Author Topic: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2  (Read 66912 times)

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #100 on: September 23, 2009, 07:12:03 PM »
Cupie,

All the bids are on the primary Bid History page; if you want to see how the automatic proxy bidding is applied then click on "Show automatic bids" on that page. (Although at the moment eBay's programmers seemed to have stuffed up even that page.)
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #101 on: September 23, 2009, 07:22:13 PM »
OK, I'll take a look at that on one of the items I'm bidding on and those I've bid on already and see what I see.....I'm off to watch Medium....love that show...but I'll catch ya's all anon.  

RiffRaff

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #102 on: September 24, 2009, 06:22:51 AM »
No doubt at least one reader will think that this is all perfectly "kosher" and could not possibly be untoward. What do the rest of you think?

I don't discount the possibility that any auction with more than one bid is shilled. In the example you have provided, there simply is not enough grounds for accusation. Suspicion, possibly......guilt, NO. As I've said before, just because you think it the seller is guilty, you should not be attempting to 'name and shame' anybody based on your suspicion.

This is why I disagree with you Phil. You expect everyone to accept your 'mistrust' as gospel...........you will not always be right.

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #103 on: September 24, 2009, 07:30:11 AM »
Riff,

First of all, you are not the only eBay user that wears blinkers, so my remark was not directed specifically at you. But as you are clearly habitually unimpressed by circumstantial evidence, no matter how overwhelming, let me explain to you the varying standards of “proof” extant under English common law:

In a civil matter for damages, “proof” is that which a “reasonable person” would find proved “on the balance of probability.” In my humble opinion the matter in question would be so proved by such a reasonable person. Without having to again detail the circumstantial evidence, I have to then ask you if you actually read the linked detail of the matter, and if you did, I have to wonder if you are simply incapable of weighing up such detail? Heaven forbid you are ever called up for jury duty.

In a criminal matter, “proof” is that which a “reasonable person” would find proved “beyond reasonable doubt,” (not “beyond any doubt”). I think that the circumstances of this matter reach even that standard.

Here is another one for you to look at and then claim that there is no evidence of shill bidding. Auction 230377735313, just cancelled by the seller (kd_art) because he could not entice a single genuine buyer to make a bid. Every one of the five bidders on this auction is, beyond any doubt in my mind, a shill, but you, undoubtedly, will have a different opinion. Have a look at the latest spreadsheet to see how often these five IDs have appeared on this seller’s previous auctions, then watch for them appearing again and again on his future auctions).

Life is tough these days, even for the unscrupulous seller.

Actually, your regular remarks about such matters sound very much like the response of the eBay executive to my first case study, when he disingenuously said that my “few” found examples of shill bidding when viewed over the 100 million of eBay listings was insignificant.   
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #104 on: September 24, 2009, 08:17:01 AM »
Hard to disagree with that......but Phil, even with physical evidence of fraud....denial seems to be Ebay's PR creed, even if one denial contradicts another.

Do you recall when they didn't own Paypal, and they used to counter allegations of fraud being rife on their 'venue', with the old spin about it representing only a tiny percentage of transactions?......The Comslaw Study - Going, Going, Gone, was met with this very assertion from Ebay in 2006.

and then......when they wanted to push Paypal only, they made out that it was the only way to protect consumers from Fraud on Ebay??????......which only 2 years before, in reply to a major precedent study, was only a tiny percentage?....woops? caught wagging the dog again?

Indeed, when ACCC notified them to desist or face prosecution....they put out a press release alleging that ACCC's decision had placed Ebay consumers at risk of Fraud?....true story.  I have that media release somewhere...will try to find it.   They're a laugh a minute...they want to break the law imposing an unwanted largely unsafe payment system, to save consumers from fraud that they refuse to mitigate????  

