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Just a warning to people who bid on their own items on Ebay!

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Seller Faces £50k Fine For Sham eBay Bids An eBay seller has become the first person convicted in the UK for making sham bids on his own items on the online auction site. Paul Barrett, 39, from St… Read More
rchan Avatar
7y, 3m agoPosted 7 years, 3 months ago
Seller Faces £50k Fine For Sham eBay Bids
An eBay seller has become the first person convicted in the UK for making sham bids on his own items on the online auction site.

Paul Barrett, 39, from Stanley, Co Durham, could be fined up to £50,000 after pleading guilty to 10 charges under consumer protection laws.

Barrett, a minibus hire firm boss, increased the value of the items he was selling by bidding on them under a separate user name in an attempt to raise prices.

Although Barrett admitted to misleading marketing and unfair trading breaches, he claimed he was not aware he was acting illegally.

North Yorkshire Trading Standards brought the case to eBay's attention after investigating a complaint that Barrett advertised and sold a minibus that had its mileage reduced illegally.

Officers found he was selling goods under the account name 'shanconpaul' and then bidding for them under his other identity, 'paulthebusman'.

Barrett has had his eBay account suspended and now faces a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence.

Vanessa Canzini, a spokesperson for eBay, described Barrett's actions as "morally unacceptable".

She told Sky News: "It is wholly inappropriate that people think it is acceptable or fair to artificially raise the price on an item they're selling online.

"This case shows the very serious penalties people can incur if they attempt to do this."

Sentencing is due to take place at Bradford Crown Court on 21 May.
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rchan Avatar
7y, 3m agoPosted 7 years, 3 months ago
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#2
This goes on more than eBay are aware of.
banned#3
I thought this was common practice - but they shoot themselves in the foot when they actually win the item so what's the point?
#4
Surely you be more sensible and ring a mate to bid on your stuff for you.

Have a few different mates so its not the same all the time. Though that was obvious.
#5
lol always the same, "I didn't know guv sorry"

ignorance of the law is not an excuse, end
#6
the__mayster;8418186
Surely you be more sensible and ring a mate to bid on your stuff for you.

Have a few different mates so its not the same all the time. Though that was obvious.



Is that the voice of experience?:)
#7
Predikuesi
Is that the voice of experience?:)


Yep. :thumbsup:

To be honest, pretty sure i dont know a single person personally who doesnt do it.
#8
JonnyTwoToes
I thought this was common practice - but they shoot themselves in the foot when they actually win the item so what's the point?


How is it shooting themselves in the foot,the whole point is to list low,save fees etc etc therefore some will win the item intentionally rather than sell it for peanuts.

If you've listed at 99p and win it yourself you haven't gained anything granted,but you haven't lost anything either:thumbsup:
#9
the__mayster
Yep. :thumbsup:

To be honest, pretty sure i dont know a single person personally who doesnt do it.


lol how old are you?

"everyone else does it, ner ner ner"

lmao
#10
i think everyone does it
#11
well those that have done this, can never be hating on the banks then..............
#12
Alfonse
well those that have done this, can never be hating on the banks then..............


Why does doing this mean you can't hate the banks?
#13
you would have thought that the wonderful never wrong ebay would have in place a system to monitor whom is bidding on what items and if the same person is constantly bidding for someones items it would be flagged up and investigated. but hey that probably eats into their monopolistic profiteering. minimum of a ip checker, to check location and near locality of bids.
#14
roadie
i think everyone does it


ok please put up your ebay id, i will know not to buy anything from you.
#15
compo
you would have thought that the wonderful never wrong ebay would have in place a system to monitor whom is bidding on what items and if the same person is constantly bidding for someones items it would be flagged up and investigated. but hey that probably eats into their monopolistic profiteering. minimum of a ip checker, to check location and near locality of bids.


Although Ebays stance is they don't allow shill bidding, i doubt they put much effort into stopping it as they make money from it.
#16
dungavel
Why does doing this mean you can't hate the banks?


insider trading and trying to boost prices with fraudulent bids for bigger bonuses, sound familiar...:roll:
#17
dungavel
Why does doing this mean you can't hate the banks?


obviously that they are both greedy and care nothing for anyone else but themselves, a bit like MP'S
#18
Ebay are well aware of the level of shilling going on.
But they don't really care for obvious reasons.
Simple IP checking would eliminate half of it just like that I would imagine - if not more.
#19
Bobef90
Ebay are well aware of the level of shilling going on.
But they don't really care for obvious reasons.
Simple IP checking would eliminate half of it just like that I would imagine - if not more.


