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Is It Just Me Or Is There Shilling Going On?

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New Member

United States
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Posted 10/15/2020   12:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add 8redfish8888 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've noticed something about several of the big lots for PAVSTAMPS (on eBay), especially ones heavy on China/Taiwan. There seems to be one or two bidders that bid pretty much only with PAVSTAMPS (90-100% of the time in the last 30 days). They start their initial bid about 48 hrs before the auction ends...they have pretty much a max bid about 5-8 times the current winning bid two days out, but they don't do bidding within the last five minutes of the auction.

I'm not saying the seller is actively having people shill for him, but when I see the same one or two bidders pushing up the price but not try to follow through to the end (and thus they have no bid retractions), it makes me wonder.

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Posted 10/15/2020   12:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe so, maybe not. Personally if I have doubts at all I just stay away. Proving it either way is pretty much futile.
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United States
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Posted 10/15/2020   12:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 8redfish8888 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
i won't be bidding again on his items. There was one lot my wife was keen on because she recognize a few stamps that she had as a child growing up in China during the 1980s.
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United States
526 Posts
Posted 10/15/2020   5:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have bought stuff from pavstamps over the last 4-6 months. I must admit - his stuff sells for TOP dollar! I have been outbid most of the time, and on many of those I simply can't understand what the buyer saw. I have been buying and selling (although not recently on the selling) for nearly 50 years, so my experience level is not that of an amateur. I have been happy with the lots I have bought - no hidden/unexpected bombs - but you will pay for them. I cannot rule out shilling - as you, I would not blame pavstamps directly - but he definitely has a following. He photos every stamp, so there should be no mystery as to what you might get - many find that appealing. Also, I have had no problems at all with the service. Still.... I hear you and your skepticism. FWIW, I have not yet been scared off completely. I DO find that I am simply being outbid on everything of his lately.
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Posted 10/15/2020   6:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Tough world out there.
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Posted 10/15/2020   7:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
He has built up a zealous loyal following. They now outdo one another in bidding. No shills necessary.
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United States
169 Posts
Posted 10/15/2020   8:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rich60 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Pete is a stand up guy. He has many enthusiastic followers who bid early and often. He generally has very good stuff and it goes out for a good price. Never had a problem with anything I got from - only regrets on the things that got away.
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Posted 10/16/2020   07:47 am  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The simple answer is pavstamps has a couple nutty bidders. Speaking from experience it happens, occasionally a bidder will come along and behave bizarrely and other than block them there is nothing you can do. My evidence?

I browse Worldwide collections and look at auctions and sorted by "Most Bids" I came across this;




The high bid is $1.25 and there has been 32 bids?? I looked at the bids;





When I first saw it the price was 1c and it had 31 bids. So this bidder has bid against himself 31 time before there are any other bids. This is nuts. Just for fun I bid $1.00 and was automatically outbid by the original bidder.

This is just unexplainable behavior and can't be blamed on the seller.
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United Kingdom
277 Posts
Posted 10/19/2020   04:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Maiden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For me with any eBay purchases (whether it be stamps, cd's whatever), I decide on the maximum that I will pay and stick to it. If I get outbid by shilling, so be it.
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Valued Member
United States
75 Posts
Posted 10/19/2020   06:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add percyjgp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I almost never place a bid before the final 10 seconds. 99.9999% of my bids are in the final 3 seconds. Not worth the effort to allow people to slowly eat away at any of my bids. If I am outbid then it is what it is. I have a price I am willing to pay and bidding last second removes the ability for me to get into bidding wars. Occasionally if I my bid isn't high enough I have a second to click on one of the bid increase buttons, but rarely do I do it. If you haven't done so, then I would recommend reading the article on stampsmarter about shill bidding on eBay and how to detect it.

http://stampsmarter.org/BuyingOnlin...g_Shill.html
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United Kingdom
355 Posts
Posted 10/19/2020   07:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The high bid is $1.25 and there has been 32 bids?? I looked at the bids;





When I first saw it the price was 1c and it had 31 bids. So this bidder has bid against himself 31 time before there are any other bids. This is nuts. Just for fun I bid $1.00 and was automatically outbid by the original bidder.

