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Some greedy people out there

I can't understand what the mindset is of people that list items on e-bay for an auction with a low start to actually get bids on an item then buy the item back because evidently they didn't think it was going high enough. I know of at least one person that has been doing that and in the mean time he is padding his own seller rating in doing so. :confused: Then after the items sells it shows back on there with an outragiously high buy it now price. I thought the point of placing things on e-bay was to sell the item on an "auction" format and actually try to sell the item and not trying to find the lonely soul that just has a weak moment and commits to a high price item. When you see items on the auction site for over a half a year it makes me wonder why would one tie up there money in an item when it could be put to better use in other areas. Maybe it is a new format to show people that mindset "See what I have and if you want it you will pay through the nose to get it". It gets frustrating to go to e-bay and see that 1/2 to 2/3rds of the items are on there months on end and nothing changes. A person has to sift through the items and maybe see a "new" item that someone actually wants to sell for market value and get rid of it. Sorry for the rant, but I had to get this off my chest. I hope the best in everyone's quest to find items to add to ones collection hobby. Take care. :wave:

Jim Cobb

New member
Hello Kelly,
I like ebay because you can find things you want in most cases.
And if you have something to sell it will let you know what it is worth not what you think it is worth.
I have listed a lot of things and they were sold rof a lot more than I expected,plesaent surprise.
Like you I often wonder why some times you see the same item listed over and over and I think this seller is not smart enought to know the value of the item is what someone will pay.

Kevin O. Pulver

Email NOT Working
I understand and agree with your frustration. But I think it's a tiny minority of the items and sellers out there. To say that, " 1/2 to 2/3rds of the items are on there months on end and nothing changes" is a gross exaggeration.

I don't like it when someone ends an auction early and then relists it because they figured it wasn't bringing enough. I also don't like it when they have a good healthy starting price, and then brag "NO RESERVE!"
Their high starting price is essentially a "reserve" (low limit) whether it's listed as a "reserve auction" or not.
Thankfully, that only happens to me about 3/4 to 7/8 or the time. ;)

You might feel better if you send the seller a question through ebay.
You could ask them how the fishing is going, and tell them how many months it's been that they haven't got anyone to bite, and recommend they try other bait. etc... Or tell them you'd like 2 or 3 of the item, and ask if they'll cut you a volume discount.:crazy:


If you can sift through the feedback and items sold and resold and PROVE that the person is bidding on and buying their own items then report them to eBay for having multiple accounts.

I've had items on there that I listed over and over until they sold, some of which I lowered the price on a little each time in hopes of getting them sold even if I sold them at a loss, getting a small fraction of what I paid for them, and I've had items that I stuck with my start price and relisted multiple times before the 'right person' finally found them that needed that particular part. I had a set of 1962 Oldsmobile hubcaps that took a Year and One Week to sell, and I've had other items where I started at my minimum and had multiple outragiously high bids on before I even got the confirmation e-mail that they were listed. Best one like that was a 1917 Indian Motorcycle amp gauge I had that I started at $29.95 (just under the $30.00 teir for the next higher listing fee) thinking it might sell of $75.00 ot $80.00 and it had a $200.00 opening bid before I was notified the listing was active. Five mintues later it was over $280.00 then slowed down till closer to the end of the auction. Wish I had a trunk full of them to sell, but sadly I only had the one. It all depends on what the item is and how many people are looking for it at any given time. Some things sell quickly and some take multiple listings

Some of those Long Running auctions are also because the seller has Multiple Identical parts to sell, and they keep relisting over and over until they're all gone. I did that with a couple hundred 6 inch steel wheels that I sold in sets of 4 until I eventually ran out of them.

As far as someone bidding on and buying back their own stuff though... I think they would be coming out on the losing end of that deal, because even with the Free Listings in most catagories now, they are still paying the final selling price fee on everything they buy back, which can be higher than what the listing fee's used to be. The only way to avoid that would be to list themselves as a non paying bidder to get the fee's reversed.


