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Yeah. I've never bid on a watch before, or many things. I usually just buy it now, but after looking into some watch sellers who sell through auctions, I'm not sure how genuine it is. How often would a seller make fake ebay accounts to boost the price of the watch?

I know it might sound crazy but I saw this
bids.jpg
The few same bidders bidding over and over. And also, some of them bidding over there last previous bid. What's with that? I don't understand it.

What do you guys make of this? Do you think there is some shifty business, or do I just not understand how ebay works...
 

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Always the risk that they did create fake accounts - - feedback one looks dodgy. However, can't really check for that and it's a risk for them too because they don't want to end up with the winning bid themselves, will have to go through the process of relisting, cancelling the sale etc etc. I find Ebay generally arrives at a similar market value based on seeing items that didn't reach their reserves being relisted so not a big deal.
 

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I won't say that it doesn't happen because I'm sure it does, but what I think you see here is that a***6 made a max bid of $195.50 at 12:01:12. The bid price when he made it was probably at $173. Then e****i comes in and bids $178, but that's not good enough, then $185, $190, $195, then finally he exceeds a***6's max with a bid of $198. Then, in the last minute of bidding, h***h jumps in and goes head-to-head with e***i and winds up winning the auction.

The pattern where someone looks like they are just upping their own bid usually means that someone has already made a max bid of say, $200, and that guy is bidding $180, then $185, then $190, etc., trying to find the max bid. I'm not sure, but I think if someone with a max bid tried to increase his max bid, that wouldn't show up in the bidding pattern as a bid against himself.

Also, even with what I'm guessing happened in this auction, that isn't to say that either a***6 or e***i wasn't the seller or the seller's proxy. If anyone was, it most likely would have been a***6 setting a quasi-reserve of $195. It's doubtful that a seller would get into a bidding war with a legit buyer in the last minute of an auction and risk getting stuck with the win unless he/she was really dissatisfied with the selling price.
 

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The few same bidders bidding over and over. And also, some of them bidding over there last previous bid. What's with that? I don't understand it.
Here's what this is about: Bidder e***i made 4 bids together, each of which were lower than an earlier bid from a***6. He made a bid. Not high enough. Bid again. Not high enough, and so on. Then he bid once more, higher than a***6's bid. This is pretty common.

Sometimes a lead bidder will enter several bids at progressively higher levels (they will appear to other bidders to be at the same dollar level; this is done to discourage other bidders by showing that a lead bid is be the lowest of several bids from the lead bidder. There are lots of techniques that bidders use. Some may even work sometimes.

Edit: Ah. It appears that digivandig posted while I was drafting this. Strange when that happens.

Proxies may exist, but this looks to be within the normal bidding pattern for eBay. Also it is very common for bidders to wait for the last possible second and slam in a bid. This is often called "sniping," but it's a fair bidding technique. I've seen one watch go from $800 to over $3000 in the last few seconds.
 

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I'm not sure, but I think if someone with a max bid tried to increase his max bid, that wouldn't show up in the bidding pattern as a bid against himself.
Yes it would. It may show up as two or more bids, all at the same level, bid at (usually slightly) different times. It is intended to show competing bidders that the lead bidder has one or more bids higher than the one that is already in the lead, and hopefully to discourage them.
 

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I don't think it really matters personally. Bid what you think the watch is worth and not a penny more. If you win, great, if not....

Like others have said, if the seller is doing this, they are taking n a certain amount of risk. And, if you suspect a seller is doing this and you don't like it, then don't bid on their item...
 

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Very possible that those are shill bidders set up by the seller. The practice is fairly common especially with some high volume sellers who want to avoid Ebay reserve fees.
Just bid what ever you think the item is worth and let the Ebay proxy bid system work for you.
 

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It happens. And ebay will suspend a seller if it's reported and they can prove it by looking at the IP addresses of the bidders.
 

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I don't think it really matters personally. Bid what you think the watch is worth and not a penny more. If you win, great, if not....
+1. Always remember drinking and ebay do not mix!

I had a buddy in college that got into buying and selling rare Nike Dunk shoes on ebay. Sometimes he'd get competitive and bid to win and pay more than things were worth. He cracked me up!
 

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Whoever first applied the term "winning" to successfully purchasing through an auction was brilliant. Everyone wants to win, right? But, winning an auction just means that you were willing to pay more than anyone else thought the item was worth.

I personally think shill bidding doesn't happen as much as people think. As noted above, a lot of "suspicious" bidding behavior is just the "strategy" (or sheer persistence) of bidders. But, even when when it's actually used, shill bidding really does nothing except duplicate what a reserve on the auction would achieve. You bid what you're willing to pay -- if it's more than the "reserve," you might get the item; if it's not, you won't. Shill bidding only has a real consequence when a bidder gets caught up in "winning" and doesn't let go of an auction even after it gets too expensive.

