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csr5z
08-31-2009, 11:09 AM
I'm new to the world of Ebay, but this seems like dirty pool to me.

I'm bidding on a uke, and for the past few days I've been the high bidder. I initially bid (I'll use made-up numbers for simplicity's sake), $25 and entered a maximum bid of $100.

Competitor X has been engaging in strange behavior.

1. First he bids $37.50 Because I have my automatic maximum bid is much higher, the system autmatically puts me at $40.00, so I'm still the high bidder.

2. Next Competitor X bids $500.00. So he's way out in front. But then he withdraws that bid, claiming he mistyped. So I'm back on top with $40.

3. A day later Competitor x bids $350. Again he's out in front. Again he withdraws that bid, claiming he mistyped.

4. Next he bids 102.50. Again he's out in front. Again he withdraws that bid.

5. Next he bids $100. This is the same as my "maximum bid," but since I entered my bid first, I'm ahead. Now he knows my maximum bid.

This behavior is mystifying to me. If he wants the uke, he could have kept his bid at 102.50 and been in the lead. Is it possible he was just trying to figure out my maximum, to force me to pay it? Because of his weird bidding, now, if I win, I will end up paying $100 for a uke that I could have gotten for $40. Perhaps the guy who is selling it is trying to nudge up the price without running the risk of winning the auction for his own instrument?

Like I said, I am new to ebay, so maybe this is normal. But it seem odd. Any thoughts?

leftovermagic84
08-31-2009, 11:13 AM
honestly one of the only ways to deal with dishonest bidding is with a bit of underhandedness in turn. Keep the item you want in mind, but never bid until the last 30 seconds or so of an auction. This gives people little or no time to overbid you. It essentially guarantees that everyone's high bid is the maximum they will pay, because there can be no counter-bidding or competition.

the.ronin
08-31-2009, 11:14 AM
WOW. That sounds really sketchy. I’ve actually never knew that you can “withdraw” your bid because of a typo?!

Send in a message saying you need to withdraw your bid because of a typo.

You meant to put in $10 not $100. :D

P.S. That’s not “gamesmanship” ... that’s just foul play.

haolejohn
08-31-2009, 11:14 AM
I know that normally people don't start bidding until last minutes. You could be right and I think there is a report suspicious bidding feature but I'm not sure. I do know that I have put in the wrong price before but not that many times. What kind of uke is it?

Old Bird
08-31-2009, 11:17 AM
Sounds VERY fishy to me. That's worth a report to ebay. As mentioned above, I'm betting it's the seller using a shill to try to find your max and get you to pay it.

AnnaUK
08-31-2009, 11:20 AM
I'd see if you can report it. Might be worth investigating their Resolution Centre.

Surely eBay must realise that it's highly improbable that someone would mis-type three times in the same auction, each time lower than before.

(Anecdotally, I recently had to report a highly suspicious eBayer, and eBay HQ were great about it. They sorted it all out there and then, and even gave me £20 to say sorry, despite the fact is wasn't their fault, but dodgy dealings by a trader.)

csr5z
08-31-2009, 11:21 AM
I know that normally people don't start bidding until last minutes. You could be right and I think there is a report suspicious bidding feature but I'm not sure. I do know that I have put in the wrong price before but not that many times. What kind of uke is it?
It's a nice one, one of the Hawaiian K's. I will probably get outbid in the end anyway, by someone with more cash and more desire, which is perfectly fine. I just don't like the funny business.

(to make matters worse, yesterday I bought, on a buy-it-now basis, the Lanikai listed in my signature from an ebay seller, who just informed me that they don't actually have it in stock. Grrrrrrr).

Blrfl
08-31-2009, 11:26 AM
Keep the item you want in mind, but never bid until the last 30 seconds or so of an auction.

+1. The practice is called "sniping."

There are services like Bidnapper that will do this for you automatically for a small fee, or if you don't mind leaving a program running, those exist as well. I used to use one called JBidwatcher that worked very well.

