EBay is pulling out of "live auctions," where members join in real-world auction-house bidding, in the latest in a series of moves to restructure its online auctions business, the company said on Tuesday.
The online auction leaders said it plans to shut down the eBay Live Auctions business as of December 31, 2008. The format represents a little-known, tiny piece of eBay's auction businesses -- most of which connect buyers and sellers online.
Live Auctions represent a throwback to traditional open outcry auctions by linking eBay users remotely to auctions moderated by live auctioneers, both in physical locations or online. Unlike eBay's typical 10-day window for auctions to close, Live Auctions conclude when there are no further bids.
Live auctions were/are a mixed bag to begin with. Anyone with a lick of sense usually made their bid within the last 2 minutes of a deadline driven auction. The auctions that have any excitement are the ones that were based on activity within a certain time frame. For example, within the last 5 minutes. No activity, the auction is closed. If there was a higher bid, then the auction continued for 5 more minutes. If no activity, the auction closes.