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Ripped off at Ebay(33 posts)

Ripped off at EbayBreakfast
Jul 17, 2002 7:23 AM
I had the winning bid and my maximum bid was $300 above the current $2000 bid on a bike and I was the lone bidder, then with two minutes left on auction there comes three more bids and I lose the high bid. I then bid $2400 and am quickly outbid. I can't get another bid because auction closes.

My suspicion is that there is a straw bidder trying to avoid selling bike at less than what the seller wants. In fact, the straw bidder must be the seller. He must wait until there's a couple minutes left and then bid a really high amount. I can't imagine a honest bidder making bids in hundreds of dollar amounts at the last minute.

Maybe I'm wrong and there's a buyer who waits and bids once or twice and gets lucky.

Anyway, I feel cheated since Ebay did not allow me to contact seller through the web site way before sale. The page said "unable to send e-mail" or something like that and mentioned something about a problem with e-mail.

Ebay sucks, sellers must cheat on their auctions.
It's called sniping and it's very common.......Dave Hickey
Jul 17, 2002 7:30 AM
Sniping is bidding at the last minute. I've done it many times. I don't understand why you feel cheated. Someone obviously felt the bike was worth more than you were willing to pay.
Agreed, bidding is not a gentleman's game....sprockets2
Jul 17, 2002 7:36 AM
and many people do just what he experienced. It is essentially keeping your cards close to your vest until the last moment and then striking fast and hard. I am surprised that everyone doesn't do it. Join em.
It's called sniping and it's very common.......Breakfast
Jul 17, 2002 7:44 AM
I agree that's a great strategy but what about straw bidding?

How would the seller protect himself if he doesn't get the response he expected and his item is going for less than he's willing to sell it for?

Wouldn't he snipe? Maybe use a different account and bid safely too high?
Seller protection = reserve price (nm)brider
Jul 17, 2002 7:47 AM
move onmr_spin
Jul 17, 2002 7:48 AM
You lost. Get over it.

If you really believe the seller is doing what you say, file a complaint. Ebay will try to figure out if you are right. But even if you are correct, you are not going to win the auction.
Granted snipping is common, but there are dark forces on ebayspyderman
Jul 17, 2002 11:59 PM
A seller has a friend bid up the price. I caught two guys in Texas selling cars like that. Got them banned. Much good that did?? I'm sure they resurfaced under new names...

Beware, eBay is a sellers market. A lot more goes on there than just my example. I'll never buy anything on eBay again.
Can someone say "Conspiracy Theory"? nmMel Erickson
Jul 17, 2002 7:32 AM
re: Ripped off at EbayNo_sprint
Jul 17, 2002 7:35 AM
As Dave says, it's standard procedure. All Ebay action happens in the very last minute. There are services out there that claim to *outwit* that sort of thing thus not allowing you to lose an auction you really want to win.
re: Ripped off at EbayNJRoad
Jul 17, 2002 7:36 AM
Actually the bidder may have done exactly what I often do. If I'm looking for something I won't bother placing a bid until the last minute, why bother? If I'm lucky I'll have placed the bid when the current winning bidder is offline. If you don't have a high speed connection you can be at a disadvantage to someone who does have one.
re: Ripped off at EbayDave Hickey
Jul 17, 2002 7:43 AM
I totally agree. I buy goods weekly on Ebay and I always wait until the last minute. I've found it keeps the prices lower. A high speed connection is a must. When an auction is ready to close, I open two windows with the same auction. The first is to watch the bidding and the time. The second is for my actual bid.
Gee thanks to all... not.Matno
Jul 17, 2002 8:00 AM
I've actually noticed that sniping is dramatically more common with bike parts than other items sold on eBay. Now I know why. Thanks a lot for telling EVERYONE about it. Fortunately, I have a lot of other strategies for eBay as well, but no way am I going to share them publicly... No shooting myself in the foot here!
LOL You're so wrong.No_sprint
Jul 17, 2002 8:08 AM
Sniping litters Ebay and is not more common for bike parts. Check out electronics.....
Jul 17, 2002 3:37 PM
Actually, I think it's more prevalent for items of interest to younger males. Maybe I'm just not that savvy, but I've never seen sniping on the items my wife bids on (furniture, baby toys, etc.). I guess people only snipe cool things. :)
Proxy BiddingScot_Gore
Jul 17, 2002 7:45 AM
What you experienced is called "Sniping", it's not pleasant, but it is part of E-Bay

You are likely familiar with how e-bays proxy bidding works, but maybe not from your post. Your competitor does not have to keep bidding in the last remaining seconds of an auction to stay ahead of you. A bidder could go in 2 minutes from the close and put in some huge max bid and proxy bidding will keep increasing the bid by the minimum bid amount automatically. They only have to bid once, as long as they are prepared pay a little more than the last guy (even if that guy was nuts).

Why wait until the end of an auction? Because one of the other unpleasantrys of e-bay is Proxy minners (my word for them). Bidders whose curiosity drives them to find the last guys proxy cap by bidding up to see if it's here or here or oh, here, then hope the bidder will still go a little more. A last minute bid does give the curious the opportunity to explore. Also, I've never used it, but there is software available that will place last minute bids on your behalf, you could have been bidding against a machine.

