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Did ebay Buyer Just Play Some Dirty Pool?
Old 12-27-2015, 10:17 PM   #1
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Did ebay Buyer Just Play Some Dirty Pool?

So, I'm selling something on ebay. Only about 24 hours left before auction end. The auction is over $100. Then I get this email from ebay saying the lead bidder retracted his bid. Reason, was wrong amount entered. He was at an automatic bidding war with another bidder. Now the other bidder is in the lead with the amount of about $24.

Yes, this could have been an honest mistake. But I find the technique of the guy who retracted suspicious. He's in bounds as the auction ends more than 12 hours from now. But seems to me like he may have purposely placed an "incorrect bid" to see the other bidder's hand? That is, playing some dirty pool?
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:50 PM   #2
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What was the amount that the lead bidder had bid? It couldn't have been $100 if the next lower bid is $24.

Bids go up in increments. The high bidder can't see the other bidders bids that are over the increment unless he bumps bids until he is high bidder. Is that what happened?
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:02 PM   #3
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What was the amount that the lead bidder had bid? It couldn't have been $100 if the next lower bid is $24.
The previous lead bidder was bidding at $23. But he had an automatic bid. So, the bidder that did the retraction had bidded around $230.50. That could be an honest mistake. But by him bidding that, the $23 bidder's automatic bids kicked in and they both automatically bidded to reach over $100. Like I said, the $230.50 could be an honest mistake. But what seems suspicious to me is why wait a couple of days to retract instead of immediately. During that time, he could see what others' upper limits are. You'd think the very first thing to do if bidding incorrectly is to retract.

The auction is not back to over $50 due to other interested bidders.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:05 PM   #4
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What was the amount that the lead bidder had bid? It couldn't have been $100 if the next lower bid is $24.

Bids go up in increments. The high bidder can't see the other bidders bids that are over the increment unless he bumps bids until he is high bidder. Is that what happened?
I believe anyone can see others' automatic bids. Thus, one bidder can see what another bidder stopped bidding at, then retract.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:49 PM   #5
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What does similar items go for


If they do go for $100, I would get back with Ebay and say I wanted to start the process over.... IOW, him having his bid at a high price for a few days might have prevented others from bidding on your item.... so a do over should be available...


I did a bid once on an item that had a reserve price... my bid was higher than the reserve and was automatically posted.... I did not want that as I did not think it would go that high... I did take my bid back, but it was within 15 minutes...
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:53 PM   #6
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I don't mind just letting the auction finish as now it's over $50. I think with enough watchers, the end will be close to $100. Just my guess.
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:02 AM   #7
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So this auction seems tainted, watch the 2nd guy come in and bid 101 at the end.

Are you able to stop the auction because it's tainted for free ? if not I would bar that person from bidding just to stop him from winning it (even if it meant a $1 less) Because somebody who does that might claim you never shipped it or the box was empty when he gets it.
Either way the person is likely dishonest.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:46 AM   #8
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As a seller you can block a bidder on E-Bay. I don't recall how to do it, but have always googled it and figured it out. I've blocked several bidders for different reasons.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:02 AM   #9
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So this auction seems tainted, watch the 2nd guy come in and bid 101 at the end.

Are you able to stop the auction because it's tainted for free ? if not I would bar that person from bidding just to stop him from winning it (even if it meant a $1 less) Because somebody who does that might claim you never shipped it or the box was empty when he gets it.
Either way the person is likely dishonest.
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As a seller you can block a bidder on E-Bay. I don't recall how to do it, but have always googled it and figured it out. I've blocked several bidders for different reasons.
Good ideas. That was my very thought too that he'd bid just a bit more and win since he already knows what the other bidder was willing to final bid.

I went ahead and blocked him. Tossed him from the poker table.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:13 AM   #10
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I went ahead and blocked him. Tossed him from the poker table.
Good for you! This will at least prevent you from any possible agony over what he might do.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:16 AM   #11
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Good for you! This will at least prevent you from any possible agony over what he might do.
The irony is that he had all positive reviews. 39 of them. Maybe he did make an honest mistake and just made a bid, then went away for 2 days? Some folks are absent minded that way. Or maybe that's his ruse to try to rig bids in his favor? In either case, I don't want to find out.

Plus, tossing him is being fair to the other bidders.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:24 AM   #12
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I have seen this sort of thing happen before. You cannot be sure if the retracted bid was a mistake or not. It could have been a decimal error. If an Ebayer does this a lot then I believe that Ebay takes action against them. I have retracted a bid error before but only about twice ever. I am not sure that you gain by blocking the questionable bidder. It seems like no one else is going to beat the proxy bid of $100. Blocking the bidder means that he cannot either, and you item will go for less.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:39 AM   #13
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I have seen this sort of thing happen before. You cannot be sure if the retracted bid was a mistake or not. It could have been a decimal error. If an Ebayer does this a lot then I believe that Ebay takes action against them. I have retracted a bid error before but only about twice ever. I am not sure that you gain by blocking the questionable bidder. It seems like no one else is going to beat the proxy bid of $100. Blocking the bidder means that he cannot either, and you item will go for less.
I would permanently block any bidder that retracted a bid. I care more about the time/energy dealing with it than the money I might lose. No way of knowing if it was just a mistake, but past behavior is an indicator of possible future behavior and once would be enough for me.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:46 AM   #14
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This happens all the time. I'm sure some small fraction are true mistakes but most are not.

In general though, i don't think this hurts the final auction price much, if at all. The only time I'd be concerned is if the item didn't have enough demand (in which case I'd list the item as buy it now).

You may also find that the winner bidder decides they bid too much and claim their last bid was a mistake. Also very frequent and there's nothing you can do except re-list.
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:34 AM   #15
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From the info you gave I'd say it's likely that it is an honest mistake. You can also check their history to see if this is a pattern. Bid retractions show up for 6 months in their profile. The details on bid retractions on ebay:

eBay Help : Buyer Guide : Bid : Retracting a Bid
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:40 AM   #16
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For me, the deciding factor to block the bidder is as I look at the history, he waited almost 3 days to retract. Had he retracted say after 5 minutes then no harm no foul. But after 3 days either that's very inattentive or something else.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:01 AM   #17
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Yeah, I can see your point on the delay. Blocking him is definitely a reasonable outcome.

I hope you still get a good price. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:17 PM   #18
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No help for you now, but I always use either a reserve price or a minimum bid to ensure that the item sells for enough to satisfy me. If it sells for more, that is gravy.


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Old 12-29-2015, 09:33 AM   #19
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No help for you now, but I always use either a reserve price or a minimum bid to ensure that the item sells for enough to satisfy me. If it sells for more, that is gravy.


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I usually just put .01 as the starting price with the strategy to get the bidding rolling. One theory is that gets a higher end bid.

My auction ended and I sold the item for about $85. Can't complain.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:08 AM   #20
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I usually just put .01 as the starting price with the strategy to get the bidding rolling. One theory is that gets a higher end bid.



My auction ended and I sold the item for about $85. Can't complain.

Dunno. I have been burned when an item sold for so little that after paying eBay their cut, including on shipping, it cost me.


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