Ubid but you don't ever win

CATEGORY: News

Something strange is going on over on the eBay rival Ubid, they have auctions with winning bidders but they don’t let them win!

Basically Ubid have a facility to combat sniping – if someone places a bid in the last in the last ten minutes of an auction the end time is extended by ten minutes to allow other potential buyers to increase their bids. Ubid call this feature Overtime.

Something appears to have gone badly awry – auctions with bids aren’t ending even though no new bids have been placed. Dave Taylor describes his frustration at being the only bidder, the auction time ticking down just to be extended again and again. Overtime appears to have gone into overdrive! Four and a half hours after the auction should have ended (still without any new bids!) Dave gave up and clicked the BUY IT NOW button to end his misery. Now he’s paid $60 over the winning bid price I wonder when he’ll be using Ubid again.

Not exactly a great user experience which makes me thankful eBay have hard end times on auctions. Buyers know how long they have to get their bids in and should bid the maximum they’re willing to pay. However it’s often mooted that giving bidders a chance to bid again increases final selling prices.

What do you think? Extend auctions or stick to a set end time?

19 Responses

  1. How about giving sellers a choice at listing time to offer “overtime” auctions, or regular ones? It might work well for rare items. Also, one bid extension period would be enough.

    All this might be moot if this is someone else’s idea. Remember the BIN honeypot for lawyers? (it is in the news again) 😀

  2. Choice I believe would be a bad move – buyers would be confused and would never understand why some auctions over ran and they were outbid whilst contrarily other buyers would be peeved that they were sniped and *couldn’t* put another bid in 😮

    Best to go all overtime or none overtime IMO

  3. Extending auctions ONLY helps the sellers NOT the buyers. SO the question is rather redundant since this readers here are primarily sellers. This is why, I believe, eBay says they will “never” offer extended auctions.

    As a seller I would love it because it would get higher STR (sell through rates) but as a buyer I would hate it. I do not want to wait hours for auctions to end waiting on the other bidder who keeps adding 25 cents every ten minuets so he can be the highest bidder.

  4. John: SO the question is rather redundant since this readers here are primarily sellers.

    Assuming that what you mean is that TameBay’s readership is largely made up of sellers, I can’t agree with your conclusion: the question is a long way from being redundant. My concern – and that of eBay too – is about making eBay as attractive as it can be to buyers: only that way am I and all the other sellers going to make any money. I’m getting heartily sick of seeing sellers on eBay’s message boards whinging that eBay should stop looking after buyers all the time and worry about sellers: that way leads to driving more and more buyers off-site.

    As a buyer, like you, I would hate it – and that is why as a seller I hope eBay never will introduce this.

  5. Sue, I think we are in totally agreement. I should have said the question is rhetorical, not redundant 🙂

    Asking sellers if this is a good idea (extending auctions) is a “no-brainer”. The answer is YES.

    Would it be bad for the buying experience, YES.

  6. FYI, I am a regular reader of Tamebay and have never sold a single item on eBay. I have purchased many times and have been a shareholder since the 2002.

    Extended auctions are a bad idea. I use sniping software (bidnip) on practically all my purchases. I never bid on an item until less than 10 seconds before the end. I can only give you my perspective. If sniping was forbidden or extended time introduced, the perceived “value for money” would diminish. I would certainly not bid as much anymore.

  7. Any legitimate auction, be it live or online, allows a bid time extension after last minute bids. Look at Hakes, or Heritage, or any other serious Collectibles venue. Since ebay makes the majority of it’s money from seller listing fees, rather then final value fees, the company has no concern that retailers no longer get anything resembling fair market value for auction items. I find it apalling that ebay is actually now encouraging sniping….

  8. Since ebay makes the majority of it’s money from seller listing fees, rather then final value fees

    Are you sure about that? 😮 I know when I look at my invoice the largest proportion is FVF

  9. Possible that more items don’t sell than do sell, hence the calculation about listing fee’s generating more income? I’m with you on this one, but across the whole company maybe it’s correct.

