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Shill bidding

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:55 pm
by Number Six
I started selling numismatic currency on ebay last year. Someone who claims to be one of the biggest sellers in that venue told me that I could make a lot more money but I would have to get others to do shill bidding on my items. I refuse to play that game, plus the guy told me how he uses shills to drive up pricing on items he sells, and routinely his uncertified notes sell for high prices.

Inquiring on the topic in a numismatic forum there was a division between those who have no problem with shill bidding and others who see it as against accepted auction practice as well as against the law. But what incentive does ebay have to interdict shill bidding when it just means more money for them?

Re: Shill bidding

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:10 pm
by Kestrel
Shill bidding has the risk of backfiring on you. Who pays the eBay fee when the shill wins?

Re: Shill bidding

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:22 pm
by Judge Roy Bean
Kestrel wrote:Shill bidding has the risk of backfiring on you. Who pays the eBay fee when the shill wins?


The seller's eBay/PayPal account is debited for the fees regardless of the winner. For those who don't play by the rules, it's just part of the cost of doing business. How they true-up the transaction outside the eBay/PayPal framework is up to them.

All you can do is report it but you'll never know the outcome of the investigation.

Re: Shill bidding

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:34 pm
by Number Six
Actually, the shills and the seller can cancel out transactions or say it was "returned". Major shill accounts like this particular trickster have "private" bidding as an additional measure. I have seen negative feedback deleted from his account, which ebay will do for top sellers like this one that they make a lot of money from. Recently he won a high end piece from me, called me up saying we could cancel out the transaction and he could pay me cash for it that day so he could save the ebay/paypal fees. Not kosher at all and reported.

Re: Shill bidding

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:40 am
by notorial dissent
Leaving aside the moral and ethical issues...

No, not really...

If this guy is skirting the rules and honest business dealings, do you really want to be linked to him, and seriously, if he'll cheat on something like this, what else would he cheat on? I would quite frankly not feel safe dealing with him, as I would always be expecting him to try and cheat at some point, people like that can't resist. The old line, "no honor among thieves" holds true.

Re: Shill bidding

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:44 pm
by Number Six
Or "more Corleone than Sainsbury's"....