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Possible 'Bid Shielding'? Solutions?

 
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GPguy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:53 pm    Post subject: Possible 'Bid Shielding'? Solutions? Reply with quote

I think an item (334015425575) got 'bid shielded'. Notice the winner with 0 score, and the retracted bid of $392 - way above any current bid (with 2 seconds left) bidder (also with 0 score). These 2 same accounts have also bid on the same 2 of 3 items (and only those items) within the last 30 days.

Link to bid history:
ebay.com/bfl/viewbids/334015425575?item=334015425575&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2565

Questions:
1) Curious if you also find it 'odd' and what can be done about it to prevent the same outcome down the line.

2) I would have thought the eBay auto-bidding would still have activated no? Did no other bidders really have no auto-bid set up for this?

3) Is there any way to have Gixen 'just place some bid' so that if auto-bidding works, you are at least 'on the list' for said feature to work? Thank you for your time, any ideas appreciated.
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mario
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's eBay's policy that bids can be retracted one hour after being placed. This sometimes results with what happened here, and what is obviously an abuse of that policy and fraudulent.

The buyer obviously has two accounts (both feedback 0, which is not a surprise), and uses one account to place a very high bid that will subsequently retract only seconds before auction end. This effectively prevents bids from being placed in the last hour of an auction.

So - what can be done about it? I have a way of raising technical issues to eBay, but this is a policy issue.

An obvious solution is not to snipe, and place a bid very early. But we don't want that, and shouldn't have to be forced to give up sniping because of fraudsters.

So I am implementing an alternative - when the bid is too low, Gixen will try to place a bid as close to the auction end as possible, in order to catch that moment when bid is already retracted. We are talking 1 second before an auction end. I am already testing this on the mirror server. There is no harm to users, just an extra work for Gixen.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this new policy is a good one.

I don't, however, believe it will result in Gixen winning more auctions, at least not directly on auctions where this activity occurs.

The strategy of a 'bid shielder' involves placing two high bids from different Ebay accounts in order to raise the price above what snipers are willing to pay and hence, currently, block their bids. They then retract one of those bids reducing the auction price dramatically, however the remaining underlying bid is still a high one.

Therefore, the most likely outcome of Gixens' new strategy will be to cause 'bid shielders' to still win, just at a higher price. I imagine if it's more than they want to pay it's also going to be more common that they do not actually pay for that win.

I presume that makes it more likely that they will either burn through Ebay accounts at a faster rate than at present, accept that they need to pay more than they have been doing, or desist from the fraudulent activity in future.

All positive outcomes since they reduce the effectiveness of the bid shielding strategy, they also probably increase the sellers and Ebays income (when the item is actually paid for), just not outcomes that dramatically increase the number of auctions Gixen wins for its users (other than the possibility of reducing such activity going forward).

The most positive outcome is that Gixen users will less often see items sold at a price below what they were willing to pay.

IMHO it would be better if Ebay took this more seriously than they currently do. Since we can detect this behaviour relatively easily, Ebay with their much greater knowledge as to where these bids are coming from, could certainly do a much better job at taking action against those that employ these fraudulent techniques.
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mario
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:

The strategy of a 'bid shielder' involves placing two high bids from different Ebay accounts in order to raise the price above what snipers are willing to pay and hence, currently, block their bids. They then retract one of those bids reducing the auction price dramatically, however the remaining underlying bid is still a high one.


But not nearly as high as the one used to block other bids.

Cupid wrote:

Therefore, the most likely outcome of Gixens' new strategy will be to cause 'bid shielders' to still win, just at a higher price.


I don't believe that, but we will see - I will log such cases.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since Ebay only rises the price to, at most, the second highest bid plus one bid increment, I maintain that the second (ultimately winning) bid of a 'bid shielder' does indeed need to also be high, otherwise the auction price would not get high enough to block other bids while the bid that is ultimately retracted is still in place.

So, yes, the ultimately winning bid must be 'nearly as high' otherwise their strategy does not work.

I therefore stick by the whole my hypothesis.
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mario
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

I understand now what you are saying.

The maximum bid of the winning account has to be high, but this is not the winning price - winning price will be the maximum bid of the third highest bidder + bid increment.

