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  • Shill Bidding

    Has anyone heard of shill bidding? I didn't know eBay even allowed you to retract bids until I recently won an auction to my surprise after being outbid.

    http://www.ebay.com/gds/How-To-Ident...4987485/g.html
    Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
    Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

  • #2
    I have heard of it and it is illegal. That is a good link, thanks for sharing.
    Phil
    Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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    • #3
      Seems stupid that you can retract bids. I've been to pretty many auctions in my life and when you raise your hand you're stuck with it.
      https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
      SE PA
      Zone 6

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      • #4
        I had a "retraction" experience, I accidentally placed the decimal in wrong place, not paying attention, my 93.50 bid was entered as 935.00 ebay retraction saved my butt. I won the item anyway for 75.00. Had it not been retracted, a shill could have bid 934.00 or as high as they wanted and it would have pushed my bid to the max of 935.00 or 1.00 above the next bid.
        Wish List - Any LSU fig

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        • #5
          I once got a notice a minute or two after auction close that the winning bidder had backed out. No doubt in my mind that the other guy was running up the price for the seller and got stuck. Maybe even the same person for me to get an offer that quick. Anyone can game the system. Real life auctions are sometimes rigged to so its to be expected. Still ugly to see that side of human nature. We're talking figs here. Is nothing sacred!?!?
          Pine Prairie, LA 8B

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          • #6
            Best thing would be to boycot those auctions and block that seller. Then spread the word and put em out of business. Under that account anyway LOL.
            Jeff in 6a

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            • #7
              Yep your right.
              just hard to prove so wouldn't want to be mistaken. Tough call but thats just people everywhere. Takes all kinds.
              Pine Prairie, LA 8B

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              • #8
                I've been familiar with this for many years but have never seen it take place on any eBay fig auctions despite watching hundreds of them very closely.

                Honestly, I believe a more common problem is people falsely alleging that shill bidding is taking place.

                I've sold more figs than most. I've had several bidders retract bids and, guess what? They weren't made by me! A couple of times it's been when they made an obvious mistake. Sometimes it appears they just changed their mind. One time I had a bidder retract a bid close enough to the end of the auction that I thought it negatively influenced the outcome for me so I blocked them from ever bidding on my auctions again.

                I one case I saw where someone bid on another person's auctions quite high and then later retracted all of their bids. Had it not been for some close monitoring, this seller would have been screwed big time. I'd rather not discuss those details further.

                By far, the biggest problem with buying figs on eBay is buying from unknown sellers who misrepresent what they are selling or don't really know what they are selling.

                Just my $.02
                My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                • #9
                  Harvey unfortunately the more I look at these auctions, the more I believe this is happening. It is absolutely understandable that as dkirtexas said someone makes a mistake and retracts their bid. I however do not believe a person makes a mistake and retracts their bids more than once a week or over 20+ times with 100% of their activity on eBay with that single seller. I am seeing this pattern with a couple of our well known sellers. It is not possible to tell if it is the seller, a buyer, or a friend trying to help a buddy without them knowing.

                  7 out of 10 of your last auctions have retracted bids against them, doesn't this strike you as odd?

                  I am not saying it is the seller that is the sheller necisarilly, just that it is possible someone is. (aka not pointing my finger at you, I don't want you to think that!) I haven't seen this pattern on eBay before, but hoping to make folks aware.
                  Last edited by PA Figs; 04-24-2015, 11:40 PM. Reason: clarification
                  Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
                  Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

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                  • #10
                    I hope ebay will eventually find a solution for this problem. But I believe if you bid, youre stuck with that bid.
                    Travis
                    Pittsburgh, pa

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                    • #11
                      Johnny, are you saying 7 of my last 10 auctions had retracted bids or were you just giving a hypothetical example? I get notices when I have retracted bids and don't think I had any last week. I'd be curious what seller you are following where you are seeing this happen so often because I have not seen it and I look at just about every fig auction out there though I don't check the bids on ones I'm not interested in bidding on. I sell a lot of figs but I also buy a lot on eBay.

                      Something like 15 years ago I almost got ripped off by a scammer selling PCs and they had used cheap auctions sold to someone (themselves, I'm pretty sure) for like $.01 to help build up their feedback rating. I caught on after the auction ended and just never paid for the item ant the Postmaster General later contacted me as part of a fraud investigation. Ever since then I've considered myself to be a pretty cautious buy and just have not seen this sort of fraud going on with figs. I think especially if you follow the trusted sellers from the thread here at ourfigs you will be doing well.

                      I have even sometimes told my bidders to quit budding up the price so high with a promise to make them a second chance offer. Some of my items go a bit cheaper than I like but almost everything goes for good to great prices so I sure don't need to even think about playing games like that even if I was lacking in ethics.
                      My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                      • #12
                        Again, I am not suggesting it is you doing this Harvey, just that your auctions are being affected by it. I can only see the retracted bids using the eBay app, not the webpage, but yes 7 of your last 10 auctions that completed (as of last night) show retracted bids. The eBay app gives a summary of bids, bidders, and retracted bids that the eBay webpage doesn't seem to have.

                        Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
                        Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

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                        • #13
                          My incident was last year before I found an approved seller list. When I questioned the seller about the other bidder running up the bid he dodged the question. He did offer the plant for what he had sold one in the passed for but wouldn't acknowledge that I had been bidding against a ghost toward the end. I think the vast majority of auctions or legit or I wouldn't use Ebay at all. That said I dont see how you could state that it doesn't happen. Where there is money changing hands there will always be someone trying to get an extra dollar.
                          Pine Prairie, LA 8B

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                          • #14
                            That's odd, Johnny, I didn't get any emails notifying me of retracted bids last week but I do sometimes get such emails. In looking at that particular auction you posted, I see two retracted bids, not three, so I don't know why eBay is showing you otherwise. Both retracted bids were made by the same person, someone who won other auctions from me and was a first-time buyer for me. I don't think I should reveal their name or ID, but they are from zip 95136. They did win Abebereira and Noir de Caromb. One of the retracted bids was for $443 and the other for $43 (both about 34 hours before the auction ended) but it had no influence on the outcome as there were 3 higher bids.

