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Shill - what you need to know!

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Shill

 

Shills in auctions

 

Shills, or "potted plants", are frequently employed in auctions. Driving prices up with phony bids, they seek to provoke a bidding war among other participants. Often they are told by the seller precisely how high to bid, as the seller actually pays the price (to himself, of course) if the item does not sell, losing only the auction fees.

 

Shilling is an even larger problem in online auctions, where any user with multiple accounts (and IP addresses) can shill without aid of participants. Many online auction sites employ sophisticated (and usually secret) methods to detect collusion, and a number of people have been sent to jail for online auction fraud in the past decade. See more at: The Hazards of Online Auctions

 

A common shilling tactic is to have two shills. The first is a young child (or some other sympathetic character) who offers a low bid for a moderately-priced item. Other auction participants will be reluctant to outbid him. The second shill is an ill-mannered and usually overweight man who does just that—he outbids the kid, who starts crying. In theory, this should provoke other auction participants to outbid the man solely for the sake of beating him; by bidding well beyond the item's value, he can artificially increase prices.

 

This practice is illegal in virtually all jurisdictions.

 

Shill bidding may be a common practice on eBay. In his book FAKE: Forgery, Lies, & eBay, Kenneth Walton describes how he and his cohorts placed shill bids on hundreds of eBay auctions over the course of a year. While some dishonest sellers consider shill bidding a harmless act, it may violate U.S. federal law. Walton and his cohorts were charged and convicted of fraud by the United States Attorney for their eBay shill bidding. Most eBay sellers seriously frown on the practice and many spend considerable time trying to "out" those among them that use shill bidders as well as working to increase public knowledge of how to protect themselves from said shilling. In general, auctions having many bidders with very low (less than 20 or so) and/or no feedback could be suspect.

 

In the UK in addition to the term plant a person employed to artificially drive up the price in an auction is sometimes referred to as a ringer.

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erewhon2011

a shill is also an accomplice in the gambling game of "shells" whereby three walnut shells are manipulated around a table with a pea under one of the shells. The victims are asked to place a bet on which shell conceals the pea. The shill usually wins a few rounds to encourage the "suckers".

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Griffi

Oh yes - I've seen that in old movies.

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wayjen

I was reading this exact passage today,very interesting info this Shill bidding or Ringer stuff.

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Guest Guest
I was reading this exact passage today,very interesting info this Shill bidding or Ringer stuff.

 

I saw something which resembles exactly that on BOB! May I assume that one can do it on BOB - if your motives is truly; just being kindhearted? If not; the consequences? I'm fairly new on that stingy thingy - sorry!

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jinxster78
A common shilling tactic is to have two shills. The first is a young child (or some other sympathetic character) who offers a low bid for a moderately-priced item. Other auction participants will be reluctant to outbid him. The second shill is an ill-mannered and usually overweight man who does just that—he outbids the kid, who starts crying. In theory, this should provoke other auction participants to outbid the man solely for the sake of beating him; by bidding well beyond the item's value, he can artificially increase prices.

 

So technically they are bidding on behalf of the sympathetic person, since they don't want the item anyway, so they too are shill bidding...

 

If people only bid becuase they don't want someone else (cry baby) to lose the auction, then I belive they should be awarded a medal of stupidity so we as a nation can recognise those people that brought on many laws that were made to protect someone simply because they are stupid.

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Guest Guest

Hi!

 

No, you got it wrong there... No problem.:grin:

 

I in fact said: "I saw somebody bidding without the seller's knowledge about the bidder's motive - just to "make sure" the item for sale is not sold for a low, starting price. (F.e.: one rand...) (Who can be a judge on that really - but let's just assume it - for now OK!?!)

 

Surely, that cannot be detected by the system... Unless a SNC is filed by the seller...

 

If the bidder gets it wrong - still pays for it or, only then tells the seller...

 

I'm having some really fine Cabernet Sauvignon while braaing some steak!

