Yes, I am a bit surprised myself to be honest. This morning I actually tried to cancel one of the auctions because I thought I had mispriced them and wanted to relist it at a lower price. Much to my surprise I got an "error" message that I couldnt cancel the auction due to it having a bid. At that time the item had a 700 min bid going while the other had 600 min bid. About 2 hours later they were both sitting at 750 each. Either someone wanted to secure a bid position or two (or more) parties were involved in bidding.
I am not going to moralize over how people spend their money since a) I'm in no position to do so being the "evil used car salesman" :-) and b) because I have no right to argue over how other people spend their money. All in all I am happy to see my items sell, but for later auctions I will for certain adjust my prices downwards a bit. I have some more items thats going on the SE but since my shard balance right now is zip I have to wait :-)
People laugh - but Turbine is high-fiveing themselves over how much they have made on selling astral shards even after 1 day i bet.
On Ghallanda - some guildies were watching and shaking their heads at some of the prices people were posting for....except a lot was selling, even stuff for 1000 shard buyouts.
I posted a couple things - had 3 Astral Diamonds left over from some loot I saved - and by the time I finished posting 10 items and ran back to the mailbox, my EH Blue Dragon helm had already sold - within like 2 minutes - for a 900 shard buyout.
So I posted a bunch of other stuff. But people are clearly buying a huge whack of shards if the insane buyouts are any indication(and by that I mean stuff that actually gets bought out) - so yeah Turbine is loving this.
EH Blue helmet with the right stat is highly sought after. And if it is correct that Turbine nerfed droprates further then it will be a hard item to find. People have already been paying 2500 TP codes and up for many of the best items and I've heard some outrageous prices after U17. Like Globes of Imperial Blood trading for 5000 TP code + Otto Box (10.000 TP).
I guess some people just have the means and the desire to get the best equipment for their character and I respect that. But it does leave me a bit dumbstruck seeing some of the prices.
Greatest value of shards now is exchanging and moving around bound items.
Just for reference, my White Dragon EH helmet was bought out for 1000 shards about 2 hours ago.