Snipers, Shills & Sharks: eBay and human behaviour by Ken Steiglitz

2019-03-01 11:04:03

By Mark Buchanan EVEN though it’s the largest auction institution in world history, at first glance eBay seems like an internet version of the traditional “English” auction, where bidders cry out competing bids, with the seller ultimately getting the value proclaimed in the highest bid. That means if you outbid everyone, offering £200 for, say, a first edition of The Grapes of Wrath, then that’s what you’ll pay for it, right? Wrong: eBay is a “second price” auction, in which the winner pays out not their own winning bid, but the second highest bid (plus a small amount extra,