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Shill bidding on online government auctions - anyone experience this?

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posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 12:11 AM
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I've noticed something very odd in the last 4 auctions I bid on. I entered a bid with about 4 days left and I was the highest bidder and the only bidder until the very end of the auction. In all 4 auctions the final amount was always the lowest allowed bid amount under my bid. Ex. If I bid $30 then the minimum bid increment was $1 so the final closing price would have been $29.50 b/c someone bid $29. If my max bid was $500 (with a $5 bid increment) then the closing price was $495. I didn't choose those round numbers, I chose a more odd number, like $37 if I would have wanted to bid $35, so if I thought someone might bid up to $35 I knew I was safe. I always went a little above a nice "even" round number or common middle point.

All the bids always came in within the last 5 mins of the auction. At times I thought I had won the auction for $.99 but someone snuck in a bid at last minute, auction extended for ~10 mins, then closed JUST under my max bid.

All the stuff I bid on was very expensive and I bid WAY less than value, like $30-40 for $1,000+ worth of goods (new price, it's used equipment). The problem is that I would have to pay for a shipping service, so that's really expensive so it isn't worth much more b/c of the high shipping cost - but for someone local, which I have found the majority of bidders often are, or they will drive to pick them up, they can afford to bid a little higher, not the low-ball I often bid.

I just find it super odd that I always find that someone bids to just under my max bid and not over, even though another dollar would have won the auction. I've seen the same thing on other auction sites, by private auction companies selling equipment from businesses (bidspotter and similar sites). It happened more times than I can count on those sites, but I haven't noticed it on Ebay though I use Buy it now for the most part there.

Anyone have experience with government auctions and deal with this as well? It certainly seems like shady business is going on.




posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 12:20 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Its called sniping. There was a 60 minutes or something report on this topic back when ebay started becoming very popular.



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 12:25 AM
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originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Its called sniping. There was a 60 minutes or something report on this topic back when ebay started becoming very popular.


I understand the last minute bidding. That is normal. what is not normal is every bid always being JUST $1 short of mine. What are the chances that someone thinks it worth exactly the same amount I do and not $1 more? To happen 4/4 times, that is what I am questioning.



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 12:49 AM
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I'm not familiar with the bidding process on that site. Is it possible they are bidding the minimum higher bid until they win and then retracting the final bid?



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 12:52 AM
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originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Its called sniping. There was a 60 minutes or something report on this topic back when ebay started becoming very popular.


I think you missed what is happening to him.
Sniping is where someone watches what you bid and at last minute OUTBIDS you (usually my minimum bid amount).
what is happening to him is you put in say max bid of 50 dollars on a widget.
the max bid is SUPPOSED TO BE SECRET.the current bid shown stays at say 25 dollars but suddenly at last minute it is pushed to point where the first person max bid is automatically increased by last minute bidding to where where the MAX amount (in this example 50 dollars) is reached.
As the person said right to but not over his max bid.
Given the max bid is SUPPOSED TO BE SECRET . So when you see the notice like (in ebay) "you have been outbid , the next minimum bid amount is XX" .
then you choose to bid the min or more.
there is no indication what the other person your bidding against max amount is so you have to keep trying until you beat them.
But as this person said at last minute "mysteriously" the other bidder gets the bid up but not beating him.

I have heard years ago (been on ebay a long time) that on ebay people were doing this without knowing what the top max bid was . they get their buddies (or even themselves under another name) to bid up the price on other bidders and if it got to the price up to the minimum that the poster wanted they would stop.
if the scam failed they would either claim the buddy paid or under an alias paid.
but all they were paying was the fees and put it up again.

Ebay stated that scam was against their rules and if discovered the seller would be banned.
I cant say for certain that practice has stopped but I cant claim it hasn't. Just haven't seen it alot and I suspect more due to Ebay has more "store" type sellers than any enforcement or people being more honest.

But in short diggfotroof I would say that is a good possibility that what your thinking is happening is.
to what level cant say.

all you can do is try (for what its worth) to bring it to the attention of the site management.
just have your ducks in a row and as much evidence you can and hope for the best

Scrounger



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:15 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Yes i have noticed odd goings on on E-bay over the years , Lots of people have multiple accounts to push up the bid as was pointed out earlier and i have lost bids in the last 1-2 seconds when i have been watching and the only one to bid on it , you do not even get a chance to react and bid again , i do wonder if the sellers can see the bids or we are playing with AI and some dummys are getting taken in ditto with 20 year old teck etc up for crazy prices 10x the new cost , almost like money laundering , I have been shopping in Japan lately and i am super shocked at the prices over there compared to the uk stores eg 2g cell /mob FLIP phones $3-400 and covers for the cells are 3x what we pay for the same thing .

