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Bidding History Analysis (that some might find interesting)

 
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juangrande



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 888
Location: San Diego, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:57 pm    Post subject: Bidding History Analysis (that some might find interesting) Reply with quote

Since traffic on this forum seems a little slow right now, for fun I'm posting an analysis of an auction where an offset less than 6 seconds would have been a better choice than an offset of 6 seconds (or more).

Mark and I debated this some time ago on this thread; if you're bored, have a look. The ultimate conclusion (at least in my opinion) is that the best choice for one's offset depends on the type of bidders you expect to be competing against. In the case of the auction I'm posting here, I will explain why a shorter offset would have been a better choice for me. [Mark: I'm hoping you might post an example from one of your auctions where a longer offset was the better choice.]

If you're interested, the last time I checked, the bidding history for this auction is still available here. From this, it is possible to reconstruct what the bidding history looked like at previous times.

1. The ending time for this auction was 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:51AM PDT

2. At 4 Aug 2017 at 12:25:45PM PDT, the top two entries in the bidding history were as follows:
Code:
.***n(158) $400.00 4 Aug 2017 at 12:25:45PM PDT
o***a(196) $399.00 4 Aug 2017 at 7:24:24PM PDT


3. At 5 Aug 2017 at 7:15:41AM PDT, .***n(158) bid again, and the the bidding history shows this bid added to the top. The top bid (called the "Current bid" on active auction listings) did not change, reflecting the fact that additional bids from the high bidder do not raise the current bid, even though the actual amount of the bid could be substantially larger. (This means that you cannot bid against yourself and that having Gixen send your bid from two different servers will not raise the price you would pay if you win.)
Code:
.***n(158) $400.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:15:41AM PDT
.***n(158) $400.00 4 Aug 2017 at 12:25:45PM PDT
o***a(196) $399.00 4 Aug 2017 at 7:24:24PM PDT


4. At 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:13AM PDT, 4***d(9) came along and started one-click bidding, and at 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:42AM PDT the bidding history looked like this:
Code:
.***n(158)  $480.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:15:41AM PDT
4***d(9)    $475.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:42AM PDT
4***d(9)    $465.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:39AM PDT
4***d(9)    $455.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:37AM PDT
4***d(9)    $445.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:33AM PDT
4***d(9)    $435.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:28AM PDT
4***d(9)    $425.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:25AM PDT
4***d(9)    $415.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:21AM PDT
4***d(9)    $405.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:13AM PDT
.***n(158)  $400.00 4 Aug 2017 at 12:25:45PM PDT
o***a(196)  $399.00 4 Aug 2017 at 7:24:24PM PDT


Notice that after 4***d(9)'s second bid, the time between the 1-click bids was between 2 and 5 seconds.

5. At 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:46AM PDT (5 seconds before the auction ended), 4***d(9)'s one-click bid and my (s***d(302)) snipe bid arrived. (As a side note, I had my offset set to 6 seconds and it was accepted by eBay 1 second later.) At this point, the bidding history looked like this, with me winning:

Code:
s***d(302) $486.11 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:46AM PDT
4***d(9)   $485.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:46AM PDT
.***n(158) $480.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:15:41AM PDT
4***d(9)   $475.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:42AM PDT
4***d(9)   $465.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:39AM PDT
4***d(9)   $455.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:37AM PDT
4***d(9)   $445.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:33AM PDT
4***d(9)   $435.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:28AM PDT
4***d(9)   $425.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:25AM PDT
4***d(9)   $415.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:21AM PDT
4***d(9)   $405.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:13AM PDT
.***n(158) $400.00 4 Aug 2017 at 12:25:45PM PDT
o***a(196) $399.00 4 Aug 2017 at 7:24:24PM PDT


6. But 4***d(9) still had 5 seconds left to place a 1-click bid, which he did at 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:48AM PDT; after this, the (final) bidding history looked like this:

Code:
4***d(9)   $491.11 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:48AM PDT
s***d(302) $486.11 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:46AM PDT
4***d(9)   $485.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:46AM PDT
.***n(158) $480.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:15:41AM PDT
4***d(9)   $475.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:42AM PDT
4***d(9)   $465.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:39AM PDT
4***d(9)   $455.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:37AM PDT
4***d(9)   $445.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:33AM PDT
4***d(9)   $435.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:28AM PDT
4***d(9)   $425.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:25AM PDT
4***d(9)   $415.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:21AM PDT
4***d(9)   $405.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:13AM PDT
.***n(158) $400.00 4 Aug 2017 at 12:25:45PM PDT
o***a(196) $399.00 4 Aug 2017 at 7:24:24PM PDT


The point of all this is that if I had my offset set at 3 seconds, my snipe would have arrived about 1 second later at 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:49AM PDT, and 4***d(9) would not have had enough time to both (1) notice that my bid had arrived, and (2) place one more one-click bid. In that case the top of the bidding history would have looked like this, with me winning:
Code:
s***d(302) $486.11 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:49AM PDT
4***d(9) $485.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:32:46AM PDT
.***n(158) $480.00 5 Aug 2017 at 7:15:41AM PDT


One could argue that it is rare to compete against a one-click bidder, but after this experience, I set my offset to 4 seconds on the Main server and 3 seconds on the Mirror server.

