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eBay / aid and abet shill bidding

1 United States Review updated:
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eBay introduces absolute anonymity for (shill) bidders. In Australia, the UK, Ireland and the Philippines, eBay has obscured auction bidding to the point that genuine bidders have got absolutely no chance of detecting and thereby protecting themselves from “shill” bidding (a criminal offense in most civilized countries) by unethical vendors.

Notwithstanding eBay’s statements to the contrary, this application of absolute anonymity (ie, Bidder 1, Bidder 2, etc) by eBay on these sites serves absolutely no purpose other than to deceive consumers by making even any otherwise blatantly obvious shill bidding undetectable; and the same criticism has always been applicable to eBay’s other shill bidders’ facility, “User ID kept private”.

My concern then is not so much with the effectively bidder-specific anonymity (“a***b (n)”) now in use in the US and elsewhere (and which still allows genuine bidders some opportunity to watch for suspicious patterns of bidding on a seller's other auctions) but with the absolute anonymity (“Bidder N”) in use in Australia, the UK, Ireland and the Philippines.

Again, notwithstanding eBay’s various pronouncements about shill bidding being banned on eBay, eBay is now, on these sites, effectively (and now knowingly) “aiding and abetting” such shill bidders to defraud consumers...

For those of you with a longer attention span, a lengthy critical analysis of this matter appears at: I apologize in advance for the length of this linked “rant”. Needless to say eBay would not tolerate it on their discussion forums and I have spent time on eBay’s “naughty chair” for posting links to it.

If you are an unethical shill-bidding seller or a buyer who is not concerned that on the above-mentioned national sites eBay is effectively “aiding and abetting” such shill-bidding sellers to cheat you, read no further.

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  • To
      2nd of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Yes this is a tactic by eBay to maximise the amount of fees they collect. Higher priced auctions = more fees. If the auctions were ended due to shill bidding, they would be losing out on fee revenue.

    I don't use eBay anymore.

  • Ph
      1st of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Shill Bidding on eBay: A Case Study
    For anyone interested, a detailed case study of a classic, blatant shill bidder on eBay, and a comment on eBay’s attitude thereto, at

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