You are right, however, that when Gixen implements this the fraudster will pay much more than what he/she hoped for. Maybe. And maybe Gixen users will win instead.
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Ar3x
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently saw this scam in action. Two hours before the auction end, two bidders bid over $800 for an item that retails for 300. I was puzzled and watched it play out. The last-minute the high bidder retracts bringing his accomplice who still has an 800 max bid, but wins the auction for 100.
Supressing any normal bidding on the item in the final hours.
I viewed retractors account and he had over 175 retractions in the past 6 months. I notified ebay.

So while this additional gixen bid will be good, the accomplice never retracts his high bid so all you can do is bid him up.
When I see this occurring again Im going to last-second bid the accomplice up.
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Clarification needed
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:02 am    Post subject: Bid shielding and mirror offset Reply with quote

If Gixen will be automatically entering a second bid from the mirror in the last second or so, do I still need to select a mirror offset value?
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clarification needed,

I think what Mario is suggesting is that the offset is only reduced in circumstances where Gixen detects that the snipe amount is already too low to be accepted by Ebay a few minutes before the auction is due to complete. So in circumstances where you do still stand a chance of winning the offset that you select will still be used.

Ar3x,

Yes, you've described exactly how this works to reduce the price the winner eventually pays.

Following on from what you suggest you might do, I can see that in order to inflict the maximum damage to the fraudulent bidder you could bid an amount just below the bid amount of the second highest bid before any retractions are made, so in your example just below 800, since this price is visible right up to the moment when one of the bids gets retracted. N.B. the shielder could retract either of their bids, to have what they imagine will be the same effect, so it wouldn't be safe to bid above the lowest without the possibility that you might actually win at a high price.

I'd be uncomfortable suggesting that Gixen should automatically do that though, since it would involve placing a bid at a price higher than the Gixen user was actually willing to pay, which would probably also be considered rather dodgy, even if there was no risk of actually making someone have to pay that much (unless I suppose the shielder managed to remove both bids in the last few seconds of the auction, which could be a nightmare scenario for Gixen)...

The possible scenarios get more and more complex as you start to think further into deeper and deeper possible strategies and outcomes, don't they ?

Gixen could, for instance, use an Ebay account over which it has complete control to extract the maximum amount from users that have their maximum bids exposed in this way without ever winning any auctions it bid on in this way... Would that be against any Ebay rule, I suspect not, though it certainly should be and certainly would be unlawful if Ebay were to implement something along those lines itself, since through the fees they charge they would be a beneficiary of the higher final price of the auction.

What if the bidding was legitimate and the bids actually placed by unconnected Ebay users ? Would it be fair to force the bidder whose maximum bid was exposed to pay that maximum for the item just because someone outbid them and then decided against buying the item at the last minute for some reason ? ...

... I can then see unscrupulous sellers catching on to such a strategy in order to get the maximum price that was genuinely bid on their auction.. that wouldn't be fair to those that choose to place their maximum bid early, would it ?... but that has always been a risk with the current Ebay implementation of this and one of the advantages that snipers already benefit from.

As I said earlier, Ebay really should take stuff like this a lot more seriously than they do at present. Allowing an account to make 175 bid retractions over the course of 6 months is, in my opinion, a disgrace.
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mymojo79
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't this similar to shill bidding, where the seller has a second account, and near the end of the auction he bids higher so that the current high bidder has his maximum bid forced on him? Then the second account retracts the bid a few seconds before the end. Unfortunately eBay sticks it to the winning bidder who now has to pay the maximum he wanted instead of the price he was at when the shill bidding occurred.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mymojo79,

Yes, shill bidding is precisely what I am describing in the second last paragraph in the post before yours.

Shill bidding is a practice designed to extract the greatest possible price from other bidders, whereas bid shielding is a practice designed to obtain the auction at the lowest price by preventing others from placing bids.
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FFVYankee
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:02 pm    Post subject: “Bid Shielding” “Shilling” Reply with quote

Ponder this:
Should ebay disallow retracting bids in last 60 seconds (or 30 seconds)?
Are you persuaded that such a limitation could disable the shill’s trap?

An earlier bidder or gixen bidder will have had the time to consider the price & self-correct (& increase $ if desired).

THE OUTLIER: Would a bidder who bids ERRONEOUSLY in last few moments be harmed?

For example, at 7seconds, bidder enters $1000.00, having intended to enter only $100.00.
There wouldn’t be enough time to retract any way; Outlier bidder may have inadvertently stumbled into the winning bid betwixt the conniving bidder’s game.