One thing I will say is that sniping does take the headache out of using eBay. You put in what you want to pay, let it run and come back later to see if you won. I think a lot of people get wrapped up in the auction process and bid way more than they want to.

But yes, there's a lot of unsavory crud that goes on.

--Mark

upskydowncloud
08-31-2009, 11:29 AM
I'm new to the world of Ebay, but this seems like dirty pool to me.

I'm bidding on a uke, and for the past few days I've been the high bidder. I initially bid (I'll use made-up numbers for simplicity's sake), $25 and entered a maximum bid of $100.

Competitor X has been engaging in strange behavior.

1. First he bids $37.50 Because I have my automatic maximum bid is much higher, the system autmatically puts me at $40.00, so I'm still the high bidder.

2. Next Competitor X bids $500.00. So he's way out in front. But then he withdraws that bid, claiming he mistyped. So I'm back on top with $40.

3. A day later Competitor x bids $350. Again he's out in front. Again he withdraws that bid, claiming he mistyped.

4. Next he bids 102.50. Again he's out in front. Again he withdraws that bid.

5. Next he bids $100. This is the same as my "maximum bid," but since I entered my bid first, I'm ahead. Now he knows my maximum bid.

This behavior is mystifying to me. If he wants the uke, he could have kept his bid at 102.50 and been in the lead. Is it possible he was just trying to figure out my maximum, to force me to pay it? Because of his weird bidding, now, if I win, I will end up paying $100 for a uke that I could have gotten for $40. Perhaps the guy who is selling it is trying to nudge up the price without running the risk of winning the auction for his own instrument?

Like I said, I am new to ebay, so maybe this is normal. But it seem odd. Any thoughts?

I've never seen this before but to me it could be the person selling the uke using a different name to try and work out what your highest bid is. I'd report it and cancel your bid, another uke will come along.

spots
08-31-2009, 11:35 AM
Ebay auctions are a gamble. Not everyone who works with them is ethical, and scams have been known to take place.

If you don't feel comfortable with the auction then consider withdrawing your bid.

There are plenty of good uke vendors out there worth supporting. You'll get fair pricing, get good support, and they'll stand behind the transaction.

If you have a concern about the auction then consider sending an email to Ebay's customer service folks requesting to have it investigated. This way there is a record of your concern before the transaction has ended. It may or may not help, but it's always better to raise a question before rather than after the fact.

Most serious bids are placed in the last few minutes of an auction. That is when most of the action takes place. It becomes a game of who can submit the right bid at the last minute.

There is always a risk when you bid early, enter a maximum bid quit a bit higher than your initial bid, and let a computer system take over from there.

Best of luck.

Faricelli
08-31-2009, 11:37 AM
E bay is the devil's sister.

bbycrts
08-31-2009, 11:41 AM
Report it. It looks like either the seller is using a shill account to feel out your max - which is explicitly against eBay rules (and maybe even illegal) - or a different bidder is feeling out your max bid to see if they want to play along - also I'm sure against the rules. Either way, eBay is usually pretty good about the followup on people who are trying to fleece their system.

csr5z
08-31-2009, 03:56 PM
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I sent Ebay a note. In the future I'll be smarter about how I bid, so as not to leave myself so vulnterable to shady behavior.

Hobgoblin Steve
08-31-2009, 04:08 PM
+1. The practice is called "sniping."

There are services like Bidnapper that will do this for you automatically for a small fee, or if you don't mind leaving a program running, those exist as well. I used to use one called JBidwatcher that worked very well.

One thing I will say is that sniping does take the headache out of using eBay. You put in what you want to pay, let it run and come back later to see if you won. I think a lot of people get wrapped up in the auction process and bid way more than they want to.

But yes, there's a lot of unsavory crud that goes on.

