> I don't know whether many, if any, were watching the following item that
> was advertised as "hand built racing bicycle 1950's Ted Gerrard" and was at
> the following site:
> In any case, I have a couple of questions about that auction: do any
> members know anything about the specific bike auctioned? If a member from
> the list "won" the auction, I'd sure like to hear about its condition and
> the component and see some decent jpegs of it from the person when he or
> she receives it. And finally this auction was listed as a "private
> auction." (Actually, I think it was changed from a regular auction to a
> private auction once the bids started coming in, though I could be wrong,
> and that sounds like something Ebay might disallow, but they do tend to
> allow most things as long as they make money.) From the seller's point of
> view, what advantage is there to listing something as a "private auction?"
> I can see why a buyer may wish to have his or her identity not revealed,
> but why would a seller prefer not to have the bidders posted? The only
> possible reason from the seller's perspective, though this take the cynical
> view, that I can fathom is that such an auction allows the seller to use
> shill bids, but that is, as I wrote, the cynical view. I can't, however,
> think of other reasons, can anyone else?
The private auction is at times used for high ticket items where the buyer does not want others to know how much they paid for a highly collectable item or are afraid of awaking the interest of other bidders. The first reason will allow bidders to bid higher than if their bids were made public. Just for your information, the Italian equivalent of the IRS often checks auction sales reports for evidence of sales to Italians, people who may not be declaring all of their earnings. The second reason allows known collectors to bid early without necessarily awaking interest of less knowledgeable people who simply follow in their footsteps. That is why many people keep more than one ebay account.