I went to an auction in South Yarra on Monday night. The vendor, an artist, was clearing out his entire collection of furniture and art - an ecclectic mix of tribal artifacts, contemporary paintings and buddha statues. Most of the lots sold very well and bidding was intense.
One bidder, however, engaged in some counter intuitive bidding practice that seemed very unstrategic in my opinion. It happened twice. Both times, the auctioneer had began the bidding on a lot item at $50. No one else in the room was interested. But instead of raising his paddle and trying to get the item for $50, the bidder shouts out $75. The first time, even the auctioneer was caught by surprise and gave a wry smile. The logic didn't make any sense...instead of getting something cheaply that clearly no one else wanted, why on Earth would you offer more money?