The very smart Scott White has an economically-literate and cheerfully personal look at how tricky it can be to bid on niche products online. As he says, the problem is that online markets, like Ebay, do nothing to give bidders comfort that what they are bidding for a product reflects the market value of the product. That should be a concern to rational bidders in any auction/market with fragmented and intermittently-updated bid & ask prices, as Scott discovered when being overbid recently for a bike frame. Hence the following sage advice from him:
There are many businesses, not just the used, niche product business, where getting good information on prices is hard to come by. My advice? Any business, product or service where an average person with access to the Web can not figure out how much something is worth within a reasonable amount of time is a business you don’t want to be transacting in unless you know what you’re doing or you can afford to get ripped off.