eBay vrs42?

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sat Feb 12 10:38:46 2005

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, vrs wrote:

> > It was written...
> > > "5.5 Manipulation. Neither you, bidders nor sellers may manipulate the
> > > price
> > > of any item nor may you interfere with other user's listings or
> > > transactions."
> >
> > I read that an entirely different way than you do. I don't believe, even
> > after reading the above carefully, that it is against ebay rules to "go in
> > with another person" to bid and purchase an item.
> I agree, depending on the circumstances. FWIW, here's my interpretation of
> things:
> 1) I am not required to take actions to improve eBay (or seller's) revenues.
> That is, they can't make me bid.
> 2) I am not allowed to take actions which could deprive eBay (or sellers) of
> revenues from others.

Its a total stretch to say you are "manipulating the price" by going in
with another bidder. There's a huge chasm in the logic. In an auction,
there is no guarantee of what the selling price will be. Knowing in
advance that you're not going to get an item for the price that you are
willing to pay because another bidder is probably going to bid higher than
you is a perfectly legitimate and ethical piece of information to have.
If you are talking with the other bidder directly, there is "collusion",
but it is nothing that is depriving the seller of any rightful outcome.
The buyer has a right not to waste their valuable time on an auction they
know they will not win.

If two bidders do end up in a bidding war, and one bidder determines that
the other bidder is going to be aggressive and then pulls out before
bidding their maximum because they can see it will be futile, is that
unethical? Because in effect there was an information exchange between
the two bidders.

> So, agreeing beforehand to go in with someone is OK. Deciding whether to
> bid or not, based on publicly available data, is OK. This falls under (1)
> above.

Perhaps I misunderstood you previously but it seems to me this is opposite
of what you were arguing.

> Asking another user not to bid is not OK. This falls under (2) above.

I still don't think this is unethical. The other user does not have to
agree to not bid. If they do then MAYBE it is unethical, but only if the
user is being coerced or threatened. Otherwise, it is just another manner
of information exchange between two bidders.

It is neither illegal nor unethical for two separate entities to in effect
combine their bids (whether going in together or one party deciding not to
bid) in order to effect a better outcome for both.

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 - 10:38:46 GMT

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