Snipe S/W?

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Wed Dec 20 19:39:36 2000

On Wed, 20 Dec 2000, Jeff Hellige wrote:

> Let's face it, at any auction, especially eBay where the bidding
> goes on for rediculous periods like 9 days, there will never be a
> method that is agreeable to both those selling the item, who want the
> most money it can possibly bring, and for those buying, who would like
> to spend as little as need-be. Personally, I snipe because I think
> bidding early does nothing but drive prices up to totally outrageous
> levels. This fact is commented on by members of this list almost
> constantly in the jokes made about the auctions there. Likely,
> whatever action one takes to curb either the inflated prices or
> sniping would be unacceptable to the other side, so it's doubtful a
> mutually agreeable system will be found. That's not even factoring in
> those with too much time and money on their hands where neither is an
> object when they decide they want a particular item. Just my 2 bits.

This argument assumes that the eBay method of auctions has been around
forever, which it has not. eBay's auction format is something completely
new, and is completely biased towards the seller. I think they just
happened to find this out by accident, and have kept it this way because
it keeps the sellers happy, and the sellers are the ones that make eBay
rich, so they are certainly not going to change things.

An auction format that is sensible is the "going once, twice, sold" method
which was used in newsgroups before online auctions came to be. It allows
fair bidding, results in a fair price (for both buyer and seller), and so
overall is fair for both buyers and sellers. Each party wins.

The method I used, and that I want eBay to implement (but I know they
never will) is to extend the auction deadline as each new bid comes in
within X minutes of the deadline. This is fair and avoids the inflated
prices that eBay promotes. But of course, eBay WANTS inflated prices.
It's better for their bottom line, and they know it.

Folks have just become accustomed to eBay's way of doing things and have
never questioned it. In a sensible auction proceeding, sniping should not
be possible, or even relevant.

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger
Received on Wed Dec 20 2000 - 19:39:36 GMT

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