eBay vrs42?

From: Eric Smith <eric_at_brouhaha.com>
Date: Fri Feb 11 21:16:18 2005

Jim wrote:
> Maybe I'm old fashioned, but isn't this as ethically lacking as shill
> bidding?

Shill bidding is the seller (or one of the seller's associates) putting
in fraudulent bids to jack up the price, with no intent of actually
transacting a sale if the shill bid wins. I think everyone can see
why this is unethical.

But if two bidders choose to cooperate rather than getting in a bidding
war, how is that unethical? Not in the seller's interest, certainly,
but the seller's interest isn't what dictates ethics. The bidders
choosing to cooperate doesn't make any of the bids fraudulent.

And this isn't a sealed-bid auction, and I don't see any reason why it
would be unethical even if it were.

If this were an in-person art auction, and I noticed that Nathan
Myrvold (just to pick a random wealthy and famous person arbitrarily)
was really keen to get an item that I wanted, would it be unethical for
me to avoid bidding on it?

If I saw Nathan Myrvold before the auction and asked him if he was
going to bid on the item, would that be unethical? (Nathan might choose
not to answer, might lie, or he might change his mind later.)

I don't think so in either case, so I don't think it is unethical
on eBay either.

Received on Fri Feb 11 2005 - 21:16:18 GMT

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