To Shill or not to Shill: is that even a valid question?
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:15 pm 
 

:roll:  :oops: Yes, I do know this item has nothing at all to do with RPG's, but I did not know where else to get friendly advise about this situation and as I truly value the opinions of many here, I really wanted to know what you guys think. :oops:   :) So here it is.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... Track=true

Please check the bid history. It seems to me that after ax-fish, I was the only true real life bidder on this item. The others being (IMO) shills.

I wrote the seller the following note...

I wish you the Best of luck with this supposed buyer (coh80015 (1)) as he obviously does have a horrible feedback history.
eBay Feedback Profile for coh80015 8O
BTW: Beware of ZERO feedback bidders, buyers (dewardkb (0)) who apparently made a new E-Bay account just for this auction too.
I really did want this book, but not for the price it is at now.... Anyway, as I said good luck to you, Aneoth


I think that at least one of the two are shill accounts, and quite likely both of them are shill accounts.

What do you guys think?


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:23 pm 
 

BTW: This wont be the first time that I will have thanked E-Bay for not making me (As a loosing bidder) responsible for secondary bids (Second chance offers and such), as I am sure one is forthcoming. :roll:

If it does materialize in my E-Mail box, then I shall print it here for your entertainment.  :evil:


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:51 am 
 

Ok, I am glad you started this thread.  The subject of "shill" bidders seems to always come up in these forums.  I have been active on these boards for awhile now and read all the posts. . . and except for a few rare exceptions, I think everybody here WAY OVERREACTS to potential shill bidding.  In most cases, the dreaded "zero feedback" bidder is simply someone new to ebay.  Aneoth, I checked the bid history of these 3 low feedback bidders on the auction and I have a hard time believing that any are shills.  The one with poor feedback. . .  they received 3 negs all at once back in 2002- most likely something happened that caused them to not be able to complete their transactions - all of which were with different sellers.

The others have at least some bids with other sellers.

Another recent question of shill bidding was brought up:

bclarkie wrote:Look how obvious a shill this one is. The seller listed the exact same auction 2 days after the first one ended with a zero bidder won the auction. if you look close at the pics, the seller actually used the same picture and just did a very poor editing job by browning out 2 of the end modules 1 on the top right and 1 on the bottom right. First one is the auction just put up today, the second one is the one that just ended on the 23rd.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &item=5952 646915&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &item=5951 519555&rd=1


Absolutely no offense is meant, but I fail to see how it can be said:  "Look how obvious a shill this is."  Take a look at the bid history - I think it is obvious this is NOT  a shill.  The winner of the first auction ototatay was not only the first bidder on it, but he has also recently bid two other RPG items with different sellers.  The other zero feedback bidder valefor14 just recently won a Birthright boxed set from another seller.

Everyone needs to take a step back on this shill issue.  Listen, I sell my fair share on ebay (probably more than most members here) and I can assure you all that there are plently of zero feedback bidders out there.  I sell a good 25% of my items to users with 10 feedback or less.  The erratic bidding of these "newbies" may seem like the actions of a shill bidder, but that's why they are great!  They are legit and drive up the price on items because they are excited and just joined eBay to get a few items (or to start getting lots of items).  They don't understand the intricacies of bidding, they probably haven't figured out how to navigate effectively through 4,000 auctions to find the best deal and they don't know how to value the worth of items through "completed" auctions (or just general experience).

Back to the Birthright seller - to me it seems like they have bunch of Birthright stuff (hell, my local comic dealer has an original Cardboard "display" case for Birthright loaded with tons of duplicate, shrinkwrapped copies of unsold Birthright items - only they are still cover price!) Most likely the seller had duplicates of 22 items (the other two they only had one of) - so they took two pictures and blocked out the two for one auction and listed them for the other.  It was easy to relist and they did so as soon as the first ended (no use running both at the same time!)

Shill bidders are getting to be like an ebay Urban Legend - I know it happens, I'm not naive, but I am sure it is far, FAR less than is suspected.  If you are worried, then just snipe the auction and be done with it.  8)

(The recent example pointed out by Ralf and the "CJ" "Seejay" certainly seems like a clearcut shill).


