The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Shilling

Posted by Deliverator on January 25th, 2005

Your eBay word of the day is “shilling.” This word most commonly refers to the process of using one or more fake bidders to cause a bidding war and increase the price of an item. It has some other meanings as well. I was monitoring a dozen or so auctions for a Journada 720 and saw one that was ending fairly soon, was reasonably priced and was being sold by a user with over 300 good feedbacks. I thought about placing a bid and a few hours later decided to do so. When I visited the auction page again, I found that the price had almost doubled in the mater of a few hours. I checked the bid history and found that all the bids were placed back and forth in $5 increments at evenly spaced time intervals using user accounts with…..you guessed it…..zero feedback. From the regularity of the bidding intervals and the gobledygook user names, it was very obvious that a program was being used to automate the whole procedure. Another clue was the fact that both accounts showed asian countries for place origination. The seller went out of his way to emphasize that he would not ship outside the US. This gives him a perfect excuse to deny the top bid, if it winds up being one of his dumy accounts and still lets him sell the price inflated item to the highest bidder. I reported the user and as much data as I could gather to eBay, but I am not confident that they will do anything about it.

Caveat Emptor