But the thing that pxxxxxs me off is when you do win something good and cheap and it goes missing in the post
all they have to give is what you paid back . i know these things as i have spent $ 5k in the last 6 months on Ebay



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:16 AM
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I bet half the # sold on Ebay is stolen.



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:31 AM
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I use bit-o-matic...just give in your max. Bid and in the last second of an auction it start overbidding by 50 cents...

Usually works quite well.

Peace



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:31 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I have noticed a lot of weird goings on on E-Bay over the years i have lost count of the number of times 1 second before i punch the air at getting a deal somebody just happens to out bid me where i had been the only bidder on it ,almost like the seller can see what is bid maybe hack ! in and out bid or re-post the item back up again and again as some folk have multiple accounts it seems .

What really gets me is when you win something at a great price and it goes missing in the post funny enough
all they have to give is what you paid instead of what it is worth , in the last 6 months i have had this happen at least 10 times or twats who use it like a cheap loan firm selling then when you are due the item the issue a refund real easy , it beats paying 1000+% on pay day loans .

I have spent over $ 5 k in the last 6 months on Ebay on crap and do wonder if Ai is playing with me sometimes i will wait months to get something then 4 come along at the same time .

But Japan is the place to look for craziness old 2 g Flip phones are $ 3-400 and everything is mega expensive compared to the uk , they must be minted is all i can thing off



Ps i am a Ebay mad funkie



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:32 AM
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originally posted by: operation mindcrime
I use bit-o-matic...just give in your max. Bid and in the last second of an auction it start overbidding by 50 cents...

Usually works quite well.

Peace



So you are the XXXXXXR

Shakes fist and throws some doda your way



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:35 AM
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originally posted by: Lysergic
I bet half the # sold on Ebay is stolen.


I have had phone cases from ebay that must have been shoplifted when i put them in my backpack and went into a store they set the alarms off .

Try explaining that to the security men



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:36 AM
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originally posted by: Jason79
I'm not familiar with the bidding process on that site. Is it possible they are bidding the minimum higher bid until they win and then retracting the final bid?


It seems like that. IDK how they can get so close and not go over and win. I've never seen a retraction method on the site. It isn't just the site I mentioned, it is mainly on the site that sells government liquidation stuff.



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 01:40 AM
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originally posted by: scrounger

originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Its called sniping. There was a 60 minutes or something report on this topic back when ebay started becoming very popular.


I think you missed what is happening to him.
Sniping is where someone watches what you bid and at last minute OUTBIDS you (usually my minimum bid amount).
what is happening to him is you put in say max bid of 50 dollars on a widget.
the max bid is SUPPOSED TO BE SECRET.the current bid shown stays at say 25 dollars but suddenly at last minute it is pushed to point where the first person max bid is automatically increased by last minute bidding to where where the MAX amount (in this example 50 dollars) is reached.
As the person said right to but not over his max bid.
Given the max bid is SUPPOSED TO BE SECRET . So when you see the notice like (in ebay) "you have been outbid , the next minimum bid amount is XX" .
then you choose to bid the min or more.
there is no indication what the other person your bidding against max amount is so you have to keep trying until you beat them.
But as this person said at last minute "mysteriously" the other bidder gets the bid up but not beating him.

I have heard years ago (been on ebay a long time) that on ebay people were doing this without knowing what the top max bid was . they get their buddies (or even themselves under another name) to bid up the price on other bidders and if it got to the price up to the minimum that the poster wanted they would stop.
if the scam failed they would either claim the buddy paid or under an alias paid.
but all they were paying was the fees and put it up again.

Ebay stated that scam was against their rules and if discovered the seller would be banned.
I cant say for certain that practice has stopped but I cant claim it hasn't. Just haven't seen it alot and I suspect more due to Ebay has more "store" type sellers than any enforcement or people being more honest.

But in short diggfotroof I would say that is a good possibility that what your thinking is happening is.
to what level cant say.

all you can do is try (for what its worth) to bring it to the attention of the site management.
just have your ducks in a row and as much evidence you can and hope for the best

Scrounger



You did a good job explaining and you seem to have a good idea of the process. Yes, that is exactly what is happening, it seems like the person who listed the product is bidding on the account just to raise the price to just under my max bid, so it sells for my max bid instead of the low price that it would sell at otherwise.

Thanks for explaining it better!



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 02:03 AM
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You guys want to hear something totally F'd up. I bid (used to) on bidspotter and this one auction house sells stuff in a catagory that I like to buy (equipment of a type). They do an auction every 2 weeks or so, always from a different company that is being sold off (out of business, downsizing, bankruptcy, surplus, etc). The auction house also has a website where they buy and sell equipment within the same catagory, so if you don't find the item at the auction, maybe the auctioneer/site has it for sale.

