Charles Andrews wrote:
"No ethics involved. No fair-play either. People behave during ebay auctions EXACTLY the way they behave at normal in-person auctions. In a normal, in-person auction, no-one reveals how much they're willing to pay until the end of bidding. Ebay's proxy-bid system violates that basic tactic: it forces you to reveal what you're willing to pay."
"Snipe systems fix this problem, by allowing all bidders to bid exactly as they would at a real auction. Sniping makes ebay into a REAL auction site."
No, it doesn't make eBay into a REAL auction site. In a REAL auction (not counting sealed bid situations), bidding continues until only one high bidder is left and the rest have thrown in their towels. For eBay to be like a REAL auction site, auctions would continue for some amount of time after the last bid was placed. If bidding continued, so would the auction. Of course, that would remove the opportunity to get a "fair" deal. Snipe systems just make it possible to be sneaky AND lazy at the same time. I personally have more respect for someone who goes in with a minute or two left and places a high bid. Just as in a REAL auction, all the other bidders are given fair notice to (as my late grandmother would say) s**t or get off the pot. Then again, maybe I'm just naive.
As another writer noted, the whole sniping matter has already been beaten to death many times over, and I offer my own apology for continuing it. I suppose I just get a bit irked by the rationalizations (or plain old absolution) that some give of their own behavior. Few people ever seem to think their own conduct could possibly violate the tenets of ethics or fair play. Just ask a few Congressmen if you don't believe me.
I.P. Merkin Providence (where it'll be 80 tomorrow), RI