IP Checking is not accurate, end
#20
A colleague and I have been researching eBay for a while now (academic research).

We have found plenty of evidence that sellers quickly learn all sorts of tricks to manipulate both fees and final sale price. Most have no awareness that what they are doing is illegal. Many know that it is probably wrong, but feel that it is just 'how things work on eBay'. What we actually see on eBay now is a complex 'dog, cat, mouse game'. eBay tries to dodge increasing regulatory pressures; sellers try to game eBay and or manipulate buyers, eBay tries to change rules to manipulate sellers, and buyers increasingly cry foul, but also find ways to manipulate sellers. Actually what we see are quite a lot of buyer AND seller 'scams'.

One conclusion for me is that eBay is probably best avoided in most cases.

You can read a summary of one paper here:

http://paidia.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/ebay-and-other-consumer-games/
#21
Lol at the usernames he uses. A least could of made it a little less obvious :roll:
#22
As an indicator for possible follow up it is a good starting point, end.
#23
Bobef90
As an indicator for possible follow up it is a good starting point, end.


no its not, wanna test me go for it...........begin
#24
mr.potato_head
Lol at the usernames he uses. A least could of made it a little less obvious :roll:


+ 10
banned#25
Alfonse
IP Checking is not accurate, end


It would be a good starting point though. They could flag two separate accounts coming from the same IP then investigate further, all it would take is a few minutes to go through the two accounts and you'd have definitive proof. Sure people can work round IP addresses by proxies, resetting modem etc but most wouldn't think of it, well until people started getting busted.

As has been mentioned, eBay aren't that fussed really for the obvious reason they get more money from people doing it. I don't do it myself as I don't really sell anyway but it's not like people who bid then get their original bid upped by shill bidding were forced to bid any higher.
#26
Alfonse
insider trading and trying to boost prices with fraudulent bids for bigger bonuses, sound familiar...:roll:


Sounds familiar but why does that mean we can't hate them? Have you never heard of being a hypocrite?
#27
master_chief
It would be a good starting point though. They could flag two separate accounts coming from the same IP then investigate further, all it would take is a few minutes to go through the two accounts and you'd have definitive proof. Sure people can work round IP addresses by proxies, resetting modem etc but most wouldn't think of it, well until people started getting busted.

As has been mentioned, eBay aren't that fussed really for the obvious reason they get more money from people doing it. I don't do it myself as I don't really sell anyway but it's not like people who bid then get their original bid upped by shill bidding were forced to bid any higher.


yeah but I'm on 1 of 2 BGP IP addresses which is behind the national gateways for the largest employer in europe, alot of people ebay at work, now 2 ip addresses and a possible 1.5 million people to choose from......................:whistling:
#28
dungavel
Sounds familiar but why does that mean we can't hate them? Have you never heard of being a hypocrite?


:roll:
banned#29
Alfonse
yeah but I'm on 1 of 2 BGP IP addresses which is behind the national gateways for the largest employer in europe, alot of people ebay at work, now 2 ip addresses and a possible 1.5 million people to choose from......................:whistling:


Yes so you wouldn't be caught as that particular IP address would be excluded. Come on, think!!
#30
master_chief
Yes so you wouldn't be caught as that particular IP address would be excluded. Come on, think!!


Therefore the IP addy is not a good starting point and I'm sure if you were to get 'caught' DLing stuff from the internet and the only evidence they had was an IP Address, you know very well that you would staunchly destroy it credibility as reliable evidence.
banned#31
Alfonse
Therefore the IP addy is not a good starting point and I'm sure if you were to get 'caught' DLing stuff from the internet and the only evidence they had was an IP Address, you know very well that you would staunchly destroy it credibility as reliable evidence.



The use of IP addresses wouldn't be the piece of evidence used to prove someone was shill bidding, it would be a tool to help point a team investigating them in the right direction. The use of IP addresses may never be mentioned again after that.

IP address is a good starting point, you could spew out tons of data on a site like that with certain matching criteria to look for. The shill bid team could come in in a morning and see a spreadsheet with a load of accounts coming from the same ip addresses. Obviously if there are more than say 10 accounts simultaneously logged in from one IP address then ignore them as they're probably coming from a workplace. I'm sure the amount of hits they'd get on two accounts to one IP would be enough to keep a large team going for years.