Point being, whether it's direct proof, or circumstantial, Ebay's denial spin wheel is churning constantly in both directions.  When you think about it, you have to give credit to whoever put this whole fiasco together....They've managed to do the duck and weave around laws in just about every country they land in...oh except France...hehehehe !!!  Didn't they kick Ebay's botty?......I can imagine the judge..."Now go away, or I will fine you a second time-a".....

Clearly the only way to reduce fraud and protect consumers is to properly verify all sellers for a start, via Aust Post 100 Pt ID check. At least that starts the process of accountability.

Then obviously, more sophisticated monitoring has to start happening for more insidious fraud such as shill bidding.....but the whole thing seems to evolve and perpetuate from anonymity in the first place.  So in my view, removing anonymity is the best place to start and that means verification.  

**cupie**

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #105 on: September 24, 2009, 08:56:42 AM »
Oh...and as a bonus, that would also put a stop to trolls using anonymous posting ID's to harass and flame anyone they don't agree with... Gutless behaviour after all.  

Surely 'Obey' know that allowing members to use g-mail, and other unpaid email addies to join ebay.... is an open invitation for trouble makers and criminals to hit and run under the comfortable cover of anonymity?.  Ebay literally empower and enable (or aid and abet) these individuals with unverified access to a Nation Wide Pool of potential victims....like shooting fish in a barrel really.  

People should be required to give a paid email addie, so any breach of telecommunications laws and indeed Criminal conduct such as stalking and fraud, can be traced and prosecuted.   I know the obsessive types use routers and proxies etc, but the very fact that Ebay allow unpaid email addresses, simply perpetuates all levels of fraud, and yet another illegal activity = stalking/harassment.   Wow...Ebay's got it all...lol

I never knew how to open a trolling ID (as I call it) until someone told me a year or so ago how the nasties were doing it...(not that I'd ever engage in that type of thing)...but....the dodgy types just sign up with yahoo or hotmail or gmail and give completely inaccurate details....as long as the postcode matches the suburb, they don't check.  So....I could have 10 accounts if I wanted to, all under dodgy ID's, and Ebay would be none the wiser, because they don't want to be.....as Phil has implied.  

But...surely the IP would be the same for each account wouldn't it?  If so, it could be identified quite easily by Ebay couldn't it ?....but then if they actually closed down all the dodgy accounts, their membership would shrink significantly then wouldn't it?  

See, all these disincentives to be honest, it's just too hard for poor old Ebay to reconcile with their claim of being a 'Responsible Corporate Citizen'...now Liisa....that's what I call an Oxymoron....lmao.....

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #106 on: September 24, 2009, 09:46:12 AM »
Not even all "paid" broadband-serviced email addresses have a "static" IP address (BigPond actually wants an extra fee for a static address, otherwise a new IP address will be assigned every time you log on; dial-up users get the same IP address as their ISP. I would presume that there is probably no way that an "outsider" can trace "free" email addresses from the likes of Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. Then, as you say, eBay isn't interested in such verification anyway; only the FVF, baby; that is all that counts—even more so now that the leaking tub is now so low in the water ...

And the third quarter financial results due out on 22 October (our day) are only 28 days away; don't forget to set your alarm clocks ...
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

*CountessA*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #107 on: September 24, 2009, 10:31:28 AM »
With the more sophisticated shill-bidding rings, it's highly professional and very organised. As you've said, Cupie and Phil, opening an eBay account with false information is not difficult, and with the plethora of proxy servers around (constantly changing lists - a million-headed hydra), hiding one's IP if one is dodgy couldn't be simpler.

Professional shill-bidding rings comprise a group of people involved in the business or scam (that is, it could be a legitimate business wanting to set consistent market value for its goods on eBay so a group involved in the business take their own steps to "ensure" it - OR it could be a national or international scam with "buyers" spanning continents, involved in the same sense that a drug mule is involved in the drug supply business). Because of the number of people involved, and the constantly created "reserve" of IDs (some created years ago and not yet used, because this is HIGHLY professional involving considerable ongoing preparation), it's impossible using basic tools (such as matching IPs or seeing very simple and obvious activity) to establish what is going on.

