.....50+ years of hoarding metal and not enough painting........a site dedicated to vintage 20/25mm wargame figures ........and yes they are old school, mainly all one pose per unit and definitely shiney!......

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beware Shill bidding on Ebay

I am reporting this here in an attempt to help other friends and fellow 'Ebayers' from being scammed. This one has a happier ending due to the vigilance of Paul Fahey who pointed this out and warned me - and I must say I am very grateful to him for this act of friendship.

Because of the manner in which it ends I will not publish the sellers name - but here is the sequence of emails

1. Received from Paul this morning:


I realize you're probably asleep, but I suspect there is a shill on those Hintons your bidding on, the bidder has no score at all and has bid on 27 items, from clothes to swings and now toy soldiers,, ALL from the one vendor !!! and nobody else. i have reported these obvious shills before and Ebay can't or won't do anything.

in any case I cant abide shills, so all I can do is notify you, and you can decide for yourself


2. Sent to the seller by me immediately upon receipt of Paul's email:

Dear Seller (Name not disclosed)

I regret to say that I believe I have been the victim of SHILL bidding on this item and on at least one other item in this last set of figures - In fact a friend has just emailed me to point this out and has advised that I should contact Ebay.

It is fairly obvious when you look at the bidder that pushed the price up - he has no previous bid score or record and has only ever bid on your items! - 100% of his total Ebay bids have been on your items!

I offer you two choices - please give me the name of the bidder so I can send it to Ebay - or I will refuse to pay and will report this matter to Ebay - which is against their policies - for them to investigate. I pay well enough for items without being scammed also.

If you want to avoid this and agree that this is Shill bidding then I expect to pay a price that doesn't includes the Shill bidding on all the last set of items.


3. Response received from the seller within 1 hour:

Hi Ron

I can't apologise enough. I've looked into each item and yes it was my father in law who was panicking and didn't want to let them go.
It is honestly no scam - i have just spoken to him and he asked a friend to bid who we know from the local market and has bought from us before. He agrees with me to recalculate the winning total as you suggest - i have looked at the 3 items he bid on - and will invoice you at the prices below his first bid.
The (item 1) will be £4.99 , the (item 2) £35.99 and (item 3) £4.99.
I leave it up to you what you want to do next - and have warned my father in law of the rules he has broken.
I realise you pay enough and thanks for contacting me.
Awaiting your reply before I invoice.

Best regards and sincere apologies.

Seller (Name withheld)

And so a better ending then most I would think - I expect this type of Shill bidding happens more than we realize.

In view of the immediate response and acceptance of the situation I am inclined to believe this seller who has always seemed sincere in our correspondence - so I will proceed with these purchases at the new pricing and will bid again on other items offered by the seller.

Again thanks Paul and to all out there be a little more vigilant then I was!


  1. Thanks for the kind words Ron,
    This type of event is not uncommon

    So be aware people !!


  2. Ron

    Well spotted indeed - I had a look at the items - they weren't hard to find, and have formed my own views on the seller and on what happened. Whoever was panicking, it wasn't about letting them go, it was about the price maybe not being high enough. Looks like an obvious scam attempt to me, only possible defence might be that it was so clumsily executed that it is hard to believe anyone could be that stupid.



  3. Inclined to agree with the scam theory. If it was one set of items, fine, but across the board - the word 'unlikely' doesn't seem strong enough.



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