Friday, May 22, 2009

Am I Over a Barrel?


Let me lay this out for you. It's around to 7:00 in the morning, I'm getting ready for school, and I get a message that an eBay item I've been watching will finish up during the next few hours. I make a bid on a Robin Yount 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces blue parallel card numbered 4/5. Here is what transpires. (I apologize in advance for any spelling mistakes or lack of punctuation, as tonight was my wife's staff booze cruise party, including all-you-can-eat tacos and all-you-can-drink margaritas. I'll try to hold it together, for the sake of clarity.)

Let me give you a timeline (All times Central):

5/20/09 10:27 PM - eBay member b***j makes a bid on the Yount card at $14.99.

5/22/09 7:04 AM - I make a bid of $32.01 on the Yount card, as I cannot make eBay bids at work. My fingers are crossed that this card does not rise to this amount.

5/22/09 11:17 AM - eBay member b***j bids $19.99 on the card.

5/22/09 11:17 AM - eBay member b***j bids $24.99 on he card.

5/22/09 11:19 AM - eBay member b***j bids $29.99 on the card.

5/22/09 11:20 AM - I receive a message from eBay that I have been outbid at a price of $33.01.

5/22/09 11:22 AM - I receive a message from eBay that the item I was bidding on has had a bid retraction, and I am now still the high bidder. The same guy who outbid me at about $16.00 gets off the hook for more than twice that amount.

5/22/09 11:50 AM - I receive a message from eBay that I am the winning bidder of the Yount card at a price of $30.99.

5/22/09 12:05 PM - I receive an invoice from seller cards4life206 in the amount of $30.99 plus shipping.

First of all, what the fuck is going on here? Am I the victim of a shill bidder? What, if any, recourse do I have here? There was obviously something going on where the seller had another account, bid on his own item until he reached a price point where someone had bid on the item, and then retracted the bid in order to extract the highest amount of profit from the sale. Granted, I put in a bid up to the amount which I was willing to pay, but I did so with the understanding that actual bidders would have to outbid me in order to secure the item, not some fake eBayer that would artificially inflate the price. What should I do about this? I have not yet paid, and would like some advice. Sure, it's only a margin of less than twenty dollars, but I feel that this is an unjust price.

5 comments:

stusigpi said...

Shill bidding indeed.

FanOfReds said...

I'd contact eBay directly about it - they are usually pretty good about stopping things like that...and they need to be, without at least a certain level of trust, internet auctions can't exist!

Wrigley Wax said...

It won't help with this situation, but a sniping program can avoid it in the future. I find my auctions, put in my price, and forget about it. The software places the bid within 5 seconds of the close of the auction. No need to worry about shills and it will bid for you from your home computer while you are at school. I use Bid-O-Matic, which is free and you can get it here.

madding said...

Sounds like it's worth an inquiry at least.

the sewingmachineguy said...

Did anything ever come of this situation? Thanks.