If you got to the end of this post, I hope you found it interesting. I also hope Mark posts an example of a longer offset winning. Smile
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Rickajho
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The great offest debate rages on. Wink

First, gotta put it out there once again that high money is always going to win.

If I'm satisfied with the dollar amount of my snipe I find myself actually going in the other direction: 7 second offset on the main server, 6 second on the mirror. Why?

7 seconds gets me the advantage being first snipe over "default users" who aren't paying for the mirror service - and consequently are stuck at a 6 second offset. I have won more than once in this scenario where the 6 second snipe still had some available proxy, but not enough, and when any back and forth was over I was the one with the final bid increment - and the 1 second earlier bid.

I also find this seems to work well if there are what appear to be fairly new eBay users who have already placed bids and my gut is telling me these people won't be sniping at all. They tend to be placing bids with only minimum increments showing in the back and forth bid history. In this case I was a bit surprised that I won my last auction not only with the 7 second offset but with only a $1.00 bid increase as well.

John the only comment I have about your bid analysis as presented is that we never know until it's all over whether or not yet another sniper may have shown up who may have outbid both of you. Technically your observations are correct, of course, but hindsight doesn't always prove to be a de facto rule when unknowns may be in play.

We also don't know if 4***d(9)'s one-click bid was $495.00, $500.00 or some other amount. All we do know for fact is your bid was sufficient to reveal if 4***d(9)'s bid was one increment higher than $486.11. Their bid could have been $600.00 - we'll never know. That unknown negates the theory that a shorter offset would have made any difference regarding the end result.

I think I'm going over to the Mark-er side Mr. Green with longer offsets, just to get the advantage of placing an earlier snipe over default snipers.

And in either type of offset scenario high money still wins.

Rick

Best to not overthink these things. Razz
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Cupid



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 5690
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry that I haven't come up with a response, yet, I'm not actually doing much buying at the moment, for various reasons (nothing to do with Gixen) so my example pool is quite small, but I promise I will come back with at least a scenario that demonstrates why I still favour longer offsets for the auctions I bid on.

I will try to make sure that I do so over the next few months.

For the moment there are a couple of interesting points about your pen auction, firstly that the wining account is no longer registered with Ebay, and never received any more feedback, and secondly that there were so many retracted bids that indicate to me that o***a(196) was finding out what the actual maximum bid was on successive days up until the final day... that kind of behaviour is not within the Ebay rules since the reason for the bid retractions would be a lie.
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juangrande



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 888
Location: San Diego, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply, Rick!

You (and Mark, of course) are absolutely correct that a longer offset gives you an advantage over snipers using a shorter offset. I'd love to see a bidding history where a longer offset prevailed, but since eBay rejects later bids of the same amount (within a bid increment), I never will see such a bidding history.

As for 4***d(9)'s sequential bids, the first nine are all $10 apart. So, while it's possible their last bid was different from $495, the previous sequence of bids indicates that 4***d(9)'s last bid was exactly $495. What's interesting is that the bid increment at this level is $5, not $10. Since 4***d(9)'s last three bids were all less than 5 seconds apart, it must be that they were able to configure their 1-click bids to be $10 apart. At least that's my hypothesis.

And it is absolutely correct that it's the highest bid that wins. Every time.
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juangrande



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 888
Location: San Diego, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post, Mark!

Once again, you've caught me napping. I didn't even notice all those bid retractions by o***a(196). In fact, o***a(196) retracted their bid of $405 at 4 Aug 2017 at 7:24:06PM PDT and then bid $399 at 4 Aug 2017 at 7:24:24PM PDT, just below .***n(158)'s $400.00 bid placed almost 7 hours earlier at 4 Aug 2017 at 12:25:45PM PDT. That's a clear indication of shill bidding.

So, Mark. I'm glad I "lost" that auction. In fact, while it's technically true that this auction is an example of an auction where a shorter offset would have improved my chances of winning, you've clearly pointed out that it's also an example of an auction that I was better off not winning. In fact, I later won an auction for essentially the same item for well over $100 less than it would have cost me had I won this auction. Yet another point in favor of your position.

Am I going over to Mark-er side, as well? Shocked
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