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time limits

Posted by Bill Lechner  
Bill Lechner January 28, 2010 07:12PM
Hi All,

I was bidding on item 143, the time on this item was listed as running out just after 2 PM my time. I then noticed that there are now over 3 hours of time left. Is it possible for the time limit to be extended ? What gives ?

David Von Bargen January 28, 2010 07:51PM
Yes, the time limits can be extended. Any bids in the last four hours of an auction may extend the auction for up to an additional four hours.
Bill Lechner January 28, 2010 08:14PM
Do the posted time limits mean nothing then ? Also, who extends the times ? How many times can this be done ? Pretty frustrating if you're trying to buy an item at the last minute. Is there any such thing as "the last minute" then ?
James Christopher January 28, 2010 10:52PM
I believe there was no "last minute" bidding, as I had brought that up before, as in I thought it screwed the seller out of money and bids, and Jolyon didn't like it either, hence the enhancement.
Scott Sadlocha January 28, 2010 11:02PM
I kind of like it. It prevents last minute sniping, and allows an item to be bid up to its full potential.
David Von Bargen January 28, 2010 11:43PM
Is there any such thing as "the last minute" then ?
Nope. No last minute. When a person makes a bid, the server randomly picks a time between one and four hours. This is added to the current time and if this is greater than the end time of the auction, that then becomes the new end time for the auction. So the bidding will remain open for one to four hours after the last bid is placed.
Alfredo Petrov January 29, 2010 01:10AM
I think this is a good idea; makes it more like a real live auction, where there isn't an arbitrary cut-off time.
Matt Zukowski January 29, 2010 03:54AM
Although Alfredo makes a good point, a problem with this is, if you want something, you have to bid and then watch the auction continuously for the next 1 to 4 hours to make sure no one else has topped your bid. Other auction sites extend an auction, say, ten minutes if someone ups a bid near the end of the auction. With this shorter time period, some person with an interest just has to sit there for ten minutes to watch the auction close. A ten minute reset of the auction end time would bring this process closer to a real auction - in a real auction people do not wait around for 4 hours before the auction closes.
Bill Lechner January 29, 2010 03:58AM
In a live auction there is an arbitrary cut-off time - when the auctioneer decides it should end. In any case, this strange rule should have been articulated so potential buyers don't think that it's like eBay. Now I know.
So how far in advance of the first cut-off time is it safe to bid without the seller extending the time limit ? How many advances are permitted ?
I would go along with a 10 minute extension, but 4 hours is ludicrous.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2010 03:59AM by Bill Lechner.
David Von Bargen January 29, 2010 11:17AM
I personally think that 10-20 minute extensions would cut down on sniping and still keep up the excitement of an auction ending. 4 hours before the auction end will assure that there is no time extension. It will occur 50% of the time at 2.5 hours before end of auction. There is no set number of times that it will be extended, there just has to be no activity from 1-4 hours after the last bid.
Bill Lechner January 29, 2010 09:06PM
I hope you realize then that an auction could be extended indefinitely and never end. Imagine if this happened during a live auction: "I'm sorry sir, but we'll have to wait 4 hours before I can sell you this item just in case someone else wants to pipe in with a higher bid."
Anonymous User December 16, 2010 11:35PM
DAMNIT!! i am a veteran of thousands of ebay auctions, and this was a bit disconcerting to have the auction extended with no prior warning.. i dont recall reading about anything about these extensions in the rules, making it appear all that much more arbitrary..

i inadvertantly nearly missed the bidding, as i was waiting for a response from the seller, and entered a bid with five minutes remaining in the auction.. i was taken aback when there were two and a half hours left after that.. it was kind of twilight zoneish to say the least..

why isnt there some kind of warning system inplace that the auction has been extended and potential winners have been out bid.. if you can get the computer to restart the time then you can have the computer send bidders an email..

while the alloted segment of time is randomly generated by a computer, it would seem that an auction could be extended indefinitely.. when you think about it, this would invite corrupt business practices..

while i am not sure about the precise definition of the word,"auction", if it could be extended forever, when does it fail to be an auction??

i feel better now.. im going to check the status of my pseudo-auction bid..
Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 17, 2010 12:12AM
The point is simple..

Last-minute sniping bids prevent previous bidders from having the option to outbid you. This is of course not what you want to hear as a bidder, because you want to get the best bargain. But it's only fair to the seller and the other bidders to give everyone a chance to continue to bid until the item is sold.

Obviously an auction will never go on forever, at some point the other bidders are going to say "it's not worth paying that!"

It is more analogous to a real-life auction, where the auctioneer decides when to close the auction, he doesn't stop at a fixed time if the bids are flowing thick and fast. To do so (as ebay does) is a disservice to the seller.

Steve Stuart December 17, 2010 01:04AM
Why is it better to serve the seller and not the buyer?
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