You have to understand sellers and the quantities we purchase, I have some ads that have been running on ebay for 5+ years for the exact same item, I started with a shipping container crammed full of them:uhoh:, as long as a few sell per month I'm fine. There are other items which I sell 1 per week guaranteed, bidding starts a $9.99 every sunday night, yet I add 2 more to inventory every week, a quick glance at ebay title might give the impression that its the exact same item, yet each week its part# and specs change slightly. I have a couple items that although they do not move, plain and simply I have the only ones available, if you want that item pay my price, if you find them for less you better buy them, if not, I might buy them to protect my price:shrug:


Ebay, with all its aggravating problems, has still created a market for buyers and sellers that never existed before. You can find things, with a few mouse clicks, that you could never find in a million years of searching flea markets and classifieds. Is some stuff laughingly overpriced? You bet, but the same problem exists with flea market sellers--some folks just have a much higher regard for their stuff than I do. I don't get upset about it -- I just keep on, keeping on.

I have been known to relist items, multiple times, before they sell. Not everyone searches ebay everyday and if you don't relist an item you can miss an interested buyer.

Ray Rice, buying and selling to support my hobby, in Rifton

Ed Westen

New member
eBay is just a means of getting buyers and sellers together to exchange money for a product. It's not really different from classified ads, stores in a mall, an auction or a flea market in that there are both fair sellers and also people that are impossible to deal with. I'm sure we all have stories about trying to buy or sell in any of those venues that are a study in frustration. Sometimes the seller really needs to sell his item to pay bills and other times he is just trying out a high price on an item that he doesn't really want to sell. Sometimes the seller seems to be playing games for his own amusement and the poor schmuck that's trying to buy would be better off just walking away. I try not to worry about the process and enjoy the good luck of an occasional success.

Craig A

Staff member
I also don't like it when they have a good healthy starting price, and then brag "NO RESERVE!"
Their high starting price is essentially a "reserve" (low limit) whether it's listed as a "reserve auction" or not.
The only way I sell is to set the starting bid at the minimum I will accept.
Everybody knows, straight up, what it will take, there are no incremental bidding games to find out what the reserve is and there are no additional ebay fees for listing a reserve bid auction.


I recently watched an item to see what it went for. It was at around 1200 dollars for a while. With about 3 seconds left it jumped to 2100. I'm still scratching my head on that one. The item was listed previously and didn't meet the reserve, then relisted. Could this have been a buy back as mentioned?


Sounds like 2 snipers came in at the last second, if there had been only 1 it might have gone for $1250:shrug:. One of the items I list on auction format sells every time, I think the lowest has been $18.50 and highest $112, it just depends on how many people want that item that night:shrug:
The thing which annoys me most is sellers who want their item to show up in every search.
Consarn & dang those "gas steam tractor magneto hit & miss engine brass oiler" listings!


New member
Large Items I list on Ebay I list for Top-Dollar or best offer. I do this because they're heavy shipping cost compared to value means I'll have to wait for somebody who's somewhat local to buy it. I'd like to sell it for top-dollar, but I'll accept a reasonable offer. I might have to re-list an item 2-3 times to find a East Coast Buyer for "local pick-up only" items. I often get offers so low they're insulting. I'd like to reply "For that price I wouldn't sell you the sweat off my U know whats" But I just send a cordial decline. When I need to buy something on buy it now or best offer I make a reasonable offer, I would never offer 10% of the asking price. I'm busy and have better things to do than waste my time making offers I know will be declined. It also depends what part of the Country your in. Some Items that are a dime-a -dozen in rural America are rare in the city areas. Any item is worth whatever the market will bare. No more, no less


My Biggest hate are shill bidders i got shill bidded 12 months back on a International fuel tank
Please Explain what you concider a "Shill Bidder".

If you think it's anyone and everyone that places a bid after you, whether it's five minutes after you or in the last two seconds before the auction ends, then everyone that places a bid on something Before You Do, can call you a 'Shill Bidder' for doing the same thing.

Some people bid early and bid often, and some people wait till the last minute. If you got outbid, it's because you didn't bid high enough or didn't want it bad enough to bid higher. If you won the auction but at a higher price, then you still got it for your bid amount, Or Less, depending on how much they ran you up.

There's a pocket knife with the handle in the shape of a locomotive that I've been bidding on for 3 months now. They start all of their auctions at $0.99 and every time they relist a new another one, I place my maximum bid on it. A couple times my bid wasn't enough to ever be the high bidder, and other times I have been the high bidder for 3 or 4 days before someone outbids me. I figure eventually everyone else that's looking at them will have one and then I will get one either at the start price or at or below my maximum bid. I'm in no hurry to get it.

If it was something that rarely if ever showed up, then I would bid higher and higher as long as I had the funds to cover it.