 

 

Cheers for eers now! :smile:

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jinxster78

Through a logged system one can detect these type of things.

 

You go onto BoB you log on as Edmund1000 in JHB, BoB catches some hardware fingerprint (eg, type of CPU, CPU ID, network ID, operating system), opens session on their server and throws you a cookie with a few complex number logs, then stores the info in a database.

 

Then I log on from Mossel Bay and the same setup happens, and the next person and so on.

 

On a schedule, someone from BoB searches to see if any matches are in place.

 

If you log on and give a Hardware fingerprint of 1234567890 then next time you log in and give and fingerprint of 0987654321 (You upgraded your hardware) it is logged and 1234567890 is archived.

 

I log in and gets fingerprint 1234567890 and it looks like the new person is the old person.

 

My profile links your profile, I bid on your auction and viola, shill bidding.

 

If anyone argues this is a fool proof mechanism... consider our country's problem of grey computer imports.

 

Many grey parts have the same ID. This is why they are indeed .. grey. Are we fighting your CPU supplier of shill bidders?

Many different parts create duplicate fingerprints. Apart from the MAC address on your network card, all other hardware fingerprints were designed for a non tracking reason.

 

Consider a rather big company (Microsoft), they were one of the pioneers in this technology and starting with Windows XP and Office XP, product activation was required. They had a lot more tools at their disposal (if you wrote the operating system, you got lotta tools) and yet they deemed this technology as non fool proof. They didnt kill it but if someone phoned in and said I had to reinstall Windows... they pretty much activated without arguing, unless your key was blacklisted since in a world of a large number of possibilities.... fingerprints can be found more than one and commonly.

 

Consider other situations. Some companies create demilitarised zones (DMZ) which allow a specific set of computers to do a specific set of things. It is possible for a employee possibly working in the DMZ to go on leave and another temporary replacement to take his place. This is now detected and voila, allegedly we tracked some bad person.

Consider, Remote Admin.

Consider someone wanting to sabotage someone else. (spooky for a BoB seller with competition)

 

The only time shill bidding is 100% true is if it is all contained in one session at the same time, but unfortunately, if that were your only means to find shill bidders, you would never catch anyone, since when the user logs out the session is ended. So hence, a log and comparison scenario must happen.

 

From my experience, BoB don't do a bad job of tracing "baddies" in general. In fact they do great with what they have, but at the end of the day, if someone says it wasnt a shill bid and BoB says it was, I personally, would believe the someone first.

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Guest Guest

O-yea?!

 

OK... Let us say for now: I am a full-blown BOB-spoofter..., uses an internet cafe, has a Computer and a laptop, uses my son's and daughter's computer and laptop at times, while being on and off the work's computer..., while "helping" friends on their computers too....

 

OK. Trace my sincere acts... For, it clearly failed the fool-proof BOB system. Not my foolproof-motives though...

 

The bottom line?

 

Not ONCE was the seller nor I, the "BOB-buyer" dishonest!

 

Checkmate! :smile:

 

PS Why?! Honesty always cares man!

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jinxster78

Feel for you man, I know how it feels.

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Guest Guest
Feel for you man, I know how it feels.

 

LOVE your reply man!!!! Respect flies out to you too... :wink:!!!

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Pierre_Henri

Thanks for the info

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Dave96

BidorBuy are promoting, condoning and conducting shill bidding themselves! Have a look at the attached screen shot and identify the pattern!

 

Untitled.png13.thumb.png.be7f66b753b0fe7c7bf360f40ff81032.png

 

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sik liquidation centre

Good evening

 

Just a question which might be affecting thousands of users.

Does this mean that no family member may be buying from another or a friend on bidorbuy?

If you as a user,owning a business have any relative which bid on any item on auction,since it sells at a largely discounted price,does this mean that he/she are not permitted to buy from you. Also, staff members which also wishes to buy on auction rather than buy instore due to pricing, aren't they allowed to bid/buy neither?

