Suspicious eBay Behavior Here?

i have been trying to buy an item from a particular seller-I get close (within a dollar or so), but I always lose the auction. later, I find the item has been relisted. i find this strange-this has happened 5 times in the lat month. Is this guy using a shill buyer to increase his prices? Will ebay investigate this?

  1. Maybe.
  2. No.

Snipe the item with your maximum bid 5 seconds before the end of the auction.

Might he have many of the item and is selling them one at a time?

Since this requires speculation, let’s move it to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I will often put in the most I am willing to pay for an item. If the bid increments are $1.00 and my bid is greater than yours it will only outbid you by $1.00

I sell various computer parts on eBay.

As kayaker mentions, it’s likely they were selling one of a few items at a time, to avoid self-competition.

It’s also possible the buyer backed out immediately after the auction closes. Sadly, this is not rare. It’s not worth dealing with an unwilling buyer, so the transaction is canceled and the item goes back up for sale.

Also, the “outbid by a small amount” phenomenon is the way eBay works. eBay makes individual incremental bids up to your maximum. It does not go directly to your max bid.

Let’s say you are the current high bidder on an item, at your maximum bid of $20. Someone enters a max bid of $30 and no one else bids. The auction closes and shows you were outbid by exactly $0.50. This is expected despite the winning buyer being willing to pay $10 more than you. $20.50 was the next bid increment, but you would have needed to enter a $31 max bid to become the high bidder again.

It’s proxy bidding.

Is it the same buyer winning the auctions you’re losing?

If he is selling multiple items of the same type, and you keep missing the max bid by just a short amount, you might try contacting the seller directly and offer to buy one of the items (if he has any more) at your last maximum bid price. Since the seller wouldn’t spend any money on listing fees and it’s a quick and easy sale, they might go for it. The worst that they can say is no.

Isn’t the worst they can do report you to eBay? When I last used eBay contact either way to arrange off-site sales was against their TOS.

(I did not report your post… :wink:

Is it against their TOS even to arrange sales for an item that isn’t even listed?

Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay

Am I understanding this correctly?

ETA: I haven’t used eBay in ages, but remember people fighting about off-site sales and banning.

You probably already know this, but just in case, I found my luck on proxy bidding improved when my max bid was a weird amount, instead of an even dollar figure.

I’m reading it the same way you are.

Thanks for the info. I had no idea that was against their rules.

No way to tell. Bids are anonymous.

I do business on eBay frequently and have experienced similar situations to yours, albeit from the seller’s perspective.

There is no way an eBay seller can prevent a particular member from winning an auction, unless you have been banned from bidding. In that case, you wouldn’t able bid in the first place, so that isn’t the problem. It’s extremely unlikely the seller has any sort of grudge against you.

Take a look at the history of bids if you still can. eBay will acronymize of sort the bidders’ usernames to keep them anonymous, but the acronym will be consistent across all auctions. Check if the winning member is the same for all the auctions. It’s possible the seller is artificially inflating prices by bidding with a second account or with a family/friend’s account. eBay usually hunts these people down, but it does happen. That could be why the sale is never completed.

What’s most probable is that the winning bidder is simply unable to provide payment. I was an idiot once and let a guy a keep bidding on my listings despite him continually making unfulfilled promises pay me on (insert date). eBay won’t let sellers leave negative feedback for buyers, so there is really no way to tell what type of person you’re dealing with. Eventually I just banned the guy after two re-listings and the item sold. However, I always make sure to add to the description something along the lines of “This item has been relisted due to nonpayment from the previous buyer.”

I’d email the seller and get a straight answer. If he or she lists a large amount of items at once, they may not have the time or patience to add a disclaimer or make edits to the listing. And if the seller isn’t an honest one, it’s almost a guarantee that a similar item will pop up sooner or later.

He has no idea how close he got to the winners maximum bid. The winner could have bid a max of $1000, and he still would have been outbid by just $1.

A lot of ebay sellers have their own websites, though, so it’s possible that you could contact them through that and ask if they have any more of whatever item you want.