I want to start selling things on Ebay again. One thing on ebay that really bothers me is the practice of people to wait until the very last moment to bid. There are even tools to do that! In essence, the week long page is merely an advertisement for a closed bid at the very end.
I think the purpose of the long bid is for people to bid it out. Not neccesarily to sit seriously and think about their maximum price (closed-bid style), rather they should have fun, and get caught in the excitement (open-bid style).
It's been said that people might find the auction at the last moment. I don't think that is true too often. It certainly happens, that cannot be denied, but it doesn't explain the great amount of last-second bids.
I remember once after an auction that i won, i had a very low price until the last few moments. Then a bid came in a pushed mine much higher. I still won, but it took the fun out of it. Not the high price, i fairly bid on that earlier, rather, the silent strike from the other person.
Being angry at that, i actually emailed her over it, and told her in a spiteful manner that even though she tried her sneaky trick, she still lost. I wan't gloating. I was venting.
Instead of ignoring me, or even admitting guilt, she responded that i unfairly hurt her after she did someting that everyone does, and thus is fair game. Unbelievable!
Well, now it's down to the case. I'm getting ready to list things, and i do not want to allow last-moment bids. Either, i think, the close should be a good ten minutes after the last bid (possibly diminishing by half a minute for each new bid entered), or i should ignore all last moment bids.
The question is how to do that. If i let people know that the auction will be closed early, they will just strike the bid in then. Though, if i don't tell them when it'll happen, the excitement of the final-flurry is gone. Perhaps then, i should just cancel any last moment bids that seem like a strike. Such as, retract any bids from anyone that comes in within the last ten minutes of bidding, where the person had [hmm... "had" or "has", this is future past-tense] not bid earlier, or did bid earlier but with great discrepencies in the amounts.
There is the option of using only approved bidders. Though, i fear that will scare too many people away. There's also the idea to make two auctions. Having the first one being a facade to allow bidding on the second one. Hmm, but that'll remove the whole excitement thing.
The best idea is to go elswhere. However, ebay is the major leader in the area, and to go elsewhere is to sell outside the marketplace.
Right now, bid retraction looks like the best route, assuming i explain it very well in the description beforehand. I just wish there were another way.