However, patterns DO emerge. A great deal of human behaviour on a large scale can be treated algorithmically to reveal underlying connections. We do this instinctively too in assessing behaviour with the human eye - sometimes (not always) such patterns or the fluctuations therein are the source of what we call "gut feeling" or instinct. We may sense something's wrong because on some level we are detecting a lack of real randomness. Sometimes we are wrong; sometimes we can be suspicious without cause; but let's face it - if a buyer gets a bad feeling with one particular transaction or seller, he may very well decide it's better to back away.

"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #108 on: September 24, 2009, 11:23:37 AM »
Hi countessa,

What, another conspiracy: sophisticated shill bidding rings? What further nonsense will you come up with next?

Well, actually, I agree with you, it won't be obvious from simply viewing my spreadsheet, but as I add new auctions to the list I have been struck by the "rolling" appearance of IDs that are probably shills on auctions by some of the listed sellers; not all, some are habitually using the same handful of IDs over and over; but others are more sophisticated: consistently, an ID will appear two or three times then disappear, and I had wondered if they were possibly subscribing to some sort of "service"

Certainly, I have seen one guy advertising on the internet for "feedback". I guess we will have to do a Google search for "shill bidding service" and see what comes up (whoops, there they are ...);
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

*Brum6y*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #109 on: September 24, 2009, 01:29:41 PM »
On my travels around eBay I recently came across an interesting auction (280395235257) which I suspect is a classic example of a shill placing a ridiculously high bid to ascertain the maximum of the current high bidder and then retracting that bid, and another then upping the bid towards the genuine bidder's maximum. No doubt at least one reader will think that this is all perfectly "kosher" and could not possibly be untoward. What do the rest of you think?

http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502502#6502502

I have always had an issue with the 'discovery' bid and retraction exercise ... and maintain that, in such a situation, I should be able to retract my bid without penalty.  As it stands, the only time where the real high-bid is visible is between the time the discovery bid and retraction - so, unless these are significantly separated in time, there will only be the one benefactor of that information.  But it only takes one to compromise bidding.

Besides, doing this simply makes the whole exercise of undisclosed maxima and proxy bidding utterly pointless.

However, it is not the discovery bid and retraction that is, in itself, the problem - it is the subsequent bidding that occurs:

1. In the case of shill bidding, it is obvious how a genuine bidder is pushed and this can hardly be considered ethical.  A person may have been willing to pay an amount against other bidders who were seeking the item - but not against a greedy seller who simply wants the money.

2. In the case of genuine buyers, as a seller, I would be absolutely furious at this very real possibility: Artwork with starting price of $100. Keen collector bids $5,000 and holds the winning bid at $100. Second bidder comes in and would pay $1,000 but recognises the potential for someone to be willing to pay more, so they do the 'discovery bid'.  Since there's no way they would even try to beat the $5,000 bidder, they retract their bid and just walk away.  If no-one else bids, the collector walks away with $100 bargain and the seller is very jaded.  Played honestly, the item should have sold for one bid increment over $1,000.


As for Philip's assertions, I can only admit I have not had the time to analyse them, but have noted comments from many others.  He certainly holds convictions about the matter and has shared these elsewhere -
http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2009/9/1253552452.html  (some other interesting comments there, too)

I have little doubt that his analyses give clear scenarios that beg investigation - investigation that could deliver the proof which would stand up, rock solid on it's own two feet, in court.  However, the only entity which holds the necessary information is eBay - and I don't think they are really interested or motivated to go into it.  I'm sure eBay finds waving the 'privacy' flag really useful here.

However, there are many situations in life where we all are affected by circumstantial and statistical 'evidence' (just ask my 20-year-old who's recently put his first car on the road) and the indications from Philip's efforts are - as others have said - cause for real concern.

