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Automatic extension benefits buyers and sellers

Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2011 - 3 pm | Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES

If you’ve been to a live auction, you know how simple the process is. An auctioneer accepts bids from the crowd until no more bids are submitted, at which point the item is declared sold and bidding starts on the next item. You won’t see a good auctioneer say sold until he’s confident nobody else will bid, as doing so would not only hurt the seller by establishing an artificially-low sale price, it would hurt other prospective buyers by not giving them a fair chance to submit bids.

Anyone familiar with eBay knows how disparate the purchasing experiences are from one merchant to another. Different payment requirements and drastically varying qualities of item listings make it difficult to feel confident in making purchases. However, one constant aspect between all eBay’s auctions is that there is always a fixed ending time. It’s like an auctioneer who says sold after spending 30 seconds on an item, regardless of the current price at the time or how many hands are up in the crowd.

Because of this fixed ending time, an eBay buying strategy quickly developed known as sniping. Bidders attempt – and sometimes utilize specialized software – to wait until the very end of the auction and place one bid at the last possible moment, hoping to be the last bid accepted and, thus, the winning bidder. The other buyers are disappointed, if not disenchanted, and the item sells for less than it could have if those buyers had been allowed to place more bids.

Purple Wave’s Internet auctions differ from eBay in several important ways. We have consistent auction policies and payment terms. We do our best to provide the highest quality item listings and follow the same format for every item in every auction. We also utilize a feature on purplewave.com called automatic extension that ensures all bidders have an opportunity to bid before the bidding closes an an item.

Automatic extension prevents sniping
Purple Wave’s automatic extension feature prevents bidding from closing on an item until five minutes elapse without that item receiving bids. If no bids are received on an item in the last five minutes, it closes as originally scheduled. However, if a bid is placed when the item has two minutes remaining, the automatic extension feature will add three minutes to the closing time for the item. If bidding for an item is already extended, a newly-placed bid will reset the counter to five minutes.

Automatic extension example

Example of extended bidding caused by a bid submission in the last few minutes of an Internet only auction

Five minutes may not seem like a very long time, but it’s an eternity compared to the few seconds a bidder may have at a live auction to decide to place another bid. The automatic extension provides the excitement of the back-and-forth of a live auction without the pressure of being required to make split-second decisions.

Purple Wave’s Internet auction method ensures that the highest bidder will be the buyer. Because placing a bid in the final moments of bidding will add minutes to the scheduled closing time, sniping is impossible and bidding is both fun and fair for everyone who wants to bid.

One response to "Automatic extension benefits buyers and sellers"

  1. J.D. Williams says:

    Hip, hip, hooray….hip, hip, hooray….hip, hip, hooray !!!!!!! Fantastic that someone finally cured the old practice of sniping……..!!!!

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