They usually have 200-800 lots per auction and 2-5 mins between each auction. I'll load 4 browsers (on 4 screens), Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Midori - and I'll set the page to the same auction and list all 240 or 360 items per page. Each browser will show completely different "time left till close", some up to 2-3 hours behind the first browser (IDK which browser is ahead). I'll win an item, open the item page and it is all green background saying "Congradulations you have won the auction", and then watch the other browsers as the price magically jumps up above my high bid on the item I just won. So If I bid $20 on an item that is maybe $400-600 retail/new and it is in good shape, I almost always loose in the end unless I pay upwards of $200+ for it. I bid on the same items all the time and it's always the same until I figured out what was happening. I would reload the page for the winning item and it would show I lost, and eventually the other browsers will show the item as closed/won by someone else.

Here's the kicker. all the items that I've lost like this show up in the inventory of the auctioneer, for sale on their private site. Since the stuff is used and they don't really clean it first, much of it has unique corrosion, marks, scuffs, etc, and just magically the stuff in their inventory has the same perfect identical marks (the SN's are the same in the ones where they show it as well) and it pretty pricey. They had about 800 of the same item (diff brands, but same basic item) that they collected from the auctions and they won't sell them for anywhere near what I should have won them for. often about 5-8x more, if not higher. The auctioneer even gets sloppy at times and uses the same picture from the clearance auction and the same pic on their site.

None of this is b/c of a bidding mistake or reserve bid. I know how to bid, been doing it over 22 years. When i first noticed this it was b/c of a very unique piece of equipment that I saw go through an auction and then show up in their stock and I watched the price climb on the auction myself. I went back through their stock and compared some items with what they sold in old auctions and there is so much that came from them.

IDK if it is illegal for an auctioneer to bid on items w/n the auction they are running (especially when it is electronic and they control it). But they don't ever say they are.

I think they are trying to keep items out of the market so it keeps their value higher, they sell on about 4-5 other sites as well, 3 others are auction sites, the others are just high priced listings.

I wasted 15-20 days biding on these items, researching the items, etc and kept loosing but it was b/c someone was bidding very high, and it was the auctioneer site so they could sell them themselves. Very frustrating. I did win a couple auctions, but not for a good price.



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 02:07 AM
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originally posted by: stonerwilliam

originally posted by: operation mindcrime
I use bit-o-matic...just give in your max. Bid and in the last second of an auction it start overbidding by 50 cents...

Usually works quite well.

Peace



So you are the XXXXXXR

Shakes fist and throws some doda your way


Yep that is me all right!!! You must be XXXXXXX5



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 02:43 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I have noticed that since this tariff war between the USA & China anything with a battery will not get through customs at Hong Kong , 6-7 times i have ordered packs of battery's and none arrive all the big 18650 ones that we do not get here . i just spent $ 500 on a phablet from Japan the last one came smashed to pieces in the mail and this is happening a lot



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 07:15 AM
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The whole on-line bidding thing is filled with so many scams it's unbelievable. BUT, there is one foolproof way around it...

Just pick the max dollar amount you will pay and put it in. If you win, great! If you don't, well, someone (scammer or otherwise) wanted it more than you did. If you really want an auction (like really, really), then you're going to have to plan on bidding against the snipers and bid services. In this case, bid late always; don't put in your max (but something less). Watch the auction carefully, especially ending times. Understand the ending rules (they vary, and they're IMPORTANT). Some have a "15 minute rule". Understand the terms. Have the bid screen open and wait until the last second to put in your max bid. Most snipers and auto bid services are people looking to score a super deal, so their max bids are usually lower. They can't possibly watch all the auctions they bid on, and most are planning on turning a fast buck by reselling if they score. Your trick is to hit above them but below max. Simple, huh?

The on-line auctions like Beezit are the ones that really crack me up! Anyone who would pay to bid is seriously not playing with a full deck, what could go wrong?? These companies could GIVE AWAY the merchandise they're auctioning, they're making their money on idiots willing to pay to bid...screw the cost of the item in the auction! How people can't see this is beyond me.

Here's some hints (these are just the way I roll with auctions, YMMV):

1.) Never bid on a hidden reserve auction (unless it's something like a classic car or several thousand dollar auction).
2.) Bid late (it's like poker)
3.) Avoid auctions which have a ton of early bids. This means there are a lot of people watching and the item will likely sell high.
4.) When you do start bidding, watch what happens. If the bid increments immediately you automatically know there are higher maxes than yours. Next, bid halfway between your current and your max. If it increments above you immediately again you know you're likely to pay top dollar. Wait until about 2 minutes left and bid some logical interval below your max (not far though). At 2-3 seconds left put in your max. You'll either win, or you'll be glad you didn't.

That's my .02



posted on Nov, 20 2018 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: scrounger

I didnt miss the point, but i did avoid getting into specific tools to bid up at the minimum bid until your max. The concept is the same with the exception of automation in one case.



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