I should also add, that in any debate, especially where definitive proof is elusive, there is an essential role of devil's advocate that is needed to (a) rein in the lynch mob - but, and more importantly, to (b) provide a foil against which arguments can be run, points validated and tested conclusions emerge.  In that matter, Riff has (IMO) been quite useful - even if perceived as being hard-nosed or overplaying the role - otherwise we would all sound like a chanting mob.

I have no love of eBay, Paypal, nor the management of either - but I do admire the fundamentals and the opportunities brought to the world.  I would like to see that flourish - an idealistic notion, I know.  I have little doubt that such a virginal hope is all but lost - self-serving interests, insider deals, golden parachutes ... and the list goes on ...  have buried the light under tons of spin-doctored landfill. (being polite)

Since Philip has been quite notable in his efforts, it could be wondered whether eBay could have taken his voice as one to have significant value if they were to take up his arguments and disprove them - but that isn't likely to happen.  To respond to him would give him credibility - a distinct disadvantage and would open the floodgates to public debate with opportunities to respond.  This would then force answers to be provided to questions asked which, in turn, gives reference points for further questions... and so it escalates.

No.  Much safer to say nothing and ignore anything said.  It's the best way to deal with the 'conspiracy theorists' - especially when they get passionate about their cause.

Besides, eBay and Paypal make more money by keeping 'mum' and don't waste it by trying to defend the indefensible - other than by a one-way media release.


While I do not deny that Philip has identified some real issues to which eBay need to respond, there is one danger - and I will express it with this analogy:

Philip, you have painstakingly put together a film clip of scenes taken from things that have been happening on eBay.  You have continuity and logic in what is seen - but you do not have the soundtrack.  You have written a script that fits all the visible evidence and is congruent with all other known facts and, when applied to the film clip, produces a powerful movie, convincing and condemning.

However, the risk is this: Lets assume eBay would take your film clip and accept what you have assembled - after all, it is all real - they have merely to add their own soundtrack with a few verifiable components to paint a completely different picture.

And all their movie would have to do is create a reasonable doubt for them to be found not guilty.  I may be wrong, but my understanding is that that concept favours the defendant - innocent until proven guilty, beyond all reasonable doubt.  The defence simply has to create reasonable doubt - it's the prosecution that has the job to get beyond it.


Not that I think for a minute that they are innocent...


Philip - I'm just itching for someone to spill a bucket of beans your way!

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #110 on: September 24, 2009, 03:30:42 PM »
    As it stands, the only time where the real high-bid is visible is between the time the discovery bid and retraction ..."

This statement is not quite true as the high-bidder's proxy maximum can still then be calculated from the Bid retraction(s) published at the botttom of the primary Bid History page. You simply deduct one increment from the value of the retracted bid (eg, $4750 - $50 = $4700).

However, you are right, you then should be able to retract your bid too; and you should also get a positive notice of such probably devious activity.

Otherwise I would agree with just about everything you say ...
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

*Brum6y*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #111 on: September 24, 2009, 04:32:52 PM »
(Apologies on the visibility comment.  I have only had this happen to me once and I was so incensed at the time, I could have missed seeing that info.)

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #112 on: September 26, 2009, 08:37:01 AM »
A postscript to the linked comment of bid retractions at
http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502502#6502502

Oh, dear me, my assumptions were all wrong; here I was thinking that the buyer “s***o (14)” had probably been defrauded but here is the same item relisted (280401734190) at Buy It Now for $10,000. I always thought it logical that you first try to sell BIN for $10,000 and when that is not successful you then try a shilled auction. Any way, who knows what was going on (only eBay knows, and they aren’t telling). Maybe the winner told the seller where to go after seeing his proxy maximum exposed and subsequently “Did not pay”. Then, if the item really is worth anything like $10,000, it would seem to have been a good buy at $3950. Possibly, all the higher-value bidders were shills. Heaven forbid had a genuine bidder actually sniped the item at the last moment for $4750!
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

*CountessA*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #113 on: September 26, 2009, 10:11:48 AM »
Perhaps the seller refused to sell to the winning bidder at the winning bid price. Perhaps the buyer entertained similar suspicions about having had his bid pushed up to almost its maximum by shill-bidding. Perhaps the buyer was a shill-bidding dummy used to avoid selling the painting for less than the genuine bids.

