them in any real way, nor does the fact that someone lists an item
for sale obligate them to sell it if the price isn't sufficient.

It seems quite plausible to me that an individual might overbid on an item
in order to "queer" the auction, running the price up to where no one would
pay that amount, irrespective of the value of the item being sold. This is
no different than publishins software with a virus, or spraying graffitti on
someone else's building. There's really no penalty.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Ford <>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Saturday, March 27, 1999 2:03 AM
Subject: Re: Seller's market

>>Auction prices would yield useful informaton IF . . . and only if. . .
>>were a completed sale to go along with a set of finishing prices published
>>on the web. What's damaging to the usefulness of what we have now, e.g.
>>eBay, is that they allow an auction to run to completion, record the final
>>(winning) bid, and make no assertion whatever about whether the sale
>>actually happened. As a consequence, putting your goods up for auction on
>The completion rate figure I have seen for eBay is 70%. Out of that 30%
>that don't go through, a lot are from people who choose to list with high
>first bids, ala the guy who keeps about 100 auctions going all the time,
>each one for a single item like a hard drive sled, or a front bezel with a
>first bid amount of $9.95. Only about 20% of those items get any bids, and
>many sell with just a single bid. There are other equally harmless reasons
>items don't complete, but if you see half a dozen auctions for similar
>items, and each auction had a half a dozen different bidders, they final
>prices are about as good an indicator of fair market price as I expect you
>can find.
>If I am serious about an item, or the price seems odd on some of the
>auctions, I follow up and read the ads, or email the people. Many times
>prices differences are fully explained by condition or shipping costs
>revealed within the ad.
Received on Sat Mar 27 1999 - 09:28:14 GMT

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