Does this look shady to you?
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:08 pm 
 

I am bidding on an auction on eBay, but not for D&D. i was just hoping you guys could help me tell if this looks shady to you also.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... eName=WDVW

This stuff is fairly hard to find, and I collect it. The seller has no feedback, but in email claims he was "new to eBay" though his ID has existed for over a year and a half, with no activity. The amount of stuff he has is really only possible if you are a hobby store. yet, after I posted my bid, there was 7 bids from a hobby shop with a lot of feedback.

I may be being paranoid, but doe sit look like a scam to you guys?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:32 pm 
 

It doesn't look like a scam, but it does look like shilling.  Techknownix is probably a second ID of the crossbowhobbies bidder.

What's especially unusual is the $99.99 bid.  Someone who's attempting to win the thing bids $101.36 -- you're trying to nudge out the high bid by just a few cents.  Bidding $99.99 ensures that you will lose to the hypothetical $100 bid.

Note that I said "hypothetical".  There's no way the seller, or any bidder, can know what maximum bid you've set (unless you've bid $100 on similar sets before....).  It was probably a lucky guess.  But he's basically ensured that the set is going to sell for at least $100, one way or the other.

I would contact eBay and state that you suspect shilling is occurring.  They may or may not bother looking into it -- especially since it's very hard to prove.  Unless the seller is an idiot, and logging into both accounts using the same IP address.

Your ultimate recourse is to retract your bid.  Make up some excuse.  Otherwise, settle for the fact that you'll be paying $100 for this set, which you have already indicated you're willing to do (by bidding that much in the first place).

Foul

  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:39 pm 
 

Roseville is about 45 minutes from me - a suburb of Detroit. I grew up in St. Clair Shores which is a neighboring suburb. There are, or were, several hobby shops in that area.
If you can find out it is a hobby shop, I'd stop in for you and check it out.

And it looks awefully strange. Are those cards really worth 100 clams?


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:41 pm 
 

I'd retract. Way too suspicious.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:44 pm 
 

To continue this:

Look at the bidding history on another bundle crossbowhobbies bid on:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 5929744896

In this case, the bidding is normal.  crossbow bid $76.09, trying to eclipse a hypothetical $75 bid.  He didn't bid $74.99.

The location listed for crossbowhobbies is Tennessee, while for Technownix is apparently in Michigan.  You'll know when you receive the set -- check the postmark.  I'll bet you a quarter it's postmarked in Tennessee.

Lastly, it *is* entirely possible that this is legitimate.  Maybe crossbowhobbies doesn't really want to win the item, but does want to inflate the market value of the set, since he so often sells these items himself.  So he's pumping up your bid, which is a completely legitimate (if nasty) tactic.

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:26 pm 
 

A couple of times I have underbid the max by screwing up the conversion from cdn to us.

here's an example (not mine)

eBay.com Item Bid History

M


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:00 pm 
 

I think there is a bidding style that involves bidding 'just under' a usual whole number, rather than the customary 'just over'. I know Harami sometimes bids in that manner, ie he'll bid $149 say, rather than $151.

Taking a stab at the logic behind bidding like that, it could be that a person decides that they're happy to pay $100 for an item. Rather than worrying about how many odd dollars and cents to add after the bid, they bid all the way up to just under the next usual increment - knowing that most people will bid either $100, $100 and a bit, or they'll go to $150. Bidding $149 will ensure they beat out all the $100 bidders no matter how much extra they add to their bid, yet they won't be pushed into the next price bracket as not many people will bid between say $120 and $149.99. Also, another advantage to the style could be that if they can't win the item for $100, they are able to max out their competitors bids at $150 - rather than letting them have it for $101, they're forced to pay $150 and consequently have less cash left for other purchases.

This is all conjecture on my part of course - I'm firmly in the plus-odd-cent school when it comes to bidding. And although I used Harami as an example of someone who sometimes bids just under a usual bid level, the reasons he does so are entirely his own.

Regarding the auction in question, I doubt that shilling is taking pl;ace. Crossbowhobbies have 750ish feedback, 99.5% positive. They've only bid on 9 things in the last month, only one of which was from Techknownix. It seels they sell plenty under their usual logon (ie they're either selling or have sold 272 items in the last 30 days) - why would they create an alternate ID to sell just one item? If it is shilling, they must go to extraordinary lengths each time they want to shill to cover their tracks. I think it's unlikely, and the bid is legit. All of their earlier bids on the auction wer ein whole numbers, so I just think they're willing to pay up to $100, but no more.

Either way, it's another example that bidding as late as possible in an auction is the safest.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:12 pm 
 

I don't know if it's shilling or not, but it's definitely deliberate bid pumping.  Nobody's going to bid 20,30,50,75, and then 99.99.  If they actually want the item they'll bid $100 even, at least, before they give up.

My guess would be you've made an enemy out there.  Check other auctions you've bid on and see if he shows up...

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:49 am 
 

I thought of another reason why people might bid $49, $74, $99 etc... perhaps they are trying to uncover the current high bid without actually taking the bid themselves... that way they discover where the bidding is at without triggering one of those automatic 'you have been outbid' emails. So Crossbowhobbies knows the current high bid, Shingen hasn't been alerted that his bid has been outgunned, and Crossbow can snap it up in the final minutes.

All conjecture of course...

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:36 am 
 

mdr003 has a point. . . I have "pumped" people up to their max bid on a few occassions, then come back to snipe when I determined their max.

I usually don't put that much effort into it, but if it's against a "newbie" (especially if their is some bid history on the current auction) you can anticipate what they bid.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:03 pm 
 

Except he didn't bid $49, $79, $99.  He bid normally ($25, $30, $40, $75) and then jumped right to $99.99.

I suppose this is endlessly debatable, and by no means certain that there's anything fraudulent going on here.  Just that the smell of fish is lingering in the air.

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:38 pm 
 

yes, the cards are worth 100 bucks, because of the low print run on that particular set and its high quality.

I'm glad I am not totally paranoid. It was the weird bidding that got me, too. I am gonna wait this out and see what happens. Luckily, I have been outbid, so I can wait and see.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:53 pm 
 

That's a lot of analysis.

Some people are just stupid and do things that don't make sense.


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