Fishy ebay bidding?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BrBss, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. BrBss


    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    So I bid on a bass last night (I was the highest bidder when I went to sleep; auction ended around 4am here), and this morning I have two emails, one saying that a bid was retracted so that I was now the highest bidder, and another email saying I won the item. I noticed the final price was exactly my high bid, so I was a little suspicious.

    So I go to the bid history, and this is what I see: an account with zero feedback making a bunch of bids, then once he was wining the auction, retracting the bids that were higher than my bid so that the final price was my highest bid. Am I being paranoid, or was the seller using another account to jack up the price?

  2. Common shady practice on there. Don't pay it unless you really want it at that price.
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    It seems a little fishy to me. You could report the shill bidding I believe.
  4. Its called Shill Bidding
  5. Report it, you have nothing to lose on the buyer end by disputing it. Cant get bad feedback anyway.
  6. BrBss


    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    Thanks guys. I'm a bit torn, because I do want the bass... but I don't want to reward that shady behavior. I sent him a message, maybe I can get him to sell it to me for the un-shilled price. If not, I'll report it.
  7. Get a feel of what it would have been priced at on other forums and then decide..
  8. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    So Cal
    It's interesting (sarcasm) that the seller has been a "Member since: Jan-10-08 in United States" and only has one feedback... and that is as a buyer.

    Another bass of the same model sold for $265 shipped the day before. It was listed as coming from a "smoking home" with some wear.

    Yours was listed as "Its in beautiful condition no wear and tear here! Ready to go to the next bass master player!"

    It'll be enlightening to hear how the seller responds.
  9. BrBss


    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    From: (me)
    To: smvclif42

    Hi. I noticed that there was a bid retraction soon before the end of the auction, and the auction happened to end EXACTLY at my highest bid. This seemed kind of fishy, so I looked at the bidding log, and there were a lot of bids by a zero feedback party all the way up to my max bid. This REALLY seems like you were using another account to increase the sale price.

    From: smvclif42
    To: (me)

    There was another bidder on the bass and the last bid on the bass was retracted by the bidder not only were you upset but I was also! I was told by Ebay it was retracted because the bidder entered the wrong amount. I was hoping to get $400 for this bass w/case but that didn't happen I am willing to part ways with it for the winning bid if you are still interested in it. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    From: (me)
    To: smvclif42

    Lets be honest. I should have gotten the bass for $225, not $280. If you refuse to give me the bass for the fair price, I'll have to report you to Ebay for shill bidding. Shill bidding policy
  10. Wow. I never even thought about this.
  11. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    Been there, done that. When it happened to me, I reported it immediately, and the seller was banned from eBay for 90 days and warned that another offense would make the ban permanent.
  12. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I'm sure I've been shilled before, but in each case, the shill bidder has gone right up to within a few dollars of my limit wihout exceeding it. They didn't retract, so it wasn't anything I could report. On a couple of other cases, I've lost items where the shill overshot and won.

    What are the conditions under which a bidder can retract a bid? I've never had to retract one, but I always figured that eBay would make it insanely difficult to do precisely to stop shills.

    Bid retraction really ought not be allowed during an auction. That's why software programs include "confirm" pages and "are you sure?" prompts. If that isn't good enough, the buyer ought to be responsible for his/her bids. A better but more tedious solution is for eBay to note the intent to retract and notify the new high bidder. If both eBay and the new High bidder can agree that there's evidence of a bunch of incremental bids leading up to the overshoot, then s/he ought to have the option of retracting.
  13. ebay should have the option, in a situation such as this, (where the pattern of shill bidding is pretty obvious...and was obviously done in order to discover what the actual bidder's maximum bid was in order to sell him the bass at his maximum price), to declare the actual bidder the winner. and the price he will pay, is the price of his bid before all the shill/shady bidding started.

    in this case, he should get the bass for 225.00 as he said.

    if the seller refuses, then he should get a lifetime ban.

  14. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Was your max bid $280? If it was, suck it up, buttercup. You bid the amount maximum you were willing to pay.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    What if you get outbid, buy your item from someone else and then the high bidder retracts. Are you still obligated to buy?
  16. so you think it's alright for a seller to shill bid in order to discover your maximum bid and then hold you to it? just asking


    ps- edit- BTW... this is just one more reason for not bidding until the last minute or few seconds....1) you can see if there is a pattern of fishy bidding on an item and not bid at all if you don't like what you see & 2) by waiting until the very end, you deprive the seller of the time necessary to do this
  17. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Not at all, I think shill bidding sucks big time.

    With that being said, refer to your second paragraph. An eBay bidder is required to enter the maximum amount they are willing to pay for the item for sale. The bidder is then directed to a second screen to confirm that amount before placing that bid. From what I've read here, OP was willing to pay $280.
  18. If the seller was, in fact, shill bidding I wouldn't trust them with any other aspects of a transaction.
  19. but the question is not what he was willing to pay, the question is what he should have had to pay if the auction had been on the up-and-up, and ended without shill bidding, with him as the winner at 225.00.

    if i go to a live auction and see an item i want, i may be willing to pay X for it, but if, after legitimate bidding, i am the winner at x-100.00, the seller doesn't get to come to me and demand that i pay the full amount i was willing to pay.

    that is all i am saying. here, the OP got screwed by the seller bidding and retracting until he found the OP's max. and then retracted the final bid, leaving the op to buy it at his max.

    i think we can both agree, that was not a legitimate auction.

  20. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Yeah I have to agree with steamthief, always look at your max bid as just that, the most you'd be willing to pay for an item. It will help you sleep at night and not worry about things you can't control.
    I find used prices to be personal and subjective. When I lose an auction I think to myself that the other person paid way more than I thought it was worth.
    It's the old heartburn of watching last minute snipping, that can drive you crazy too.

    And lastly, the way the software works with a retraction is your bid was run up to the max, the shill bid and won, then retracted, the bid stays at your max, they can't magically revert to your original lower bid.

    Also unless you can tie an IP address to the shill, it could have just been some stupid bidder that has no clue.

    Good luck,