eBay vrs42?

From: Doc Shipley <doc_at_mdrconsult.com>
Date: Sat Feb 12 15:31:02 2005

Jim Battle wrote:

> Eric Smith wrote:
>> Jim wrote:
>>> Maybe I'm old fashioned, but isn't this as ethically lacking as shill
>>> bidding?
>> Shill bidding is the seller (or one of the seller's associates) putting
>> in fraudulent bids to jack up the price, with no intent of actually
>> transacting a sale if the shill bid wins. I think everyone can see
>> why this is unethical.
>> But if two bidders choose to cooperate rather than getting in a bidding
>> war, how is that unethical? Not in the seller's interest, certainly,
>> but the seller's interest isn't what dictates ethics. The bidders
>> choosing to cooperate doesn't make any of the bids fraudulent.
> The way I view it is this.
> Shill bidding is the result of two people agreeing to artificially raise
> the selling price of an item that is supposedly offered in a free market.
> Likewise, colluding with other prospective bidders to artificially lower
> the selling price of an item is depriving the seller of rightful revenue.

   There is *no* *such* *thing* in a free market as "rightful revenue".
  Without prior contract or commission, if I put it out for sale,
whatever I get offered (and paid) for the item is rightful revenue.

   I also finally got a grip on what's bothered me about the whole
collusion idea.

   If I and Sellam agree that your item is worth 80 American cents, and
we collude to pay only that, that's not price fixing. If we somehow
convince *all other* bidders not to outbid our 80 cents, *that's* price

   In other words, if David and Vince are the only two people interested
in that item, in a free market they *do* have the right to collectively
name their price. The item just doesn't have much value if the interest
  is that limited. If there are other interested parties, David and
Vince can't exert all that much influence on the final selling price.

Received on Sat Feb 12 2005 - 15:31:02 GMT

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