Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Oct 29 2013 12:32:37

Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

By: Ina Steiner

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This question in the headline caught my eye on Quora, and I thought it might be something online sellers would like to weigh in on: Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

The question is clearly written from a buyer's perspective. The poster added, "As long as the system hasn't bid more than you wish to reduce your bid to, it doesn't seem like allowing this would be an issue."

Here is eBay's help page that explains automatic bidding. And About.com has a nice short guide on Understanding eBay Bidding, where it states, "You may pay less than your bid if you win. When you win an auction you always actually pay only a small amount more than the next highest bid-even if your bid was thousands of dollars more."

How would you answer a buyer who asked you this question? (Could such a feature possibly encourage buyers to place more bids, or higher bids?)

Some of you might be asking, what is Quora? Mark O'Neill gave a great explanation of what this site is and how online sellers could use the site in this EcommerceBytes Update article from a year ago.

Let us know what you think of the original question and the response from another Quora user on that page. And do you sell in the auction format on eBay anymore - how has it changed?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 29 14:35:45 2013

The issue isn't so much about reducing a maximum as it is about retracting a bid. If all you want to do is reduce your maximum, you can already (under the current system) just retract your bid, claiming that you mistyped it, and then re-bid immediately at some (presumably) lower price.

That permission is already abused by bidders seeking to uncover a seller's Reserve price, or those with cold feet who bail on an auction not by retracting altogether, but by re-bidding at a price which they know will bring them in just behind the second-place guy, who suddenly finds himself back in the lead again.

(You're supposedly only allowed to retract a bid for one of three reasons, none of which is Bidder Remorse, but this violation is largely unreported and completely unenforced.)

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 29 16:29:05 2013

I agree with everything A_C said except one thing.Any bid retractions I have ever had, not ONE buyer then followed the bid retraction rules to then re enter a lower bid. ALL of them merely retracted their bids directly against Ebay policy. All were reported by me and I'd bet the farm that NOTHING was ever done by Ebay about these buyers. I even had a buyer try and retract a bid during the last 12 hours of an auction, stating to me in Ebay messages that he'd decided to spend the money elsewhere and requested that I cancel the bid FOR him. As it was less than 12 hours before the auction ended the software wouldn't let him cancel the bid. He placed a bid on the first day of a 7 day auction. I ignored his emails. Luckily for him he was outbid in the last 5 seconds. He is now on my blocked bidder list.

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 29 20:18:49 2013

Oh, yes, no disagreement there. I should have mentioned that yes, I reported every invalid retraction that I had in my auctions, and I very much doubt that any action was taken, given that a few of mine had already logged a bazillion retractions (as seen on their Feedback as a Buyer page), and I cannot believe I was the first seller to report them. Oh, well...

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Oct 29 20:33:27 2013

For an experienced buyer on eBay auctions this question is an irrelevance. Under no circumstances does an experienced eBayer use eBay’s “proxy bidding” mechanism to early-on set the maximum they are prepared to pay—to do so is simply an invitation to pay the maximum you have specified.

Likewise, an experienced eBayer would never participate in any sort of bidding contest on an eBay auction the way one may do at a traditional auction; an eBay auction should only ever be treated like a “sealed-bid tender”, that is, bid the maximum you are prepared to pay once and as close to the end of the auction as practicable (a “snipe”)—presuming always that the selling price has not already been artificially inflated to a “retail” level by the bidding of a seller’s multiple shills ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ...

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 02:12:14 2013

Actually auctions the way they are on ebay are not true auctions as buyers cannot hyperbid (ie, a hot item is at $50, AND A BIDDER really WANTS IT AND BIDS- $125 to scare off the other bidders.

This would be 1 think ebay could do for us if they gave a rats ass and they would make more money so this really shows that ebay doesn't know anything about auctions.

As for bid retractions, I have also NEVER had a buyer re-bid, this is unenforced and could easily be tracked if ebay had any concern.

I have seen many buyers with HUNDREDS of retractions and ebay could very easily correct these buyers, if they wanted to.

As for folks wanting to get an item at a lower than bid price- this shows how many ebay buyers are now low-ballers and cheapskates- buyers who bitch about things like this can be your worst enemy and they will score you low over 10 cents.

As trained by ebay.

I cannot believe after that Amazon report that the stock did not fall, it doesn't make sense.

MH  

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 10:12:07 2013

''I cannot believe after that Amazon report that the stock did not fall, it doesn't make sense.''
Probably the majority is owned by the company or its employees.

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: lurkulator This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 13:36:27 2013

bid retractions?

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Seller-Central/Buyer-
with-132-bid-retractions-hasn-t-been-suspended/m-p/17978633

link
from post#7 of that thread - bidder with 4000+ retractions in 6 months:
http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidderProfile&mo
de=1&item=310766434050&aid=y***y&eu=4Ob8isvlop26q5%2BeCcvmPJFxVh9mopM8

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Oct 30 16:49:11 2013

@lurkulator,

Clearly, the second example is one of the most blatant examples of shill bidding that anyone is ever likely to see, but of course, eBay can detect none of this, not even with the “proactive and sophisticated” systems that they claim to have to detect same …

Got to get those auction prices (and FVFs) up some how ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ...

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 23:51:13 2013

I was talking about the ebay stock price going down when Amazon reported.
MH

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

by: Tom This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 31 08:14:13 2013

Auctions seem to declining rapidly in my categories, but on the auctions I do run, I've tended not to worry much about bid retractions. If abused I would certainly report it, but I don't use reserves, and most of the time they are the only bidder at the time of bid retraction (another reason auctions are dying in my categories). But if a buyer has decided not to purchase the item, I would much prefer that they retract the bid before the auction ends than to force me to file NPB and have the item off the market for awhile.

Perminate Link for Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?   Why Won't eBay Let You Reduce a Maximum Bid?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Oct 31 08:21:28 2013

@lurkulator,

For anyone interesting in the most utterly blatant of shill bidding fraud, this listing is a “must see”

http://offer.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=310
766434050


If you then examine the Bid History Details for each of the five bidders, it becomes apparent that certainly three and most probably all five bidders are shills, “y***y” being just the most outrageously obvious of them …

And eBay can see none of this? Not even with the “proactive and sophisticated” systems that they claim to have to detect same?—LOL

This particular listing is for a pathetic twenty dollar item and yet it is literally crawling with shills—with not a genuine bidder in sight.

I’ve only glanced at a few of this seller’s 1354 current listings and 33,000 completed listing, but the indications are that similar bidding patterns will appear on all of these listings.

The question then is, how much longer can such unscrupulous sellers keep bidding on and buying so much of their own stuff?

But the more material question is, what is going to happen to eBay’s revenues when all such sellers do finally realize that the moribund eBay marketplace has been moved from the “intensive care” ward to the “palliative care” ward, and that the eBay-recommended “bid on and buy your own stuff” marketing plan is benefitting not the seller but only providing the power for the life support system that is barely keeping alive “the master fraud facilitator”, eBay Inc.?

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ...



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