[CR]eBay Auctions

(Example: Bike Shops:R.E.W. Reynolds)

Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 16:01:10 +0000 (GMT)
From: <gholl@optonline.net>
To: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]eBay Auctions

Auctions, like all human creations, have their defects. EBay auctions have a precise end-point and computer driven sniping services can legitimately be used to reach that point. Curiously, unless one "snipes" himself, the sniper system creates a more fixed limit for the bidder. In live auctions "pissing contests" often can drive prices very high. For all its defects, I don't believe there is any significant public auction venue for the purchase of vintage bikes or vintage bike parts. I find it difficult to believe that eBay would alter their present auction practices to create an endless auction. Adding ten minutes would just cause another ten minute period to snipe. Incidently, the end point of live auctions is manipulated by the style and interests of the auctioneer. Some "hammer-down" lots quickly, some protract the auction by haranguing the crowd, some blatantly favor their favorite repeat bidders, yet others take false "chandelier" bids, etc. eBay is almost tame in comparison. Almost all methods to artificially control the outcome of an auction are not legal. Notwithstanding, since they are almost impossible to detect, they are commonplace. Perhaps the most common on eBay is the use of dummy bidders to drive up prices. I am very suspect of an eBay auction populated by several bidders with no or few previous bids or feedback. As far as not bidding against friends, this is a matter of personal choice. The new eBay system of disguising bidders would seem to make this more difficult. Such "friends" might form a syndicate-sole bidder to bid against their "enemies", but this is also an illegal practice, although again almost impossible to detect. When it comes to "die-hard" collectors and dealers, they've got no friends during an auction for something they're interested in. In the end, as has long been known, more half the bidders in an auction probably pay too much. But the very nature of being a true collector is the ability to pay "too much". All this having been said, vintage bikes, are a very reasonable hobby compared to other collectibles. Perhaps this is why no significant public auctions are held for vintage bikes or parts. eBay, with all its defects, is the only game in town. George George Hollenberg MD Westport, CT, USA

George Hollenberg MD