Bid Tinkering on eBay

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Worker 11811, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I've been trying to buy an enlarger lens from eBay for about a week, now. I notice that there seems to be some "funny stuff" going on and it's pissing me off!

    First, there is this lens (El-Nikkor 80 mm.)
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300584616059&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBUAA:US:1123

    Started out low and ended high but that's not the problem. There seems to be a shill bidder who pushed up the price. He's a new bidder. Never bid on anything else and has a "0" rating. Near the end of the auction, he comes in and bids four times, consecutively, even though he's the highest bidder.

    Second, this auction (El-Nikkor 80 mm.)
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270791641224&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBUAA:US:1123

    Again started out low but, this time, with a high reserve.
    Ends up going for $65. Okay, not so bad. You win some and you lose some.
    But, literally, 24 hours later, the same seller posts the same lens for the same price.

    Okay... Maybe I'm acting a little bit like sour grapes because I didn't get a price as cheap as I want. I would be willing to pay more if the bidding seemed honest but it seems to me like somebody is playing around.

    What's your opinion?
    Do you think somebody's tinkering with the bids or am I really acting like sour grapes?
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe there is fraud there, and the tease of a good price is annoying. But in the long run, if the seller wants to keep holding the lens for ransom, we can't do anything about it. Fight back by ignoring overpriced stuff. Don't give in, bid low.
     
  3. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    Have you reported this to eBay?

    You should. It's expressly forbidden by the rules for eBay auctions.
     
  4. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I doubt anyone's tinkering with these. Maybe on the former but I doubt it. If you compare the latter to the newly listed lens, the seller gives a different serial number. Of the two bidders on the second, one is the person who lost the first lens - is that you?

    Dan
     
  5. HowardDvorin

    HowardDvorin Member

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    I look at ebay like buying a raffle ticket. I much rather buy from a reliable retailer even if the price were higher. I buy through KEH and they a a very reasonable warranty and quick service.

    HowardDvorin
     
  6. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    BTW: Going price for that lens is between $60 and $80. (Plus or minus about a third-stop.) I'm not unwilling to pay the price but, when I think I see irregularity in the bidding I just pull the plug all together.

    My eBay name is rws235 (r***5).
    When I saw the bidding start to go too high on the first one, I knew I wouldn't take it and I didn't want to get trapped by bid tinkering so I went for the second one.
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Shills and other stunts are annoying. Just walk on if you can't/won't play. Like buses, another one will come along soon.
     
  8. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Yeah, that's what I'll do.

    I should have bought this lens a month ago but I have to watch the budget. Now, I kind of "need" it more. I have a Schneider 80 mm but it's old and cloudy and it's not as sharp as it should be. Now I have prints I want to make and I'm feeling a bit antsy to get a better lens.
     
  9. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Pick a number that you are willing to pay, wait until the last ten seconds and then put in the bid. If it is too low, another will be along before too long. If no one else is bidding, the you get it at a knock down price and you don't fall in to a bidding war or get taken for a ride by the shills.

    Scored a 150mm lens for less than £20 including shipping that way - Took a few attempts, but I got one after a couple of months.
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

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    It's easy to succumb to the bidding rush but pointless if the bid snipers have an item in their crosshairs.

    As the frau often tells me, "It's not like you're on dialysis and buying spare parts for a busted machine."
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    What is a shill bidder? Based on how the term as it seems to be defined by his/her actions it seems to be someone who appears to be prepared to pay way over the "market" price. Is that it? If so then there is no defence against a bidder with more money than sense except by walking away.

    Or am I missing something about what a shill bidder gets out of being the successful bidder?

    pentaxuser
     
  12. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Look here:

    http://www.ukauctionhelp.co.uk/shill.php
     
  13. desertrat

    desertrat Subscriber

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    I bought an old, cloudy Schneider 80 on Ebay several years ago. I was able to take it apart and clean the elements. I wasn't able to get quite all the cloudiness out, but the little that remains is only around the edges, and it works fairly well. On mine, almost all the cloudiness came from lubricant grease outgassing haze onto the innermost lens surfaces, next to the stop on either side. You can reach both of them by removing the front cell and opening the iris all the way. I cleaned them with Q-tips moistened with alcohol, and then more Q-tips moistened with Windex.

    That might keep you going until you can score the lens you want.
     
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  15. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    A bidder that is working with the seller, bidding on items simply to raise the price.
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks for that. I am now better educated in the murky bidding world of e-bay. It hardly seems to cover what happened to the OP however. If the tactic results in the seller successfully getting the item for sale then it has failed as a tactic.

    It will work of course if the bidder regards possession of the item as the equivalent of the only spare part for a dialysis machine to use a good analogy from another poster but if the bidder waits until almost the end of the auction and then bids his /her max and by definition his/her fair price bid then surely "shilling" fails.

