Possible Shill Bidding?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by vtvick777, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. vtvick777

    vtvick777 Member

    I know there was an article about this a couple weeks ago, but it was closed.

    I have been looking for a few coins on ebay and have come across what looks like possible shill bidding. I was trying to get this 1990-S Lincoln Cent Proof PCGS PR69DCAM, but just missed it. - http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&_trksid=p4340.l2565&rt=nc&item=290749378620 I had noticed that the person who outbid me had a familiar looking feedback number. When I clicked on his bid info I got this - http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI....Name=PageBidderProfileViewBids_Buyer_ViewLink In the last 30 days he has bid about once per item on 1626 items, 90% of which were with the same seller. The seller is lccoins, who I've bought coins from several times in the past and been happy with him, but this looks like shill bidding if I've ever seen it. It looks like he could possibly be starting his auctions at 0.99 and then makes an artificial reserve price with this separate account, to get more bids. I guess it could just be another dealer who puts in a floor on all of his auctions and if they happen to go for that low, he knows he could sell them for more. What do you guys think?

    What I don't understand, is with shill bidding, if you win lets say 25% of your auctions, how does that work for the seller? There's no way a seller would be paying that commission on all of those coins, especially when they are so low in price. Could the seller be cancelling the transactions? Is there a way to see how many canceled transactions a certain seller or buyer has?
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  3. talkcoin

    talkcoin Well-Known Member

    Nice post & good eye... I got no answers for you but I certainly do hope somebody does, as I love rooting a rat out of his hole, whenever possible :D If you get any info you don't want public, PM me and I will help you end these clowns online racket.

  4. PocketJingle

    PocketJingle Prodigy

    I would assume that would be Bid retractions? That profile says there have never been any. Maybe the buyer likes buying from that particular seller? Other wise this doesn't make much sense, they would just be giving Ebay money for nothing if that person is actually winning the item. Although, I guess anything is possibe on Ebay... Could be a failed attempt to beef up prices, then the guy just gets stuck paying fees if he doesn't get the price he wants and gets stuck on his own bid. Seems like a pretty dumb idea if one was to keep that up, they would have lost on to many items. I think this may just be a case of a buyer liking a certain seller. I personally wait til the last second to place any bids at all, so I always only get about 1 or 2 bids in. Usually only 1. I also frequent sellers that I have had good experiences with.
  5. LindeDad

    LindeDad His Walker.

    Sellers can cancel auctions after they close and get their fees back. I have done this several times when the winners email me that they bid on the wrong coin and such. I do not think this is visible to anyone other than eBay and if they lose too much money from one seller I would think they would be putting a stop to it.
    The whole idea of shilling or the house bidding on items is to drive the price up usually they do not want to win the items.
  6. vtvick777

    vtvick777 Member

    It's definitely possible that the buyer just likes buying from that seller, it just looked off to me considering the volume of placed bids, 1600, over a 30 day period.

    I was just looking through some recent auctions to see if there were any other ones that looked odd with that seller, because if you were going to bid artificially, I'm sure you would spread it out so it wouldn't be too obvious, and found this bidder. http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidderProfile&mode=1&item=290747825655&aid=l***e&eu=1xFROY%2BvHNAAD%2F0OP8h61BQw%2BAUIfe7r&view=BUYER&ssPageName=PageBidderProfileViewBids_Buyer_ViewLink He has around the same bids over 30 days, 1675, 66% activity with that seller, which is still high, but this guy has 49 bid retractions over the last 6 months. Anyways, it doesn't really matter to me, it was really more interesting to me than anything.
  7. rlm's cents

    rlm's cents Numismatist

    You have zero, nil, nada, no evidence of any shill bidding. How many times have you seen Doug say that there is no problem buying from eBay (or anywhere) so long as you trust the seller. You think this buyer might be following his advice? LCcoins is a major trustworthy seller. So the buyer likes this seller. There is no sin in that.

    BTW, eBay has a very effective shill detection system. I doubt seriously many could manage not to get caught. And why would a major seller like LCcoins risk loosing a major chunk of their business?
  8. beef1020

    beef1020 Junior Member

    No offense meant, but given the low price of the item I find shill bidding even less likely. Risking a major ebay account with 77,000+ transactions to shill for a buck or two would be quite risky. That is a lot of work and a lot of risk for very little payoff.
  9. talkcoin

    talkcoin Well-Known Member

    although a buck or two times 77,000+ is no small feat?

