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Shill - what you need to know!

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Wikipedia.com

 

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Feel for you man, I know how it feels.

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Feel for you man, I know how it feels.

 

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

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