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Ebay - need some help understanding this


SC Tiger
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I was looking at a few knives on Ebay and when I looked at one in particular I noticed something odd.  Here is the bid history:

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It looks to me like the same person is "bidding up" this item.  Notice how e***m has bid multiple times in a row with no bids between them - often within seconds of each other.  If you want the item for the cheapest price you wouldn't do that I wouldn't think.  So can I take that as an indication that there are shenanigans here?  Or is something else going on?

If the seller is pulling shenanigans I'd rather steer clear, honestly.  I've noticed that none of the ones I'm watching have gone for prices much less than I could buy it new.  I'm not picking Amazon over BladeHQ or Knifecenter.com, to save $12 on an $80+ knife.

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Automatic bidding.  The item is selling for $45 with increments of $1.  You bid $55. The price goes to $46.  Someone else bids $48, so you are then automatically bid to $49.  Somebody bids $55, and since your bid was $55 first, you are put in at $55.  So if you are listed several times, your top bid beat several other lower bids.  

Hawk 

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54 minutes ago, Brown Hawk said:

Automatic bidding.  The item is selling for $45 with increments of $1.  You bid $55. The price goes to $46.  Someone else bids $48, so you are then automatically bid to $49.  Somebody bids $55, and since your bid was $55 first, you are put in at $55.  So if you are listed several times, your top bid beat several other lower bids.  

Hawk 

 

16 minutes ago, c10bonanza said:

Click on the "Show Automatic Bids" link to see the full bidding activity.  It should be more apparent that way.

Yeah - after I posted this I went to that page and hit "Show Automatic Bids" and it cleared it up.

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You need to look at the time stamps of the bids, too - i***j bid $67.80 on Oct 18 at 8:58:47.  That brought the auction to $2.00 from h***e's original bid of $1.00.  e***b and the others are incremental bidders, who bid after i***j's much higher bid, but they only bid slightly above what the price shown is, continuously increasing by a buck or three or five until they reach what they're willing to pay, and each time seeing the price go up above their bid (and probably wondering why, not fully understanding the process).

Doesn't look like shenanigans to me, just annoying people who bid a dollar at a time, drive up the price, then give up.  This is why I nearly always snipe.  Bid early and these twits come along and ratchet things up.  Bid at the last second, and the idiot bid a dollar and thinks he's winning so he stops.  These folks are great if you're selling, but they suck if you're buying.

-Pat

Edited by Cubdriver
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56 minutes ago, Cubdriver said:

You need to look at the time stamps of the bids, too - i***j bid $67.80 on Oct 18 at 8:58:47.  That brought the auction to $2.00 from h***e's original bid of $1.00.  e***b and the others are incremental bidders, who bid after i***j's much higher bid, but they only bid slightly above what the price shown is, continuously increasing by a buck or three or five until they reach what they're willing to pay, and each time seeing the price go up above their bid (and probably wondering why, not fully understanding the process).

Doesn't look like shenanigans to me, just annoying people who bid a dollar at a time, drive up the price, then give up.  This is why I nearly always snipe.  Bid early and these twits come along and ratchet things up.  Bid at the last second, and the idiot bid a dollar and thinks he's winning so he stops.  These folks are great if you're selling, but they suck if you're buying.

-Pat

That's actually what I was thinking, after I figured out the automatic bidding thing.

It would make sense to set a watch on the item and automatic bid it late in the process.  

As to the annoying thing - it is but that's kinda the point of an auction.  The buyer wants to pay as little as possible.

I've been watching some Spyderco and Benchmade knives.  So far one guy got a pretty decent deal I think (Spyderco factory second) and the other paid within $12 of the new price.  That one seemed kinda pointless.

Edited by SC Tiger
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I normally set an alarm on my phone, and try to make my bid (for the max I'm willing to pay) within the last five seconds of the auction.  I either win or don't, but that's the way to get it cheapest.  Even sniping with fifteen seconds to go has given people who are also bidding last minute time to increment their bids multiple times, so it's best to wait till the bitter end.

There are sniping services available, but I've not been inclined to try one.  I still do it the hard way, by hand.  Sometimes I miss auction ends as a result, but I figure that saves me $$ in the grand scheme of things...

-Pat

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