eBay vrs42?

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sat Feb 12 03:34:28 2005

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, Jim Battle wrote:

> In the original case that spawned this thread, it was by a party who was
> interested enough that he feared a bidding war. Bidding wars are the
> sellers wet dream.

It might be their wet dream but are they entitled to it? NO!

> Claiming that avoiding this won't affect the end
> price is silly; the market in question isn't the perfect information
> flow

It is not? How is it not? When two sellers have the information that
each is interested and they both each decide how they're going to proceed,
they have the advantage of additional "information flow". Would you also
argue that if the item was sold "as is" but we knew for a fact that the
item was not worth buying because we could see it was missing a vital
part, are we to ignore that information and bid on it anyway because we
feel sorry for the seller?

I mean come on.

> continuous elasticity model that people use in the abstract when
> talking economics. There often isn't someone else to fill the role of
> the interested buyer who drops out because of collusion.

Oh well, the market is cruel.

> > eBay doesn't have any right to force me to bid on something I choose
> > not to bid on, for any reason whatsoever.
> >
> > And if I choose not to bid on an item, I have not manipulated the
> > price ofthat item. I don't want any Brittney Spears CDs, so I don't
> > bid on them. I haven't manipulated the price of those.
> Of course, but that isn't the situation that started this thread. if
> one person with the intent to buy something is afraid he is getting in a
> bidding war with another bidder and makes side communication to affect
> the end price, that seems unfair to me.

David was not asking to collude. He was just wondering who a particualr
buyer was because maybe he didn't want to get into a bidding war. Simply
stated, you cannot prevent a buyer from informing themselves in order to
maximize their outcome (in this case getting the item for the lowest
price). The seller is entitled to the highest price they can get for an
item. The buyer is entitled to the lowest price they can pay for an item.
Where they meet is the selling price.

> Eric, I take it you buy a lot more off of ebay than you sell. Imagine
> you were selling a PDP-1 on ebay. :-) Let's say it has been restored
> to as-new condition and by all estimates is worth at least $50,000.
> Although lots of people might admire it, most of them don't have the
> money to make a serious bid. Along comes Nathan Myhvold and Marc
> Andreessen to classiccmp. Both discuss what a fine machine it is, no
> other like it in the world. You then follow their thread where they
> flip a virtual coin to decide who gets to make a bid and who drops out.
> The auction goes and there is only one remaining serious bidder, Paul
> Allen, who bids and wins for $15,000. That doesn't sound unfair to you?

No, that is not unfair in the least.

> I've bought probably four things off ebay for every one that I've sold
> (say 240 vs 60). Although people complain about ebay stacking things in
> favor of the seller, it is still no picnic being a seller except for
> those rare cases when there is a bidding war.

Use reserves, higher starting bids, etc. I've always said eBay is an
imperfect auction mechanism and it is. If you're not getting what you
want from selling items on eBay then perhaps you should try something

This whole thread is disturbing. Where is it enshrined in capitalism that
a seller is entitled to a bidding war? Or that a potential bidder must
bid regardless of whether they want to or not?

Ugh ugh ugh.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
[ Old computing resources for business || Buy/Sell/Trade Vintage Computers   ]
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Received on Sat Feb 12 2005 - 03:34:28 GMT

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