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Contingency group bid increases

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:01 pm    Post subject: Contingency group bid increases Reply with quote

I'm following up here on the last suggestion I posted, for changing contingency groups. Unlike that one, this suggestion very likely would increase the burden on the server, but perhaps the increase would be small enough that it could still work out.

When bidding on auctions with a combined shipping discount, it can make sense to change your bid depending on past auctions. For example, if a seller discounts any won auctions beyond the first by $3, then you might well want to raise your bids on their items by $3 if you already won one of their auctions. Or if a seller has a fixed rate of $5 for shipping regardless of the number of items you purchase, than you could bid (value to you - $5) on any items until you have a high bid, then switch to bidding (value to you) afterward.

A good (not completely ideal, but likely close enough) way to handle this could be through contingency groups which change bids instead of cancelling them. The user would need to choose a contingency group number along with a contingent bid change. If any item in the contingency group is won, then the bid change would be applied to all future items in that group. Here's a flowchart-like look at the way this could be handled after a auction from a contingency group completes:

    Was the item won?

    No: No changes occur to any other auctions in the bid group.

    Yes: All remaining auctions in the bid group A) have the contingent bid change added to their bid, and B) have their group set to 0 (i.e, the grouping is removed).

Of course, this would mean there would need to be an extra field -- the amount to change later contingency bids -- associated either with each Gixen's bid records, or perhaps just for each contingent bid group. That would certainly mean more resources, though maybe not so much as to be a burden.

But if it works out, it would be very handy for me, and I suspect for other users, as well! This scheme could also be managed using scripting and the new Gixen APIs, but that has the usual drawbacks of automating auctions on a local machine.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I strongly agree with this.

imagine this implementation: I'm willing to spend 15 dollars, if item A goes for 7 then I'm ready to bid 8 on Item B, if Item A goes for 3 dollars then Item B I'm happy to bid 12 on. etc..

this would be a pretty sweet addition as sometimes one thinks "oh if I make a kill on that I may as well get that also"
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see how this could be useful, but it's not as easy to implement, and even more importantly - many users would get confused by options such as this one. You may see it as a cool feature, but from my perspective it's something that would be used by very few users, and raise many support issues.

If someone believes this is worth investing some time - Gixen API is available for making such a functionality.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the confusion/support issue could be pretty substantial. There are already lots of posts here from people who get confused by issues such as eBay bid increments, and this is probably more complicated than that. And of course the programming and interface work would take time, too.

Using the API for this will mean my computer needs to be on when the auctions are running. But I think I can manage to cope. Wink
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