If erroneous albeit winning bid is unacceptable to Outlier bidder, is there an alternative remedy?
If outlier reneges, what is cost to that bidder for failure to pay — “reputational damage” of negative feedback — which MAY be marked “neutral” by seller.
[If same outlier bidder repeats this behavior, bidder is exposed as conniver, not accidental bidder, & marketplace should regulate with negative feedback!]
What is cost to seller? Repeating auction/time.
What is cost to ebay? Minimal: customer service is 99% automated! & this IS an outlier situation.
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DebL
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:21 pm    Post subject: No bid shielding for trading cards Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure this just happened to me last week in a jewelry auction. Unfortunately I don't remember which one and deleted it from my lists, so can't offer any data.

Just got this update from eBay: [spam filter thinks "upXXXing" is "dXting"]
"We’re upXXXing our bid retraction policy for Sports Trading Cards, Non-Sports Trading Cards, and Collectible Card Games auctions. Starting June 30, 2021, buyers will no longer have the ability to retract bids on trading cards auctions without seller approval. Sellers’ decisions to accept or reject auction bid retraction requests will be final.

How the new auction bid retraction policy will work
Starting June 30, if you want to retract an auction bid, you will need to contact the seller via messaging on eBay and request a retraction. The seller, at their sole discretion, will be able to accept or decline your retraction request. If the seller does not accept your request, your bid can still win or lose the auction, and you will be required to make payment on any winning bid you submit. We also inform buyers on our "Bid Retraction Policy" page that "a bid is a binding contract."

As previously communicated, as of April 2021, if an item goes unpaid by the 5th calendar day, the seller may cancel the order due to non-payment. Regularly missing payments may impact your account. Check out our Unpaid Item Policy to learn more."

Maybe they have received alot of complaints re: trading cards...
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Personally, I do think that bid retractions should be even more limited within the last few minutes of an auction, as FFVYankee intimates the only real loss would be to the reputation of bidders that make a mistake late in the auction and wouldn't have as much time to try to correct that error. I would suggest that sanctions should probably be reflected via the non paying bidder process rather than the feedback system though. It isn't really a draconian punishment to get a non paying bidder strike, but it is a fair deterrent and if repeated does eventually lead to bids being refused by more and more sellers, I presume Ebay eventually take action to remove the worst offenders too.

I don't think further restrictions to retractions would address all shill bidding issues, though it wouldn't do any harm either, most actions of a shill can be completed before the last few minutes of an auction so sniping is probably still the best defence against this activity. This is often related to the issuing of second chance offers, which in many scenarios does not require any bid retractions to take advantage of.

Yes, non paying bidders are a pain for sellers to deal with, though much of that is now automated, I believe. As you say it's also a waste of sellers time, and more restrictions on bid retractions could increase the number of these, but there is also an advantage to sellers in obtaining higher prices so I'm sure the majority would consider this worthwhile if it manages to also decrease the amount of fraud that they suffer from.

I'd also limit the number of retractions an Ebay account can make within a certain time-frame. I think that once or twice a month should be sufficient for even the most careless of bidders, and if it's not that's a good incentive to pay a bit more attention to what they are doing.

It sounds like there may, at last, be some movement on this at least in the collectable/trading card categories. I'd suggest that the problem Ebay has is much wider than that though, perhaps they would get more traction with it if they were to trial it in the mobile phone or car categories.
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mario
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Bid shielding and mirror offset Reply with quote

Clarification needed wrote:
If Gixen will be automatically entering a second bid from the mirror in the last second or so, do I still need to select a mirror offset value?


Yes - this last second bid is sent in addition to the regular one, not instead of, and only under some circumstances, when the first bid is too low.
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mario
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: No bid shielding for trading cards Reply with quote

DebL wrote:

Just got this update from eBay: [spam filter thinks "upXXXing" is "dXting"]
"We’re upXXXing our bid retraction policy for Sports Trading Cards, Non-Sports Trading Cards, and Collectible Card Games auctions. Starting June 30, 2021, buyers will no longer have the ability to retract bids on trading cards auctions without seller approval. Sellers’ decisions to accept or reject auction bid retraction requests will be final.


I saw this in the news, but don't understand why this is limited only to one category - I think it's sensible to introduce this across the board.
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mario
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mymojo79 wrote:
Isn't this similar to shill bidding, where the seller has a second account, and near the end of the auction he bids higher so that the current high bidder has his maximum bid forced on him?