"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

*Brum6y*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #114 on: September 26, 2009, 11:18:51 AM »
Again, different soundtracks give different stories.

However, if it is happening more than once or twice with a seller, credibility on some of the more innocent stories suffers badly...

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #115 on: September 26, 2009, 12:15:39 PM »
As a matter of interest, those listings by "***auctions" are "private" auctions; it's not the buyers who have chosen to hide their details behind "private" feedback; however, I always presume that sellers who elect to use private auctions do so elect so that they can shill bid without any chance of being detected, for such "private" auctions serve no other meaningful purpose, and there is no way you can analyse the under-bidding on such auctions.

Another funny think has happened with such private auctions on the AU site (only?). Private auctions are no longer noted as private auctions on the View Item page. Not until someone places a bid does it become obvious and then only when you look at the Bid History page. This is a programming error as the very same private auction viewed via other than the AU site will be advertised as a private auction. Try it ...

I rarely go near the eBay forums now; however, it is nice to know that the eBay representative and the other (unscrupulous?) professional sellers are thinking of me. What a shame they don't use their selling IDs when they post; I could analyse some of their auctions too. And, in any case, except for a number of sellers who are so obviously, and beyond any doubt, shill bidding, I only present the facts; that I draw certain conclusions from those facts is no worse that simply saying, "on the balance of probability ..."

“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

tellomon

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #116 on: September 26, 2009, 06:38:39 PM »
What a shame they don't use their selling IDs when they post; I could analyse some of their auctions too.

Cats like you are the reason they DON'T post with selling ID's.

Ever heard of "Auction Tampering", "Auction Hijacking"  or "Auction Bombing" ???

Tsk tsk.........


"The B@zturd Love Child of Comix & a News Organization"

**cupie**

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #117 on: September 26, 2009, 06:47:29 PM »
What a shame they don't use their selling IDs when they post; I could analyse some of their auctions too.

Cats like you are the reason they DON'T post with selling ID's.

Ever heard of "Auction Tampering", "Auction Hijacking"  or "Auction Bombing" ???

Tsk tsk.........



Tello, how does analysis of a sellers history amount to Auction Tampering, Hijacking or Bombing?  It's there for the public to see, and that's the whole point of it....so buyers can actually take a look at their history and decide if they want to roll the dice.....if it's not visible, then what does that say about the seller?...Hiding something?

tellomon

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #118 on: September 26, 2009, 06:53:56 PM »
Breach of Security issues.

Buyers are Dangerous.

Competitors are cut-throats.


"The B@zturd Love Child of Comix & a News Organization"

Roo

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #119 on: September 26, 2009, 07:44:40 PM »
Tello...I doubt if Phil would even think about auction tampering.

The one thing I like about this bloke is that he is really out there to get the crooks and slime off the online sites.

He does have wisdom...but he talks a lot...lol

But he does know what he is talking about...and that is a big plus in my books. ;D

Poddy

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #120 on: September 26, 2009, 07:55:47 PM »
Folks let me translate Telloese, almost a forgotten language but a few remain who use it extensivly  ;D
In fact Tello agrees wholeheartedly with Phil but is speaking Telloese with tomgue in cheek  ;D

Poddy

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #121 on: September 26, 2009, 08:00:03 PM »
In fact I studied Netonese while I was in the US as well, now that was a toughie but in the end I managet to Aussieize that person over the years and now they are an asset to all who they come in contact with  ;D

*Yibida*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #122 on: September 26, 2009, 08:01:10 PM »
In fact I studied Netonese while I was in the US as well, now that was a toughie but in the end I managet to Aussieize that person over the years and now they are an asset to all who they come in contact with  ;D

