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Post  Cox International on Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:12 pm

This is a classic example of shill bidding and the third time we have reported this bidder to eBay in as many months. The first screenshot shows the bidding and retraction history of the auction. The second screenshot shows the bidders history. 26 bids in 30 days and 25 of those retracted.

Shill-bidder places a bid that is higher than ours and retracts it 6 minutes later. He now knows our max bid. Next day he places bids in small increments  until he outbids us, after which he imme retracts his last bid 2 minutes later; remaining just below us but has driven our price up.

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Post  Cox International on Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:13 pm

A better screenshot

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Post  GallopingGhostler on Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:27 pm

I've seen something similar to this some time back, may be 5 to 7 years ago. It involved one particular seller, He sold items like used engines, accessories and other model plane stuff. I'd be the only bidder. Then toward the end, a mystery bidder would appear, drive up my bid toward the maximum I had set. Otherwise I would have gotten the item for much less.

It appeared to be a sock puppet of the seller. I gathered there was a reason for other modellers not buying. After being a winner a couple times seeing this, feeling "it just doesn't seem right", from that point hence forth I no longer bought a thing from him.

Regarding bid retractions, I thought that one could not retract their bid, once they made it. A bid is a contracted agreement. That is strange that E-Bay would permit this.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:42 pm

I was thinking the same thing.

I made a bid retraction once on an item I didn’t mean to bid on. It was quite a process as I recall, I also had to provide a written reason.
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Post  Cox International on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:12 pm

Up until 12 hours before the auction ends, it is quite easy and only involves a couple of clicks. Within the 12-hour timeframe it is not possible.
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Post  DrCox on Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:21 pm

Cox International wrote:Up until 12 hours before the auction ends, it is quite easy and only involves a couple of clicks. Within the 12-hour timeframe it is not possible.

Well, there is my naivety shining brightly through. Bidding by small amounts to surpass another bidder's maximum, and then retracting the last bid. Now the second bidder knows what the maximum bid is prior to retracting their last bid. Back when I was a youth, we called that type of behavior cheating.

Until addressed by eBay, it seems that the only recourse is to not bid until the end of the auction (who has the time to sit and wait?) or purchase one of those snipping programs.

I know...not much help however, thank you for the heads-up.


Last edited by DrCox on Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:25 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling correction)
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Post  GallopingGhostler on Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:17 pm

DrCox wrote:Well, there is my naivety shining brightly through. Bidding by small amounts to surpass another bidder's maximum, and then retracting the last bid. Now the second bidder knows what the maximum bid is prior to retracting their last bid. Back when I was a youth, we called that type of behavior cheating.

Until addressed by eBay, it seems that the only recourse is to not bid until the end of the auction (who has the time to sit and wait?) or purchase one of those snipping programs.

Experientially, there are a few things about E-Bay that I find odd. One was neutral feedback I gave one seller because she misrepresented the truth on a so called "soprano saxophone bag" (it wasn't). My sax did not fit. Bag was about 1/2 inch short, and the bell filled the bottom very tight, would eventually erode the lacquer off bell edges and make it prone to dent damage. She replied angrily to me, I felt no compulsion to reply to this liar.

My feedback even though neutral was truthful, however, she was an E-Bay mega-seller, E-Bay removed my comment without informing me. I only discovered that after I went back through my comments a few weeks later. I guess they give mega-sellers such as her the "accident forgiveness card" as a favour for helping E-Bay make a profit off her seller fees. Shocked

Since, I have not purchased anything from her. Yet, E-Bay has granted me justice on smaller lesser items from small sellers. I have received my money back on bad, damaged, and misrepresented items. I guess if you are a smaller seller, you don't get an "accident forgiveness card". Doh!

Thus, I've learned to be more careful on what I buy on E-Bay and from whom.
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Post  1/2A Nut on Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:27 pm

I read up on the info provided by ebay:

Shill bidding is when someone bids on an item to artificially increase its price, desirability, or search standing.
Shill bidding can happen regardless of whether the bidder knows the seller. However, when someone bidding on an item knows the seller, they might have information about the seller's item that other shoppers aren't aware of. This could create an unfair advantage, or cause another bidder to pay more than they should. We want to maintain a fair marketplace for all our users, and as such, shill bidding is prohibited on eBay. For more details on what constitutes shill bidding, please see our full policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Buy It Now to buy items from people I know?
Yes, you can use Buy It Now to purchase an item from a seller you know.

