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Five ways you can recognize a shill bidder

There is as a lot of buzz about shill bidders on the eBay forums. But in actuality, shrill bidding isn't that common and is rather easily detected.

Author: Pptphotography
Date: Sep 6, 2011 - 12:52:06 PM


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There is as a lot of buzz about shill bidders on the eBay forums. But in actuality, shrill bidding isn't that common and is rather easily detected.

A buyer will sometimes attempt to use shill building to raise the price of merchandise he is selling. The idea is that the shiller will bid increasingly high prices, in the hope that legitimate buyers like you will top the artificially high prices in an effort to win the goodies for sale.

Here are five ways you can recognize a shill bidder:

1. Few shill bidders will have any feedback. This is because they never follow through with transactions and therefore don't have anyone to leave feedback. If the shiller does have legitimate transactions on ebay, he is usually smart enough to use a separate ID, because he does not want to get caught shilling and lose all buying and selling privileges.

{It is important to note, however, that just because a bidder has no feedback that does not mean that he is necessarily a shrill bidder. This may simply be a new account that has not had time to build a feedback reputation.}

2. Generally, a shiller only bids on the auctions of a particular seller. When in doubt, you can check the current and completed options of a seller and see if this shiller has bid on other auctions by the same seller.

3. Shill bidders are most often newbies. You can check the feedback, and the date that the eBay account was created, for any ebay member. If the bidder's account was created two days ago and he is bidding on several auctions of the same seller, you can be pretty certain about what is going on.

4. eBay has ways of the tracking shillers. Of course we don't know everything they do (and if I did know I wouldn't tell!) but some clues all are dead giveaways. For example, if the seller and the bidder have the same IP address, eBay knows to take a closer look.

5. Shill bidders retract many more bids than normal buyers. eBay does allow any buyer to retract a bid, although this is only supposed to occur for specific reasons. But in actuality, a retraction is rarely challenged and ultimately what can eBay do? It cannot force a person to pay for a particular item.

It is wise not to use this option on a frequent basis. Remember that your eBay behavior deal is constantly tracked. A retraction is considered to be a "black mark" on your reputation so don't do it very often. Shillers, on the other hand, don't care because they're unconcerned about their reputation. If caught, they simply open a new account.

Sometimes a shiller is the high bidder at the end of an auction. In that that case, the seller and buyer can agree to cancel the bid, rather than retract it. However, all this takes a lot of work, planning and effort. In the end, shill bidding is rarely worth the trouble and time. Instead, smart sellers spend their time finding products and writing listings - the two basic moneymaking activities of an ebay business - instead of plotting how to raise profits on individual listings. Success in business is about efficiency.


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