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Ebay loophole


Annoying Twit
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I bid on something on ebay, an mp3 player. I just received an email saying that my bid had been cancelled. So off to ebay I go, and I find that the auction has been ended early with all bids cancelled. I click on the "0 bids" bid history, and see that my bid has been cancelled as well as the bids made by others. But the maximum bid both for myself and the sole other bidder is listed. The other bidder bid a maximum of £25 while I bid £15 (*)

 

When I searched on identical items, I found another one for auction. The top bidder was the same person who bid on the first item against me. Do I now have a fair idea of how much s/he is prepared to bid for the item. Also, doesn't everyone now know how much I bid for the first one?

 

.... Oh yes, this did work. I just bid £26 for the new item, and the previous bidder's high bid was £25.

 

There must be many ways that this loophole could be misused. A shady seller could advertise an item, wait for bids, cancel it early, readvertise (perhaps using a different account) and bid up to maximum bids with a shill bidder.

 

(*) a ridiculously low amount, I was just punting for bargains. It costs me nothing to bid. £26 would still be a bargain.

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Interesting, particularly as under normal circumstances the seller would have no idea how much a 'banked' bid was worth.

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this is actually against eBay rules, if you can provide this detail to them, the seller can be struck off

 

In this case the seller of the two items is not the same. I'm not suggesting that the scenario mentioned above is actually happening this time.

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While we're talking about ebay, here's an interesting term:

 

Hong Kong local bank exchange rate has 4% difference with Ebay.

 

Does this mean that the price you'll get charged is higher than that listed in the auction?

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Another classic ebay loophole is to open a second account; bid a huge bid on an item of yours, then cancel that bid.

 

It might seem completely futile, but the effect is that the previous highest bidder will see their bid go from whatever it was originally, to their maximum bid.

 

For example. I list an item, and "Person A", the highest bidder, bids £30. However, because of the way ebay works, "Person A" is listed as the highest bidder at £15. I (as the seller) then use a second ebay account to enter a dummy bid of £100, and immediately retract it. Now "Person A" is again the highest bidder but, instead of returning to £15, his bid is now £30. As the seller, I've just got the maximum bid for my item.

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Now "Person A" is again the highest bidder but, instead of returning to £15, his bid is now £30. As the seller, I've just got the maximum bid for my item.

 

Actually, their bid would return to £15, but the seller would have seen that their maximum bid was £30, so could use their second account to bump the bid up to £30.

 

As mentioned previously, this is known as shill bidding, and if ebay find out about it they will block your account and all linked accounts.

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Ok, well I've seen it work as I described - so maybe this was a bug that was fixed?

 

Either way, I am not condoning such actions. I don't use ebay, as it is full of these little anomolies that are certain to be to the detriment of some poor soul.

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Sounds like shill bidding to me and yes people do take advantage of Ebay, all you can do is learn from it and report it to Ebay, they should investigate and take action if they think it is a breach of rules, they will be used to spotting these things but I understand they will only act on a complaint, I know a lad at work was caught doing this type of activity and was suspended for a month

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"In the dark, all cats are grey"

 

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Actually, their bid would return to £15, but the seller would have seen that their maximum bid was £30, so could use their second account to bump the bid up to £30.

 

As mentioned previously, this is known as shill bidding, and if ebay find out about it they will block your account and all linked accounts.

 

If there are a group of sellers with separate accounts, addresses, and credit cards,then they can "help each other out".

 

If ebay was really interested in reducing crime, they would have done something about the "hacked memory" MP3/4 player scams. They haven't done anything effective that I've heard of.

 

How To: Removing Memory Hack

 

When I reported someone for obvious shill bidding once, the accounts were suspended for a month, then they returned. One of the new accounts then carried on as before with a new second account bidding in a rather convenient fashion.

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