This is just unexplainable behavior and can't be blamed on the seller.


What you have here is not what you think.

This is a guy who doesnt use snipes, doesnt want to be outbid, but wants to get it at the lowest possible amount.

So he makes multiple bids for the same lot, at ever-increasing increments. Say $1, $3, $5 etc. So as soon as you outbid him, his next bid kicks in.

If you can be bothered you can bid against him all the way up, to see where he stops.

The other advantage of this tactic is that it stops other people from bidding against you -- it puts them off, thinking they have to make 30 bids and pay a lot of money to be in with a shout.

As a seller, I'm not happy to see people use these tactics. I think it works at scaring off other bidders.

Mind you, this is the first time I've seen anyone put down 30+ bids for the same lot -- usually half a dozen seems to do the trick.
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United States
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Posted 10/19/2020   08:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Morning all,

I grew up in rural Indiana in the era of farm estate auctions. One listed a group of old letters. Yep, it took me seven bids ending up around $22 to get the lot.

Now, that was a true auction. By definition the winner of an auction is the last bidder standing. All bidders want something as cheap as they can get it. The winning strategy to achieve this goal depends upon the circumstances.
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Posted 10/19/2020   09:26 am  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What you have here is not what you think.

This is a guy who doesnt use snipes, doesnt want to be outbid, but wants to get it at the lowest possible amount.

So he makes multiple bids for the same lot, at ever-increasing increments. Say $1, $3, $5 etc. So as soon as you outbid him, his next bid kicks in.

If you can be bothered you can bid against him all the way up, to see where he stops.


My point is pavstamps has a bidder who doesn't know how the system works and is behaving irrationally. The bidder in this case can achieve exactly the same thing by making 1 bid of $20 as by bidding $1,$2...up to $20.

I have seen this before but usually it is someone bidding in small increments to find the top bid and then bid 1 increment higher, I have never seen anyone make the 1st bid and then bid himself up.

If I'm a bidder and I see this pattern I think I'm up against an amateur. As a seller I don't like to see this pattern because then someone will accuse me of using shill bidding.

As a seller I've seen some strange things including bidders that will start bidding with me and for a while bid only with me 100% of the time and then after a few weeks disappear never to be seen again. pavstamps definitely doesn't need shills and probably doesn't know or care about this guy.

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Forum Dad
USA
1597 Posts
Posted 10/19/2020   09:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobby131313 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
My point is pavstamps has a bidder who doesn't know how the system works and is behaving irrationally. The bidder in this case can achieve exactly the same thing by making 1 bid of $20 as by bidding $1,$2...up to $20.


This bidder absolutely knows what he's doing. We used to sell heavily on eBay years ago and have seen this thousands of times, and it works. It scares away a lot of people from bidding. Instead of bidding $20 they'll place 40 bids on the way to $20.

It scares off other bidders that think it's shill bidding. The number of bids also makes it look like the item is much more desirable and scares off nervous bidders. Bidders can look at it say, "I'd love that for $25 but there's 40 bids on the first day, there's no way I'll win it." There goes another $5 for you.

It's very deliberate, and works.
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Posted 10/19/2020   10:41 am  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll check my auctions for a couple weeks and see. I sort of list them and forget them but right now I have 2 items that exhibit this bidding pattern. 1 items has 13 bids 3 bidders and 1 guy with 8 bids. The other item has 49 bids 8 bidders and 1 guy with 30 bids. I will be shocked if either of these over enthusiastic bidders win but I'll check and report.
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Posted 10/19/2020   11:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add OzwaldO to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have over bid myself, starting with a low bid thinking I will watch at the end and bid, but then realize I won't be around and bid my max. Usually only 1 extra bid!
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