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29 November, 00:42

In an auction, potential buyers compete for a good by submitting bids. Adam Galinsky, a social psychologist at Northwestern University, compared eBay auctions in which the same good was sold. He found that, on average, the higher the number of bidders, the higher the sales price. For example, in two auctions of identical iPads, the one with the higher number of bidders brought a higher selling price. According to Galinsky, this explains why smart sellers on eBay set absurdly low opening prices (the lowest price that the seller will accept), such as 1 cent for a new iPad. Use the concepts of consumer and producer surplus to explain Galinsky's reasoning.

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  1. 29 November, 00:49
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    Since the opening price is set so low, potential buyers will think that their total consumer surplus is very large. For example a consumer may be willing to pay $40 for an iPod but since the price is $1 his total consumer surplus is $39, so he will tempted to offer higher bids which eventually lead to a higher final price.
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