I agree and disagree, but I think the argument is a little different. The issue with Stamping is quite ridiculous. If that is the case, then nobody should ever put the 1st bid in. All it says is that you were first to bid, or that you want the item, and possibly intend to fight for it, OR you could just be hoping nobody bids, so I agree there.
I would say BOTH
...personally when I "stamp" it is because I fully intend to fight for it but in addition of course I hope that no-one bids and I snag a bargain (although that is very rarely the case :smilielol5: )
As for the trading items for bids, that one is a little tricky. Though it is fair in aspects of the person to the site, the issue comes in where people would aim for items nobody wants and just trade them back for bids, thus creating a higher difficulty for those whom actually want these items.
A gift card to Sno-ball Land or Soup Planet. Nobody knows about these places so they have no use for them, in which maybe only 2 or 3 people would go for this item. If it is known that people can trade the cards back for more bids, that creates a problem because instead of fighting 2 people, now a person is fighting 20 people over something they don't need/want/can't even use, which pushes people away from the site. I say it pushes them away because, if someone has a lesser budget and can't even win simple stuff that is not even relevant to other users they have no reason to bid as they know someone else is just going to snatch it and trade it anyways. This then creates bid stacking, where the powerbidders will start hogging everything they can get and just trading back for more bids to a point where they can literally just take any item they want.
I do get what you are saying and I do understand the dynamics, however and I will quote you here "the issue comes in where people would aim for items nobody wants and just trade them back for bids" ...so really the onus is on the sites to list items people actually want maybe? from the sites perspective and I'll quote again "that creates a problem because instead of fighting 2 people, now a person is fighting 20 people over something they don't need/want/can't even use"...I'm quite sure a site would rather see 20 people fighting over something than 2 people fighting over something and to be fair, the part of don't need/want/can't even use kind of becomes redundant if the site allows you trade for bids does it not? Like I say, I do understand the dynamics and the fact that those users with a limited budget could be scared away but this is where a good system of win limits comes into play and if a site has a good structure with its win limits then the user with the smaller budget should still be able to use the site effectively because a PB would not want to waste their slots on the cheaper items. If a user chooses to "bid stack" as you call it then again I don't really see what the problem is... every bid they stacked they have effectively paid for by trading their win. I don't see how it gives a PB any kind of advantage either as most PBs would win regardless of whether the bids were purchased or traded, it doesn't give them the ability to take anything they want, a PB already has that ability, again, the importance of win limits comes into play as it really is the only effective way to control a PB. Also with regards to "bid stacking" it might be worth pointing out again that the stacked bids were actually paid for and also the user with the stacked bids still attracts counter bids before they actually win the item.
A user wins 3 gift cards to Sno-ball Land or Soup Planet worth say 50 bucks each (total $150) and trades them for say 300 bids then decides to go for a Coffee maker (worth $150 for example)... that coffee maker then takes 600 bids from say 3 different users at 200 each say... now the user using his stacked bids is now 200 down (but they were paid for because the user didn't receive their $150 worth of gift cards) but that users bids also helped to draw at minimum a matched amount (short of 1 if the user wins) in counter bids.
Or another example and one which I have come across in the past whereas a site owner referred to the stacked bids as "house money"... I will mention NO names and NO sites but I watched an auction that was pretty profitable for a site and the owner referred to the auction as being humorous to watch as he knew the 2 users that were fighting it out were using what he called "house money"... I actually disagreed with the way the owner viewed this situation. I have a lot of respect for this site owner both as a site owner and as an individual but I did say to them that I viewed it differently and didn't really see that the 2 users that were fighting it out were doing so with house money because at the moment they won their previous auctions and traded those wins for bids it no longer belonged to the house (if that makes sense?)... the users could have simply taken the money, instead they chose to take the bids of equal value. At that point the user is no longer playing with house money because the bids belong to the user NOT the house.
Now, I think I read earlier in the thread that the user using traded bids can bid more freely and risk free... the psychology of the situation may suggest that they are correct, the stacked bids user may well bid with reckless abandon as at this point they may well themselves think that they are playing with free bids but I believe this user will soon come unstuck... the bids were NOT free and never were. They are merely losing their previous wins at a later date if you understand what I said previously? So again good news for the site... and heres the example...
User A won $400 in gift cards and swapped for 800 bids
User B won $350 in gift cards and swapped for 700 bids...
User A proceeded to place 695 of those bids in an auction against User B who only placed 694 bids for an item worth $400 before deciding to stop making User A the winner.
Yes the site didn't take any new money from the auction... why? because they already had it when both users had swapped their previous wins for bids. (just as they would have already had it had the users previously purchased those bids)... however the site has just recouped 1389 bids (worth $694.50) for an item worth $400, so still good for the site. In fact from the sites perspective the psychology of the user playing with stacked bids and reckless abandon may well actually be MORE beneficial to a site for the simple reason of this... looking at what was being said previously... Would User A and User B have gone anywhere near as deep as they did had they actually been buying their bids as the auction progressed? The psychology of the situation suggests perhaps not (in my opinion).
Yes I agree that the figures could be altered so that User A placed 2 bids and User B only placed 1 bid so the site only recouped 3 bids and lost $398.50 but this is the case with every single auction a site lists... they may well list 20 auctions per day and all 20 auctions end at just 1 cent... that is the chance that a PA site takes and the total nature of their industry. The real reason that sites often go under so fast is because they were either poorly prepared in balance against the risks they are taking (under funded for example) or they just couldn't get the user base to a size they needed in order to remain profitable and survive, again balanced against the risks they take when listing items worth hundreds of dollars that may well end for just a few cents or maybe they just didn't advertise and market themselves correctly...
either way I do not for one moment personally believe that either "stamping" or "trading" wins for bids has any real impact on whether a site survives or does not survive and I disagree with anyone that believes otherwise.