Weird ebay bid history question
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I've got something up on eBay that is ending this afternoon. It was put up as a 7-day auction last week with an opening bid of roughly half it's "street value". The day it went up, it got an opening bid, so the starting value of half was met. Then last Saturday I was shocked to see a minor bidding war between the first bidder and a second bidder. The first bidder has 4 eBay feedback entries. The second bidder has 400+. They go tit for tat off and on all afternoon. By the time they are done, the auction is roughly at what I would expect the piece to sell for, just with another 5 days of auction left to run. So I don't really think about it again, other than to check the rest of my eBay feed once a day. Every day it sits at the same amount. Then yesterday with about 20 hours left on the clock, one more person throws a bid in there. Bumps it up by $50.

This morning I wake up early to discover the guy who threw in that last +$50 bid cancelled his. But then the 400+ feedback guy from the bidding war last Saturday cancelled all his bids as well. Leaving the other bidding war guy with his 4 feedback sitting back at the items original starting price of half, with about 12 hours to go.

Now, my first surprise is that they were able to cancel. Didn't it used to be the case that you couldn't cancel within the last 24 hours, to keep people from totally hosing auctions? I could have sworn that was the way it used to be. Granted it's been a while since I've tried using eBay in an auction format setting. And I know eBay keeps pushing the scales ever further in the

Secondly, it just struck me as odd that BOTH of these guys cancelled their bids within 8 minutes of each other. They both got cold feet at the same time?

Also, the guy with that last +$50 bid put his reason as "entered the wrong amount", which we all know is eBay's get out of bidding excuse. But then the other guy entered "Seller changed item description" as his reasoning. That one is a head scratcher. It's never been updated.

I'm curious if people have seen this behavior before, and if this is terribly common, or there's some kind of new strategy at play. Or maybe it's just crappy happenstance.
I suppose any of these is possible.

FWIW,  there are a ton of "watchers" though that doesn't mean anything anymore. I'm hopeful the real bids will come in during the last couple minutes (seconds) of the auction as the typical snipes, which does sometimes happen. But boy, people are really really flaky. Probably why I stopped using eBay before. I waited just long enough to forget about all the headaches.

I can follow up this afternoon with how this winds up.

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3 hours ago, ESeffinga said:

I've got something up on eBay that is ending this afternoon. It was put up as a 7-day auction last week with an opening bid of roughly half it's "street value". The day it went up, it got an opening bid, so the starting value of half was met. Then last Saturday I was shocked to see a minor bidding war between the first bidder and a second bidder. The first bidder has 4 eBay feedback entries. The second bidder has 400+. They go tit for tat off and on all afternoon. By the time they are done, the auction is roughly at what I would expect the piece to sell for, just with another 5 days of auction left to run. So I don't really think about it again, other than to check the rest of my eBay feed once a day. Every day it sits at the same amount. Then yesterday with about 20 hours left on the clock, one more person throws a bid in there. Bumps it up by $50.

This morning I wake up early to discover the guy who threw in that last +$50 bid cancelled his. But then the 400+ feedback guy from the bidding war last Saturday cancelled all his bids as well. Leaving the other bidding war guy with his 4 feedback sitting back at the items original starting price of half, with about 12 hours to go.

Now, my first surprise is that they were able to cancel. Didn't it used to be the case that you couldn't cancel within the last 24 hours, to keep people from totally hosing auctions? I could have sworn that was the way it used to be. Granted it's been a while since I've tried using eBay in an auction format setting. And I know eBay keeps pushing the scales ever further in the

Secondly, it just struck me as odd that BOTH of these guys cancelled their bids within 8 minutes of each other. They both got cold feet at the same time?

Also, the guy with that last +$50 bid put his reason as "entered the wrong amount", which we all know is eBay's get out of bidding excuse. But then the other guy entered "Seller changed item description" as his reasoning. That one is a head scratcher. It's never been updated.

I'm curious if people have seen this behavior before, and if this is terribly common, or there's some kind of new strategy at play. Or maybe it's just crappy happenstance.
I suppose any of these is possible.

FWIW,  there are a ton of "watchers" though that doesn't mean anything anymore. I'm hopeful the real bids will come in during the last couple minutes (seconds) of the auction as the typical snipes, which does sometimes happen. But boy, people are really really flaky. Probably why I stopped using eBay before. I waited just long enough to forget about all the headaches.

I can follow up this afternoon with how this winds up.