Poddy...care to write a manual for the rest of us that don't have a clue?.....LOLOLOL

*CountessA*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #123 on: October 02, 2009, 05:19:11 PM »
Further discussion about possible examples of shill-bidding should always take into account alternative explanations, but we would be naïve to think it doesn't occur at all. Like other buyers on eBay, I resent feeling that the seller has tried to drive up the price when the genuine current market value at auction (established by GENUINE bids) would have set a lower price. Just because one places a maximum bid on an item does not mean one should not feel aggrieved if one finds out (or strongly suspects) that the maximum has only been reached because the seller pushed it there dishonestly.
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

*Brum6y*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #124 on: October 02, 2009, 07:52:13 PM »
Countess, I completely agree with each and every point.


( ... and for those lurking who may wonder - I'm nobody's puppet.  I have my own opinions on a subject which happen to coincide with someone else's.)

(It happens)

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #125 on: October 12, 2009, 10:27:16 AM »
Let's keep this topical thread on the front page.....Hey Ho and Up she Rises....

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #126 on: October 12, 2009, 10:30:43 AM »
Hi Phil...you might like to take a peak at another discussion in the coin forum...re: shill bidding, and offer your opinion....very interesting.

http://www.ozroundtable.com/index.php?topic=1044.msg46046#new

ernest_price

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #127 on: October 12, 2009, 06:56:52 PM »
It's amazing how low level organised it is even at reasonably low volumes on high cost items. 3 power tool sellers. Start a $600 item at $1 to get the punters in and the fees down. Each of them bidding on each other's items using a spare account each - and the item 'magically' always get to a minimum price. Too easy.

tellomon

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #128 on: October 12, 2009, 08:55:47 PM »
Two shillers walk into a Bar....
"The B@zturd Love Child of Comix & a News Organization"

Poddy

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #129 on: October 12, 2009, 09:23:29 PM »
After just 2 minuter the price of beer triples

mandurahmum

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #130 on: October 12, 2009, 09:48:43 PM »
Phillip, I hope you come over and review the thread on the coins thread.  It is quite easy to spot shill bidding on the coins listings now - most items are not being sold or if they are, there are just a few bids.  I think that most of us have really put on the brakes when it comes to buying coins on ebay, most of the good sellers have gone elsewhere - thanks for that ebay.

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #131 on: October 13, 2009, 11:38:06 PM »
Don't forget to watch for the "Ho Ho Ho" Show on the 22nd when "Noise" Donahoe does his little spinning routine. I will be very surprised if there is not a further reduction in Marketplace revenues and a resulting savaging of profits; then there is what some call "creative" accounting to make these little problems less obvious.

Scheduled Q3-2009 Earnings Conference Calls
eBay: October 21, 2009 at 5 pm Eastern (Link)
Amazon.com: October 22, 2009 at 5 pm Eastern (Link)

(These are US dates; ours are a day later.)
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #132 on: October 21, 2009, 03:04:48 PM »
Hi John
 
Thanks for your comment on my post on shill bidding on eBay.
 
Maybe I am remiss in not clearly differentiating between BIN and “private (auction) listings”. I never thought that any differentiation was necessary, and that it is clear that it is only the latter, “private auctions”, that I consider serve no other purpose than as a hide for shill bidding sellers.
 
I have no criticism of sales by BIN: As you say, BIN, by its very nature, is not open to the abuse of shill bidding: you set your price and you either sell or you don’t sell; there is no opportunity for the unscrupulous vendor to make false representations as to the value/price of the goods.
 
Regardless of your claimed reasons for using “private listings”, all the information that you claim you seek to protect by your use of private listings, you cannot hide from anyone who really wants that information: your auction numbers can simply be recorded in an auction processing program; full details of same are then available, and can be so accessed, for the same 90 days that the information would otherwise be available via the feedback forum; also, regardless, the previous 14 day’s completed auctions are always available via Feedback > Items for sale > Completed listings.
 