I don't worry about the 'so called' 'shill bidders' that are more likely than not, just someone else that wants the same item I do.

Just bid what it's worth to you and don't worry about it.


Some of the "shill bidders" are what I call "Sharpshooters". They watch an item and wait until the last few minutes of a sale to start bidding. They bid their whoo-hoo's off until the auction closes.
I have watched items and the bid price barely moves for days, or weeks. In the last few minutes, the bid prices goes through the roof. Usually, it's while I'm not by the computer,so I miss out.
Luck of the draw, I guess. :shrug:

Doug Oldenburg

If I can't be by the computer when an item is to end,if I really want an item,I place my very max.bid as late as I can,& let ebay do it automatically. Some times I get it & some times I don't,but at least I tried & it was the Max. that I wanted to pay. If I can be by the computer when it ends I wait until it is WELL under 10 seconds left until it ends & put my max. bid out in 1 shot & it works a lot of the time.If you do it this way there are no re-bids, & if you are bashfull in your bid.......You lose.This method works well but depends on the speed of your internet.I know it would have never worked when I still had dial up internet. :shrug:


I bid on a lot of things I don't win, and it ends up driving the price up, but that doesn't mean I didn't want the item for what I was willing to bid.

Doesn't mean I'm a "Shill Bidder".

Shill bidding is driving up the prices on your own stuff either by having a second account which you aren't supposed to have, or having a friend do the bidding for you. It should be easy to spot a pattern if everything someone sells gets a lot of non-winning bids by the same person. If it happens at random, there is likely No Shill Bidding going on no matter what the other bidder thinks happened when they got run up or out bid.

Even repeat bidders aren't necessarily 'Shills' either as in my previous post with the pocket knife I've been trying to get. It may Look like a pattern to someone, but it's really just me bidding what I feel they are worth until I eventually get one of them.

Thank you for posting that link though.

I already knew their policy, but was directing my question to those that bitch & whine every time they get out bid or have their bid raised by someone else and think everyone else is crooked because they didn't get what they wanted or think they paid too much.

As I've said before, Bid What It's Worth To You and don't worry about it.

And Yes, I know Sniping isn't against the rules either, and my answer is the same there. Bid what you're willing to pay and don't worry about it. You'll either win it at or below your bid, or someone else wanted it worse than you did whether they outbid on the second day of the listing or in the last 2 seconds.


New member
It should be easy to spot a pattern if everything someone sells gets a lot of non-winning bids by the same person.
It would , except ebay now hides the identity of bidders, so; you are unable to spot these shenanigans. Dont you remember all the complaints when eBay made the change to hide ID's? They did not want anyone contacting the value challenged under bidders with offers to sell. Or people exposing fakes & fraud to bidders during auctions. Now there is a wall, hiding the bidders.

BTW, there can be skill bidders at live auctions too.


They hide the identities, but if you repeatedly see something like P**o(34) or t**e(11) or whatever scrambled hidden identity as a bidder on everything someone has listed, they can still be spotted.

Hidden ID's make it nearly impossible to identify who the 'bidder' is, but it's still possible to see a trend with them if you look back through the sellers completed listings. Still hard to prove it's a shill though, as with the case I noted where I have been trying to get a pocket knife for three months now bidding on the sellers new listing for it every week. One of them already was higher than I am willing to go so I didn't bid on it, but I have bid on 11 of the last 12 listings they had for it.

Doesn't mean I'm a shill bidder, it just means I want one at the price I'm willing to pay and no higher. But I also only bid on the one style of knife he sells where he has dozens of different ones available, so I'm not bidding on or running up all of his listings.

I'm sure others trying to get the same knife as me may have noticed my hidden ID(###) over and over the same as I noticed one repeat a couple times before they finally won one of them. Or it may not matter to anyone else enough to even look. With it on my favorite search list, IF I ever find another seller starting them at the same low price then I will bid on theirs instead. As it is, I'm going for the cheapest one I can get since they all come from the same factory and there are enough of them available I will eventually get one.

I don't doubt there are 'shill bidders' out there violating eBay's policy, but I get tired or hearing or reading everyone's constant complaints every time they lose out to someone because they didn't bid high enough or got run up on something and the first thing they do is start screaming fraud as if everyone in the world is crooked.

If you're that paranoid about getting run up or outbid on something, then don't even bother placing a bid or even looking at the item and then you don't have to worry about it.