Ebay bid activity % how can i spot shill bidding?

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  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 16:52:03
    Can anyone here help i bought something on ebay last night which until the last few mins i would of won for 23 i ended up winning it for 46...the bidder who bidded it up had 14% bidding with this seller does this mean they have bidded on 14% of the sellers goods? and i did some checking the 2nd highest bidders recent activity was also not game related smells very fishy to me.
  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 16:56:12 27,441 posts
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    No it means that 14% of their bids were with the seller's products, so they're just a repeat customer.

    Auction sniping goes with the territory on ebay, and it's within the rules. You won't get anywhere complaining about it, and if you're unhappy with the final price, then why put in a maximum bid that high in the first place?

    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    and i did some checking the 2nd highest bidders recent activity was also not game related smells very fishy to me.
    People in buying more than one sort of thing shocker! Seriously, how is it in any way fishy?

    Edited by darkmorgado at 16:57:14 21-11-2011

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  • mrpon 21 Nov 2011 16:58:45 29,560 posts
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    Don't be naive morg, two sides to the coin etc..

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 17:05:22
    :evil:sounds like a shill bid then mate the seller hardly sells game stuff the bidder doesnt buy game stuff I WAS THE SNIPER BY THE WAY....the full story is i offered them 40 for it the other day and because it had a bid on and 3 watchers they said they would keep it on obviously it was only on 20 at the time they think oh shit could of got double the other day get joe bloggs to bid then i will sell it on to the bloke who offered 40.

    think i will report it TBH greedy t@ts
  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 17:10:48 27,441 posts
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    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    :evil:sounds like a shill bid then mate the seller hardly sells game stuff the bidder doesnt buy game stuff I WAS THE SNIPER BY THE WAY....the full story is i offered them 40 for it the other day and because it had a bid on and 3 watchers they said they would keep it on obviously it was only on 20 at the time they think oh shit could of got double the other day get joe bloggs to bid then i will sell it on to the bloke who offered 40.

    think i will report it TBH greedy t@ts
    If they've started an auction, they can't just agree to give it to someone else instead when other people have bid. That's what the "buy it now or best offer" function is for.

    I have quite a few sellers that I regularly buy from. Hell, I can think of two where I have bought around 95% of the auctions they have listed in the last three months. Doesn't necessarily mean anything dodgy is going on.

    Oh, and sniping may be common practice and within the rules, but it's still absolutely cuntish behaviour.

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  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 17:15:38
    its easy to end a auction shouldnt of asked about buying it now as it they probaly wouldnt of bothered to shill on it,one similar item sold for only a 10 a few hours later.

    regarding putting in a last second bid if i want to try and get my goods for as cheap as possible AM I WRONG?

    Edited by a_very_ugly_man at 17:16:38 21-11-2011
  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 17:18:53 27,441 posts
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    You have no evidence of iffy behaviour though beyond a nebulous hunch. I've seen the scenario you've detailed loads of times. A buyer puts in a last-minute high bid in order to guarantee surpassing the maximum bid of the previous bidder instead of increasing their bid in small increments (or, the currently-winning bidder might suddenly increase their maximum at the last minute in order to protect themselves from snipers, which I do A LOT). It happens all the time. By all means report it, but I really think you're jumping to conclusions.

    Edited by darkmorgado at 17:29:17 21-11-2011

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  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 17:19:43 27,441 posts
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    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    its easy to end a auction shouldnt of asked about buying it now as it they probaly wouldnt of bothered to shill on it,one similar item sold for only a 10 a few hours later.

    regarding putting in a last second bid if i want to try and get my goods for as cheap as possible AM I WRONG?
    It's un-sportsmanlike. Sellers hate snipers as much as bidders too, believe me.

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • mrpon 21 Nov 2011 17:24:07 29,560 posts
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    Sniping occurs because of shilling, otherwise bidders would simply enter their maximum bid and be done with it. C'est la vie etc..

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • santashi 21 Nov 2011 17:25:34 5,167 posts
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    From what you've said, it may well be fine. I listed a bunch of games I'd completed on ebay a month or so ago and had someone offer to buy a game off me part way through the auction. I said no, since other people had bid on it already, but when I then looked up what the current bid was, it was already more than what the person had offered me. It happens. If you want it for 40+, other people presumably might too.

