A lot of people have a general dislike for eBay, because when a sought after
is sold there, it ceases to be worth what the market
in general will pay for it, and gains instead the value of what some nutcase collector with more money than sense
will pay for it. When presented with the opportunity to get their hands on something that ten other people also want by just paying a quid more than the next guy
, the nutcase collector will usually take it. Unfortunately for him, so will the next guy.
Me, being some nutcase collector with more money than sense, I don't really mind this fact.
The problem as I see it with eBay, and other online auction, is that the bidding system doesn't really work as it should. People are supposed to bid as much as they are prepared to pay, and in the end, the person who is prepared to pay the most wins. But it doesn't really work like that. What people are prepared to pay is almost always "slightly more than the other guy is." Even though these maximum bids are hidden, you can usually, with experience, guess what the other guy has bid. And outbid him. And based on what I've said earlier, you can imagine what happens.
So instead, it becomes a waiting game. Whoever can get that bid in 20 seconds before the auction closes is usually the one who walks away smiling. Why give the other guy time to think, eh? Otherwise known as bid sniping. There's even software, and web based applications available that'll do this for you...
eBay also brought about some new words: