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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 734 - April 07, 2004 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 3

The Antidote to Online Auction Sniping

By Ina Steiner
April 07, 2004

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Bid4Assets said its "overtime" feature recently netted one of its sellers an extra $115,000. The U.S. Marshals Service was selling forfeited property located in South Carolina on Bid4Assets.com. The auction had a starting bid of $330,000, and before the auction closed March 24, the auction went into "triple overtime," according to Jenny Lynch, Bid4Assets VP of Marketing & Corporate-wide Communications.

"The property would have gone for $590,000 if there was no overtime," Lynch said. Instead, the property sold for $705,000. "The seller is very happy and the winning bidder is thrilled. The overtime feature gives bidders a level playing field. They donít need to worry about being sniped."

Auction sniping is a phenomenon made popular by eBay. If you place a bid during the last minute (or few seconds) of an eBay auction, beating out the last bidder to win the auction, then you have "sniped" the auction. Because eBay puts a fixed ending-time on auctions, bidders believe they can avoid bidding wars by waiting until the last few seconds of an auction to place their bids.

With Bid4Assets overtime feature, the close of an auction is extended each time a bid is placed within the last few minutes of the scheduled close. This continues until five minutes have passed without any bid activity on the auction. Lynch said Bid4Assets auctions more closely resemble a live auction. "As in live auctions, until the auctioneer shouts out going once, going twice, going three times and slams down the gavel, all bids are fair game."


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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