Can my employees bid on my listings?
No, your employees can’t bid on your items, and you’re not allowed to bid on theirs. Sellers with employees should make sure their workers are also aware of this policy.

How do I report shill bidding?
If you think that another member is shill bidding, you don't need to report it to us. eBay has a number of systems in place to detect and monitor bidding patterns and practices. If we identify any malicious behavior, we'll take steps to prevent it.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This topic was of interest as the other day something odd happened to me when bidding on a item.
Typically I will put in a max bid number. In this case submitted at the very last moment around
8 seconds left. Odd the last amount of someone else was set up to take every penny of my max
bid this has never happened. Originally it showed some hint of the persons bidding first and last
letter or number and amount of purchases, now the information has been removed.
Did I just get really really lucky or is there something fishy going on here?????

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Post  Marleysky on Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:03 pm

I was a big fan of the TV series “The X-Files”.  This really has  conspiracy written all over it. Enough to raise an eye brow or two!  
1- the seller only has 13 transactions and is knowingly using “private listings “to hide bidders IDENTITY.?? ( assumes he has a separate Id to monitor and bid from) ....also check feedback, he has 25 feedbacks on 13 transactions?  
2- the entry of a bid just pennies below your Maximum, bid ONE second before the end of bidding is astonishing...whats the odd of that happening?
3- E Bays self imposed “you don’t need to report shill bidding, because we monitor and Take steps to prevent it”. Ha! The wolf is guarding the hen house!  

Don’t know just what you can do if the powers that be in Evil Bay won’t investigate because “they’re “ watching for this type of activity.

4-I am not computer savy. I think it would not be out of the question that someone with hacker capability could hack your bid Id and find out exactly what your max bid is or was. Just from what I see on TV. Those police shows like 50, FBI /SWAT etc, have computers that have unbelievable speed for finding and locating bad guys ID, current location and responce time....my comcast cable is like Dial up in comparison to what the Government and LE has.....


Last edited by Marleysky on Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : X files)
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Post  GallopingGhostler on Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:02 am

Speaking of shills, makes me wonder if sometimes shenanigans happen with the auction's programming staff. "Hey, Joe, get a load of this! I just wrote a little routine that randomly causes a bidder to pop up, bid with a little randomness based on current bidder's highest bid, then disappears before the end."

May be they get a share of the wealth for increasing profit and stock shares?

It sort of reminds me of the Happy Birthday Song copyright scam. For years, businesses had to pay the royalty owner so Happy Birthday could be sung inside their business (restaurants, clubs, etc.) This is why many restaurants had their own version of Happy Birthday with different lyrics and different melody.

Then 2 years ago, a small time documentary producer was told she'd have to pay $5,000 $1,500 to use the song in her documentary. She sued Sony Warner/Chappell, came up with proof that the song was published before 1923. It was in a song book published a couple years before then. It went to court, the copyright was invalidated.

I say this facetiously, because in reality I don't know the whole truth. But I've seen enough from various large businesses, who for one odd reason or not would not publish my negative comments and reviews on seller poor quality products, which indicates to me they are more interested in the bottom line than they are in doing what is ethical. One of them is the Alexa proprietor.

Post note: Here is an article referring to the lawsuit:

NBC News: Happy Birthday Copyright Suit Settled

Interestingly, I recall at the time of at least one early article included photos of a particular music book published a couple years prior to the 1923 copyright cut off date (All US works published before 1923 are now public domain) as a basis to invalidate the copyright. Those photos included the music and lyrics to Happy Birthday. Since, all articles found make no mention of this book, casting a sense of doubt (i.e., "fake news" Shh )


Last edited by GallopingGhostler on Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:55 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Facts correction.)
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Post  coxaddict on Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:57 am

I usually make a low max bid to see if someone does a shill bid.
Crying or Very sad If it happens I lose interest in the item as more will appear from time to time. Cost of shipping is also a consideration. Buy it now is great when the total cost is reasonable.
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Post  fredvon4 on Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:55 am

It always be in E-Bays interest for every $5 item to sell for over a $100....

