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Thread: Ebay gamesmanship

  1. #1
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    Default Ebay gamesmanship

    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?
    Kala KA-S soprano, Grizzly soprano, Lanikai O-8E tenor

  2. #2
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    Default

    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.

    Fluke concert | Honu traditional tenor (TR-KRGT) | Kala KA-Watermelon | Lanikai spruce top 6 string (O-6) | Mainland mahogany concert-slotted headstock (CMM-CGH) | Stagg electric-gibson style (EUK L-SB)

  3. #3
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    Default

    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.

    P.S. That’s not “gamesmanship” ... that’s just foul play.
    KAMAKA HF-3 | KOALOHA KTM-00-R | KANILEA K-1 C SF

  4. #4
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    Default

    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?

  5. #5
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    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.
    Timothy

    "I've fought reality for 35 years and I am happy to say I have finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd

  6. #6
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    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.)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by haolejohn View Post
    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).
    Kala KA-S soprano, Grizzly soprano, Lanikai O-8E tenor

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftovermagic84 View Post
    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
    Mainland CMM-S | Makala MK-S and MK-SD | Unknown Japanese uke from the '70s ("The wreck of the old '77")
    It's pronounced "Blrfl."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by csr5z View Post
    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.

  10. #10
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    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.

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