Similar in sense that second account is used, but in shill bidding it's used by a bad seller, and in shield bidding it's used by a bad buyer.
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gunrunnerjohn
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it, I have yet to see this happen, but clearly it does.
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1dash1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! How long has this practice of shield bidding been going on? Nasty stuff. It's terribly unfair to sellers (and buyers, too). I hope eBay steps in to monitor activities more closely.

I'm all in favor of doing something pro-active to stop this abuse. I hope this 1-second offset solution works!
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M
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:46 pm    Post subject: Shielded bids Reply with quote

To obtain the full benefit, the shielder would need 3 accounts. Two phonies to make the minimum bid high and one legitimate bid, which would have to be the high bid placed before the phonies. Then both phonies would have to be cancelled. I imagine that the phonies are usually "0" accounts that can be burned if a retraction delay happens and the bidder is on the hook for $10,000 for a $50 item.
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Ar3x
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 9:08 pm    Post subject: Super shield Reply with quote

ebay.com/bfl/viewbids/114818125023?item=114818125023

In final hour scammer places huge bid over 800, and 10 seconds later shield bids 865.
Shield retracts 3 seconds before end of the auction.

Sorry I was incorrect when stating previously shield retractions were over 6 months. Its actually 12 months and hes at 181.
ebay.com/bmgt/ViewBidderProfile?&mode=1&item=114818125023&bidtid=2204636842001
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Scifi Cards
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: No bid shielding for trading cards Reply with quote

mario wrote:
DebL wrote:

Just got this update from eBay: [spam filter thinks "upXXXing" is "dXting"]
"We’re upXXXing our bid retraction policy for Sports Trading Cards, Non-Sports Trading Cards, and Collectible Card Games auctions. Starting June 30, 2021, buyers will no longer have the ability to retract bids on trading cards auctions without seller approval. Sellers’ decisions to accept or reject auction bid retraction requests will be final.


I saw this in the news, but don't understand why this is limited only to one category - I think it's sensible to introduce this across the board.


I think this is a test. Try it out in a popular category and see how it works.

If it works well, expect it to be rolled out to the entire site.

Sports cards is one of the more active categories, so it should provide a good number of tests. Bid shielding happens a lot with high end cards.

Ed
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Revo
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:57 am    Post subject: Ebay could fix this easily Reply with quote

Ebay rules says:

"If the listing is ending in less than 12 hours, you can retract your most recent bid if it's been less than an hour since you placed it"

But it would be more helpful if they also didn't allow them to be retracted within an hour of the auction ending. They know when that is as it's a fixed term, so presumably it would be easy to programme that in.
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Revo
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:57 am    Post subject: Ebay could fix this easily Reply with quote

Ebay rules says:

"If the listing is ending in less than 12 hours, you can retract your most recent bid if it's been less than an hour since you placed it"

But it would be more helpful if they also didn't allow them to be retracted within an hour of the auction ending. They know when that is as it's a fixed term, so presumably it would be easy to programme that in.
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momist
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:25 am    Post subject: Bid shielding Reply with quote

Is this problem only on USA auctions, or has anyone seen it here in UK? Given that the servers are in the US, will one second be sufficient for the bid to be entered on a British auction?
What a pity this issue cannot be discussed directly with eBay themselves.
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PickleRick
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone. Long time Gixen user. Yes, I pay for the mirror as I think it's worth it. I'm a little frustrated in that there's no registration link to the forum though. I run a few phpBB sites myself so the registration link must have been stripped. Also, this version is mighty old! Laughing Anyway...


First and foremost, I'm a bit of a cybersecurity/privacy/"wacko" when it comes to Internet/networking and computer stuff a well as many other things. Having said that, I want to point something out real quick that everyone needs to know about with the link in the original post (OP). The link:
Code:
ebay.com/bfl/viewbids/334015425575?item=334015425575&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2565


See where it says:
Code:
trksid=p2047675.l2565


I'm not too sure what the trk is other than to suggest maybe track? But sid means Season ID. sid's are used in websites and even phpBB websites. It's an unique identifier to you, and you only as it pertains to your browser and possibly other metrics used for security and what not. So when you post an eBay link with the included sid, it probably can be used for tracking purposes on eBay's part. So just this link with the trksid= crap stripped out will suffice.