Would not be hard to writ the program to detect the many types of shill bidding and by who

They may seldom or infrequently bang someone to put on the illusion of fairness BUT it is a Business to make a profit

I had to self discipline many years back. I was one that got caught in the frenzy of the hunt ...payed way too much for way too many things

I bang Amazon against E-bay and WalMart all the time for price, tax, and shipping cost shopping.... each year we buy a LOT from E-bay...BUT ONLY BIN!

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Post  jarboy on Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:23 pm

I have purchased over 7500 items off ebay. You could say I am addicted. Almost always, I use a free sniping program (I actually donate a small amount for their effort), I set the price I am willing to pay, and I leave it go. I don't worry about shill bidding, etc, because I bid what I feel it is worth, and if I don't get it, that's it. I usually don't look at why I lose. Sometimes, I see the same item a second time, and I bid again, exactly the same. Every once in a while, I get a great deal, and the seller finds a way to back out. They typically have some bogus story. I don't care. If they don't want to sell, I move on. Sooner or later, there will be another one on Ebay. I don't own it until it's in my hand. I always give top feedback.

I don't sweat the small stuff. Sometimes I get great deals, sometimes I don't, and I move on. Every day there is another million items to look at. I am not poor, so I don't have to worry about small losses. I don't sell so far, so I am sure that saves a lot of hassle.
I save a huge amount of pictures and info off ebay. I have hundreds of files on mint, beautiful cox engines that I will never own, but someone else does.

Every once in a while I hit a home run. I buy something that is so awesome, it makes my year.
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Post  rsv1cox on Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:56 pm

My "free sniping program" is a one-time proxy bid usually submitted 24 hours prior to the auctions end.  Haven't had a problem yet with shill bidders, but one of my last buys was curious.  I was bid up to one dollar of my proxy bid.  But he bid 23 times, nibbling all the way.  No retractions or dis honesty that I could see.

What I think the item is worth to me. Doesn't cost anything over the highest bid but a buck or two.

But, now warned, I may limit my proxy bid to the last three seconds and join the ranks of the snipers.  

Bob
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Post  GallopingGhostler on Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:06 pm

Regarding bid nibbling, sometimes it seems that it is an E-Bay function eBay of taking one's maximum they have set against another's maximum they have set, and stepping each other's bids up by a predetermined increment until one outdoes the other. Thus it may not be nefarious but a way they set up for the so-called proxy bidding system. (You set your max, the system keeps incrementally edging as though you were actively bidding - as in a verbal auction - pushing the cost up until you outbid the lower maximum set by the other bidder.

Although sometimes funny stuff seems to happen, I know there are practical limits to how much I really want to bid, (i.e., I'm not an unlimited pocket of cash Burning Cash ), so I give up pursuit when costs escalate above my threshold. Horsing Around
I'm just happy with what I have won. Yes, I have a few mistakes and bad buys, Bad Xmas Gift but overall, most are good with me. Stereo
Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. lol!
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Post  ukanduit on Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:45 pm

Sniping is the only way to ebay.
Life is too short.
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Post  jarboy on Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:11 pm

rsv1cox wrote:My "free sniping program" is a one-time proxy bid usually submitted 24 hours prior to the auctions end.  Haven't had a problem yet with shill bidders, but one of my last buys was curious.  I was bid up to one dollar of my proxy bid.  But he bid 23 times, nibbling all the way.  No retractions or dis honesty that I could see.

What I think the item is worth to me.  Doesn't cost anything over the highest bid but a buck or two.

But, now warned, I may limit my proxy bid to the last three seconds and join the ranks of the snipers.  

Bob

I have probably lost 300 bids by a dollar. Usually, it means both me and the other guy knows exactly what it is worth, and we bid with that knowledge. If an engine is really worth $30, it means I am going to get it for $29, or $30, or he is going to get it for $29 or $30, depending on whose first, and who has the tiebreaker, etc. If you bid early, that means he might think about it for 24 hours, and go to $31, ruining it for everyone but the seller. There are problems with sniping, sometimes the bid doesn't make it through, and you have lost the buy of a lifetime due to an internet glitch. I have had dozens of bids go bad due to sniping problems. I lost a one of a kind item years ago, for almost nothing, because my internet went down. I have never seen another one for sale, so I don't' own it. I am mad just thinking about it now. so, sometimes, I bid early because I just can't stand the chance.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:18 pm

If you really want an item there is one sure way to win. It takes some stones though.