Good luck on that one, E.S, sounds really bizarre.  :wishluck:

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3 hours ago, ESeffinga said:

I've got something up on eBay that is ending this afternoon. It was put up as a 7-day auction last week with an opening bid of roughly half it's "street value". The day it went up, it got an opening bid, so the starting value of half was met. Then last Saturday I was shocked to see a minor bidding war between the first bidder and a second bidder. The first bidder has 4 eBay feedback entries. The second bidder has 400+. They go tit for tat off and on all afternoon. By the time they are done, the auction is roughly at what I would expect the piece to sell for, just with another 5 days of auction left to run. So I don't really think about it again, other than to check the rest of my eBay feed once a day. Every day it sits at the same amount. Then yesterday with about 20 hours left on the clock, one more person throws a bid in there. Bumps it up by $50.

This morning I wake up early to discover the guy who threw in that last +$50 bid cancelled his. But then the 400+ feedback guy from the bidding war last Saturday cancelled all his bids as well. Leaving the other bidding war guy with his 4 feedback sitting back at the items original starting price of half, with about 12 hours to go.

Now, my first surprise is that they were able to cancel. Didn't it used to be the case that you couldn't cancel within the last 24 hours, to keep people from totally hosing auctions? I could have sworn that was the way it used to be. Granted it's been a while since I've tried using eBay in an auction format setting. And I know eBay keeps pushing the scales ever further in the

Secondly, it just struck me as odd that BOTH of these guys cancelled their bids within 8 minutes of each other. They both got cold feet at the same time?

Also, the guy with that last +$50 bid put his reason as "entered the wrong amount", which we all know is eBay's get out of bidding excuse. But then the other guy entered "Seller changed item description" as his reasoning. That one is a head scratcher. It's never been updated.

I'm curious if people have seen this behavior before, and if this is terribly common, or there's some kind of new strategy at play. Or maybe it's just crappy happenstance.
I suppose any of these is possible.

FWIW,  there are a ton of "watchers" though that doesn't mean anything anymore. I'm hopeful the real bids will come in during the last couple minutes (seconds) of the auction as the typical snipes, which does sometimes happen. But boy, people are really really flaky. Probably why I stopped using eBay before. I waited just long enough to forget about all the headaches.

I can follow up this afternoon with how this winds up.

That sounds shady as hell. Like the two (or 3) bidders knew each other and 2 decided to back off. I think you should pull the item entirely (if allowed), and report the behavior. 

 

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Unfortunately if there's less than 12 hours, eBay won't let sellers end an auction.
So I would wager that whoever cancelled their bids knew exactly this, and knew I'd not be able to act if they waited until that exact moment to cancel theirs.

Maybe the scam here is to bid high enough to scare off any bidders, then cancel all bids in the hopes that another party can scoop it up in the remaining 12 hours with less competition? I've already been contacted by a couple of watchers asking why the price dropped so much, and suspicious that I am up to something, or that somehow people are afraid it's a fake. I guess further scaring off potential bidding competition?

Unfortunately I have no way to prove collusion, or even a scam. But it does seem if folks had unrelated bid buddies in other states that ocasionally did this for eachother on high priced items, they could in theory, save themselves hundreds of dollars over time, just being the cancelling party once or twice a year even. Next time they want something, one of their pals plays the role of the cancelling party.

It's like a reverse shill?

OR, maybe the 3rd bidder outbid the "winner" of the 2-person bidding war. So Bidding war guy looks around and buys himself some other high dollar item, or just sees it as relief he isn't going to win anymore, as he's having second thoughts.
BUT then the 3rd bidder backs out, leaving that guy holding the bag, as he's back to high bidder 4 hours later. He gets the congratulations email from eBay, and immediately cancels his as well.

Either way, it's spoon!

I've contacted eBay, but I'm not expecting much. And it still seems to have some interested parties. I'm hopeful that one or two at least will jump in at the last minute. It it does sell at a loss, it'll be my last eBay auction selling experience. It's become too much of a schit-show.

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This seems bizarre.  It sounds like your item had no reserve?  Finding out a reserve is the only reason I could think of as to why someone would bid and withdraw.

Malvin

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Can you share a link to the auction?  I'm watching a few auctions which I thought were yours but they all seem to be BIN ones, so i'm not sure what one has this activity on it.

