Why Auctions Are Here To Stay
I partially agree with you that one reason for the eBay craze is that it has a critical mass of buyers ("Will Auction Frenzy Cool?" Cutting Edge, Sept. 18). However, I think you fail to visit the fact that buyers see value in paying market price for any and all items.
When consumers make purchases, it is reassuring to know that they are paying a fraction more than what others are willing to pay. If you notice, the items that are popular on eBay are all difficult to appraise. When customers shop for art, baseball cards, antiques, etc., there is often a feeling that they have been ripped off.
I believe auctions will be around with any items that are not backed by large household brands, that are difficult to appraise, or that are typically promoted through alternative marketing channels such as classifieds or trade shows.