Potential eBay Shills Openly Hawk Their Services On Fiverr

bidFiverr is a site where ordinary people can offer a stunning array of products and services to each other for–unsurprisingly–$5 each. It’s a fun marketplace and a great way to make some extra money offering anything from a singing telegram to bundles of ebooks. Oh, and some very open offers to place fake bids on your eBay items.

A shill is a person working alongside the auctioneer who places fake bids to boost an item’s final price. The concept probably began with the very earliest in-person auctions, but now in theory you can work behind the scenes to have strangers from almost anywhere in the world place shill bids. Progress! Except not.

Shilling is a serious offense on eBay, and can get a user banned from the site. Only if they’re caught, though. That’s why our friends over at eCommerceBytes were a little surprised to see shill services being sold so openly on Fiverr.

eBay’s shilling policy is straightforward enough: don’t do it, they say.

Shill bidding happens when anyone—including family, friends, roommates, employees, or online connections—bids on an item with the intent to artificially increase its price or desirability. In addition, members cannot bid on or buy items in order to artificially increase a seller’s Feedback or to improve the item’s search standing.

eBay Shill Bidders Found Selling Their Services [eCommerceBytes]

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  1. mrkake says:

    I understand that it makes it more expensive to shop on ebay, but in my personal opinion this shouldn’t actually be against terms of service. Imagine the person fake bidding wins. It’s effectively like you sold the item to them and then immediately bought it back from them. So what? You still have to pay the ebay fees for listing and the ebay cut of the purchase price. And if you re-list your item, you will have to pay it again. So it’s not like it’s “free” for you to do this fake raising of prices, and if you raise the price too high beyond what any normal person would pay, you are never going to actually sell your item – just keep giving free money to ebay. Of course I want to get items as cheap as possible, but if ebay REALLY wants to solve this issue, they should allow users to start auctions at any price and pay the same listing fee. Currently ebay offers a lower listing fee if you start at 99 cents. And they charge extra to have a reserve price. People are doing this fake bidding not to screw over consumers, but to screw ebay for charging fees for every little thing, and I fully support that. If the item price is too high for you , then don’t buy it on ebay.

    • illusio26 says:

      Not actually true. The selling can just file a “non-paying buyer” on the shill and all the fees will be refunded and the auction can be relisted.

  2. SingleMaltGeek says:

    A friend and regular reader here who isn’t in the Commenting beta said “Fiverr makes it nearly impossible (as in I haven’t found it yet) to report people like this”…and I know she’s always doing jobs on Fiverr, she knows the site extremely well.