Code:
ebay.com/bfl/viewbids/334015425575?item=334015425575


I leave out the &. That just means and all this crap. We're just interested in the eBay link and item number.


Now my brief thoughts on this shield bidding.

All good points, but I think the final arbitrator in ending this madness is up to eBay themselves and I see here they are doing that now with the trading cards category. I think the reason why it's just that category and not the whole lot is for several reasons. 1) They (eBay) have the marketing metrics. 2) it's to test the site and its users for possible full site implementation. 3) It's possible eBay pulls in lots of money/users from this sole category alone and thus have seen a lot of shenanigans even beyond shield bidding and had to do something. Heck, I had a friend that needed some money. This was in about the year 2000. We went to the mall, he pulled out a few Poke_me_man trading cards and made about $500 on the spot! I was like, "what the heck just happened?" A few pieces of cardboard and you make bank!? Unreal. Rolling Eyes So it seems logical this eBay category and the nature of trading cards can be very lucrative and may attract a very large audience to the site.


Some ideas I have. As mentioned, an allotment of x number of bid retractions per user a month seems sensible. But I might be inclined to expand upon that more and say no more than three to four retractions per month, per user and ONLY withen the last hour of auction close. NOT at the last ten seconds, eight seconds, three seconds or any of this crap. The reason for this is to A) allow the legitimate user the ability to retract a bid as they should be allowed to do (not via seller permission). B) Hinder or nullify shield bidding and C) Limit the current overzealous ability of infinite bid retractions. Why not just make it so retractions can only be invoked withen the hour of auction end, not in seconds and just allow infinite retractions? Because of point C.


Question: As I was reading this topic, I was wondering. If I'm participating in an auction where a user is shield bidding, and I am using Gixen and still lost to second place thanks to the shield bidder, but said shield bidder[/i[ never pays due to the high price, won't I have the ability to take advantage of a second chance offer if the seller does so? Or is my bid from Gixen not recorded in the bid history?


Now being the computer dork that I am, I find this (current) allowed behavior of [i]shield bidding
to be a bit egregious on eBay's part, and here's why. eBay just this last year or maybe even a few years prior started scoping out your computer/device with what is called web sockets. The too long, didn't read part of this is, when you make a connection to eBay, sometimes (not all the time) the website (eBay) will fire some web socket code to check if you have such things running on your computer/device like a VNC server or some other screen sharing App/program to see if you're a possible fraudster on eBay. The reason for this is that I've read remote viewing software like VNC, Team Viewer or Anydesk, etc are used by scammers and eBay scammers alike. While eBay's implication has some merit, it may lack in its practicality in that I already block web sockets and if I can so can some scammer.

The other thing that's egregious here is that eBay has really upped some site security. It's so bad that I no longer can use my niche browser called Pale Moon otherwise I'm having to solve a captcha, and with Google's reCAPTCHA it's next to impossible to solve in a niche browser due to probably browser discrimination. If you use Chrome, Firefox et al you're on your way unless you stay logged into a Google account in Pale moon. The other thing is the eBay website doesn't work much at all in Pale Moon probably thanks to Google's push for web components and crap which eBay may have implemented. I'm not sure. So they do all this and yet allow that user an abhorrent 181 bid retractions as of now.

Anyway... that's my piece.

For posterity.

pastebin.com/s28C07Ys
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PickleRick
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:56 am    Post subject: Re: Bid shielding Reply with quote

momist wrote:
Given that the servers are in the US...


Actually, querying just "ebay" for ASNs yields many locations. They may have other ASNs...



bgp.he.net/AS6907#_prefixes

bgp.he.net/AS62955#_prefixes

bgp.he.net/AS40533#_prefixes

bgp.he.net/AS24331#_prefixes

bgp.he.net/AS11643#_prefixes
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wrigle5
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re DebL wrote:

Just got this update from eBay: [spam filter thinks "upXXXing" is "dXting"]
"We’re upXXXing our bid retraction policy for Sports Trading Cards, Non-Sports Trading Cards, and Collectible Card Games auctions. Starting June 30, 2021, buyers will no longer have the ability to retract bids on trading cards auctions without seller approval. Sellers’ decisions to accept or reject auction bid retraction requests will be final.

I suspect this will not be successful, given that the bid retractors are willing to trash one ebay account for exceeding max retractions, they would be just as willing to not pay and trash accounts that way.

