On Ebay there are bots that will make a bid when the auction is almost over. Which is unfair, obviously. I know most people will agree with me on this, but just in case you do not I will elaborate. If you agree with me than feel free to skip this part.
Let us call the person who the bot-bidder outbids the outbid party.
In a case where the outbid party would have outbid the bot-bidder if they had time to respond to the bot-bid, then:
The seller loses out, because they could have received more money than they did.
The outbid party loses out, because they would have been willing to pay more but didn't because of a robot which perverts the normal and expected course of an auction (that is, to sell the object to the person willing to pay the highest price for it).
There are a lot of ways to solve the problem of bot-bidding. I hope at least one of them would be implemented in pinside's auctionhouse.
1. Have each bid extend the auction deadline by a certain amount of time, say 30 minutes. There could be a maximum amount of extensions, only a handful would be needed in most cases.
2. If the auction runs from monday to friday around midnight, the auction could pick a random minute from 10:30 to 11:59 and end the auction then. The bot can't bid at the last minute if it doesn't know precisely when the last minute will be. If the bot chooses to out-bid at 10:30, the non-bot outbid party will have on average 45 minutes to respond. At which point the bot could outbid again. But at least the bot would be forced to a higher price than it otherwise might be, making botting less advantageous (but still advantageous).
3. Maybe ebay found some clever technical way to stop the bot bidding problem a long time ago, for all I know.
Edit: If everyone was auto-bidding up to their maximum price than that would be fair, but it seems to me like there might be vulnerabilities/problems with that system.