eBay vrs42?

From: Jim Battle <frustum_at_pacbell.net>
Date: Sat Feb 12 09:29:05 2005

Vintage Computer Festival wrote:

> On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, Jim Battle wrote:
>>Likewise, colluding with other prospective bidders to artificially lower
>>the selling price of an item is depriving the seller of rightful revenue.
> What? Are you kidding me? Don't tell me that Sokolov's rantings got to
> you?

Broken down
        1) two parties can cooporate in order to lower
            the selling price of an item. agreed?
        2) a lowered selling price deprives the seller
            of revenue. agreed?
        3) the seller has an expectation of a fair play,
           just as buyers have one. agreed?
        4) therefore, I view it unrighteous to collude
           to lower the price.

You might not agree with any/all of those points, but at least I've made
an attempt to explain my position. Your response is hardly a rebuttal.
  You are just name calling, though I admit you are good at it. :-)

>>You say that the seller's interests isn't what dictates ethics. Not in
>>and of itself, certainly, but fairness to the seller is part of it. Do
>>you claim that the seller's interests are paramount? I don't think so.
>> The whole thing works only because of fairness to all parties involved.
> As I said previously, the seller is not entitled to anything but what they
> end up selling the item for. You're taking the argument to extremes that
> are making my mind implode here.

How is this different than sellers shilling? A buyer should have no
expecation of winning any bid. Nobody can make him bid more than he
things the item is worth. If he wins despite the shill, he should be
happy he acquired an item at or below his pain threshold. How is it

In both cases I see it as a circumvention of fair play. In my very
first sentence of this thread, I said, "Maybe I'm old fashioned...". I
guess so.

My mother in law spent 15 years buying, restoring, and reselling
antiques. In those circles colluding is very frowned upon. It happens,
but since that world is a lot of face to face with the same circle of
people, you'd ruin your reputation if caught. Ebay is infinitely less
personal, so many people apparently feel no hesitation as I've found out
in this thread.

>>One could claim that shill bidding is entirely ethical in ebay's world.
>> Bidders are encouraged to only bid up to the value they attribute to
>>an item. A shill scheme will then never cause someone to buy something
>>more than what the buyer values it. The seller also has to be careful
>>in that he makes no money if he attempts to drive the price higher than
>>the market values the item.
> Am I depriving the seller revenue by using sniping aids?
> What about sniping?

They do help to lower the average selling price, but it is fair because
it is within the framework established by Ebay's rules. It is tactics,
and there is nothing wrong with that. Ebay could prevent sniping by
changing their system, but they apparently like the tradeoffs of doing
it the current way.

>>Besides, why would knowing someone has deeper pockets than you prevent
>>you from bidding? Shouldn't you bid to your comfort level anyway just
>>in case the other guy, for whatever reason he may have, decides to not
>>bid or drop out?
> Now you're talking strategy.

Fine. The above point is my rebuttal to Eric's analogy where I claimed
his example had no bearing on the matter of collusion.

> The seller is not entitled to anyone's bid.

I didn't ever claim otherwise. I find it interesting that this has
happened a few times on this thread. Either I'm not being clear as I
think I am or other people are coming from such a different place than
me they are projecting conclusions from my statements that are alien to me.
Received on Sat Feb 12 2005 - 09:29:05 GMT

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