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  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 17:30:11
    darkmorgado wrote:
    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    its easy to end a auction shouldnt of asked about buying it now as it they probaly wouldnt of bothered to shill on it,one similar item sold for only a 10 a few hours later.

    regarding putting in a last second bid if i want to try and get my goods for as cheap as possible AM I WRONG?
    It's un-sportsmanlike. Sellers hate snipers as much as bidders too, believe me.
    how can sellers hate snipers your getting extra money? or would you prefer to sell to someone cheaper who bidded first?
  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 17:32:14
    :evil:best thing hurt them most NEGATIVE FEEDBACK FOR SHILL BIDDING simples :mad:
  • santashi 21 Nov 2011 17:34:34 5,167 posts
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    darkmorgado wrote:
    A buyer puts in a last-minute high bid in order to guarantee surpassing the maximum bid of the previous bidder instead of increasing their bid in small increments.
    It never occured to me that people might do that. To bid more than you'd like to pay seems dangerous (in a less dramatic way than that sounds!). :eek: If I bid on things I always give myself a maximum I'd be willing to pay and stick with it.

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  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 17:37:24
    santashi wrote:
    From what you've said, it may well be fine. I listed a bunch of games I'd completed on ebay a month or so ago and had someone offer to buy a game off me part way through the auction. I said no, since other people had bid on it already, but when I then looked up what the current bid was, it was already more than what the person had offered me. It happens. If you want it for 40+, other people presumably might too.
    the item in question was on 20 with 1 bid, i offered 40 plus the 10 shipping (the shill bidded 5 mins to go) they knew i wanted it and offered 40 the original bidder had 1% activity with this seller the shill had 14% with this seller... the seller as only sold 2 items not game related in many months its all dodgy to me.

    i know ebay wont care they are getting more money for themselves

    Edited by a_very_ugly_man at 17:40:48 21-11-2011
  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 17:40:45 27,441 posts
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    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    darkmorgado wrote:
    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    its easy to end a auction shouldnt of asked about buying it now as it they probaly wouldnt of bothered to shill on it,one similar item sold for only a 10 a few hours later.

    regarding putting in a last second bid if i want to try and get my goods for as cheap as possible AM I WRONG?
    It's un-sportsmanlike. Sellers hate snipers as much as bidders too, believe me.
    how can sellers hate snipers your getting extra money? or would you prefer to sell to someone cheaper who bidded first?
    There are several reasons. One is that if a buyer is bidding on a bulk lot, it can be annoying for the seller to have to send off lots of little packages instead of one big one. They might have a good relationship with a repeat customer. It could be down to the aforementioned feeling of sniping being "unsportsmanlike".

    One personal example is that I buy a lot of comics on ebay, and I buy regularly from a small handful of regular sellers. Often they post several auctions that together form a large, unbroken run of issues. If a sniper then grabs one of those auctions away from me at the last minute then it becomes annoying for me as a buyer because I then have a gap in my collection, and it becomes annoying for the seller because very often the sniper has no genuine interest in the product being sold, and also they like their comics to go to someone they know will appreciate them. It's hard to explain (in a sense, it's a "community" thing that is, in my experience, fairly unique to comic collectors), but I've spoken to a lot of sellers and they all absolutely hate snipers with a passion, especially when it's their regular customers that are getting sniped.

    Plus, a lot of snipers are the ebay equivalent of forum trolls, sniping simply to cause grief. Before ebay started anonymising bidders, there used to be a problem with snipers deliberately "stalking" a bidder and outbidding them out of spite, for whatever reason.

