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Ebay and shill bidding

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  • Nick Thompson
    Since I m in the minority of of people here that are a little cynical of ebay as a marketplace, I thought I would just add the following. I was going to bring
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 30, 2007
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      Since I'm in the minority of of people here that are a little cynical
      of ebay as a marketplace, I thought I would just add the following.

      I was going to bring my experiences of ebay shill bidding the other
      day but figured that since it was in regard to British 4mm/ft models
      no-one here would be that interested. The aspect of shill bidding is
      the thing that has most put me off ebay (a while back I was
      assembling a fleet of cl 118s DMUs which can be converted from Lima
      cl 117 RTR stock using resin sides and a cab conversion from Charlie
      Petty's DC kits in Leeds, UK). If you didn't understand a word of
      that stay with me :)

      The thing was I kept being outbid towards the end of the auction by
      the same ebay ID. I fix what I'm prepared to pay and didn't rebid on
      the auctions. Funny thing is the same bidder bid on a *lot* of other
      auctions (unrelated) from the same seller. The clincher was when I
      saw the same items being re-listed by the *bidder* not the *seller*
      which was pretty much proof bidder and seller were one and the same.

      The fact that ebay now conceal bidder identities on many auctions
      (substituting "bidder 1", "bidder 2" etc, once the auction has gone
      over a certain price point) makes it even harder to detect when this
      is happening.

      Today, RMWeb, a UK modelling site has a good discussion of this topic

      <http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12409>

      It pretty much mirrors my own view. Shill bidding is a violation of
      ebay's T&C, however there is little to prevent it happening. Caveat
      emptor.

      Regards

      Nick
    • Michael Nickerson
      Hello, everybody! And Nick, especially. Shill bidders, to remain undetectable, woiuld have to change their tactics. The below is an analysis on a non-winning
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 1, 2007
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        Hello, everybody! And Nick, especially.

        Shill bidders, to remain undetectable, woiuld have to change their tactics. The below is an analysis on a non-winning bidder on a
        recent HO brass steamer auction.

        It tells how many times the member bid with various sellers, though the ID's are anon-imized.

        http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidderProfile&mode=1&item=170168967049&aid=y***a&eu=JQQoxxHJkPcjy6oU%2FvA4%2Boz%2F%2FgISijH8&view=NONE&ssPageName=PageBidderProfileViewBids_None_ViewLink
        And a 30-day summary is provided that tells:
        Total bids: 47
        Items bid on: 36
        Bid activity (%) with this seller: 2%
        Bid retractions: 0
        Bid retractions 1 (6 months):

        I guess if one waited at least 30 days before reusing an ID, and did darn few retractions each 6 months, confederate shill bidders
        could still operate, but it appears to be considerably harder now.

        So far I have only bought on eBay, but have a 802 feedback rating after 6 years as a member. No other connection.

        Mike Nickerson
        Tracy, California USA


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Nick Thompson" <rextanka@...>
        Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 2:03 PM


        Since I'm in the minority of of people here that are a little cynical
        of ebay as a marketplace, I thought I would just add the following.

        <snip> shill bidding is
        the thing that has most put me off ebay (a while back <snip>

        The thing was I kept being outbid towards the end of the auction by
        the same ebay ID. I fix what I'm prepared to pay and didn't rebid on
        the auctions. Funny thing is the same bidder bid on a *lot* of other
        auctions (unrelated) from the same seller. The clincher was when I
        saw the same items being re-listed by the *bidder* not the *seller*
        which was pretty much proof bidder and seller were one and the same.

        The fact that ebay now conceal bidder identities on many auctions
        (substituting "bidder 1", "bidder 2" etc, once the auction has gone
        over a certain price point) makes it even harder to detect when this
        is happening.

        Today, RMWeb, a UK modelling site has a good discussion of this topic

        <http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12409>

        It pretty much mirrors my own view. Shill bidding is a violation of
        ebay's T&C, however there is little to prevent it happening. Caveat
        emptor.

        Regards

        Nick
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