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:47 am 
 

sniping isnt a bad thing is it? i got an e-mail off a real angry guy once cos i sniped him in the last 3 seconds.....

well it doesnt say you CANT do it? saves me getting dragged into a bidding war and then i get the item at the price i want....

mind you darkseraphim has sniped me countless times but thats the fun of it i think.... :D

thing is, some of these ebayers mentioned above, dont do themselves any favours in the way they have gone about what they are doing. maybe time will tell its own story if you check back on some of their future transactions and see what they get up to?



  


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:35 am 
 

I got a nasty email recently too from a Ravenloft set I won.  The dude wasnt even close to winning the auction though.  What a nutball.  

Anyhow I leave the bidding to software nowadays (I have it set to bid in the last 10 seconds of the auction) since ebay isnt really entertainment for me.  I set my bid and forget about it.  That way I wont get tempted to get into a bidding war.


killjoy32 wrote:sniping isnt a bad thing is it? i got an e-mail off a real angry guy once cos i sniped him in the last 3 seconds.....

well it doesnt say you CANT do it? saves me getting dragged into a bidding war and then i get the item at the price i want....

mind you darkseraphim has sniped me countless times but thats the fun of it i think.... :D

thing is, some of these ebayers mentioned above, dont do themselves any favours in the way they have gone about what they are doing. maybe time will tell its own story if you check back on some of their future transactions and see what they get up to?


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:44 am 
 

killjoy32 wrote:sniping isnt a bad thing is it?


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:55 am 
 

ok so you dont like sniping :)

i sometimes do it and have had that done to me many times before. to me, its just part of the system, until the rules state you can't do it...

wasn't trying to be controversial or anything.

sorry :)



  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:27 am 
 

I do most of my buying on eBay on the snipe. If there aren't many bidders sometimes there's a false sense that it's not gonna go that high. That can work to your favour and you get something cheap.

But then you may also find some other collector who goes in with a bid way out the ballpark, and you go in with your $82 bid and find you never stood a chance anyhow.

The only time I leave a bid and just hope I win is when I'm not that fussed whether I win or not , and when I need the sleep.

I'm still pissed at going on holiday during the Steve Marsh auctions. I missed the Planes of Existance lot becuase it's hell trying to get an internet connection when you're on a cruise in the Canaries and the boat doesn't have an internet connection.

But then if my wife knew I'd spent $500 on an auction she'd leave me. I couldn't imagine how pissed she'd be if she found me spending $2000 on a box of notes.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:13 am 
 

I snipe everything, I get better deals that way.  I only bid early to help me track items I want to snipe later.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:15 pm 
 

I snipe everything as well, although I haven't bought much recently.

I agree with Breach too.... I think in general most of the shill accusations made are clearly not shilling. A few months ago there were a lot of threads on here about suspicious auctions, yet after a bit of investigation it was pretty clear there was no shilling. I remember doing that investigation (which took about 5 minutes each time) on 3 or 4 reported auctions and proving (to my satisfaction at least) that nothing untoward was going on, but the threads kept coming and I lost interest in it.

Obviously shillijng does happen, and there's a chance of being burnt - but its less frequent than most people think (IMO).

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:38 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:Ok, I am glad you started this thread.  The subject of "shill" bidders seems to always come up in these forums.  I have been active on these boards for awhile now and read all the posts. . . and except for a few rare exceptions, I think everybody here WAY OVERREACTS to potential shill bidding.  In most cases, the dreaded "zero feedback" bidder is simply someone new to ebay.  Aneoth, I checked the bid history of these 3 low feedback bidders on the auction and I have a hard time believing that any are shills.  The one with poor feedback. . .  they received 3 negs all at once back in 2002- most likely something happened that caused them to not be able to complete their transactions - all of which were with different sellers.

The others have at least some bids with other sellers.

Another recent question of shill bidding was brought up:

bclarkie wrote:Look how obvious a shill this one is. The seller listed the exact same auction 2 days after the first one ended with a zero bidder won the auction. if you look close at the pics, the seller actually used the same picture and just did a very poor editing job by browning out 2 of the end modules 1 on the top right and 1 on the bottom right. First one is the auction just put up today, the second one is the one that just ended on the 23rd.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &item=5952 646915&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &item=5951 519555&rd=1


Absolutely no offense is meant, but I fail to see how it can be said:  "Look how obvious a shill this is."  Take a look at the bid history - I think it is obvious this is NOT  a shill.  The winner of the first auction ototatay was not only the first bidder on it, but he has also recently bid two other RPG items with different sellers.  The other zero feedback bidder valefor14 just recently won a Birthright boxed set from another seller.