Obviously all the above assumes they will have narrowed that list down by cross bidding referencing.
#32
master_chief
The use of IP addresses wouldn't be the piece of evidence used to prove someone was shill bidding, it would be a tool to help point a team investigating them in the right direction. The use of IP addresses may never be mentioned again after that.

IP address is a good starting point, you could spew out tons of data on a site like that with certain matching criteria to look for. The shill bid team could come in in a morning and see a spreadsheet with a load of accounts coming from the same ip addresses. Obviously if there are more than say 10 accounts simultaneously logged in from one IP address then ignore them as they're probably coming from a workplace. I'm sure the amount of hits they'd get on two accounts to one IP would be enough to keep a large team going for years.

Obviously all the above assumes they will have narrowed that list down by cross bidding referencing.


its a spread bet system though, hey ho
#33
Surely if someone bids up their own auction, they wouldn't force the buyer to bid any higher than they are prepared to anyway?? It depends if you see ebay as finding a 'true market value' of a product, or what someone is willing to pay for something they want. Either way, whatever someone does, the bidder isn't being forced to bid! Everything I buy on ebay, I only pay what I am willing to pay in the first place. If it goes above what I am happy to pay, I don't bid! Craziness :P
#34
deb8z
How is it shooting themselves in the foot,the whole point is to list low,save fees etc etc therefore some will win the item intentionally rather than sell it for peanuts.

If you've listed at 99p and win it yourself you haven't gained anything granted,but you haven't lost anything either:thumbsup:


Yes you have lost. If you list starting at 99p its free to list - but you will pay Ebay commission on the end sale price even though you won't pay Paypal fees (unless you also pay yourself :) )

Incidentally not everyone is dishonest and bids on their own items. I've been registered since 2002 and have never done that
#35
People leave themselves wide open for it too,i recently had something listed for 99p merely to get rid of it,it was something my ex left behind so rather than bin them i listed them at 99p.

One bidder bid,then a few days later bid again as it was showing 2 bids and the price hadn't increased,if i was that way inclined i could have easily used another ID and bid against him as it was obvious he'd put in more than one bid so i could easily have shilled it.

Bid once,bid late(snipe) and bid your maximum to avoid being shilled.:thumbsup:
#36
simone10
Yes you have lost. If you list starting at 99p its free to list - [COLOR="Red"]but you will pay Ebay commission[/COLOR] on the end sale price even though you won't pay Paypal fees (unless you also pay yourself :) )

Incidentally not everyone is dishonest and bids on their own items. I've been registered since 2002 and have never done that


Surely you can just cancel the transaction or similar, and get a refund on your eBay fees.... I can't see how you would be out of pocket.
#37
simone10
Yes you have lost. If you list starting at 99p its free to list - but you will pay Ebay commission on the end sale price even though you won't pay Paypal fees (unless you also pay yourself :) )

Incidentally not everyone is dishonest and bids on their own items. I've been registered since 2002 and have never done that


Nope,you're incorrect.

The seller cancels the sale against their shilling ID and the fees are re-imbursed,therefore seller has lost nowt:)
#38
midlandscomics
Surely you can just cancel the transaction or similar, and get a refund on your eBay fees.... I can't see how you would be out of pocket.


Exactly:thumbsup:
#39
deb8z
People leave themselves wide open for it too,i recently had something listed for 99p merely to get rid of it,it was something my ex left behind so rather than bin them i listed them at 99p.

One bidder bid,then a few days later bid again as it was showing 2 bids and the price hadn't increased,if i was that way inclined i could have easily used another ID and bid against him as it was obvious he'd put in more than one bid so i could easily have shilled it.

Bid once,bid late(snipe) and bid your maximum to avoid being shilled.:thumbsup:


Tis the only way to ever bid on ebay, most of the time you can spot a shiller anyway, they get so panicked there item is going to go for peanuts as most people snipe, they start nibbling away, retractions are not a great sign either.
#40
Predikuesi
This goes on more than eBay are aware of.


You're completely wrong there matey. At one point you could see everybody you were bidding agianst, ebay changed that so the details are hidden to 'protect people'. ********. They just wanted to make it near impossible to detect shill bidding as they GAIN from it in fees. You don't kill a cow that gives free milk ;-)

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