I spotted a new and unused software package on Ebay and thought I'd have a bit. Unfortunately the seller had set a reserve price (fine in itself) but had also set a starting bid below this and as my bid was the first it met the starting bid but not the reserve. Nobody else bid so consequently my bid stayed at the minimum; every time I visited the auction Ebay would announce that I was the highest bidder, but that they reserve hadn't been met, so why didn't I increase my maximum bid? (which of course would be pointless and until somebody else bid, my bid wouldn't increase).
The auction finished with my bid the only one and at a level well below my maximum bid and the reserve not met. I understand that a low starting bid may attract more bidders (although this one didn't) but if you're going to set it below the reserve price wouldn't it make sense to at least provide a Buy It Now option at a level you'd be prepared to accept?
The item has been relisted and I've had another pop, but it may end the same way.