eBay vrs42?

From: Doc Shipley <doc_at_mdrconsult.com>
Date: Sun Feb 13 01:52:03 2005

William Donzelli wrote:

>>How is this any different then if I go with a friend to a restaurant, and
>>we both order Apple Pie for dessert, and they tell us "Sorry, there is
>>only one peice left", and I change my order to Key Lime Pie instead,
>>because I know my friend would really like the Apple Pie.
> A retail store and an auction have wildly different pricing structures,
> obviously.
>>I know it is crappy, and I sympathise with any sellers that loose out,
>>but I still don't get how it is unethical for someone to choose not to
>>bid against a friend, or anyone else that they know really wants
> Both wanted the item. Obviously before the end of the auction, they
> communicate and determine who will try to win it. After the auction, the
> one that declined to bid writes me asking for another identical item (and
> admits to colluding). Is this not an attempt to keep the price low?

   It is, and it's sleazy. IMHO, of course.

   My question, to your side of the fence, is would you be bothered by
the same scenario *without* the request for another unit?

>>Of course, like anything related to ethics or morals, there is no hard
>>black and white rule. It is all always about the situation at hand.
> That is very true, and is one of the reasons colluding and shilling are
> almost impossible to take action against. It is just a fluke that I was
> able to "catch" someone.

  I won an auction recently in which there were two bids. Mine, made a
day before auction end, and the second bid 5 minutes before the end, for
$.50 *less* than my high bid. Raised my winning bid by 400%. What made
the shill obvious was that I usually bid odd numbers - $16.88, $27.92,
etc. In this case my high bid (on a $4.99 starting bid) was $26.86.
The other bid was $26.36.

   I didn't complain, either. It was something I needed, and the best I
could hope for was not having to pay and not getting the item.

> Does anyone remember when Ebay allowed one legal shill per auction? It was
> a feature in the early days, sort of like a "buy-back", but I think many
> people took a dim view to it. I never used it because I feared getting a
> bad reputation as a shill. I am not sure when the feature went away - it
> sort of just faded in obscurity.

   Hallelujah. In the case I just mentioned, I paid $30 for an item
nobody but me wanted, and which the seller had indicated could be bought
for $5. The only reason I bid that high was that I don't trust sniping
tools and I knew I'd be on a plane when it ended. I didn't dream
anybody would bid over $10. I still don't believe the other bid was
made without knowledge of my high bid.

Received on Sun Feb 13 2005 - 01:52:03 GMT

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