  10. Max listing fee £3 (for multiple items in most categories), Max FVF unlimited….. if sellers are listing correctly they should have more sales than failed listings and as FVF starting at 5.25% (10% for SIF) should ensure FVF are higher than listing fees. If not I’d recommend they re-evaluate their listing strategy.

  11. The conversion rate on listings is around 12.3%, thats across the company, I am just calculating how many listings in all formats are currently live across the world, be back to you in about 4 months lol

  12. The figures for March 31st 2007 for Ebay Inc were 79million store listings, 509 million all other formats. I may need some help to work the rest out 🙂

  13. “Any legitimate auction, be it live or online, allows a bid time extension after last minute bids.”

    I don’t think that’s true. We have a ton of sealed bid auctions in real estate in which the winner is announced when all the sealed bids are opened at the same time. Also corporate auctions also run on a sealed bid mechanism. EBAY is simply a hybrid system. There is nothing wrong with that.

  14. Chris, you said – “Choice I believe would be a bad move – buyers would be confused and would never understand why some auctions over ran and they were outbid whilst contrarily other buyers would be peeved that they were sniped and *couldn’t* put another bid in”

    Quite simply, that is not the experience on eBid, where sellers have the option to auto-extend or not if a bid comes in during the closing few minutes.

    But then, adding BIN to an Auction format listing is free on eBid, so most sellers do that on most items as a matter of habit, and in most cases the difference between initial bid price and BIN price is usually pennies.

    Where time extension wins is when the listing is for multiple items and not all of the quantity has received bids – the extender can make the difference between selling just a few of them or all of them. And that’s a HUGE difference to the seller.

  15. “in most cases the difference between initial bid price and BIN price is usually pennies”

    And that’s a bad thing as generally agreed throughout the auction world. Patrick Byrne of Overstock summed it up nicely.

    Not many buyers use multiple item auction listings and not too many sellers understand them either. Dutch auctions as they are known are quite complex so it’s a limited advantage.

  16. Popcorn bidding is another name for extended bidding, though 10 mins seems excessive, a minute or less works well on places like bidz.com.

    Its worth a look to see it in action.

  17. So I guess your listing strategy means giving merchandise away……

    Face it, ebay has more sellers than buyers. They aren’t bringing a signicant number of new buyers into the venue….

  18. Why have extensions?

    If you bid the highest, you win, and no sniper can change that.

    Earlier in my ebay life, I had a bidder mail me to complain that he had been “outbidded” by someone in the last seconf, and that if I had any decency, I would cancel the winning bid and sell to him (the loser) as he would have been willing to pay the same price or more, but “didnt have a chance”.

    I’ll admit it took me quite a few minutes to think of a polite way to say “Snap the HELL out of it, sulky! If you were willing to go to £50 or higher, then you shoulda BID £50 or higher. ”

    Im mean, how simple is “Bid what you can afford”?

    That way, if you get sniped up to near your max, and win, you’ve won. If you get outbid, you couldnt afford it anyway. and no amount of extra minutes at the end of an auction should change that.

    Whats the problem?

  19. Such an enlightend viewpoint Mark 🙂
    I have to say I often bid an odd amount like £51.11 just in case someone else snipes at £50.01 or £51.10. If you place your very highest bid it should be a relief someone else outbid you instead of tempting you to spend even more, and if you win it’s windorphins all the way!

Comments are closed.

RELATED POSTS..

Royal Mail to accept International Parcels again

Royal Mail to accept International Parcels again

Will Jersey Post help Royal Mail recovery?

Will Jersey Post help Royal Mail recovery?

Royal Mail international backlog

International Backlog starts to be cleared

Royal Mail International recovery

Royal Mail International recovery starts

Royal Mail International post

Royal Mail International still paused

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.

Latest

Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars