News Article -- Shill Bidders
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:49 am 
 

Shilling is not exactly news, but good to see that some action is being taken to prevent/punish it (eventually).  See AP article for details.

globetechnology.com/servlet/story/RTGAM ... echnology/

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:11 am 
 

I saw that too. At least they broke the cherry on it. They'll never go after the little guys, but it might scare a few off.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:30 am 
 

lol how the hell is it a felony charge?  If the prices goes higher then you want to pay stop bidding!

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:35 am 
 

draco76 wrote:lol how the hell is it a felony charge?  If the prices goes higher then you want to pay stop bidding!


I didnt see anything about felony charges.  It looks like all those were civil complaints hence the restitution.

Fraud is a serious federal crime though, I'm sure if they could track ebay some repeat offenders could (and should) get jailtime for all the insane crap that gets pulled on ebay users.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:11 pm 
 

"Mr. Spitzer said one of the sellers pleaded guilty to a felony charge, the other two to misdemeanours. They were ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution and fines."


Felony charge

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:48 pm 
 

"The Big Shill"

draco76 wrote:

If the prices go higher then you want to pay stop bidding!


Agreed, it's up to the individual collectors to put an end to shilling. It's your responsibility if you're consciously bidding. You obviously what whatever it is and would pay that said price. That is what a bid is, isn't it? Most collectors' may be obsessed, but their not complete idiots. These shills are speculating on that "emotion and nostalgia" Dathon was talking about, and the "I've got to have it, and I'm not going to let it slip through my hand's again attitude". And lets be honest it works.

WHAT!....Who outbid me!.......Oh no they didn't, not this time………..Then up goes the bid.

And there always running the risk of smart collectors saying enough and shilling to high. Then what? I guess they give themselves or a friend a piece of positive feedback? Or they contact the next lowest bidder and say winner Mister "X" fell through on the sale, and they'll now sell to you at your bidding price. Then their Busted! This has happened to me as I'm sure to a few around here. I decline just out of principle, (with a nasty e-mails :twisted: ), but I'm sure someone down the bidding pole always agrees to the sale.

Collectors should be educated about what there bidding on. Try to settle down the "emotion and nostalgia", and keep it in the ballpark. I'm against the "civil complaints hence the restitution" the Frost-man spoke of, because on the flip side of the token lets say you won a mint Tosjcanth misspelled no one noticed for $5 on a couple day auction. (Fat chance I know) Then after the seller realized their mistake after being contacted by flipping out eBayer's could the seller  then sue you for restitution for not informing them about what they had? Or forced you to return the item to the seller? You in a sense did take advantage of them by not informing them of its value unless you lie and play stupid. I hope this doesn't open up Pandora's Box of he did she did. It would be tragic because every sale + or -- its value could come into question. And that's not an auction! When the gavel falls that should be it unless circumstance dictates, I refuse to be a Sue happy American. Take some responsibility about you're (including myself) own stupidity.
Next thing they'll have a R.C.A. (Rpg collectors Anonymous) group that meets Wednesdays at your local game store……..I didn't mean to spend the mortgage payment on a POTVQ… it's not my fault I'm addicted…..please help me……Don't worry we'll get those nasty Shillers' off the street….It's so ridiculous.

JMO Invincible 8)

*BTW. someone got hold of the buyer I see, good! we should help each other. That itself would put an end to most of the obvious shill's.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... 29800&rd=1

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 2:22 pm 
 

the world is full of stupid people.........
a fool and his money are soon parted.......

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:40 pm 
 

Terminal_Frost wrote:

Fraud is a serious federal crime though, I'm sure if they could track ebay some repeat offenders could (and should) get jail time for all the insane crap that gets pulled on ebay users.


Other than the unscrupulous item condition descriptions, fake printing descriptions with stock photos and shilling are there other tricks being pulled out there?

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:02 pm 
 

Christian 1758 is so obviously a shill account. How could ANYONE fall for that?
As far as fraud/shilling, there are a few ways to look at it.

1. If someone bids $200 when an item is at $1, and it gets shilled up to $200, so be it. They were willing to spend the $200.

2. If only the one bidder was interested in it, and could have gotten it for $1 if not for the shills, then so be it. The seller set the price at $1, with no reserve.

3. eBay says shilling is illegal, so it is illegal on eBay.

Consider this, however. When a house goes up for auction, the bank starts the bid low, but they have a minimum amount they will accept for it. If the bid is at $100K, and they want at least $120, they can have an agent bid $120K for it. If someone bids $125K, they sell it. Is that shilling, or is it setting a reserve?
My experience with shills has been this: I have won a few auctions that were obviously shilled. When I get the invoice/e-mail from the seller, I explain my concerns, and ask them to provide the contact info from the shiller, so that I may verify the shill account with eBay. I then proceed to tell them that shilling is illegal, and if it WAS a shill, the person needs to be stopped for the good of eBay. Out of all the times (and there have been more than a few) that this has happened to me over the years, only 2 auctions have turned out to be legit bidders. All the rest are either met with silence, or some lame excuse.
Some few sellers are actually ignorant of the rules.I shilled a few of my own auctions long ago, but when it was explained to me that there was a policy against it, I stopped. Is it the seller's fault if he is truly ignorant?Judgement call there, but I say yes. it is plainly spelled out in the rules, but attention to detail and impatience is usually what keeps people from actually reading them.
OK, let's have opinions on this: The last time I renewed the lease on my apartment, I signed it Notmy Signature. It was scrawled, but legible. I did it to show my wife how the average person suffers from severe lack of ATD, but the question is this: If I break the lease, am I responsible? Or is the management company responsible, for not checking to ensure the signature was valid?
My vote: They are.
If there was a line in the lease saying I had to give oral to the leasing manager's dog as part of my rent, and I signed it, who is at fault there if I refuse to do it?
My vote: I am.
If someone is a victim of shilling, and doesn't realize it, is he at fault or the seller?
My vote: He is.
The last one is tricky, but my reasoning is this: There are plenty of links and warnings about shilling on eBay's site for anyone who cares to actually read the details of how eBay works. If someone is too lazy to research the possible pitfalls of their actions when presented with the opportunity to do so, fuck 'em. They could have avoided it with a little effort, but they chose to take the chance on getting burned.
We all know that the world is not dog-eat-dog, it's dog-eat-any-goddam-thing-it-can-choke-down. Anyone who does not have their guard up 100% of the time is asking to get burned. I don't like it, and most people don't like it either, but it is what it is. Adapt or die.
Shit, that was a lot of typing...........


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:02 pm 
 

Christian 1758 is so obviously a shill account. How could ANYONE fall for that?


Personally, I don't see it as obvious at all. Christian joined ebay on Oct 31 this year, while Ozvortex has been around since 1999. In the short time Christian has been active, he's managed to bid on 60 auctions, by 9 different sellers. Ozvortex is the seller in 7 of those 60.

Out of the 60 auctions, 26 have completed and Christian won 12 of them, from 5 different sellers. Of the 7 auctions he's bidding on by Ozvortex (none have completed yet), he's high bidder on 5 of them.

None of this leads me to believe Christian as an obvious shill account. I've bought from Ozvortex in the past, the most recent item was last weekend. There was no suspicious bid activity, and he seemed like a nice guy.

Sure, shilling happens on ebay, it's a fact of life. As Frank says, keep your guard up or you'll eventually get burned. But I disagree with Frank about whose fault it is when it does happen - the seller is to blame, pure and simple.

If Frank bid on an item of mine, and was pushed up by a zero feedback bidder, and then emailed me demanding contact info for that bidder, I would refuse - partly because I wouldn't have it (the zero feedback bidder not having won one of my auctions), but also because even if I did have it, Frank isn't entitled to it. I would refuse the request, deny any shilling was taking place, ask him to pay for the auction, and if he suspects me then report it to ebay.

So shilling happens on ebay - agreed. Perhaps not as often as people seem to think on low cost (relative to cars and paintings) items such as RPG merchandise. I think newbie enthusiasm is much more common, and the two can look similar. As Frank says, keep your gaurd up and try not to get burned, and when it does happen report it to ebay or take it on the chin.

Regards

Mike

  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 7:45 pm 
 

Yes, of course!  What are you implying?

If you are suggesting this Christian1758 newbie who is bidding on several of my items is in any way connected to me then I take offence at that.

On one of my items (The Book of Lairs) jamesbolivardigriz (who is someone else I have no connection with) had put an initial bid on which Christian1758 kept pushing up (to $202.50!?) which I could not believe (I thought it was too good to be true).  jamesbolivardigriz contacted me the other day to say he'd put a bid on but had not included the decimal point and wanted me to cancel the auction.   Checking eBay's rules I did not think that this was a valid reason.  I suggested he retract the bid which he has now done leaving Christian1758 as the high bidder.

If you are interested in bidding on my items then please do so.  I have never shill bid on my auctions, never asked anyone to do so either.  In fact, if you check my recently sold items a couple went off on Sunday night much under what I wanted them to.  Such is life.  You win some you lose some. I'm proud of my feedback rating and would not do anything to jeopardise it.