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  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 17:43:33 27,441 posts
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    santashi wrote:
    darkmorgado wrote:
    A buyer puts in a last-minute high bid in order to guarantee surpassing the maximum bid of the previous bidder instead of increasing their bid in small increments.
    It never occured to me that people might do that. To bid more than you'd like to pay seems dangerous (in a less dramatic way than that sounds!). :eek: If I bid on things I always give myself a maximum I'd be willing to pay and stick with it.
    It happens a lot, at least in the area I have most experience in (comics), where the item itself might hold a sentimental attraction above it's actual monetary value. They might be willing to pay over the odds just to fill a hole in their collection, they might be bidding not necessarily because they want the item itself but because they associate it with a particular memory like "first ever comic I read" sort of thing; they also might be speculating on its future worth and not just what it is worth now, and adjust their bid on that basis (which is a bit risky, but it does happen an awful lot).

    Edited by darkmorgado at 17:44:49 21-11-2011

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  • couloir 21 Nov 2011 17:44:07 216 posts
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    So you were waiting till the last minute to bid what you were truly willing to pay, and so was someone else.

    How is that in any way dodgy? If you were not happy to pay that much you should have put a lower max bid. If you were happy to pay that much but are just annoyed because you thought you'd get it for less, that's just life I'm afraid.

    Many people wait until the closing seconds to show their hands. It's not just a result of shill bidding - people are not rational and knowledge of how much others will pay may affect their bid.

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  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 17:44:16
    darkmorgado wrote:
    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    darkmorgado wrote:
    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    its easy to end a auction shouldnt of asked about buying it now as it they probaly wouldnt of bothered to shill on it,one similar item sold for only a 10 a few hours later.

    regarding putting in a last second bid if i want to try and get my goods for as cheap as possible AM I WRONG?
    It's un-sportsmanlike. Sellers hate snipers as much as bidders too, believe me.
    how can sellers hate snipers your getting extra money? or would you prefer to sell to someone cheaper who bidded first?
    There are several reasons. One is that if a buyer is bidding on a bulk lot, it can be annoying for the seller to have to send off lots of little packages instead of one big one. They might have a good relationship with a repeat customer. It could be down to the aforementioned feeling of sniping being "unsportsmanlike".

    One personal example is that I buy a lot of comics on ebay, and I buy regularly from a small handful of regular sellers. Often they post several auctions that together form a large, unbroken run of issues. If a sniper then grabs one of those auctions away from me at the last minute then it becomes annoying for me as a buyer because I then have a gap in my collection, and it becomes annoying for the seller because very often the sniper has no genuine interest in the product being sold, and also they like their comics to go to someone they know will appreciate them. It's hard to explain (in a sense, it's a "community" thing that is, in my experience, fairly unique to comic collectors), but I've spoken to a lot of sellers and they all absolutely hate snipers with a passion, especially when it's their regular customers that are getting sniped.

    Plus, a lot of snipers are the ebay equivalent of forum trolls, sniping simply to cause grief. Before ebay started anonymising bidders, there used to be a problem with snipers deliberately "stalking" a bidder and outbidding them out of spite, for whatever reason.
    i do snipe i admit it, im a good buyer and always pay straight after auction,i honoured the deal and payed straight away funnily enough they contacted me straight away saying they was glad i won the auction
  • Deleted user 21 November 2011 17:46:25
    couloir wrote:
    So you were waiting till the last minute to bid what you were truly willing to pay, and so was someone else.

    How is that in any way dodgy? If you were not happy to pay that much you should have put a lower max bid. If you were happy to pay that much but are just annoyed because you thought you'd get it for less, that's just life I'm afraid.

    Many people wait until the closing seconds to show their hands. It's not just a result of shill bidding - people are not rational and knowledge of how much others will pay may affect their bid.
    my gripe is there bid activity 14% to the 1st bidder 1% obvivously they bid on this sellers items the seller hardly sells anything
  • santashi 21 Nov 2011 17:53:35 5,167 posts
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    @a_very_ugly_man - I had no idea that ebay did such detailed statistics for things like that. Impressive.

    @darkmorgado - Oh yes, I see what you mean. That makes sense. Sorry, I had in my head someone bidding 100 on something that was going for 20!

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  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 17:56:54 27,441 posts
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    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    couloir wrote:
    So you were waiting till the last minute to bid what you were truly willing to pay, and so was someone else.

    How is that in any way dodgy? If you were not happy to pay that much you should have put a lower max bid. If you were happy to pay that much but are just annoyed because you thought you'd get it for less, that's just life I'm afraid.