Private listings were only ever (supposedly) intended by eBay as a hide for buyers, not sellers; although I suspect that they were only ever intended as a tool for shill bidding sellers. Therefore, I can only repeat my belief that vendors who elect to sell by “private (auction) listings” do so, more likely than not, so that they can better hide their shill bidding on their own auctions.
 
Regards
Philip Cohen

----- Original Message -----
From: [name removed]
To: formset@exemail.com.au
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:38 PM
Subject: eBay Private Listings

Hi Philip.
I take offence that you suggest, nay state, that any seller using a Private listing does so to defraud the Buyer.
I did not read any differentiation between Auction and Buy it Now in your comments.
I use BIN and Private to protect my business. I do NOT want other sellers (competition) scanning my feedback to see WHAT I sell, at HOW MUCH and HOW OFTEN.
For this , Private listing is the only way to go.
In a BIN format, every thing is clear and transparent! NO SHILL BIDDING POSSIBLE!
 
Your comments are otherwise interesting, and I agree pretty much!
 
Regards,
John. S
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #133 on: December 03, 2009, 04:49:05 PM »
I’ve just noticed that a particular bidding alias I was watching has changed without any indication by eBay of such a change, such notice which eBay in the past used to give to warn users of such happening; oh well, more deception; the shills can apparently now periodically rename their IDs and we will be none the wiser …
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

tellomon

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #134 on: December 03, 2009, 05:10:28 PM »
SHIILBAY

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Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #135 on: December 17, 2009, 12:43:24 PM »
Seller: fresh_from_thestudio
1. http://offer.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=250545988214
2. http://offer.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=250547656070
Have a look at these two:
#1: all five bidders (bb, bf, cn, la, ms) appear to be shills (ie have previously bid on multiples of this seller’s other auctions).
#2: so far only “hs” looks like it could be a genuine bidder, the other three (bb, m3, ms) appear to be shills.
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

*CountessA*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #136 on: December 17, 2009, 01:29:38 PM »
What leads you to think that the bidders appear to be shills? How do you differentiate between someone who tries quite a few times to win a bid on items from a seller based on the fact that they trust the seller to be genuine (and selling rare or collectable artwork), and someone who is actually conspiring with the seller (as a shill-bidder)?

When it comes to artwork, which is highly collectable, it seems to me that it must be almost impossible, if not impossible, to tell.
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Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #137 on: December 17, 2009, 03:31:06 PM »
Hi countessa

Go to http://home.exetel.com.au/philipcohen/eBay/ and download the spreadsheet "The pre-formed Excel spreadsheet with examples of recent data therein." and checkout the bidding activity of these bidders and you will see why I come to that conclusion; you will also see why a multiple-auction analysis of such matters can be so much more revealing.

Always interested in your opinion.
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

low-enghooi

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #138 on: December 17, 2009, 04:13:07 PM »
Hi Countessa and Philip,

Sorry to interrupt.

I mainly buy coins from only a few sellers on ebay. A lot of time, I bid on many coins from these sellers, and sometimes bid few times on a coin that I think is interesting. I don't use sniper. I don't usually win many coins, but of course I paid for those I won. I do this for good reasons other than shill bidding.

Consider my bidding activities, will you say I am one shill bidder?

Thanks.

Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #139 on: December 17, 2009, 05:42:39 PM »
Hi low-enghooi,

As I have said many times before, there is simply no way of being absolutely certain that anyone is a shill bidder—even if they have the same IP address. But we buyers are entitled to as much information as is possible to protect ourselves, and what eBay supplies is not sufficient, indeed it is downright deceptive and I have no doubt deliberately designed to be so deceptive, as is the masking of bidding IDs.

