I used to shop in Maidstone market and watch someone doing exactly the same thing with china dinner services, cutlery sets, pots and pans etc.
The idea was to whip up a frenzy of greed by appearing to sell something valuable at what seemed a giveaway price. Only one type of item was sold at a time, and the men operating the stall made sure that everyone knew there was a very limited supply. There was a lot of 'talking up' of the product, followed by "who wants one then?".
The resulting scramble, by people desperate not to miss out on this deal of a lifetime was a sight to behold, and of course the sale stopped just before everyone had a chance to relax and really assess the true value of what they were buying.
It's clever concept, and of course the Internet is an ideal medium for an updated version of it.