My understanding is that each person is entitled to have an account .

 

Unfortunately we were accused of shill bidding due to a similar situation.

We sold various graphics cards.

Obviously we cannot simply undersell an item instore at a loss. however NOTHING STOPS US FROM LEGALLY BIDDING ON AN ITEM. 

My wife wanted to buy our oldest son a decent graphics card and therefore on her account bid on an item our Company had listed 4 of. 

Now I am accused of shill bidding and bidorbuy wants a R500 to reinstate our selling status. I was shocked to say the least.

On the graphics card listing in question, my wife managed to get 1 out of 4 cards at a 40% discount. She only needed 1 card and not all 4 as listed. I got charged R503 in commission alone from bidorbuy per graphics card. 

WhY would I be shill bidding to pay a R500 fine if I know I would be charged R503 in commission on that 1 card too?

IT SIMPLY DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!

I SOLD 8 GRAPHICS CARDS LAST NIGHT. WE LOST ABOUT R20 000 on the one lot and R12 000 on the other lot. It is a chance we take by listing items.    wE USED THESE CARDS IN OUR COMPANY FOR MINING BITCOINS FOR A SHORT WHILE AND THEREFORE DIDN'T MIND WHATEVER PRICE THE ITEMS SOLD FOR SINCE WE KNOW ALL TO WELL THAT IT COULD SELL FOR ANYTHING!!  If the price was too low(the reason people claim others shill bid), why would I not then simply just have deleted all bids and delete listings like many sellers does?

Despite all the negativity on the forum around the new fee structures,etc., we still listed many items, since we fully understand bidorbuy's t& c and regularly help others which doesn't know it in full. Why would I then make myself guilty of shill bidding??

 

Kindly assist ourselves and I believe thousands of other users too by clarifying this matter. Are we only permitted 1 account per entire family /friends group/  company?

 

Kind regards

 

Sik Liquidation centre

 

 

 

 

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sik liquidation centre
22 hours ago, sik liquidation centre said:

Good evening

 

Just a question which might be affecting thousands of users.

Does this mean that no family member may be buying from another or a friend on bidorbuy?

If you as a user,owning a business have any relative which bid on any item on auction,since it sells at a largely discounted price,does this mean that he/she are not permitted to buy from you. Also, staff members which also wishes to buy on auction rather than buy instore due to pricing, aren't they allowed to bid/buy neither?

My understanding is that each person is entitled to have an account .

 

Unfortunately we were accused of shill bidding due to a similar situation.

We sold various graphics cards.

Obviously we cannot simply undersell an item instore at a loss. however NOTHING STOPS US FROM LEGALLY BIDDING ON AN ITEM. 

My wife wanted to buy our oldest son a decent graphics card and therefore on her account bid on an item our Company had listed 4 of. 

Now I am accused of shill bidding and bidorbuy wants a R500 to reinstate our selling status. I was shocked to say the least.

On the graphics card listing in question, my wife managed to get 1 out of 4 cards at a 40% discount. She only needed 1 card and not all 4 as listed. I got charged R503 in commission alone from bidorbuy per graphics card. 

WhY would I be shill bidding to pay a R500 fine if I know I would be charged R503 in commission on that 1 card too?

IT SIMPLY DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!

I SOLD 8 GRAPHICS CARDS LAST NIGHT. WE LOST ABOUT R20 000 on the one lot and R12 000 on the other lot. It is a chance we take by listing items.    wE USED THESE CARDS IN OUR COMPANY FOR MINING BITCOINS FOR A SHORT WHILE AND THEREFORE DIDN'T MIND WHATEVER PRICE THE ITEMS SOLD FOR SINCE WE KNOW ALL TO WELL THAT IT COULD SELL FOR ANYTHING!!  If the price was too low(the reason people claim others shill bid), why would I not then simply just have deleted all bids and delete listings like many sellers does?

