Ebay question

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
I have never done anything on ebay but recently I have been trying to buy something. I have therefore got no 'history'. I have been bidding on a few things over the last week and I have found this:

1) No more than two bidders have entered including me
2) The other bidder always enters after I do
3) The auction is shut early

I suspect that the other bidder is actually the seller (or a friend) simply trying to push my bid up to find out where my maximum bid is. Then they shut the auction because the bids are too low and I am the only bidder. The excuse has been that 'the item is either lost or has broken'

Is this correct? Is it common practice?Is it within the rules?

I have also seen auctions where the seller says that bidders with no 'history' will be deleted. How can you get a 'history' if you cant bid?
Seems to me that most of what is occurring is simple profiteering and passing an item around from one seller to be sold on to another seller, excluding the genuine buyer who is interested in the product rather than the profit within that product.
 

red_tom

New Member
Location
East London
I always snipe when buying stuff from ebay. You can either download a tool or use a website like www.auctionsniper.com. I use the website as you don't have to leave your computer on all the time.

They let you put in you bid at the last moment (usually about 5 seconds) before the auction ends. This stops annoying habits like the one above and also stops you chasing the price up higher than you originally planned. It also leaves no time for other people to react to your bid.
 

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
Sellers are not supposed to shut an auction early, except in some specific circumstance set out by eBay. I have occasionally had this happen to me - usually I suspect because the seller has accepted some sort of direct offer from a buyer. However eBay sometimes halts auctions if they think the seller is dodgey.

After being badly stung by one seller, I only bid on items being sold by sellers with a 90%+ postive score and a large number of sales.

Could you post a link to some of the sales you have mentioned then maybe we could get a better idea of what was going on.
 

barq

Senior Member
Location
Birmingham, UK
Bidding on your own items (or getting someone else to do it for you) is not something Ebay looks kindly upon. Have a look at their shill bidding pages. Repeatedly ending listings early could also fall foul of Ebay's non-performing seller rules.

Some sellers do avoid people with zero feedback. It isn't fair, but unfortunately sellers will try and protect themselves against dodgy buyers and looking for a good feedback record is one way of doing that. My advice would be to make one or two small 'Buy It Now' purchases (even if they just end up being birthday presents for other people, or stuff you'd have bought anyway). That way you at least have some feedback. Don't go buying electronic books for £0.01 each because that looks really suspicious - they only exist as a means of bumping up people's feedback. The other strategy is to email the seller in advance and try to convince them you are new but genuine.

Last minute buying (sniping) can be quite effective. Whether you actually want to set up software to do it is a moot point, but bidding in the last few minutes is a good idea because the price doesn't usually rise as high - conversely items with early bids sell for more money.
 
BTW... If your planing on selling something, list it on Thursday (24th). Half price listing day. Check the rules though. (IE Not for buy-it-now ((only)))
 

bobg

Über Member
Bigtallfatbloke said:
I have found this:

1) No more than two bidders have entered including me
2) The other bidder always enters after I do
3) The auction is shut early

I suspect that the other bidder is actually the seller (or a friend) simply trying to push my bid up to find out where my maximum bid is. Then they shut the auction because the bids are too low and I am the only bidder. The excuse has been that 'the item is either lost or has broken'

Some sellers do ask friends to bid up an item if it looks like it wont go for much, then when it reaches a "reasonable sum the bogus bidder drops out. They sometimes get stung and end up buying their accomplices stuff - then they simply withdraw the bid after auction closure and the legitimate bidder " gets the "second chance offer". Just search the sellers history and see if the same (bogus) bidder comes up on their other auctions - if they're caught its an instant banning from E Bay bay - that usually only happens but only if someone bothers to reports them.
Yup you can end an aution early legally but many sellers put in a proviso " I reserve the right to end early cos the item is advertised elsewhere ... which may or may not be true but shouldn't really happen.

I have also seen auctions where the seller says that bidders with no 'history' will be deleted. How can you get a 'history' if you cant bid? This happens a lot - its daft cos most legitimate first time buyers try very hard to get it right. However there are newly registered scam bidders who defraud sellers but imho its not as prevelant as it appears
Seems to me that most of what is occurring is simple profiteering and passing an item around from one seller to be sold on to another seller, excluding the genuine buyer who is interested in the product rather than the profit within that product.
If you do bid and win then make sure you pay by paypal, you ca claim back via them if the item is faulty, wrongly advertised etc and paypal invariably side with the buyer. Its not such a good system if you sell though,

Before you bid anything over £20 I'd spend a couple of evenings browsing the E Bay community forums - new to selling/buying etc., it'll give you a feel for what goes on and the probs encountered
 
OP
Bigtallfatbloke

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
http://offer.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=330205855872

this is a current auction. There are several BAD comments on the other biders 'history'.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....m=260203587893&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=016

this auction was ended by the seller and the bid history has been removed. I was first and then another came in and pumped up the price, but when he realised I wasnt playing his game the auction closed
 

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
In the case of the second link, the seller looks legitimate, so I suspect he may just have had a direct offer from someone he knows, and decided that accepting that was was easier than having to ship an amp to someone buying over ebay.

I know nothing about amp sales, so am not sure how many bids you would typically expect to see. But in a lot of auctions there is very little activity until the last few hours or minutes. A good tip is to watch a few similar sales to get an idea of price and the way in which people bid - it will then be easier to spot if something dodgey is going on when you join in the bidding.
 
I just bought a pint mug on e bay celebrating 200 years of brewing by Courage (Circa 1987) for .99p. It was listed in the collectable mugs area, for tea type, not brewiarna, hence I was the only bidder. ;)
 

bobg

Über Member
As Danny said, the seller looks legit but the buyer has not paid on a few things so you might still be lucky and get a second chance offer if he doesnt pay up again. Theres no sign that the seller has used that buyer before to up the ante in other sales in the sellers history. I'd post a message on the "new to buying" discussion board listing your concerns, there's some really helpful people on there who will analyse the transaction to the nth degree.
My tip for the future for what its worth would be bid in the last 5 seconds and bid the max you are prepared to pay. I use auctionstealer if its a 4am job but even with the £5 a months sub you still dont get really last minute bids in. If you're blood pressure can stand it then open 2 windows on the screen one with the time left which you need to continually refresh with you f5 button and one with your max bid already in just leaving you the need to click once to "cornfirm.... all that with one eye on your PC's clock ( download T clock exe) set synchronised to E Bays one and running down in seconds... I just love it!;)
 
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