                            I had 36 auctions last weekend. I just looked up the bidding history of the last 10 which ended:
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/361269748971 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/361269748689 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/271838162727 Discussed above, 2 retracted bids.
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/361269746398 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/361269744382 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/361269743301 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/271838158067 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/271838157197 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/361269742257 No retracted bids
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/271838156168 No retracted bids

                            I don't know why eBay would be showing you something different than I am seeing.

                            I only have one eBay account and certainly have not bid on any of my own items (I would need a second account to do so). I have thought about getting a second eBay account to use strictly for making my purchases so that my selling activity feedback is completely separate from my buying activity.
                            My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                            • #15
                              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                              My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                              • #16
                                I do have buyer requirements set where eBay will reject bids if the buyers have the following:
                                Have received 2 Unpaid Item strike(s) within 1 Month(s)
                                Have a primary shipping address in a location I don't ship to
                                Have 4 Policy Violation report(s) within 1 Month(s)
                                Have a feedback score of -1 or lower
                                Last week I had one bidder try to bid twice on a Figo Preto tree who was from out of the country so not eligible. I had one bidder whose bid on Italian 376 got rejected because he had too many unpaid strikes. Those don't seem to be influencing the numbers since none of those were part of my last 10 auctions.
                                My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                                • #17
                                  Harvey those auctions above are the same ones I was looking at. Nearly all show multiple retracted bids. If you have a smartphone or tablet you should download the app and check it out.
                                  Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
                                  Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

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                                  • #18
                                    I use the app some, but not as much as working with my PC.

                                    I see now how it shows some of these had retracted bids but when I go to view bidding history it doesn't show me any retracted bids. I'll try to call eBay to ask them to explain this.

                                    In any event, there is zero shill bidding going on with my auctions. Additionally, I think I've been pretty liberal in making second chance offers for things with good inventory.
                                    My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                                    • #19
                                      But what if a buyer has a 100% bidding activity on the same seller in one month, placed 33 bids on all 9 items the seller had listed that month and retracted 7 of that bids? And a total of 23 retracted bids between this buyer and seller in 6 months? And what if this buyer has been doubling the bid of the former bidder on EVERY item i could check? from let's say 150 to 300 dollars, even if checked with automatic bids included? is this normal behavior? Or should this ring some alarm bells? Or am i just paranoid? And how come every time this bidder ends up winning the item is ALWAYS received "damaged" and the buyer is always being refunded? And how come this buyer received soooooooo many "damaged" trees from this seller yet the seller still has a 100% positive feedback? Wouldn't you leave negative feedback if this happens to you for the third or fourth time with the same seller? And what buyer would bid $512,- on a tree that he purchased 3 weeks before from the same seller for $102,50?
                                      Rotterdam / the Netherlands.
                                      Zone 8B

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                                      • #20
                                        Johnny, I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with eBay. I gave the Lemon fig cutting auction as an example and the representative saw the same information as what both you and I see on our computers and he could find no reason why the app would show otherwise. He checked to see if there were any recent database updates for the app (not sure exactly what is meant by that) but he found none. He opened up a service request for me (1-47036445806) and referred it to their technical team to investigate.

                                        Since even you see on your computer that eBay doesn't show the same information for retractions this is obviously just some glitch in eBay's app. I don't appreciate this being brought up in this thread since some people can construe this to be an allegation that I am involved in shill bidding which I definitely have no part in.

                                        If you have concerns with some auctions, I suggest you double-check activity on your computer and rely on that information.
                                        My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                                        • #21
                                          Thanks for the update Harvey. It will be interesting to hear what eBay says. I used your auctions as an example because you didn't seem to be seeing what I was seeing, not sure how many times I can say I am not accusing you of anything. I thought you would want to know that something looked screwy on your auctions and someone may have been scamming your customers.

                                          Oh and I use my smartphone and tablet soley. I had to actually open a webpage and put my phone in desktop mode to see the equivalent of what you were seeing on your computer.
                                          Last edited by PA Figs; 04-25-2015, 07:41 PM.
                                          Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
                                          Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

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                                          • #22
                                            Okay. But I think the shill problem really is rare and that the bigger problem is with eBay's app and what it's showing people that rely solely on that.
                                            My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                                            • #23
                                              I hope you are right! But at least now you can see why I was so concerned looking with the app today
                                              Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
                                              Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

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                                              • #24
                                                Tonight my famous Black Madeira auction ended. The app shows 2 retracted bids but there were none. I made 4 second chance offers (1 accepted thus far) plus sold the winnng buyer another pair. He had two more bids above his winning bid. That's another thing the app doesn't show...it only shows each bidders highest bid (unless they won for a lower bid).
                                                My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                                                • #25
                                                  I tried using the eBay app on my iPad for a close auction when i would be away from home at the ending. The auction ended. It showed that I had lost the auction, with condolences, when -in fact- I had won the auction that i had started on my laptop. Luckily I had put in a high enough bid so that I won anyway. I deleted the app and don't plan to use it again.
                                                  Mara, Southern California,
                                                  Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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                                                  • jmaler
                                                    jmaler commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    I don't use the ebay app either. I book marked ebay website for quick and easy access.
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