I meant "does not give the curious...." (nm)Scot_Gore
Jul 17, 2002 7:50 AM
welcome to Ebaytarwheel
Jul 17, 2002 7:50 AM
That's the way eBay works and there's nothing sinister about it. If you really want to buy something on eBay, the best strategy is to wait until the last possible moment to place your bid. Set a maximum price you are willing to pay, and then submit your bid perhaps 1 minute before the end of the auction. That way, there isn't much time for someone else to bid up the price. If you bid earlier on something, it is almost certain that someone else will come along and outbid you.
sounds typicalgregario
Jul 17, 2002 7:55 AM
you weren't cheated, just outbid by a more experienced E-bayer that wanted it more.
re: Ripped off at EbayBill is in Denver
Jul 17, 2002 7:56 AM
That is exactly how I won the bike I just bought. I always wait till the last 30 seconds and then bid the amount I would pay AT THE MOST. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose..but doing it that way keeps people from driving the price up by nickel and diming the bids. One lightspeed Atlas at half the LBS price please...thank you very much :-)

Almost backfired on me this time though. Current price was 1000 at 1 min left...I bid 1200 at 30 sec...and won it for 1200. A guy bid after me with 1200 as well..but because mine was first I won. Had I waited any longer...he'd be waiting for my bike to arrive instead of me. Win some, lose some...this time it's ALL ME BABY. ;-)

ok except owner biddingDougSloan
Jul 17, 2002 8:14 AM
Everything you describe is ok, except the owner bidding on his own auction. That's prohibited. To do so, though, he's have to set up another account with another credit card and fake like he's another person. If you really believe this happened, comlain to ebay and have them investigate. They might be able to track it down with IP's or something.

Also, I'd never bid unless I could contact the seller.

Bottom line at ebay, or any auction, don't count on "winning." If you get a deal, fine. If not, move on.

an education hereBreakfast
Jul 17, 2002 8:32 AM
Thanks DougSloan,

and everyone else for your input. I am an Ebay novice, and I'm sure there's always away to beat the system or at least the uninitiated bidder.

I have a dial-up modem and didn't have multiple windows open on the web page.

What gets me is I was unable to get the sellers e-mail or even contact him even after I made my first bid, which is why I bid with a day left on the auction. I made that bid hoping it would allow me to ask questions or make an off auction offer. I wanted to wait until the last minute and bid but my desire to e-mail the seller screwed up that strategy and still did not allow contact.

Of course, I can move on now. I do appreciate the new insights into the Ebay world.
an education hereNo_sprint
Jul 17, 2002 8:37 AM
Sorry for your bad experience. An above poster hit it right. Don't expect to win. If you get lucky, great. I don't understand how you could not contact the seller. I've always been contacted as a seller and contacted the seller as a buyer.
One last thing...Breakfast
Jul 17, 2002 8:37 AM
Winning bidder had zero Ebay history and seller had 4 positive feedbacks but only 1 prior sale.
were they all from the same bidder?Alexx
Jul 18, 2002 4:27 PM
If so, you may have found a schill.
an education hereNJRoad
Jul 17, 2002 8:53 AM
Where you sure you were logged in? You can't contact the seller w/o being logged in.

And if you're trying to make off-auction offers, you're the one cheating the system, not the person who outbid you.
Ripped Off?grzy
Jul 17, 2002 8:41 AM
What possession of yours did you lose?

You were trying to get something for less than fair market value and you were frustrated.
Not ripped off, just sore loser.LC
Jul 17, 2002 9:02 AM
If the seller wanted to get more he would have set a higher reserve, not waisting his own time and money bidding on his own auctions. It could happen, but not likely.
This happens in all types of auctions, not ..Pecos
Jul 17, 2002 9:22 AM
just Ebay. No one wants to pay more than they have to, even the ultra rich. Maybe especially the ultra rich. They bid on art and other large ticket items using agents so no one knows their identity, for no other reason then to not tip off the next millionaire friend that they want something who they fear would drive up the price.

Ebay works the same way. That is why the auction runs for a specified time period allowing someone to bid until the last tick of the clock. Shill bidding does happen so this can't be discounted, but just move on to the next bike. I did after not getting a response to some questions about the frame and condition of the bike.
Consider yourself now educatedMootsie
Jul 17, 2002 9:39 AM
Welcome to the real world. Its ebay...that's how it works.
re: Ripped off at EbayPBWatson
Jul 17, 2002 10:04 AM
I use a sniping service, I enter my max bid & it places my bid 2 seconds before auction closes, guaranteed! (nm)dahacker
Jul 17, 2002 12:46 PM
You are luckyfiltersweep
Jul 17, 2002 1:57 PM
You are CRAZY if you feel cheated for losing a $2400- that is two thousand four hundred dollar auction where you cannot even contact the seller!

One reason for waiting until the last minute is the bidder doesn't have to wait a WEEK to see if they won- AND they already have a more realistic idea of the amount they are going to pay.

If indeed you believe the buyer himself, or a co-conspirator was bidding against you, check their auction histories... odds are this hasn't happened only once.

People do bid like crazy on ebay. Sometimes if there is only one bidder, people are suspicious/cautious... once the bidding flurry begins people feel more comfortable since 12 other people "can't be wrong."

I cancelled an auction that had no bids after several days, and I had many emails from people asking me why- apparently they were all just "watching" the auction. I decided that I actually NEEDED the item I had planned to sell.
Watch out for rating bashers too...spyderman
Jul 18, 2002 12:09 AM
These are people who will bash your rating because the item you sold them was a 'different shade of purple than your picture showed...' Or it was rec'd a day late...etc.

There are a lot of rating bashers out there and they really suck!!!