Author Topic: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(  (Read 972 times)

Offline MattCBR

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Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« on: July 15, 2012, 11:32 PM »
Shilling: getting bid up to your max proxy bid on e-bay, usually down to the cent during the last seconds of the auction, so the seller makes the most money possible (according to google search results).

Technically you're not getting ripped off, because you were willing to pay that amount.

It is frustrating as a buyer.... to think that sellers can find out your max bid and then bid one cent below that amount... it even happens if I attempt to bid in the last 10 seconds sometimes.

It happend today, won a lot of POTF2 figures for $33.59, the exact amount of my max bid... the auction had no other bids and I entered it 10 seconds before the end... I could have had the lot for .99 cents and $10 shipping... yet some random bidder with 100% positive feedback of (144) shilled me >:(

I still got a good deal IMO... but it's not the insane deal I was expecting... anyone else have that happen here?

Offline Rob

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 11:39 PM »
I don't get it, if you waited until 10 seconds left to bid, how did they have time to figure out your max and shill?

Offline JediJman

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 11:50 PM »
I don't get it, if you waited until 10 seconds left to bid, how did they have time to figure out your max and shill?

I was thinking the same thing.  Maybe you just have a competitor looking for about the same stuff, willing to bid about the same amount.  It's odd your prices were so similar, but it happens.  He/she may also have the mobile Ebay ap, which I've fond to be a lot faster than just bidding from my PC.
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Offline MattCBR

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 11:59 PM »
I know, that's what I thought... until it's been happend to me for the second time now this month.

This discussion came up on some forum off a google search:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=290383

Some people think they somehow hacked e-bay, or there is a computer program to make bids and then stop just before wining the auction, or even that e-bay is in on it lol.

I don't know how they do it. Except that it does happen... I guess I'll be more careful deciding what my max bid will be.

Offline MattCBR

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 12:11 AM »
yeah I was watching the live bidding and the box where the ammount was (the .99 cent high bid) began flickering... I thought it was mearly re-loading the entire page... you know, to say "congrats you won" but no, it stopped at $33.59 my max bid...

When I clicked the bid history... it didn't show all those failed bids of the other person that seemed to happen in a blur... just one of them for $33.33....

IDK, nothing to lose sleep over... just wondering what other people have experienced.

Offline EdSolo

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 07:17 AM »
If the person happened to bid $33.33 at say, three seconds left, he doesn't win, because he bid lower, but it should have only bumped your bid up to $33.34, unless ebay has made more changes that automatically bumps you up by the minimum bid instead of matching or just beating a lower bid.

Offline R5Don4

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 07:44 AM »
There are programs that will bid at the last second.  It's called sniping and it works very well.

Offline BillCable

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 07:54 AM »
If the person happened to bid $33.33 at say, three seconds left, he doesn't win, because he bid lower, but it should have only bumped your bid up to $33.34, unless ebay has made more changes that automatically bumps you up by the minimum bid instead of matching or just beating a lower bid.

You have it wrong.

Case #1: 
Bidder bids $40
Sniper bids $32
End price:  $33 (because the min bid increment at that level is $1)

Case #2:
Bidder bids $39.59
Sniper bids $39.00
End price:  $39.59 (difference between bidder max and sniper is < min bid increment)

With this auction, since the snipe was $33.33 I don't think it was an instance of shilling.  People can sometimes snipe at "interesting" dollar amounts.  It just happened his snipe was within a few cents of your max, so it ended at your max.
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Offline McMetal

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 08:45 AM »
eBay is my second job, and I can confirm that there is NO LEGITIMATE WAY for any seller to find out what your highest bid is before the auction ends. It is not possible.

I have had many auctions end with me winning at my exact highest bid. As Bill pointed out, this is because someone bid just below me at the last second and pushed my winning bid to its max based on the increment for that pricepoint.

I think shilling, much like scalping in the toy community, is one of those things that is grossly overhyped. It does happen, I'm sure, but there is always an inherent risk that comes with not knowing how much to bid without going OVER the highest bid. I can't speak to "hacking" and so forth but I suspect eBay, like Google, has an entire team of super-geeks paid to figure out all that stuff.
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Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2012, 09:59 AM »
There are illegitimate ways to manipulate ebay. I believe it is possible to write a snipping robot that will up the bid until it wins. Then it retracts the last bid via the seller killing the last bid. It's done automatically. I bet with a little research, I could find such a robot.
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Offline BillCable

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2012, 10:21 AM »
Seems like that'd be really obvious in bid history, though... especially since retracted bids are recorded.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2012, 12:03 PM »
Seems like that'd be really obvious in bid history, though... especially since retracted bids are recorded.

Exactly.  If you saw multiple bids in the history, then I think you've got shenanigans.  I don't know how it could erase the history from Ebay as well.  I'll also note that I can't recall the last time I won an auction and did NOT see someone else bidding it up in the last few seconds.
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Offline MattCBR

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 12:53 AM »
Thanks for all the replies, I'm obviously not going to lose sleep over it, but I've always suspected shilling was possible.

Guys spend endless hours to hack their favorite online RPG game to either take advantage of other players or even the game it's self by having the program play your high level character for you all day gaining you experience, loot, and levels.

Considering that, it's not far fetched there'd be people out there to write shilling programs or even snipping programs to make money.... Ebay can't complain because their sellers are getting top dollar (and they in turn get higher returns)... it's a mutually advantageous relationship, and most buyers are none the wiser.
 

Offline Rob

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 01:30 AM »
Ebay can't complain because their sellers are getting top dollar (and they in turn get higher returns)... it's a mutually advantageous relationship, and most buyers are none the wiser.

Ebay most definitely can complain.  If they allowed that type of behavior to persist, it would hurt the reputation of their website and reduce their traffic.  I would be shocked if they knowingly allowed this sort of stuff.  To the contrary, they have explicit policies against shill bidding.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 01:30 AM by Rob »

Offline MattCBR

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Re: Ever been Shilled on e-bay? >:(
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 12:15 AM »
thanks for the policy link. I'd report it, but I think I got a good deal on the figures even if I got shilled.

Ebay saying shilling is illegal is like the police saying speeding is illegal... without shilling and speeders... both would make less money:)