  10. ML94539

    ML94539 Senior Member

    i think that seller is a big dealer, probably too much work for low price item for shill bidding.
  11. jloring

    jloring Senior Citizen

    I agree with rlm... I think the buyer in question has found a seller he's comfortable with, buys only PR69DCAM's and sees no reason to shop with any other seller.
  12. talkcoin

    talkcoin Well-Known Member


    in reference to #5 in the above link posted... I'm gonna have to side with the Shilling theory on this one, I mean call me crazy, but 49 bid retractions in 6 months and 5 in the last 30 days with over 65% of his bids on this seller.... ahhhhhh, that sounds more like Shilling than Kurt! Like rim's cents said, there is no clear-cut proof or evidence, but certainly enough of a reasonable doubt to report this to eBay... which I just did.

  13. beef1020

    beef1020 Junior Member

    I thought you were joking, but based on the additional response I guess not. Do you have any idea how much work it would take to shill bid on 77,000 auctions. How many fake accounts would he have to set up to do that without getting caught, 10,000? How long would it take to set those up, with fake email address and fake shipping/billing address, all for a couple bucks!!!

    He went back through and cherrypicked one other buyer who is the smallest bit suspicious. How about the hundreds of other buyers who have multiple purchases from this seller without any bid retractions. Seriously, you are implying this guy has shill bidders basically because he has some loyal customers. So, do a good job and make a lot of happy repeat customers, and then he has to watch out for the shill police.
  14. vtvick777

    vtvick777 Member

    Thinking about it, I agree with you guys. It would be too much work to make too little money. I know many of the big sellers have very loyal customer bases that would be making multiple purchases. Again, I wasn't concerned about it, just mildly interested after that certain bidding experience, which, looking back, the other buyer was just probably interested in what I am.
  15. c10ck3r

    c10ck3r Member

    Re: the OP, I don't see this as a shill. I don't have any "friends" on eBay per se, but there are certain buyers I am more comfortable with due to their ratings and possible B&M stores.
    I've probably put in 300 bids with one dealer in particular, which, I'm sure, revved up his prices, but I bid in an attempt to get silver below spot, not raise prices...ya just gotta factor in fair market value of the items and the potential for the buyer to profit from even a small percentage of the purchases.
  16. talkcoin

    talkcoin Well-Known Member

    ...you make some valid points and are probably right... I'm entitled to my opinion, same as you are entitled to yours. I wasn't implying but rather sharing my thoughts on the situation. Obviously with 77,000+ positive feedback score, the seller is a success and probably has tons of repeat customers who love his store and business practices. Skimming off the top can happen just about anywhere in any situation, and I felt like something was fishy from my point of view and reported it to eBay. I have not slandered anyone in doing so, simply looking out for the buyer community on eBay, in which I am a member of. If I am 100% wrong in doing so, then I don't want to be right, because it made me feel better in reporting it, and to me, that is all that matters.

  17. LindeDad

    LindeDad His Walker.

    I will say that at one time I probably bid on at least 500 of that sellers auctions and got maybe 25 coins out of those bids. But he has been a good source of modern proof coins for years and has excellent service. One of the few that has not yet converted most of his sales to fixed price listings.
  18. PocketJingle

    PocketJingle Prodigy

    The more I look at this the more I am convinced this is completely legit. Looking at everything as a whole, the seller is a selling machine on EBay, and has a big reputation, easily too big to lose on a nickel and dime scam. As we are all aware, buying from EBay turns into a "favorite sellers" type thing due to built comfort with sellers. Add on top that this seller has multiple repeat buyers, and the items in question are fairly low in value. Which again helps explain the single bids, and frequent bids, since they are low in cost. I'm sure the complaint sent to eBay will be looked into, and found that all is legit, which will in no way hurt anyone. Just goes to show you that if you are an honest fair seller on eBay, you will have very loyal customers.
  19. rickmp

    rickmp The other White Meat.

    I just don't see why shill bidding is a problem.
    I enter my max bid and wait. If I win, I've gotten the item for what I feel is a fair price.
    If I lose, cest la vie.
  20. BUncirculated

    BUncirculated Well-Known Member

    All this over a modern proof that sold for $5, and can be found in bargain bins in some places for a $1.

    NFN, but recently I found a couple dozen 90S Lincolns in the local B&M bargain bin for $.75, and I bought them all, and gave them to some YNs.
  21. BUncirculated

    BUncirculated Well-Known Member

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