So you've spotted an absolute bargain or something on Ebay that you really want or need. How do you know that the person bidding against you isn't a friend of the seller purposely pushing up you bid? How do you know it isn't the one of the sellers many ID's created solely for the purpose of pushing up the bid on items that would otherwise sell for their starting price?
How annoyed would you be if you were caught out by this little con trick?
Always be wary of:-
A/........ repeat bids from the same person being placed virtually straight after each of yours-especially if the listing is quite new!
B/ ..............brand new/low feedback bidders who seem a little too experienced-they could be the sellers extra id's.
C/............id names that sound a little too similar to the buyer. Yes, these arrogant little fraudsters really do think the genuine bidders are stupid!
D/ ...............2 or more bidders registered within a short time of each other.
E/ ......................bidders who have a few too many transcations with that seller.
F/...............if the bidder has a previous history of bidding on, but not winning the sellers goods (check recent previous auctions in their feedback).
G/ ................if the bidder has previously won an item that was sold as a BUY IT NOW or relisted soon after. Be very suspicious if the so-called non payer doesn't have a negative for that particular NON PAYMENT! Be especially suspicious if they received a postitive feedback for it!
H/............if you are outbid, but get offered a second chance a little too soon. Especially if it seems unlikely that the seller would have more than one item in exactly the same condition.
I/ ..................if both id's have exactly the same or similar areas code.
J/................if the bidder or seller has feedback mainly from unregistered users
K/ ...................fast moving private auctions
L/..............if the "BUYER" leaves feedback imediately or before they could have received the item by post (ie. wins an item on Friday evening and claims to have received it by Sunday)
M/ ..................bidders with an unusually high amount of bid retractions. A popular scam is using 2 or more id's to bid an item up by the minimal amounts to work out the genuine bidders highest bid, then they retract the bid that pushed them into the winning status.
N/..........if you are offered a second chance on an item that didn't meet the reserve, but you weren't the highest bidder.
O/...............a last minute bidder who ups the price very rapidly, but later changes their mind. If they were so deperate to win the item, why didn't they complete the transaction?
P/...............items with attention grabbing titles such as "99p! NO RESERVE! 1 DAY ONLY! LAST ONE LEFT! 100% GENUINE!" If it has been bid up quite early on by two bidders, it may be another sneaky scam to give honest buyers the false imperssion that the bidding is genuine.
Q/...........if once you've deciced to give up on the bidding war and the highest bidder withdraws their bid, especially if that member has a history of bid retractions (see their feedback rating)!
R/...........if the seller has several similar or even identical listings, but only the items with bids on are being bid up
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST.....................NEVER assume that just because an item is listed as a FEATUERD PLUS all bids must be genuine! These listing usually cost around £15.00, so the seller still needs to make their money back and they still have the extra expense of final fees and Paypal to take into cosideration. If the bidding doesn't move up as quickley as they hoped, it's in their best interest to give things a little boost!
Some of these pointers are obvious, some may seem like paranoia. But my best piece of advice is............................IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT! Better to take the chance and lose out on that possible bargain that complete a transaction with a con artist. If they're being dishonest about something as big as this, what else are they up too? But if you really want the item, put your fianl bid in at the absolute maximum that you are willing to pay. Don't be tempted to get into a bidding war for the sake of a few extra pounds or pence, if you do that you're allowing yourself to be scammed.
I just think it's unfortunate that we don't have the option to access of all the id names registered under one person or address. It would be a great way of cutting alot of this out!
Last, but not least ALWAYS INFORM EBAY if you're suspicious. You won't get into trouble and they can check it out. It's happening TOO OFTEN and it needs to be stamped out!
AS YOU ARE ALL AWARE, IN AN ATTEMPT TO PREVENT BIDDERS BEING HARRASSED WITH SPAM EMAILS EBAY (BLESS 'EM) HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO KEEP ALL THEIR IDENTITIES PRIVATE UNTIL FEEDBACK. THIS DOES HOWEVER ASSIST THE SHILL BIDDERS IN THEIR SCAM. SADLY IT GOES TO SHOW THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CON ARTISTS AS LONG AS THERE'S EBAY & NO MATTER WHAT MEASURES ARE TAKEN THERE WILL ALWAYS BE LOOPHOLE FOR THE DISHONEST FEW TO WRIGGLE THROUGH. UNFORTUNATELY IT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD AND IT'S A REAL SHAME. BUT AT LEAST THERE IS AN AWARENESS OF THE TECHNIQUES USED & SOME STEPS TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM DEVIOUS PERSONS. I'M ALL TOO AWARE OF THE "SHILLIES" WHO VOTE 'NO' ON THIS GUIDE BECAUSE THEY DON'T SEE WHAT THEY'RE DOING AS WRONG. BUT IN ALL HONESTY, YOU SHOULD EITHER USE "BUY IT NOW", START THE BIDDING AT THE LOWEST PRICE YOU'RE WILLING TO ACCEPT OR POP A RESERVE ON THE AUCTION IF YOU'RE WORRIED THAT YOU WON'T GET ENOUGH INTEREST IN YOUR AUCTION.
& REMEMBER, HONEST BIDDERS..........IF IN DOUBT, JUST LEAVE IT OUT!