Sellers bidding on their own item - (shill bidding). While looking for items to buy I have noticed the trend among some unscrupulous sellers of bidding on their own listing to drive up the price and avoid paying reserve fees. In so doing they are ripping us off by forcing prices up artificially and ripping off ebay for their fees. No one likes to be ripped off so I have written this guide to help you spot this type of activity and how to report it as there are various drop downs that have to be navigated to get to the ebay reporting form and they have not made it easy.
Spotting shill bidding -
Look at the bid history on the item, then check any other listings active by that seller to see if the fake bids are present on those listings. Cross reference this with the feedback history of both the seller and suspected shill bids. Quite often the fake bidding account will be of a low feedback score and made up mainly of feedback from the seller or low value item purchases. Anyway if you suspect you see a pattern, report it. Ebay have technical means of investigating these accounts that do not rely on the registration information provided.
Navigating to the reporting form -
You may try the link at the very top of this page or to do it manually follow the instructions below.
On you’re my ebay page click on the safety centre link (bottom left)
Click on report another problem
Click on buying and finding
Click on problems with a seller or purchase
Click on seller is bidding on their own item with another user id.
Fill in the form, whew, don’t make it easy do they?
Anyway maybe if enough of us bother to report this FRAUDULENT activity then ebay might take it more seriously in future.
Good luck with your ebaying