And another clarification please Mario
1. Gixen will attempt a normal bid at the lead time selected by user.
2. Gixen mirror will attempt a backup bid at the lead time selected by user?
3. Gixen mirror will attempt a 3rd backup bid (to skirt retractors) at 1 second before auction end?
Is the above correct?

To back up momist's post, He's in UK, I'm in Australia.
From previous experience with other snipe sites that are US located, it does take Some time for an electronic bid to be sent to the various ebay centres around the globe, I have had lead fails at 3 seconds and wins at 2 seconds, the optimum I've chosen is 4 seconds.
From this I suspect 1 second will only work in the US, But I applaud the efforts.
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Revo
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ebay ought to do what Trade Me in New Zealand do, where the auction is fixed term (like ebay) BUT bids can still be placed within a minute (I think it's a minute, a short period of time anyway) of the preceding bid. That allows for the auction to "overrun" -- as long as bids are still being placed. So the auction ends when either a.) the time is up or b.) there is no more bidding whichever happens first.

Thus makes it more like a real live sale room auction and would curtail sniping. Better for sellers, less good for buyers. More exciting but relies on decent internet connection and, more importantly, a serious commitment to be around at the scheduled end of the auction (easier when you are working in one time zone but who wants to be up at 3am bidding -- and extending the sale by who-knows-how-long?
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is evidence that all Ebays web servers are located in the USA.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bid shielding problem could be eliminated immediately if Ebay made a rule that you can't retract a bid within a specified time (like 30 minutes) before the auction end.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:02 am    Post subject: THANK YOU Reply with quote

YOU ROCK!  Thank you for continuing to support and grow Gixen!  In a time when online services come and go when their owners get bored, it's wonderful to know Gixen has a solid and dedicated owner/creator/programmer!
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smroth
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:23 am    Post subject: New Bidding Strategy Reply with quote

Your new strategy sounds fine. Thanks.
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t2000kw
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:52 am    Post subject: Bid Shielding Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
I think there is evidence that all Ebays web servers are located in the USA.


Someone earlier posted a few links to hosting services ebay uses in other countries. This is one of those links, showing they operate a server for ebay Israel and ebay Turkey:

bgp.he.net/AS6907#_prefixes
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mario
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few users asked me for an example of this, so here is a (fictional) example:

Legitimate Bidder L submits his max bid of 50, and let's say the current high bid ends up being 40. Let's assume the expected amount for which this item will be won is 80.

Fraudster submits, with account A, bid of 100. The current high bid jumps to 50+bid increment, let's say 51.
Fraudster submits, with account B, bid of 110. The current high bid jumps to 100+bid increment, let's say 101.

No one else is able to submit the bid until the end of the auction, because no one wants to bid above 80 or 85, it's not worth it this much.

At the very end of the auction the fraudster retracts 110 bid submitted with his account B. The account A becomes the high bidder, and the current high bid drops back to 51, which becomes the winning price.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it should also be noted that due to current Ebay rules on retracting bids the fraudster has to place the bid in the last hour of the auction in order to then be able to retract it in the last few seconds.

They therefore tend to target auctions that are well below the current market rate with an hour or so to go, that's also the type of auction snipers tend to be interested in too.
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dleegxn
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd been wondering about the rule change announcement on bid retractions. Thanks for the great example! I've been an eBay user for quite a while, but the exact scenario never occurred to me. Very very clever. And the last second bid methodology should be able to stuff that hack nicely.
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wrigle5
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mario"]A few users asked me for an example of this

Mario, I trust that you already know about this-

community.ebay.com/t5/Buying/Possible-Bid-Shielding-Solutions/td-p/31933164
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Momist03
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:14 am    Post subject: Bid shielding Reply with quote

As wrigle5 said, for the UK eBay auctions, the bids from the Gixen servers in the US take 'some time'. I'm never sure how long, but my bids at 8 second lead time are always recorded at a later time (varies somewhat). So I expect the 1 second 'extra' bid will rarely arrive in time.
So, again, has this beed seen on the UK or other European eBay sites?
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mario has stated above that he'll be logging occurrences, it should be interesting to see the statistics as to how common this is and how successful the new implementation is in pushing up prices.

