The Internet and online auction is an auction held over the Internet. The best-known organizer of Internet auctions, eBay is followed by Hood1) in Germany. After the auction, the delivery of the goods will usually take place by mail. The dominant paying system is bank transfer or payment intermediates or digital wallets, e.g. Paypal. In addition - as an online auction in the broader sense, there exist service auctions, corporate auctions, Penny Auctions, Lowest price auctions, debt auctions and much more.
eBay is an online marketplace built to enable trade on a local, national and international basis. eBay offers an online platform where millions of items are traded each day through Online Auction Formats, or through an immediate fixed price. This allows people shopping for items to search through the various offerings, make bids, or opt to make direct purchases. It has become a location for looking for hard-to-locate items, like collectibles. Many people also use the site to search for bargains on used items such as electronics, small household appliances and others. Items aren’t always used. They can be brand new and offered by small stores that sign up as vendors. Alternately, some people sell their wares by setting up eBay stores 2). For the provision of an item eBay charges a listing fee 3). The fees for private sellers and the fees for commercial vendors are calculated differently. Due to poor response times and inconsistences concerning the evaluation of sellers eBay members were up in arms against customer service in March 2012.4)
Hood.de5) is a German virtual marketplace in which anyone can buy and sell for free. This is possible in large part by the sale of advertising space on the sides of Hood.de6). Hood cooperates exclusively with Google. However, there is the possibility to make one’s auction more interesting by paying for extra options, e.g. gallery with more photos.
Service Auctions provide services at auctions. Either customers make a bid on provided services or service provider underbid the maximum price for a specific order set by the customer for a specific order.
Formed because of the large number of online auction houses and the resulting confusion a wide range of auction-related services was formed. These services include meta-search engines for the search of offers, but also many service programs for off-line preparation of offers and auction management. A very important additional service occurs from service pages which allow users to bid in the very last second, so called “auction-snipers”. People who do not own computers or do not have time to start an Internet auction may submit their goods in specialized stores. These special shops will then auction these goods against commission.
Auction-snipers are software programms that automatically send a desired bid on an internet or online Auction. These systems are automatically time-synced with each specific Auction-Server, which leads to a very accurate bid in contrast to a manual bid in front of a home-PC. Apart from placing the maximum bid very precisely in the last seconds of the auctions, the advantage of auction-snipers is that user do not need to be online during the auction, people can put similar auctions together in groups to bid on multiple auctions for one article and that this system mostly saves money by avoiding extra bids than originally planned. During the past online auctions, e.g. ebay unsuccessfully tried to forbid auction-snipers7). Commonly used auction-sniper software programmes are baytomat8), snip9) and biet-o-matic10).