We’re all irrational

Well, most of us anyway.

This terrific article about a study of eBay buyers and sellers proves it. In some categories, more than 40% of the auctions went for more than the Buy it Now price. Hmmmm. Two tips from the end:

  • Set low opening prices. When choosing between identical items, buyers
    seem to favor whichever auction has the most bids. The best way to grab
    early bids: Start with a cheap price. By the time a $1 DVD auction
    reaches $10, it will probably attract more newcomers than a DVD that
    started at $10.
  • Don’t use secret reserves. A study of online auctions with and without
    hidden minimum prices showed that many buyers steer clear of items with
    a secret opening price. It’s like that old shopping joke, "If you have
    to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it."