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Shill bidder:

def. somebody directly connected to - or - the alter ego of a seller who makes (in most cases) many/multiple small bids on their OWN items, usually ensuring they are not the highest bidder.


Where you will most likely find a shill bidder:


a) High value items listed at a very low starting price, – i.e. a $1000 item listed for 0.99cents

b) Normal value items, listed at a very low starting price (0.01cent – 0.99cents)

c) High value items listed with correct value BIN (Buy it Now) price but bidding starting at 0.99cents



Clues that you may have spotted a shill bidder:

a) Item suddenly jumps from 1-5 bids to 20-30 bids with only 1 new bidder bidding

b) A high valued item has received a bid at 0.99cents with only one buyer interested, when conveniently just before end of auction a sudden 30+ small bids are placed, creeping that initial interested bidders bid to their maximum bid

c) Clicking on bidder information, you may see a bidder who has placed 51 bids in the past 30 days on say 10 different items from 1 unique seller – 100% activity with same seller.

d) You may notice a certain seller, seems to, coincidently, have an average of 20 bids per item, with nothing unique about either items – when the same item from other sellers have an average of 5 bids. Chances are the seller is placing small bids on their own items.


Consequences of shill bidders:

a) A buyer who placed a maximum bid of, say, $30 on an item – was the highest/winning bidder with the bidding at $4. The seller of that item shill bids the item up to $29.50, resulting in the initial bidder still being the highest/winning bidder BUT they win for $30.

If this item was not attacked via shill bidding, it is highly likely the initial bidder would have won the item for $4 or at least considerably less than $30.

b) Some shill bidders get caught out when they accidently WIN their own item and try to resolve the issue by sending a second chance offer to the next successful bidder.

This is more concerned to very unique items, not mass produced items where the seller may have many of the same item.



What you should do if you suspect a shill bidder:


If you have the slightest suspicion of shill bidding activity, click “watch this item” immediately and then report the suspected seller and bidder.

Do not be shy if you could be wrong and everything was all legit.

It only takes 2 minutes to report and make eBay a safer way to trade.

eBay usually investigate and take appropriate action (if shill bidding is confirmed) within 24 hours of reporting.

If we all work together, we can rid eBay of these stupid, heartless scammers!!!

It’s the genuine buyers and sellers that make eBay great

So let’s continue to work together!



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