One of the quirks of human behaviour is that we value things more highly if we own them. When selling your house, you remember the good times, but prospective buyers notice the cracks in the walls. One of the places where this effect can give you trouble is on ebay.
Suppose that you are searching for an item on ebay and are pleased to find it. You then make a bid. But the bidding won’t close for another three days. Two days later you see that there aren’t any higher bids. At this point, you begin to mentally treat the item as partially in your possession.
The rest of this story is familiar to frequent users of ebay. In the last minutes of the auction, a higher bid will come in and anger you. This newcomer has a lot of nerve! After all, this item has been nearly yours for three days. Now you’re tempted to enter bids higher than the upper limit you decided upon three days earlier.
I don’t have any grand ideas for how to combat this tendency. Maybe just being aware of it can help us save some money in this type of situation.