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It's not a comic art auction, that's probably why you didn't spot it. ;)

The comic art pieces I put up previously are all set up with BIN and taking offers. This one's for a vintage bass, (other hobbies) which is why I didn't just post a link here. I was mostly just curious if anyone's seen such activity. A double cancellation so close to the end? Especially as I was thinking about tossing a couple comic pieces up for straight auctions to test the waters, but now am hesitant.

Though there's new bidding activity again on the bass this morning from fresh faces, and I've had a number of PMs via eBay from would be buyers, so it's possible it could get back up to the $1450 it was at last night, or at least mitigate it going for $750, minus fees... We shall see.

Thanks to the folks that have PM'd me directly offering help and with chit chat about it as well.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed at this stage,
-e.

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4 hours ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

That sounds shady as hell. Like the two (or 3) bidders knew each other and 2 decided to back off.

This would be my guess as well.

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2 hours ago, malvin said:

This seems bizarre.  It sounds like your item had no reserve?  Finding out a reserve is the only reason I could think of as to why someone would bid and withdraw.

Malvin

Can you add a reserve with 12 hours to go? 

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For sure, this looks like a group of people that know each other trying to game the system on your item. They figure they can raise the item past where most people will want it and then drop the price at the end and hope that they can steal it at the end while casting suspicion on the seller all the while. Quite nefarious and I hope they are not successful. I would recommend sharing this perspective with eBay as it would be very easy for them to view bidding history for these IDs and any pattern would emerge immediately. Of course, eBay may not care as it does not help them make any money and might cost man hours. Good luck – anxious to hear how this turns out for you.

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52 minutes ago, JadeGiant said:

For sure, this looks like a group of people that know each other trying to game the system on your item. They figure they can raise the item past where most people will want it and then drop the price at the end and hope that they can steal it at the end while casting suspicion on the seller all the while. Quite nefarious and I hope they are not successful. I would recommend sharing this perspective with eBay as it would be very easy for them to view bidding history for these IDs and any pattern would emerge immediately. Of course, eBay may not care as it does not help them make any money and might cost man hours. Good luck – anxious to hear how this turns out for you.

... or they just figured out that they were each bidding on the same item and then subsequently canceled their bids out so they wouldn't drive each other up.  The opposite of "punishment bids"

 

 

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11 minutes ago, J.Sid said:

... or they just figured out that they were each bidding on the same item and then subsequently canceled their bids out so they wouldn't drive each other up.  The opposite of "punishment bids"

 

 

This is the more likely scenario, IMHO. 

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30 minutes ago, J.Sid said:

... or they just figured out that they were each bidding on the same item and then subsequently canceled their bids out so they wouldn't drive each other up.  The opposite of "punishment bids"

 

 

 

18 minutes ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

This is the more likely scenario, IMHO. 

If that were the case why would they both drop out?  They would talk and one would stay to try to win it and the other would cancel his bids and stay out of it.  I guess if they were being sneaky, they still would agree to have only one of them, both cancel their bids and the one still going for it would be sniping at the end.

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1 hour ago, J.Sid said:

... or they just figured out that they were each bidding on the same item and then subsequently canceled their bids out so they wouldn't drive each other up.  The opposite of "punishment bids"

 

 

All theories are pure speculation and this is entirely possible but, for me, the bid retractions right before they wouldn't be able to retract any longer point to something entirely different in my eyes. This activity doesn't pass the sniff test at all 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Just wanted to say the auction ended, and did better than I was afraid it would. Sold for more than prior to the bid retraction amount, so I can’t complain at all. 

 

As soon as I get a chance, I want to take a look to see if those guys came back to try and bid again. Only thing I know for sure is neither of them won, so...

Edited by ESeffinga

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7 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

Just wanted to say the auction ended, and did better than I was afraid it would. Sold for more than prior to the bid retraction amount, so I can’t complain at all. 

 

As soon as I get a chance, I want to take a look to see if those guys came back to try and bid again. Only thing I know for sure is neither of them won, so...

wait, how will you know if they tried to bid again? your auction ended.

Malvin

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... and yeah, the one bid canceling guy totally tried to come back and scoop it up for cheap. Thankfully others came in with their sniping bids and pushed him well out.

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25 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

... and yeah, the one bid canceling guy totally tried to come back and scoop it up for cheap. Thankfully others came in with their sniping bids and pushed him well out.

ah ok.  You could also have blocked that bidder after the shenanigans, but at least now you have the satisfaction of knowing he was outbid!

malvin

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