eBay vrs42?

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sat Feb 12 10:59:03 2005

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, Jim Battle wrote:

> 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?

No, not agreed. The seller is not being "deprived" of anything. That's
an incorrect characterization, implying that the seller is entitled to a
higher price.

> 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.

I do not. Buyers have a right to information in order to maximize their

> 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. :-)

Sorry, I didn't mean to name call, but what I was getting at with the
above comment is that you seem to be suggesting that the seller is
entitled to a form of welfare.

> >>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?

It's apples & oranges. Shill bidding inserts a bidder into the auction
that has no intentions of actually buying the item. Their interest is
false, and it therefore artificially--and unethically--raises the market

> 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 different?

Because the shill bidder raised the price higher than it would have been.
Regardless of whether the buyer is happy or not, the market has been
directly manipulated.

Apples & oranges.

> 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.

I don't see why it's a problem. When two bidders collude, one has to
agree to not bid. Therefore, unless coerced, the one bidder has decided
they really don't want the item in question. Or say if two bidders
collude, whereby one bidder will not bid but the other will, and they will
split the item if it's won, both bidders have to have made the decision
that they only want half (or whatever percentage) of the item in question.
I see this as market equalization. The buyers got exactly what they
wanted and no more. It doesn't matter if the seller could have gotten a
higher price if both bidders didn't know each other. The market

I really don't see this as unethical at all.

> > 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.

So then the rules are totally arbitrary. Collusion is also a tactic.

eBay's rules are in place only to maximize a seller's return. They can't
do anything about sniping because if they did they would have to change
their entire auction mechanism, and this would be an admission that it is
flawed, which it is. And the flaw is solved by sniping. Sniping levels
the playing field between sellers and buyers.

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   ]
[ and academia at www.VintageTech.com  || at http://marketplace.vintage.org  ]
Received on Sat Feb 12 2005 - 10:59:03 GMT

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