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Most e-bay bidders are morons.

http://techdirt.com/articles/20070718/070335.shtml - Surprise: Auction Bidders Not Always Rational

<quote>
In an attempt to gain a better understanding of human economic behavior, a group of economists studied the buying patterns of eBay auctions. What they found was that humans are not always rational, at least in the econ 101 sense of the word. One of their most surprising realizations was that bidders would often pay a higher price than the "Buy it Now" price, presumably because they got so caught up in the heat of the auction. This is an odd quirk, though its discovery was hardly needed to demonstrate that humans don't always operate in a purely rational manner. Another thing they discovered was that bidders didn't pay much attention to shipping prices, and that they'll typically opt for an item that can be won for less, even when shipping costs eat up any savings.
</quote>

I guess I am half rational. I always look at shipping, but I'll pay more for buy it now simply because I don't like auction watching.

Economics theory is pure gibberish anyway, so that we don't match it shouldn't be a big surprise.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 20th, 2007 3:49pm
"I'll pay more for buy it now simply because I don't like auction watching."

That's not irrational.  That's like looking at something in a store and deciding it's a fair price, ok, I'll pay it.  What's irrational is if you pay MORE than the buy it now price because it was bid up.  Presumably if you were willing to pay that much, you would have just bought it rather than bidding on it.
Permalink the great purple 
July 20th, 2007 4:03pm
>What's irrational is if you pay MORE than the buy it now price because it was bid up.

I haven't used ebay in a long time, but doesn't the "Buy It Now" disappear after {X} bids?
Permalink DF 
July 20th, 2007 4:10pm
To me what would make sense would be to bid the highest price you're actually willing to pay.  If anybody bids higher than you then you leave it, if nobody does, you get it for slightly higher than the next highest bid (that's how the automatic bidding works, right?)  So in a perfectly logical world, you wouldn't have bidding wars because everyone would just put in their max acceptable price and the highest would get the item.  I haven't used eBay on an auction myself so you can take my opinions with the appropriate grain of salt.
Permalink the great purple 
July 20th, 2007 4:35pm
I use Buy It Now.  It makes perfect sense to use that when the price and value are worth it to you.  So you buy a table saw for 70% of the price in the store with Buy It Now.  Sure, MAYBE you could have gotten it for less by playing the auction game.  But why bother when there are SNIPERS out there stealing auctions at the very last millisecond?

The sniping ruins any auction for a popular item.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 20th, 2007 5:20pm
Sniping doesn't ruin ANYTHING as long as you put in your REAL maximum bid.  In other words, if you're willing to pay $75 for something, you're probably willing to pay $77.50.

If you put in your absolute ceiling for a max bid, and somebody outbids it, even at the last second, what have you lost?  You didn't want to pay more than that anyway, right?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 20th, 2007 6:59pm
On more than one occasion I've listed a used consumer electronic on ebay (something I bought, didn't like, immediately put up for auction) and it got bid up higher than the MSRP price I paid at the store.

Two explanations.  a) I stumbled unwittingly into an arbitrage exchange, or b) bidders are morons.

Or maybe c) my description sold the item better than the canned product specifications do.
Permalink Michael B 
July 20th, 2007 8:28pm
But muppet--they snipe you by something like a penny.  I don't see how sniping is fair.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 20th, 2007 9:36pm
or whatever the minimum is.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 20th, 2007 9:37pm
The minimum increases as the price increases.  If they outbid you by a penny and you're mad about it, then you didn't put in your REAL maximum bid.  Sniping is irrelevant as long as you actually put the REAL ceiling you're willing to pay in.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 20th, 2007 9:39pm
Fuck all that.  Just click Buy Now.  Can't be playing these games.  Shopping isn't a hobby for me.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 20th, 2007 9:44pm
I use buy now a lot, but I also am honest about my maximum willingness to pay.

Shopping is not a hobby?  On Ebay?  That's sad.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 20th, 2007 9:55pm
Okay we depart company on that point.  I don't enjoy giving money away for "things".
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 20th, 2007 9:58pm
What I mean is that if you consider Ebay a valid resource for mission critical acquisitions, that's the wrong way to look at Ebay.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 20th, 2007 10:03pm
Oh.  Well, I tend to "want what I want and I want it now" so eBay isn't really the best thing for me.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 20th, 2007 10:29pm

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