Everyone needs to take a step back on this shill issue.  Listen, I sell my fair share on ebay (probably more than most members here) and I can assure you all that there are plently of zero feedback bidders out there.  I sell a good 25% of my items to users with 10 feedback or less.  The erratic bidding of these "newbies" may seem like the actions of a shill bidder, but that's why they are great!  They are legit and drive up the price on items because they are excited and just joined eBay to get a few items (or to start getting lots of items).  They don't understand the intricacies of bidding, they probably haven't figured out how to navigate effectively through 4,000 auctions to find the best deal and they don't know how to value the worth of items through "completed" auctions (or just general experience).

Back to the Birthright seller - to me it seems like they have bunch of Birthright stuff (hell, my local comic dealer has an original Cardboard "display" case for Birthright loaded with tons of duplicate, shrinkwrapped copies of unsold Birthright items - only they are still cover price!) Most likely the seller had duplicates of 22 items (the other two they only had one of) - so they took two pictures and blocked out the two for one auction and listed them for the other.  It was easy to relist and they did so as soon as the first ended (no use running both at the same time!)

Shill bidders are getting to be like an ebay Urban Legend - I know it happens, I'm not naive, but I am sure it is far, FAR less than is suspected.  If you are worried, then just snipe the auction and be done with it.  8)

(The recent example pointed out by Ralf and the "CJ" "Seejay" certainly seems like a clearcut shill).



First off, BTB, no offense was taken to your post.

 I personally agree that in this circumstance that I do not think that this was a shill, because even though the feedback of most of the bidders is low, the previous bidding history of the bidders does not seem to reflect that it is a shill.  I also agree in a lot circumstances that, sometimes people jump to conclusions in regards to the infamous "shill bidder".  As a matter of fact, on second look,  I myself, probably jumped the gun on the previous post about the Birthright lot. When further reveiwing the bidding on the auction and the bidders in question, it does not seem to further support it being a shill.  What happened was that when I looked at the pic and the time frame between the auctions, it kind of sent up a red flag to me.  Realistically though, the only people that get caught are usually the most obvious, as they are so greedy/lazy that they bid on all of their own auctions (see previous post about CJ/SEEJAY), they bid on an item with some crazy amount and then retract the bid to see where the high bidders largest bid is, or they just slowly bid the item up over time trying to milk as much as possible out of the legit bidders.  However, someone who knows what they are doing and has the desire to do it, will almost never be caught.  I don't necessarily think that because the person doesn't have the same bidder bid on all his auctions that he might not be shilling it with 4 or 5 different ID's on sporatic auctions over time.  He can also have his shill ID's bid on other items from other sellers with the express purpose of not winning (i.e. a $10.00 bid on a shrinkwrap T1-4).     On top of that, I don't necessarily think that if a bidder is the first to bid on a item automatically absolves it from being a shill either. Let me give an example of how this can happen.  Joe the seller lists an auction with an opening bid of $0.01.  He then has his shill ID bid 1st for a bid up to $10.00.  This does 2 things for him. First, it makes sure that his item will sell for at least $10.00.  It also prevents him from having to pay EBAY the cost of having to list the time for $10.00.  If his shill name wins the auction he just relists the item, and reports his shill name as a NPB to recoup the fees, but never leaves a negative feedback.  Sorry about the book I just wrote, but its just something to think about.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:44 pm 
 

Wow, no reply behind my post today, I must have scared everybody away from this topic.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:47 pm 
 

nah not at all...i just couldnt think of anything to add :)



  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 10:50 pm 
 

The great thing about being on a budget/cheap/poor:  95% shilling resistance. :) You save vs. Snipes at -5, unfortunately.

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 5:06 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:The great thing about being on a budget/cheap/poor:  95% shilling resistance. :) You save vs. Snipes at -5, unfortunately.

*lol* :D

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 5:26 am 
 

well my sword is +1, +4 vs snipes



  

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:47 am 
 

Shill bidder?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 20887&rd=1


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:54 am 
 



well the seller is in the USA....the bidder is from Denmark and i see he won 2 items from Darkseraphim back in Jan 05..... just a new ebayer?



  


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:54 am 
 



I don't think so. Just some newbie all excited to be on ebay.  He has bid on lots of other sellers auctions over the last couple of weeks.

cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?MfcISAPI ... mp;rows=25


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:40 am 
 

I live to sell to newbies!  I also hate bidding against them :?


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