    Many people wait until the closing seconds to show their hands. It's not just a result of shill bidding - people are not rational and knowledge of how much others will pay may affect their bid.
    my gripe is there bid activity 14% to the 1st bidder 1% obvivously they bid on this sellers items the seller hardly sells anything
    So? As I said, I regularly buy from the same sellers because I know I can trust them and they provide a good service. Being a repeat customer isn't in any way an indicator that there is something dodgy going on.

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  • Cappy 21 Nov 2011 17:57:01 12,115 posts
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    If you don't want the item for 46, ask the seller to cancel the transaction. Though you did bid that much so you must have been willing to pay 46 at some point.

    With the current level of identity obfuscation on eBay it's impossible to prove users have been using shill accounts. I believe the general idea was to make things less problematic for eBay themselves.

    In the past when user IDs weren't obfuscated I caught people red handed using shill accounts. I reported them, eBay said they would deal with it. The sellers were back with the same account within a week or two of 'investigation', business as usual.

    If you get a bidder 'probing' (lots of bids going up in small increments) in the last few minutes I'd treat that as suspicious. When the seller then offers you the item soon after the auction closes for your maximum bid because the winner didn't complete the transaction, that's when I'd be suspicious.
  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 18:00:52 27,441 posts
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    santashi wrote:
    @darkmorgado - Oh yes, I see what you mean. That makes sense. Sorry, I had in my head someone bidding 100 on something that was going for 20!
    Well, that does happen as well (though not to the degree you use!). If I've lost a couple of auctions to the same sniper, for example (if I am buying a lot of auctions from the same seller that are all ending at the same time), then I might suddenly substantitally increase my bid on another one just before it ends (knowing that it will be targeted by a sniper), because owning the item itself might be more important to me than what it actually costs. It depends on the item, the seller, and my finances at the time :D

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  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 18:02:08 27,441 posts
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    Cappy wrote:
    With the current level of identity obfuscation on eBay it's impossible to prove users have been using shill accounts. I believe the general idea was to make things less problematic for eBay themselves.
    IIRC it was done because people were "stalking" other buyers, deliberately outbidding them on other auctions for some petty perceived slight. It was a real problem at one point (about 5/6 years ago)

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  • santashi 21 Nov 2011 18:11:04 5,167 posts
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    darkmorgado wrote:
    santashi wrote:
    @darkmorgado - Oh yes, I see what you mean. That makes sense. Sorry, I had in my head someone bidding 100 on something that was going for 20!
    Well, that does happen as well (though not to the degree you use!). If I've lost a couple of auctions to the same sniper, for example (if I am buying a lot of auctions from the same seller that are all ending at the same time), then I might suddenly substantitally increase my bid on another one just before it ends (knowing that it will be targeted by a sniper), because owning the item itself might be more important to me than what it actually costs. It depends on the item, the seller, and my finances at the time :D
    Fair enough! I'd probably do the same in that sort of situation, I guess, especially if it was something I'd been looking for for ages and I wouldn't be likely to see again in a hurry.

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  • nickthegun 21 Nov 2011 18:31:38 61,288 posts
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    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    :evil:best thing hurt them most NEGATIVE FEEDBACK FOR SHILL BIDDING simples :mad:
    I think the best thing is to get your carer to KEEP YOU AWAY FROM EBAY.

    You are potentially going to give unwarranted negative feedback because you were stupid enough to bid at least 46 quid for a second hand game.

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  • santashi 21 Nov 2011 19:47:10 5,167 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    a_very_ugly_man wrote:
    :evil:best thing hurt them most NEGATIVE FEEDBACK FOR SHILL BIDDING simples :mad:
    I think the best thing is to get your carer to KEEP YOU AWAY FROM EBAY.

    You are potentially going to give unwarranted negative feedback because you were stupid enough to bid at least 46 quid for a second hand game.
    Exactly. I feel rather sorry for the seller at the moment.

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  • spamdangled 21 Nov 2011 20:42:48 27,441 posts
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    Yep, totally agree. Negative feedback should be reserved for when a seller screws you over, not because you were stupid enough to bid over the odds on something and then regret your own behaviour.

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