Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Nov 24 2017 22:17:11

eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

By: Ina Steiner

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Would you like the ability to block serial bid retractors on eBay? Everyone makes mistakes, that's why eBay allows bidders to retract their bids if they enter the incorrect amount. But we've noticed sellers growing increasingly frustrated with serial bid retractors - those who seem to be gaming the system on a regular basis in order to find out what other bidders' high left bids are.

Buyers and sellers discussed the issue in this thread. Retractions make buyers suspicious that the they are coming from sellers trying to bid up the price of their listings.

Sellers also have to deal with retractions late in the auction when there's not enough time for legitimate bidders to react - as one seller explained, "It robs you of the legitimate bids and the time left in the auction to get them."

Some users thought eBay should suspend bidders with too many bid retractions. And several sellers expressed an interest in having eBay add a criterion to the Buyer Requirement feature that lets them set parameters for who can bid on their auctions - so that sellers could block buyers who made X number of retractions in X number of months.

Another complaint from users discussing the issue in May was that there was no easy way to report suspicious bid retractions.

In September, an eBay moderator posted a comment (in the first thread above) and said the company had recently ramped up its attention to enforcing the Bid Retractions policy.

If you use the auction format as a buyer or seller, let us know if bid retractions are a problem for you.

Comments (37) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 10:17:02 2017

@Chicago48
yes, ebay has followed the BM retail concept
The only problem is one critical error, ebay doesn't actually own the items, to do whatever they want with , ebay will never have harmony and peace with the sellers, there will always be conflict, ebay and sellers will continually be at war with each other., a never ending battle

where you going to go? ..............
five years ago, I would have said no where, as well as be crying and very upset, but today our website sales are currently about 8 times more then ebay sales. very stable, very predictable,  like a normal business

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 10:19:49 2017

I have had a long policy to block the bidder unless I feel it was an honest error such as bidding 2700 when they meant 27.00. I even blocked a long time local associate auctioneer. I used to go to his monthly auctions but after he followed my items on eBay and reacted twice I blocked him forever. He asked a number of mutual friends why and they all told him what an a**h**e he was!

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 10:27:46 2017

I have a simple way to deal w/ 'bidders' who bid,
then retract, late in duration, w/ comment:
" entered wrong amount "...
but... do not bid again...
-> I BLOCK THEM <-
problem solved.

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 10:59:49 2017

> ''Ramped up'' their attention?  Riiight.   It has been back-alleyed
> for awhile now, to be sure.

Beyond "back-alleyed," actually: they used to have a reporting procedure specifically for that, but it was removed several years ago. (Of course, its actual effect on the offending bidder was never very clear, so perhaps they just decided to drop the pretense along with the form.)

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Nov 27 11:59:24 2017

Long ago I dealt with bid retractors

I stopped doing auctions and went all Buy it Now.

Never looked back. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Nov 27 12:00:16 2017

@maxmad

What is your website?

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: tbyr This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 13:15:40 2017

If some one bid too much or changes there mind, allw them to retract the bid you can not force a buyer to pay if they end up winning all you have is negative feedback either way you go you do not not need that!!

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 15:56:04 2017

"I'm a buyer and I cannot tell you how many times I've returned an article (clothing, housewares) after 3 months! Yes!!! I have returned items that I had with tags on them for a year. The store kindly took them back, gave me a store credit and off I went. The days of 30 days return are over and the buyer (you and I) do have power over the seller. Ebay is doing nothing more than other stores are doing. "

Severe errors in that statement:

1) just because you CAN take advantage - doesnt mean you should. Yes you can do those kinds of returns, but it doesnt come out of the stores pocket - its out of the $10 clerks. As the person on the bottom end of it, they get the brunt of losses - not directly but indirectly. Taking advantage is taking advantage (to me)

2) small sellers cant compete with large sellers on those terms - something eBay refuses to understand. Being eBay has no industry experience - they never bought from large makers or distributors - they dont understand the "mechanics" behind those kinds of relationships. Large companies give you 30 days for returns PERIOD, they require that items be sent back %100 complete (or they charge for the missing bits), and they check serial numbers - all things eBay cant/wont mandate - since stopping criminal buyers doesnt make them money.

3) eBay (as stated so well above) sells, and owns nothing. Its abit absurd to mandate its sellers do things that it cant/wont do. eBay asks you for 60 days yet they wont give YOU 60 days on your bill!

I have no dog in this fight since I dont do auctions, but I commiserate with those that do - since its another area where eBay will make noise about "helping" but then do nothing

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Nov 27 18:56:25 2017

@ pace306

At Costco you can return most items up to 5 years after purchase, the only exception is electronics, you only have 90 days on those items!

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 20:02:21 2017

TOOL - because you "can do something" it doesnt mean you "should"

If your friend goes out and plays in traffic - should you ?

But the point you seemed to miss is - how large Costco is and how THEY because of that size can deal with things - doesnt match up to what smaller sellers can do or SHOULD do.

You brought it up so lets hear your reply - why dont YOU give 5 years for returns? When the shoe is on the other foot - its not so simple is it?

Amazon (if you arent aware) either 1) pushes stuff back on the makers - do small eBay sellers have that ability (can you send parts back to Boeing?) and 2) resells all of it and takes it off their tax return - can you do that? can you take a few MILLION off your taxes?

If you are going to make comparisons - make them - but make them EQUAL.

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 20:06:40 2017

To echo previous sentiments...presence of serial retractors ain't no shop stopper.
This witch hunt is a dog and pony show...the results of which doesn't cost them a penny in revenue...serial retractors don't pay ANYWAY...no lost fees.
The glaring Chinese problem, IF addressed, would cost a LOT of revenue.
The things you care about are the things you get done...follow the money.

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Nov 27 23:45:07 2017

@ pace306

You stated:

"Large companies give you 30 days for returns PERIOD, they require that items be sent back %100 complete (or they charge for the missing bits), and they check serial numbers"

I responded:

"At Costco you can return most items up to 5 years after purchase, the only exception is electronics, you only have 90 days on those items!"

What isn't "EQUAL" as you put it?

Isn't Costco a LARGE company?

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 29 03:01:09 2017

Well it happened to me just now.  3 days in and they retracted the bid.  No reason.  I'm going to have to block the bidder/buyer.
Yeh, I'm all for anything that stops a serial retractor.

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 29 03:08:00 2017

My main complaint with bidders is that they take their time paying.  THAT's the real problem.  They win the bid and the seller/you wait and wait for the payment.  What EB should do is put a freeze on their Paypal or credit card account for 3 days and then unfreeze it so that the seller is paid.  That gives the bidder 3 days to retract or buy.  Not sure that's legal, but something has to be done.  Or just do away with auctions except for high-priced items like cars and art.

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: Scott98 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 29 14:52:14 2017

Bid retractions used to be a problem for me, but cancellation requests of the actual sale are the big, big problem now.

Just got another request for a $850 sale to be cancelled by the buyer a couple days ago and cancellations are very common now.

ebay thanked me for my trouble by suspending my account for a week after I sent a freight shipping quote to a bidder an entirely different another item. Bot accused me of an off site transaction. Customer service rep won't remove the suspension.

All is not bad as these actions by eBay will motivate me to move to other sites and my own website once and for all.

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: Scott98 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 29 14:56:14 2017

Looks like I'll be listing on Etsy, CL, Chairish, Bonanza, maybe Amazon and Ruby Lane this week. And get my own site going. Thanks, eBay!

Perminate Link for eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors   eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 29 16:14:43 2017

@Scott - speaking of Craigslist.  He's operating the same way he did years and decades ago.  Seems his site would be perfect for 3P ecommerce.

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