All of the multiple common bidders that appear on sellers’ auctions in my spreadsheet may well be, as you claim to be, simply habitually unlucky bidders. Unfortunately, I cannot also examine the patterns of bidding any more deeply (ie number of bids, timing of bid, etc): that could only be done practicably by sophisticated programming, something that eBay has no understanding of, nor financial interest in doing.

Frankly, if as an experienced eBay buyer, you are saying that you nibble bid with the intention of winning and never snipe, then, without meaning to offend, I would have to question your sanity for, if indeed you are not a shill bidder, then you are leaving yourself open to being shill bid by others; regardless, I would love to hear of your “good reasons” for bidding the way you claim to do.

And, how does anyone know if an auction “winner” actually pays for the item, or the seller simply claims “buyer did not pay” and relists the item? I can point you to many of beckertime’s 99c-start auctions where suspect bidders who have won have indeed never left any feedback—not that that proves anything either as some people won’t bother to leave feedback. But when a pattern emerges …

With respect to beckertime alone I have also been keeping track of feedback. For anyone that is interested in this particular apparent habitual shill bidding seller, I mark all winners with a yellow background in the “WinBidder” column; winners who leave feedback I then mark the whole row with a yellow background. Have a look and if you can notice any pattern there …
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

low-enghooi

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #140 on: December 17, 2009, 06:06:34 PM »
As I have said many times before, there is simply no way of being absolutely certain that anyone is a shill bidder

Thanks and that is good enough. I just hope the sellers I bought from doesn't become the target of shill bidding analysis and been accused because of my bidding activities.

I would have to question your sanity for

Don't have to. I am pretty OK (in terms of sanity) person and I am real.

if indeed you are not a shill bidder, then you are leaving yourself open to being shill bid by others; regardless, I would love to hear of your “good reasons” for bidding the way you claim to do.

There is this thing we (or just me) call Trust and Honesty. I don't use sniper on good sellers that has gone the extra miles to help me. The best part is, what are we talking about shill bidding here when there is no way people can determine who is the real shill bidder. For that, I will save the "good reasons" for next time.

Thanks.

tellomon

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #141 on: December 17, 2009, 06:11:20 PM »
I love Happy Endings!
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low-enghooi

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #142 on: December 17, 2009, 06:14:59 PM »
I love Happy Endings!

I agree. And I am happy with the seller, the coin and the price I paid, all without me worry about shill bidding and sniper.

tellomon

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #143 on: December 17, 2009, 06:17:22 PM »
Cheers!
I can almost marry one of my sellers!

But I have Roo to think about....
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low-enghooi

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #144 on: December 17, 2009, 06:20:30 PM »
Good on you Tello. Cheers!

tellomon

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #145 on: December 17, 2009, 06:45:26 PM »
Keep those cards and letters coming!

http://www.ozroundtable.com/index.php?topic=1552.0
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Philip.Cohen

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #146 on: December 24, 2009, 10:53:56 AM »
This is a shill-bidding seller that habitually uses private listings.
http://offer.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=280442156837

Have a look at this Bid History page that is otherwise totally useless except that it shows that the initial bid was been made only three minutes after the item was listed.

Now come on, all you professional eBay sellers, let’s hear your reasoning as to why this initial bid is not, more likely than not, the bid of a shill bidder.
“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.”—John Donahoe (2007).

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #147 on: December 24, 2009, 11:02:55 AM »
Could well be a shill bid yes , one other likely possibility is that the bid was placed by a buyer who has the seller listed as a favourite seller as they get instant advice of a new listing or if they had this item on watch from a previous listing which never sold they also get advice now when it is relisted , but I would say that is less likely than the favourite seller possibility 

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #148 on: December 24, 2009, 11:04:42 AM »
Fast Trigger-Finger.

I'm good that way.

Am I the only one with this skill?


Just sayin'.....
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*Brum6y*

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Re: Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2
« Reply #149 on: December 24, 2009, 02:20:36 PM »
I made a bid on a 46" LCD HD TV 7 minutes after it was listed.

Pure chance.



Pity my $50 didn't last as top bid...