Sir: All I know about online auctions is what I've read in The Grocer. But it seems to me that no one can really win. A buyer may benefit from a reduced price in the short term but how much of this reduction will be passed on to the consumer? And what will the manufacturer do to maintain his margin? Perhaps a few more economies can be made in the cost of ingredients; in the process, in hygiene standards; in maintaining machinery. Such economies will lead to a reduction in product quality of benefit to no-one. But the real risk is in the long term. We need suppliers and retailers working together towards achieving never-ending improvements in product quality, in price and in speed of delivery. It's about giving the consumer what they want, not what the buyer wants. Malcolm B Wallace The Bruce-Wallace Agency {{LETTERS }}