What should EBAY do to Stop Shelling.

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My definition of "Shelling" is where a vendor, using a second id or a friends' id, makes a bid deliberately to raise the price level, with no intention of completin a bid. 

As an example, the bidding is £10. You decide to raise the bid to £12 but due to lack of time, you place a bid for £20. The bid level moves to £12. The "Sheller" places a bid for £100 which immediately reveals your maximum bid of £20. The "Sheller" immediately removes his bid. The "Sheller" then increases his bid to £20. As you bid £20 first, you are the winner and there is no liability on the "Sheller". It is impossible to say whether there would have been other bids. If no other bids, you would have won the auction for £12.

Ebay's policy (as in almost everything else) is to to nothing - it is just an outcome of Ebay's auction processes. Some Shelling activities are difficult if not impossible to detect. Others are obvious - after the event. Ebay should introduce a new rule. If the buyer has evidence of Shelling, he should be able to make a complaint under the "Anti Shelling" process. Ebay would HAVE TO INVESTIGATE whenever a buyer is faced with a withdrawal bid situation which leaves him at a disadvantage and against which he complains. Ebay have all the information to assess the situation. It is time they started taking responsibility for the service they provide. Assuming agreement that "Shelling" took place, the buyer is offered the cancellation of the bid contract, or a price determined by Ebay assuming no Shelling. Further, the Vendor is suspended for a number of months. If Ebay decides that there was no Shelling Activity, they must give the buyer a written report. All activity on that auction is suspended until the Ebay conclusion. 

Rough justice but 100% better than most other procedures which are designed to protect the Vendor.

Regards    Roger Tiley


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