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Thread: Ebay Morality

  1. #11

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    I don't see that sniping matters or makes any difference. If you've placed a bid for the maximum you're prepared to pay, and another bidder (sniper or not) makes a higher bid, then so what? You'd have lost either way. Cheers, Graham.

  2. #12

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    http://kuznets.fas.harvard.edu/~arot...ryshortaer.pdf

    First of all I'd suggest reading that.

    1) Even with real auctions I "snipe". I haven't been at a real auction for years but why would anybody bid early and bid often? You want to be the last winning bidder not the sellers best friend. Bidding early only helps other people at your expense.

    2) I'm thrilled to be outbid 99.9% of the time. Why? My bid is basically at the point I figure any higher bid is too high. If somebody outbids me then they've paid more then what I feel fair value is.

  3. #13

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    i enter my max bid and leave it alone. just last week i bought the monolights with what i thought was a fair bid. i was surprised that someone did not snipe it away in the final moments. eBay is like an addiction if one is not careful.
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  4. #14
    MikeS's Avatar
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    Sniping is a way of life on eBay. I personally feel it's wrong, but I also feel that it's about the only way to not overpay for items. Do I snipe? You bet I do! Bidding on an item attracts attention to it, which makes more people look at the item, and so more people to potentially bid on the item. Perfect example: Somebody lists an item as "Old steel developing tank" with an opening bid of say $5.00 I look at the item, and see it's really a Nikor 4x5 tank and reel (or is that thing a rack?), so I'm willing to spend say $30.00 on it. If I do the proxy bid at $30.00 and then somebody else comes along and also notices what it is, and bids $50, now the bid is up to $30.50 and I've lost the item. But now others browsing thru will see the listing, and the higher price, and wonder what could it be? If OTOH I don't bid now, and leave it with no bids, there's a better chance it will go unnoticed, and when I snipe my $30.00 bid I could win it for $5.00 or maybe $20.00 etc.

    I have a friend and calling him anal retentive would be an understatement, he's done some informal testing, and came to the conclusion that if you proxy bid you will pay more than if you snipe, and I've also found that to be the case. As I said originally, I think it's wrong, but it IS the only way to get the best prices possible on eBay.

    There used to be another auction site (I don't recall if it was Amazon or Yahoo) that would allow auctions to be extended, and the listing wouldn't end until there was a 5 minute period with no bids (that is after the set ending time), this is much closer to a true auction, and in a system like this sniping is a waste of time, and wouldn't help any. At least that's my opinion of it.

    -Mike

  5. #15
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    I don't see a problem. All sniping is doing is entering your maximum bid at the last moment. It does not matter when you enter your maximum bid: if someone else's maximum bid is higher, that bid will win. Indeed, if you enter the same snipe bid as someone who is not sniping, their bid will win because it was placed before the snipe bid.

    What it does do is stop the people that keep sneaking up on another bid (usually newbies) until they finally enter a bid that tops the other bidder's maximum. It just pushes up the final price as you can bet anything you like that a couple of snipe bids will top the newbie's bid as they will have only bid one or two points above the previous high bidder's maximum... One other good thing about sniping is that it stops you re-assessing your own bid if you see someone else winning and thereby bidding more than you should!

    Cheers, Bob.

  6. #16
    david b's Avatar
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    I buy and sell a lot on ebay. yes sniping pisses me off. so what.

    ebay won't stop it because it makes them money.

  7. #17
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    Consider this... If EVERYBODY sniped, then the Ebay selling prices would be lower. So I consider the sniping services to be doing a service to us all.
    —Eric

  8. #18

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    Neal Williams, aka Flotsam, asked "But I'm wondering, what is the consensus on Ebay ethics?"

    Ethics? I don't know about ethics, but I do have an opinion about proper behavior. Buyers should pay promptly. And most do, or face repercussions. Sellers should not misrepresent their wares. Some do, others don't. And sellers should deliver the goods without gouging on shipping. Some do, other's don't.

    As for sniping, I think I can prove that in a rational world sniping will have no effect on closing prices. But this isn't a rational world. Sometimes people bid to win, not to buy an item at a price that's not too high. Some people are poor searchers and rely on others to find "the good stuff."

    In an irrational world, sniping can be good for bidders. But in the end, who wants the item most will get it.

    If you're outbid and would have paid more than you bid, shame on you for concealing your true preferences. You lied to yourself and were caught.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  9. #19
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david b
    I buy and sell a lot on ebay. yes sniping pisses me off. so what.

    ebay won't stop it because it makes them money.
    I don't see how. If anything, it loses them money because it stops prices being driven up as most people here, who have expressed a preference (as they say in the cat-food adverts), seem to agree. Therefore, they get less in fees due to sniping.

  10. #20
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    Ethics, morals.....I'm not really sure this discussion is about ethics or morals as much as it is how sniping affects the outcome for an individual. If eBay sets out a clearly stated set of rules that apply equally to everyone who bids and if everyone who bids has an equal opportunity to use exactly the same devices to bid, then how can it be unethical? It's a level playing field. In case you haven't guessed, yes, I snipe for every auction I bid on. I bid only and exactly what I feel the item is worth. I lose more than I win and that simply means that someone wanted it more than I did.
    My reason for sniping is this - quite simply, there are people who develop "bid-fever". They see something that they want and when the price goes up, they create some reason in their mind for bidding more. They will bid waaayy past any reasonable price for an item just to get it. If they can't see your bid, then they have no reason to bid emotionally and the "bid-fever" factor is much reduced.
    Does sniping affect the seller? I don't think so. The seller will get what the marketplace thinks it is worth, without the fever affecting the price unreasonably.
    The way eBay works is not a traditional auction format. If it was, everytime an auction received a bid, the sale would be extended another period of time. In this case sniping wouldn't work.

    just my $0.02

    cheers

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