ebay is weird, when it starts low, more people bid. and i think its instinct, once you've bid, you want to win. so then you get more people fighting and boosting the price. reserve gets met, and exceeded on a popular item.
start higher, where you think it should be, less people bid. its like the lower bidders wouldn't have started bidding at a higher price, but now they're bidding, and thinking about having that thing.
thats my theory.