Fiverr 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]