Living with the Internet: Online shopping
Living with the Internet: Online shopping

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Living with the Internet: Online shopping

2.1.1 What's 'Buy It Now'?

The Buy it Now button from eBay. It reads 'Buy it Now' in a slanted font with 'whiz lines' suggesting speed; the word Now is highlighted in red.
eBay buy-it-now

In addition to the current bid price, you will notice that some items have a different (higher) price labelled 'Buy It Now' and some items only have a 'Buy It Now' price. What this means is that eBay has evolved from a pure online-auction site to one which creates a mixed auction-plus-retail and retail-only marketplace.

Where an auction also lists a 'Buy It Now' price, you can terminate the auction and secure the item by clicking on the link. What you are effectively doing is making a trade-off between (i) the possibility of buying the item at a lower price through the bidding process (remember you may be outbid at the very last minute and not get the item), and (ii) the certainty of getting it – but at a higher price.

If there is only a 'Buy It Now' label on an item, then it is not being auctioned, but simply being sold online. eBay in this case is merely functioning as a kind of online bazaar in which stallholders retail their wares without having to set up their own e-commerce (that is, business carried out through the internet) sites.

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