Well as someone that both buys and sells through online auctions, I have to say for the most part its quite succesful. From the ones i've bought over the years typically called the people had a list of questions going in before hand with what i was looking for and wanted to know. Most ppl you can gage them after talking for a little bit whether or not it's a pig you'd be interested in. Also since you are just going off the picture make sure you pick that apart, angles, background, standing in a pile of wood chips (can't see the pigs feet), all factors you have to consider.
As far as selling them online, I'm a smaller breeder who yeah doesn't get the money these other guys are getting but you know what, when i look at what i'm offering and they are offering I see no difference. I sift through each pig early and then sift again before anything is even considered to go online. If it's not a pig I myself would buy it's not a pig i'm going to have representing me. These guys that put an entire litter online come on now we all know better which should throw up a red flag right away. I encourage anyone bidding or thinking of bidding if possible to come the farm, if you are unable then to definately call. There's times I worry after sales when I see guys have bought them without calling because I want to know you realize exactly what you are getting. At least in my eyes as stated we all don't see pigs the same way. But after each pigs gets to that respective buyer I always contact each of them to make sure they are completely happy and weren't mislead, and I always encourage them to be blunt with me. Maybe I didn't see something they seen or could've described it in a different way. And I like to think we've had quite a bit of success when it counts and that's in the showring with the pigs we've sold. Regardless of price I want ppl to be happy with their purchase first, and hopefully go on to be successful next because once it leaves the farm I have no control of how that pig is taken care of and how it turns out in the end. To answer your question darin yes I have turned ppl away because I didn't feel I had the right type of pig for them or their show when they start describing charactistics. As a smaller breeder my window for mistakes is MUCH MUCH smaller than that of a larger breeder. The larger breeder will always have ppl lining up buying their pigs and paying an excess amount. The smaller breeders such as myself have to rely so much on not just our product but the way we portray that product. I want happy and successful customers, thats the only way I can grow and succeed. Thanks sorry for the lengthy response