Last 10 seconds of auction close bid a stupid amount of money. If you bid high enough nobody will be able to snipe in time and the bidding programs won’t be able to bid up fast enough.

I suppose it’s possible to lose and you have to be prepared for that to happen, it’s just the odds are stacked in your favor.

For example an item is at $10 with 10 sec left to go. Drop a $100 bid. Bidding programs and snipers will not be able to bid you up in 10 sec. I’ve won numerous times by doing this and I have only gone up a couple dollars from where the price was at from 10 sec mark. I am prepared to spend the whole amount though... Eyebrows

Go big or go home empty handed. Or, don’t bid at all which is what I am doing nowadays. Very Happy


Last edited by Cribbs74 on Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Cox International on Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:24 pm

That can be dangerous lol.

Once had a fellow win an auction of ours for $310 for three .010 props. Upon query, he said that he wanted them so just put in a silly bid but was not expecting them to go that high.

Although I understood his modus operandi, I was more intrigued by the second highest bidder. Turns out he wanted to bid $30 but typoed $300.

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Post  Cribbs74 on Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:28 pm

Like I said you you have to be prepared for the worst... he must have put down a huge bid way to early and there was enough time left for that scenario to happen.

He probably should have those props bronzed.
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Post  crankbndr on Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:36 pm

I snipe everything, the one dollar walk it up bidders drive me nuts. If I start the process at 12 seconds it usually posts with about three seconds left.
More than once when I click bid eBay will kick it to a login page, with auto log in there is still time with some fast clicking.
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Post  Cox International on Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:44 pm

Cribbs74 wrote:Like I said you you have to be prepared for the worst... he must have put down a huge bid way to early and there was enough time left for that scenario to happen.

He probably should have those props bronzed.

Both sniped within 15 seconds of auction end.

Needless to say, we offered both buyers $20 for three props. That was back in the times when 010 props were unobtainium and we got about 50 from Cox about 10 years ago.

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Post  crankbndr on Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:01 pm

Another eBay story, I have been selling from the lot of engines I got recently. Best night i've ever had Sunday, sold 13 engines when auctions ended a 8 PM.
Got 30 emails within minutes for sales and people paying, one email was PayPal informing me my account was frozen for "unusual activity".
WHAT THE HAY!!!!! I go into my PayPal account and to unfreeze the want three things, 1 a picture ID uploaded, 2 proof of shipping for three of the items that sold minutes before, 3 invoices from my "suppliers" proving I purchased items sold . WHAT THE HAY!!! With frozen account I can't print shipping labels myself, off to PO today with 13 boxes I had to hand label and pay for.
Got hame and had to manually post every tracking number into eBay. AAARRRRGGGGG!!!
Still unresolved, they say my "unusual" activity was I sold to much stuff!
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Post  Cribbs74 on Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:39 pm

Yeah so that doesn’t surprise me.

I have been an Ebay member since 1999. Always a buyer and never a seller until a few years ago.

Posted an auction, auction closes only to find out I have a hold on my account for the money. I called Ebay and was informed that since I was a new seller they would hold my money for 30 days or until I received positive feedback from the buyer. I inquired about shipping the item when shipping funds were being held and they pretty much suggested that I go out of pocket until funds are released.

I haven’t sold anything since.
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Post  jarboy on Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:22 pm

Cribbs74 wrote:Yeah so that doesn’t surprise me.

I have been an Ebay member since 1999. Always a buyer and never a seller until a few years ago.

Posted an auction, auction closes only to find out I have a hold on my account for the money. I called Ebay and was informed that since I was a new seller they would hold my money for 30 days or until I received positive feedback from the buyer. I inquired about shipping the item when shipping funds were being held and they pretty much suggested that I go out of pocket until funds are released.

I haven’t sold anything since.

I had some old codger send me a lot of badgering emails because he thought I was holding his money. I looked into it, and it was all on the paypal end of it, and there was nothing I could do about it. It was pretty amazing how after I sent him info, and more info, and even more info on how it worked, he blamed me. Of course, paypal and ebay weren't real up front on how they were going to hold the money, but there are so many scammers out there, it makes sense. most of my troubles have been with accounts with less than 10 feedbacks, it is something to think about, and take into account.
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