    I'd have thought this is the only sensible way to bid anyway

    pentaxuser
     
  17. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Never go to any auction "antsy". The only way is to be completely cold-blooded, willing to lose the chance if the price exceeds your limit. Otherwise you should just BIN and move on. Is there shilling? Yea, like there has been for thousands of years.

    I bid my max at about thirty seconds to go and confirm at seven to twelve seconds, depending on network latency. Usually, I get it. But I don't do the 'bay thing often. KEH is nice, the descriptions (in my experience) accurate and they stand behind their sales. I tend to put a bit of a premium on honor, but then, I'm old fashioned.

    You can also do a WTB here on APUG. Lots of people with tons of stuff.
     
  18. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    You've gotten good advice regarding being patient.
    I used to think, "oh man I gotta score this deal now" even though next week a new slew of offerings of the same "rare" item appears.

    It can even take a month or so but you can get what you want at decent prices and even really score some deals if you know how to play the game.

    Best tactics are looking for stuff that closes early sunday mornings (EST) and stuff that closes midweek can get you deals sometimes too. Misspelled items usually attract fewer bids and look for bundled lots.
    A lot of times the item you want is in a lot and not even listed.

    If you need to SELL...make sure your auction closes sunday evening.
     
  19. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Some people like to place multiple bids in order to make the bid count higher and scare off people looking for an easy win. I admit I have used this tactic before in order to make it appear like several people are interested, but all the bids are from me. A simple check of the bid history shows one person and multiple bids, but most people only look at the number of bids, not the number of individuals bidding.

    In the first case, however, it does look like the seller wanted a higher price and made a new account to bid on their own item in order to get it. It failed since they won their own auction and now have to re-list it and try again.
     
  20. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    The best option I found for dealing with Ebay is to use a sniping service, such as Auctionstealer or the like. When you run across an item that interests you, add it to the queue with your max bid and either you will get it or not, no sense worrying about it. In fact, I frequently looked for auctions ending in the middle of the night, or early or late during the week, as bidding tends to end lower on those auctions as well.
     
  21. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I am quite sure those 0 bid bidders are shill bidders. The sell doesn't want to sell the item for a low price but started out with a low price to get people to bid. At the end he (the shill bidder) bid the high price so he either has someone to bid even higher or getting the item back. So you see him relist the item right away. Now ebay can collect the fee on those shill bidding win so they don't do anything about it.
     
  22. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Very wise

    Great advice. There's tons of darkroom on Ebay. I'm sure they'll be another one soon. Also check Craigs List too.
     
  23. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    Biid on a 80 Componon for around $50-$60 not too long ago and won it. Bidding on Ebay is part science and part magic. I tend to avoid overpriced items and always look at the bid history to see who's bidding. My suggestion is to continue watching the auctions, put things you want on your watch list to see what they went for, bid at the very last nanosecond and never, ever go over your budget for the item. It's worked for me. Good luck!
     
  24. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    just wait around, one will always pop up. if its mission critical and you need it right away buy from a large chain that offers used like keh
     
  25. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If you're looking for the best price look for items ending on weekdays. Especially during the day if you're able.
    As has been said, bid the amount you're willing to pay and walk away, Enter the bid either at your convenience, or in the last 10 or 15 seconds.
    Either way, either someone else is willing to pay more, or not. If there are shill bids, it really doesn't matter much, if you've stayed within your set price.

    For items that are likely to gather bids and interest, the bidding in the last 5-10 seconds works well if you're able to monitor, or use a bidding service. Otherwise bid when you can and hope for the best. I've been surprised at having prevailed many times.
     
  26. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Yes, I am acting like sour grapes but I know that you win some and you lose some. I might go to bed pissed off tonight but I'll feel better when I wake up tomorrow. But, in the mean time, I guy can blow off a little steam... can't he? :wink:

    I have a bid in on another lens. Time will tell if I get it. Again... If you win you win. If you lose you lose. Take it as it comes.

    The reason I'm looking for a lens is twofold:
    1) The lens I have is cloudy. It still works but it just doesn't have what it takes, anymore. It's basically showing its age.
    2) Another forum member talked me into getting an EL-Nikkor for my 35 mm negatives and I couldn't be happier.

    I have a few 120 format negatives that I want to make nice prints of, in hopes of selling. The Schneider lens that I have is producing "okay" prints but "okay" just isn't what I want. I want, "Ka-Ching!" :wink:

    I'll play the eBay game for a while longer. I'm sure I'll get a good lens.
    Sometimes, I just get that picture in my head and I know what I need to achieve that. But for this one silly, little thing, I could be making that print already. Y'Know what I mean?

    That still doesn't mean I can't get peeved when somebody tinkers around with the bidding. I don't understand why people think that is the right thing to do.