eBay now allows acquaintances of the seller to bid, so long as they follow the rules.

Should Sellers’ Friends & Family Be Allowed To Place Bids On eBay Items?

For years, eBay forbid friends, family and employees of a seller from bidding on that seller’s items out of concern about “shill bidding,” i.e., that they would increase the price with no intention of buying. Then during the summer, eBay quietly changed that policy to make it more flexible. [More]