eBay vrs42?

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sat Feb 12 10:21:17 2005

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, vrs wrote:

> From: "Vintage Computer Festival" <vcf_at_siconic.com>
> > On Fri, 11 Feb 2005, vrs wrote:
> >
> > > Now, if I came to you and said "Don't buy the Ford; let me buy it when
> > > it goes on half-price clearance, and I'll let you borrow it on
> > > Saturdays", that would be more analogous, and not really fair to Ford.
> > > (Though certainly, there are worse sins.)
> >
> > Excuse me, but where in the Capitalist creed does it state that Ford is
> > entitled to sell a car to everyone and there's no sharing allowed?
> No creed involved. I never said the the thing you alledge.

In so many words, that's what you are saying above. You're saying it is
unethical for two people to decide to hold off buying a Ford, presumably
to send them into stress and reduce the price by half, whereby one buyer
then buys the car and they both agree to share it on weekends. Aside from
being a ludicrous scenario, there is nothing unethical there. Ford is not
entitled to the two people being required to do anything other than
maximize their own interest.

> > This is such a terrible analogy and I can't believe you're arguing what
> > you are.
> You missed my point. It was the conspiracy to wait for half-price clearance
> (in a contrived context, where it was important that the total demand and
> supply were known) that was the dubious behavior.

How is that a conspiracy? That's called smart shopping!

> I have also consistently maintained that this behavior is "slightly
> unethical". In my opinion, it is the inefficiency of the market that
> makes this unfair to the seller, so generalizing that to some claim that
> sellers are generally entitled to everyone's bid would be silly.

Too bad for the seller. If they are smart they take this into account and
adjust their prices accordingly.

> All I am really trying to point out is that deliberately creating a market
> inefficiency for personal gain is contrary to the spirit of fair play. In
> my mind, the notion of a fair playing field is as key to the long term
> success of a society as the drive for personal gain.

So what you are saying is that you want to regulate the market.

> Where I claimed the real problem with this behavior lies with the eBay case,
> is that I believe (though Jay disagrees) that the user agreement precludes
> it.

The user agreement is vague and inspecific, and you would have to build a
pretty large case against someone with nothing less than an admission from
the buyer that they were colluding with another buyer in order to achieve
a lower winning bid in order to prosecute that person. Otherwise, that
rule does not preclude collusion as far as my read goes.

> While there may be an interpretation of the eBay user agreement that allows
> this behavior, I don't believe that it is eBay's interpretation. And I
> think that eBay has been pretty clear about it, from what I have seen of
> their history on user complaints.

I don't see how they can stop it.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
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Received on Sat Feb 12 2005 - 10:21:17 GMT

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