As for Christian1758, I've contacted him with my concerns about his zero feedback, his pushing the price of that item up and his intention to pay.  He has informed me he is interested in my items.  I'm assuming he is an over-enthusiastic new comer to eBay.

Cheers,

Wayne
.............................

Oz's reply when I asked him if he knew shilling was illegal.
You are quite possibly right. Except for the fact that, if you look at the buy/sells of some of these bidders, they all seem to buy and sell largely with each other. Too convenient for me.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:30 am 
 

Another problem with eBay shilling is the money and run scam. Get good feedback, and then right before you stop eBaying, drop a bomb and take the money and run. With good feedback and no evidence of foul play, there is little they can do.

Plus, if you lose your money on like a 150 buck auction, they can't do much about it. Only when they spend a lot, from what I've seen.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:38 am 
 

Except for the fact that, if you look at the buy/sells of some of these bidders, they all seem to buy and sell largely with each other. Too convenient for me.


I think the main reason for that is because Australia is a very small collecting market. Not many of us about, and I have bought from and sold to the same people a few times.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:36 am 
 

mdr003 wrote:I think the main reason for that is because Australia is a very small collecting market. Not many of us about, and I have bought from and sold to the same people a few times.


Just out of curiosity: How many serious (A)D&D collectors do you think are active in Australia?


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 8:25 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:OK, let's have opinions on this: The last time I renewed the lease on my apartment, I signed it Notmy Signature. It was scrawled, but legible. I did it to show my wife how the average person suffers from severe lack of ATD, but the question is this: If I break the lease, am I responsible? Or is the management company responsible, for not checking to ensure the signature was valid?
My vote: They are.

Nope, gotta disagree.  Your signature is not the same thing as your name.  It could be an X, a number, someone else's name, and it would still count.  They'd probably require videotape of you writing the signature if you wanted to pick nits.  They should have questioned the validity of your signature, but you have the right to change it at any time.  I don't know the law in the USA, but here in Canada, you may even assume a new name, at any time, provided it is not for fraudulent purposes.  They could totally hold you to that lease, if they wanted to waste the time/money in court.  It's probably more worth their while to let it slide and get a new tenant in as quickly as possible.
If there was a line in the lease saying I had to give oral to the leasing manager's dog as part of my rent, and I signed it, who is at fault there if I refuse to do it?
My vote: I am.

This wouldn't be legally binding in many states/countries as that particular act is illegal, and may nullify the entire lease if they don't have severability clauses...I'd hardly call this anyone's "fault", however.
 
If someone is a victim of shilling, and doesn't realize it, is he at fault or the seller?
My vote: He is.
The last one is tricky, but my reasoning is this: There are plenty of links and warnings about shilling on eBay's site for anyone who cares to actually read the details of how eBay works. If someone is too lazy to research the possible pitfalls of their actions when presented with the opportunity to do so, fuck 'em. They could have avoided it with a little effort, but they chose to take the chance on getting burned.
We all know that the world is not dog-eat-dog, it's dog-eat-any-goddam-thing-it-can-choke-down. Anyone who does not have their guard up 100% of the time is asking to get burned. I don't like it, and most people don't like it either, but it is what it is. Adapt or die.
Shit, that was a lot of typing...........

I get what you're saying, I'm a wee bit of a Darwinian myself.  But it's also our moral duty to protect the stupid.  If you're not buying the moral argument, the alternative reason is that they tend to be hotties...or know them.   :wink:

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:59 pm 
 

Just out of curiosity: How many serious (A)D&D collectors do you think are active in Australia?


Hi Frank - I'm not sure, but it's very few. 90% of the stuff I buy comes from the States. Usuually there are around 100 items in total in Roleplaying on ebay.com.au in, compared to several thousand on the main site.

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Mike

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:16 pm 
 

>>>Just out of curiosity: How many serious (A)D&D collectors do you think are active in Australia?

Not many.  So far this year, I've had 18 Australian customers for D&D - hopefully none will mind being listed here.   8)   Those marked >>> have bought fairly large piles of stuff and could probably be called "serious," along with mdr003.

ajm6*9
andrew_gale
aone333
>>> dazbaby
dchoey
earache666
>>> genkimax
helsbells_68
>>> improvstone
jszkilnyk
mdr003
post_war_dreamer
rdechatillon
ruran42
>>> smallbluedonkey
unihead
>>> zytaxical
0mojoh

  

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 5:43 am 
 

Hay I'm not on that list;) ... I would have to say only a handful... most would be game specific I believe (ie AD&D, Battletech.. etc)


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