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Wed Dec 6 2017 14:16:08

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practice

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Just notifying you of a new eBay scam. When the first bidder (#1) places a bid, bidder #2 enters the auction before the end date to see if a proxy has been left and if it has, then bids up in small increments till they are in the lead therefore gaining knowledge as to roughly what the #1 proxy bid was.

Bidder #2 then withdraws all of their bids before the auction end under some presence.  

When the bids from bidder #2 are withdrawn, all message outbid notifications from eBay also are removed from view leaving bidder #1 (and his original proxy) as the only bidder now on the item at the 99p starting price.

Just before the conclusion of sale, the bidding starts again, and this time bidder #2 comes back into the auction using another eBay account and bids just under the now known proxy of bidder #1 which of course shills up the price to the full original now known proxy.

eBay doesn't want to acknowledge that this is happening, and of course and tries to hold the original bidder liable for the higher purchase price even though the buyer had already been previously notified by eBay that they had already been outbid.   

This may be an old scam to you, but I encountered only it today and thought you may like to know

Regards
John

Note from the editor: We recently blogged about the issue of bid retractions on the EcommerceBytes Blog, "eBay Vows to Deal with Serial Bid Retractors."




Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 6 15:50:44 2017

Ebay doe$n't care. It$ all about the dollar$.

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 6 18:38:32 2017

Getting something for as close to virtually nothing as possible has been an attractor since the first spear was traded for the first stone axe.  Nothing wrong with that, unless one is EXPECTING that wll always happen.  That would be delusional.  

As eBay founded the premise of a 'virtual' auction though, instead of following typical auction protocol and establishing the current high bid as made, they mis-applied the 'attractor' and established 'increments'.  As minimum reasonable bids, increments are necessary to avoid ridiculously tedious bidding of course.  But they should not be upper limiters.  

Had eBay done it right, ANY bid 'proxy' made would be the leader AS MADE.  This would all be a moot point then, and there'd be no need for proxy bidding.  Because when it is made, that proxy represents (is supposed to) what max the bidder is willing to pay NOW.  Regardless of any other bidders actions.  They are free of course to rebid, and clearly the 'shiller' (as defined) hopes they do, repeatedly, hoping their 'desire' outwits their reason.  After all, auctions 'work' to increase price because bids, once made, are a bidder's 'investment', and that bidder already envisions ownership, and would hate to 'lose' over a matter of 'one more buck'.

But they are also free to stop or withdraw any time too.  The assumption is, and should be, that bidders are grownups.  Reason should prevail.  And if the bid goes 'too high' for what they are ALREADY WILLING TO PAY (evidenced BY their most recent bid), they need to stop.  Leaving the alleged shiller holding the bag.

Which doesn't benefit eBay if the 'shiller' is colluding with the seller.  And doesn't benefit eBay if the 'shiller' is an eBay plant, since no consumation of the 'contract' is forthcoming.

Which is a whole 'nother point to discuss and anticipate eBay will continue to ignore, despite clear policy.

Anyway, it's difficult to see where and who this partcular 'scam' benefits, or who it may adversely 'impact'.  Beyond the original proxy bidder who was 'hoping' to get an even better deal than they were ALREADY willing to conclude, or extend to conclude, whether any 'competition' was real or not.

To be clear, shilling is not pardonable, becase of it's insincere nature, not to mention policy.  But one can't 'force' a higher bid than will permits.  

Perhaps the genuine bidder's greed for a deal in his case is more justified than the seller's, or eBay's?  





Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: Lightning This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 6 23:59:06 2017

shill bidding is always a problem.  In the example, bidder #2 didn't have to make multiple bids in small increments.  They could bid a crazy high amount, since they plan to retract it anyway.  One bid.  Once this high bid is placed, bidder #1's highest bid will show.  Then bidder 2 retracts, saying they added an extra zero by accident, and bidder 1's original starting bid is reinstated.  Now bidder 2 and the seller know what bidder 1's top bid is, IF the seller sees it before the retraction.  Then the shill bidder comes in later just under the limit of bidder 1, triggering his proxy bid, pumping it up.  It's a common problem, and that's why one should have outbid notifications set to ''on''.  If you see this type of activity, that auction is pretty much poisoned to you, because you are now at a severe disadvantage.  And ebay will not care at all, ever.  I report shill bidders every time I see them.  Never got a response, never saw it stopped, no impact at all.  But at least I did my civic duty.

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: Duster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 01:12:12 2017

Some people believe the shill bidder is also the seller trying to get maximum payment price for his goods.  Whatever is going on, legitimate buyers are getting pi$$ed off enough to stop buying on the bay altogether.
People talk and they tell others about their experiences.  It   hurts everyone's businesses, even the ones with integrity.

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu Dec 7 09:32:41 2017

@Philip Cohen from Australia (where has he gone?) has a blog where he, in great detail, documented cases of shill bidding.

Ebay has bots which can detect mere numbers in a message as personal contact information. And doesn't hesitate to penalize a seller, even though there is no clear evidence of an off eBay sale. One would think they could also see patterns of shill bids placed if they wished to.

Since a transaction which may occur off site takes fees away from eBay, the hammer is laid down.  But if a ''rule'' which is broken puts more money in their pocket, they look the other way.

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 09:39:17 2017

eBay has all the info. for years on Chinese sellers' shill bidding... there are groups of 20 I.D.'s - one lists at 99 cents free ship for items that are also listed buy-now at $20.- no bids ? 99 centers go unsold - YOU bid... watch all the '0' FB ID's who bid you up, never leave or get feedback...

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 10:23:02 2017

Please note - shill bidding is helping to put the final nail in the auction coffin. The biggest seller os antiques and artwork on eBay of all, I will not mention his name but he's out of Rhode Island - 99% of his auctions are shill bid. How can I tell? Because bidding history shows bidders with high feedback who do virtually all their bidding with him. My guess is he has a network of people doing this for him and he starts of shipping right after listing to create interest. I would bet my life on this info. Most of the New England dealers know about it. I was warned years ago only consign with him, never bid on anything. I reported him to eBay over 50 times and gave up. eBay use to have the manpower to enforce stuff like this but they no longer care as that segment of their sales in now below 13% auctions.

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Dec 7 14:48:34 2017

Ebafia's intrinsic dishonesty in so many areas is the root cause of virtually all their problems...and ours.

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 16:22:14 2017

@eXtinctBay:
> @Philip Cohen from Australia (where has he gone?) has a blog
> where he, in great detail, documented cases of shill bidding.

I read somewhere that he passed away not too long ago...? I tried Googling his name just now, but could not find anything specific either way. He's on Twitter as @PhilipCohen5. Hopefully he will pop up here to say that rumors of his death are greatly exaggerated. :-)

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Dec 8 02:43:10 2017

Phil Cohen is alive and well last I heard but targeting other social evils.

Ebafia will do nothing about shill bidding because they profit from it. Ebafia has no ethics.

IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY. ALWAYS.

Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic   Reader Claims eBay Tolerates Shill Bidding Practic

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 8 11:16:24 2017

Seriously? All this overblown concern for shill bidding is ridiculous. Nobody bids on auctions any more anyway.

In any casewho the heck goes to this much trouble to bid up a $.99 item to $2.99?



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