Auctions on the Internet: In 1998, sixty-eight percent of Internet fraud complaints were about auctions.  So (1) why do so many people get so enthusiastic about Internet auctions? (2) Why are web auction companies like eBay rising like rockets on the stock market? (3) Why are companies like providing auction services? And (4) why, to take just the one example, has carefully set up such complex rules for itâs A to Z "auction guarantee", including one rule that forbids you from stopping a credit card payment and another rule that eliminates protection for anyone living anywhere except in the US, the UK, or Germany, where Amazon conducts its own business (the latter rule eliminates all of us in Italy)?

The answers, in order, are: (1) There's a sucker born every day. (2) There's a sucker born every day. (3) There's a sucker born every day. And (4) there's a sucker born every day. (And some days more than one.)

If you donât believe me, go to the following sites to read the statistics: or

If, after seeing the statistics, you still just have to participate in the Internet auction boom, follow the five rules outlined at and maybe you won't lose your shirt too often. (P.S. -- the "nearly one-third of Internet complaints" mentioned in the Quicken site was for 1997.)