Despite all the negativity on the forum around the new fee structures,etc., we still listed many items, since we fully understand bidorbuy's t& c and regularly help others which doesn't know it in full. Why would I then make myself guilty of shill bidding??

 

Kindly assist ourselves and I believe thousands of other users too by clarifying this matter. Are we only permitted 1 account per entire family /friends group/  company?

 

Kind regards

 

Sik Liquidation centre

 

 

 

 

Please could bidorbuy respond to this. Today, to my shock, I was told that we contravened this clause:

"10.2. Having family members or friends bid on items to manipulate pricing is not allowed."

How could my wife or me have done this whilst there was 4 graphics cards and she only placed a bid on one unit with her limit before going to bed?

There is no way in which me or the company as a seller could have tried to manipulate bids since there were 4 units. My wife so desperately wanted to buy our oldest son 1 graphics card, just to hear that we are now accused of shill bidding. The remaining 3 cards were in no way manipulated in price since buyers could opt to set limits, place bids,etc. at their own discretion. Our bid increments were R250. This mean that if the 3 remaining buyers bought a card each at R1000, my wife would have paid the same or R250 more for the same card type. In no way can anyone proof ,neither explain to me how in the world one could potentially manipulate a price where there are multiple of one item available and someone bids on 1 unit only.......

To make matters worse, we are now requested to pay an R500 fee to have our selling ability reinstated.

see message:"The account will be required to pay a R500 administration fee to have the account restriction removed."

 

Buyers thank us for affording them the ability to bid on graphics cards at such great prices whilst cards are hard to come by due to thousands of back orders. Furthermore we market bidorbuy, despite all the negative publicity re: the new fee structure, the R1 sellers with the high shipping fees,the sellers whom continuously delete bids if/when there prices are not met,etc. Why would we do all this and try and be dishonest?

Why would we spend well over R1000 000 in purchases on bidorbuy and take 40% losses on items , just to be dishonest?

The simplest thing to have done should we have tried to manipulate the system would have been to simply delete these bids and delete the item/s. We did not do so? Why not? because we are not criminals. We run 3 large businesses in the Western Cape, one of it being one of the  largest liquidation centres nationwide. Would we try and hurt our reputation by being guilty of such a petty thing as Shill bidding?

 

There are numerous families on bidorbuy buying on the same platform. If one gets told not to bid on any family member/friend/relative's goods on auction, does this mean that only 1 account per family are permitted? Does this mean large establishments employees whom want to buy from its company on auction to try and save are no longer allowed to do so?

There are companies on bidorbuy which has hundreds,if not housands of staff members. Is this fair?

Don't individuls have rights to chose?

Kindly see the S.A constitution:

" This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa.  It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom"

"Every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. The practice of a trade, occupation or profession may be regulated by law. "

Are we not allowed to exercise our basic rights? I'M not fighting bidorbuy, but need clarity ,since it feels as if there is not looked into merits like in a trial. 

Why would be contribute millions to our economy, try and build an economy and promote free trade amongst others? 

Why are we tax registered,Bee compliant,Vat compliant, etc?

Because we try and be examples of good citizens!! Unfortunately bidorbuy's accusation of:"manipulate pricing" are non negotiable. We appealed this wrongfull decision, yet bidorbuy won't look into the true merits as explained. Why would you charge a innocent seller, whom just paid R3469 in commission alone on 2 products listed, an additional R500 just to remove an restriction? We pay the new higher fees, we pay huge listing and enhancement fees,despite some buyers not completing, meaning we cannot get refunded our enhancement fees,etc, . Why would a seller then still make him/het guilty of shill bidding?

The impression we are left with is one of our decision is  non negotiable. What are the penalty R500 reinstatement fees used for? Especially if a seller was innocent.

 

Please would a senior member look into this, since I am honestly struggling to get answers from management. 

We as pro bidorbuy members try and promote a good initiative, but feel that we are suddenly merely a number ....

regards

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