Eager buyers who get swept up in the excitement of an auction and end up regretting it can take some comfort in knowing why: bidding frenzy, a condition uncovered by University of Alberta researchers.
The more intense the bidding is at an auction, the more likely it is that a buyer will be gripped by bidding frenzy, said Dr. Peter Popkowski Leszczyc, a marketing professor at the University of Alberta School of Business. "It is a mental state characterized by a high level of arousal or excitement, a sense of competition, and a strong desire to win," said Dr. Popkowski Leszczyc. "We believe greater levels of bidding frenzy will cause consumers to value an auctioned product more highly." The research was presented recently in a paper at the 9th Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference, hosted by the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Bidding frenzy poses potential pitfalls for buyers, as logic loses out to human competitiveness, Dr. Popkowski Leszczyc said. "Recently an unknown painting sold online for 70,000 pounds after some bidders started a bidding war. The actual painting was probably worth about 100 pounds." He believes that bidding frenzy is a similar problem to gambling addiction. "There is some similarity in the adrenaline rush of winning the auction, or even just the last-minute bidding. Some people spend hours a day online, purchasing hundreds of items a year."
Bev Betkowski | EurekAlert!
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