Quotation marks ftw!
 

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Shill bidding only has a real consequence when a bidder gets caught up in "winning" and doesn't let go of an auction even after it gets too expensive.
Not really. And it's quite a stretch to say a shill bidder gives the same results as having a reserve.

If you are willing to pay more than any other legit bidder, and some shill starts bidding it up on the last day of the auction, you basically end up overpaying for it. You'll pay more than you should have paid had the auction been legit. Even if it's only $20-30.
A seller that has hundreds of listings going on at once, those little $20 shill "fees" would add up to quite an extra profit.

I think shill bidding is more common than you think.
 

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Doesn't look fishy to me. If I see an item that's waaaay to cheap, I may bid $50 more and if I really wanted it, I may reconsider my bid. I threw down bids on several low priced items because the price was just too good to be true and forget about it. I actually won an item or two and was shocked!!! Now if I really want the item, I may test the other bidders by throwing down a bid one day and coming back at a later time to gauge my competition. Besides, who cares...if you want the item, bid what you think is a reasonable price and move on with your life. If you see a $200 item and the bidding has reached $500, laugh at the yahoos that overpriced the item. But trying to understand the science of the Bay is a waste of time IMHO.
 

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I usually use the buy it now option in almost everything on eBay. Most of the time eBay is not the cheapest place to buy watches, most of the times it is usually the various watch sales forums for the used stuff and the large grey market online sellers. Most of the time, I feel that the prices of used watches are higher than then my perceived value.
 

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If you are willing to pay more than any other legit bidder, and some shill starts bidding it up on the last day of the auction, you basically end up overpaying for it. You'll pay more than you should have paid had the auction been legit.
Except that if the auction had "been legit," you would have had to bid that high anyway to overcome the reserve. Whether you are bidding against a shill or the reserve makes no difference to the end result -- you were never going to get the item for cheaper. Only if you chase another bidder and go higher than you originally intended will shill bidding influence your final purchase price.
 

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no offense, but you don't understand how ebay works. forgive my bluntness, but frankly i'm just tired of seeing posts from people who have no idea of how ebay works, and instead of doing their research come on here and inisinuate that every seller, whose items sell for fair prices, are using shill bidders. ugh.
 

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I find Ebay generally arrives at a similar market value based on seeing items that didn't reach their reserves being relisted so not a big deal.
+1
 

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shill bidding is a lot of effort for minimal gain. its not that common. if a shill bid overshoots legit buyers then the seller is stuck with fees for an item that really never sold. to get out of those fees takes a little more effort. all of this is usually avoided with a reserve or ample starting price. that said, shill or no shill, if you WIN then that's what it was worth to you. period. don't be a chump and bid 7 times. be responsible and put in your max bid {once} and walk away. if you overpay it's all on the buyer.
 

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Except that if the auction had "been legit," you would have had to bid that high anyway to overcome the reserve. Whether you are bidding against a shill or the reserve makes no difference to the end result -- you were never going to get the item for cheaper. Only if you chase another bidder and go higher than you originally intended will shill bidding influence your final purchase price.
A reserve price is a fixed amount ! With a shill bidder, there is no telling how much you might be overpaying. Shill bidding prevents you from getting real bargains. Let's say something is worth $200, and for whatever reason, the people bidding on it only want to go up to $130. So your bid of $140 should win it. But then you have some clown playing with shill bids, and you might end up spending $175 for it. You paid more than you should have had to pay, even if you still didn't "overpay" relative to what the item is worth.

And let's not discount the fact that auctions with no reserve always get more bidders. So it's totally advantageous for a dishonest seller to use a no reserve auction, but have a "secret reserve" set through shill bidding. I don't think even sellers that shill bid do it on every auction, but it's there just in case it doesn't look like the item is bidding as high as they hoped/expected.

I have seen shill bidding with a Lotus Esprit on ebay motors.

I really can't believe anyone would act like it's not that big of deal, or that the outcome is exactly the same. You're wrong.
 

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shill bidding is heavily frown upon by EBay, and they can be very strict,
like someone mentioned before - high risk, low reward

does it mean it never happens, probably still does, but I'm hoping it's very rare (though I have my suspect on a few, and I'm pretty sure I'm right)

I also remember being a new buyer on ebay, I usually bid right away, now I mostly snipe,
but there's been a few cases where I bid early to,
1. help me track what I'm bidding on
2. scare tactic
3. not able to snipe at that time
4. just for the fun of it (who doesnt like a bidding war)

but one way to see if the seller has been shill bidding is to see if the seller has relist a number of past sales (same watch, same photos),

there's a good chance a buyer or two cancels the deal (happens to me twice already), but that's not very common
 
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