eBay sniping

From: Jeffrey Sharp <jss_at_subatomix.com>
Date: Mon Apr 28 11:06:01 2003

On Sunday, April 27, 2003, steve wrote:
> Ebay always hides the the current highest bid,

Whether you think of it as the high bid or the second highest bid, it
doesn't matter. eBay shows a possibly changing price while the auction is
in progress. Sealed bid auctions don't do that. That's a pretty big

> many bids are placed within 5 seconds of the end of auction basically
> removing any opportunity for the previous bidders to place a counter bid,
> sounds like a sealed bid auction to me....

The time period when most bids happen is irrelevant. On an active eBay
auction, there is some non-zero duration in which you or some machine can
see the highest proxy bid and react. It doesn't matter how close to zero it
is, because any sufficiently fast machine could do it. Sealed bid auctions
do not have this duration. A person or machine would require time travel in
order to react to a bid. Not even an infinitely fast machine could do it.

Jeffrey Sharp
Received on Mon Apr 28 2003 - 11:06:01 BST

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