--Mark
my trigger finger is so sharp that I dont need no stinkin' programs :P
(I actually didnt know that existed - but in an effort to toot my own horn, Ive gotten my snipe down to getting the bid in with 2 seconds left every auction)

cornfedgroove
08-31-2009, 04:08 PM
E bay is the devil's sister.

Haaahaaa...I'm gonna use that!

wfwhitson
08-31-2009, 05:13 PM
E-bay has a count down timer, in real time. I use it when bidding on Lional trains that I collect. If you are watching an item just start the count down I throw in my last bid 5 to 10 sec. on count down. Works every time.

Here is a link to it.

http://countdown.ebay.com/start_continue.jsp?r=1251774582041

Ronnie Aloha
08-31-2009, 06:01 PM
Let us know what ebay does to rectify the situation. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out whats going on here.

Hosh
08-31-2009, 08:57 PM
Meh, Withdrawal your bid and then snipe it at the end.

What's fair is fair :)

clayton56
08-31-2009, 11:15 PM
also try esnipe.com, I use them all the time and it works great.

Nothing unethical about sniping, I used to do it manually but it's easier to go automatic.

The shenanigans are definitely not kosher, good luck. I have rarely run into anything like that, and have only had two people retract bids. Everyone else has been great.

Ukuleleblues
09-01-2009, 12:05 AM
I'd report it and withdraw. They want to find your high bid. In my expereince E-bay has turned into a very risky place to buy in the last year. I won't buy from a new(low volume) seller, high shippping, overseas sellers, low starting bid, or anyone wih a rating worse than 99% positive. I've been screwed by various combos of that. E-bay HQ did nothing in all cases.

sealcove
09-01-2009, 12:47 AM
+1. The practice is called "sniping."

I find sniping to be the only way to go these days. There seems to be little point to hanging your top bid out days in advance of the auctions close. Even though people cant see it, it gives them too much time to think about it and keep raising their bids. You either lose or pay more than you might have had to. I know it is random and every auction is different, but I have switched to putting my max bid in with less than 15 seconds on the clock.

It is always fun when a few people or more all throw their hand down in the final seconds.

The practice that the OP describes sure sounds like someone fishing to find a max bid. I would report it because Ebay may have a way of looking for this pattern.

Lanark
09-01-2009, 01:02 AM
I bid on a lot of obscure 45's and such. For something I really want I'll often place a marker bid and then do the two window approach as the last few seconds count down. (One window to watch the countdown and the other with my final max bid ready to launch with 6 seconds to go...) I've come to accept that I'll lose out on 75% of what I go for and that it's Ok and really didn't need to spend that money anyway.
If I'm not going to be around I will toss out my max bid and hope for the best. I'm sometimes surprised. (and scored a few good bargains) I'm also at least assured that if somebody else wants something that they're going to have to be willing to put up at least a dollar more than me...

SamWise
09-01-2009, 02:17 AM
Yep. Get sniping software. If your bid isn't in til the last few seconds, nobody can tell what it is. You still win if your bid is the highest, and lose if it isn't, so if you put in the max you're prepared to pay, then you should be golden. I've not come across anyone playing it quite that way before - it's an interesting approach.

rossjr
09-01-2009, 07:58 AM
It really doesn't pay to bid on ebay any other way. First of all you have a better chance of getting the item. Second, by limited the bid field you can reduce the cost of the item. If you start bidding on it as soon as it's posted and others do the same it can really inflate the cost of the item. Determine the price you want to pay and bid it at the end, you'll get if for less if the other bidders have bid less. You can still loose the bid if someone bids high enough though....

leftovermagic84
09-01-2009, 01:33 PM
I'll second Jbidwatcher. It's a great little program, totally free, and very customizable. You can set your snipe at whatever time interval you like, and even engage in multiple snipes, where if you lose one auction, it will engage a snipe in another, while if you win, it will not.

Keep note when sniping though, if you have a slower connection, it might be wiser to snipe closer to 30 seconds than 10, just in case it doesn't go through in time.