If it needs tweaking following analysis, I'm sure Mario will be open to suggestions then. For now I think it's a case of 'wait and see'.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another idea for eBay could be to make the process of obtaining new/additional accounts more difficult or restrictive in some way.

Cupid, can you please clarify something for me? If I observe what I believe to be a bid shielding situation for an item with a current high bid of $200 that I'm willing to pay $100 for, will Gixen still fire the $100 bid for me even though it observes that it's not the winning bid at that moment? i.e. it always tries to submit my bid regardless of whether or not it exceeds the current high bid?

If my offset is like 2 seconds, wouldn't this accomplish the same thing that Mario's attempting to program for all of us? (Which I guess means my approach would be useless, but just trying to understand my options).
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retrobikeguy1
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:31 pm    Post subject: Shill Bidding Reply with quote

mymojo79 wrote:
Isn't this similar to shill bidding, where the seller has a second account, and near the end of the auction he bids higher so that the current high bidder has his maximum bid forced on him? Then the second account retracts the bid a few seconds before the end. Unfortunately eBay sticks it to the winning bidder who now has to pay the maximum he wanted instead of the price he was at when the shill bidding occurred.


No.

Shill bidding is a fraudulent practise from sellers, who incrementally bid up items to artificially push the bid price of the highest bidder up to their max - trying not to push it over the highest bidders max.

Bid shielding is a fraudulent practise from buyers, trying to get an item for the lowest possible price.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
If I observe what I believe to be a bid shielding situation for an item with a current high bid of $200 that I'm willing to pay $100 for, will Gixen still fire the $100 bid for me even though it observes that it's not the winning bid at that moment? i.e. it always tries to submit my bid regardless of whether or not it exceeds the current high bid?

If my offset is like 2 seconds, wouldn't this accomplish the same thing that Mario's attempting to program for all of us? (Which I guess means my approach would be useless, but just trying to understand my options).


Mario has stated that he is trialling a method where if your bid is not high enough to be accepted by Ebay at the offset you specify that it tries to submit it again at the latest possible time.

Currently only on the Mirror server though, so it would only be for mirror subscribers and not for snipes within a Group.

Not everyone wants their snipes to always place bids as close as 2 seconds to the end of the auction, because it's not always an advantage to do so, depending on the scenario presented by other bidders.

The effect of Mario's latest update is going to be that in the vast majority of cases Ebay rejects the bid twice, it's only in the case that there is a very late bid retraction that the second attempt stands any chance of being accepted by Ebay. It's not going to happen very often, and it's going to make a difference for tiny proportion of Gixens' snipes, but we'll see.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:00 pm    Post subject: Thanks very Much! Reply with quote

I surely do appreciate your hard work with this great site. Thank you!
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GPguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same as above, thank you Mario for working on this.
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madflower
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to add my thanks to Mario for his continued hard work.

I was interested in Ar3x's comments about high number of retractions on an account.
I followed his link and could indeed see the retraction count, plus other info, for the bidder concerned.
We used to be able to see this data in the UK but it was 'switched off' some time ago. Ar3x's link was on ebay.com; using ebay.co.uk you can't see the detailed information, even for a listing in the US.

I used to look at the data to see if someone was shill bidding.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can still get to that information on ebay.co.uk:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/bmgt/ViewBidderProfile?&mode=1&item=114818125023&bidtid=2204636842001

It is accessed from the clickable link at the beginning of the retracted bid on the bids page here:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/bfl/viewbids/114818125023?item=114818125023&rt=nc
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:39 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Many thanks Mario, appreciate all you do as always.
Great job.
Regards,
Stan
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madflower
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
You can still get to that information on ebay.co.uk:

.ebay.co.uk/bmgt/ViewBidderProfile?&mode=1&item=114818125023&bidtid=2204636842001

It is accessed from the clickable link at the beginning of the retracted bid on the bids page here:

ebay.co.uk/bfl/viewbids/114818125023?item=114818125023&rt=nc


Thanks, I can see it on the link provided. What I meant was that for any auction I look at on ebay.co.uk then I can't see any info about the bidders except for their anonymised name and the number of stars they have. If I'm missing something then please put me right as it would be useful to see it again mainly to see if shill bidding is going on.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point was that you can see the same information on the UK site as you can on the US one.

I agree that Ebay has reduced the amount of information available over the years.

This thread is more concerned with bid shielding that shill bidding, though it has strayed in that direction on occasion, including by myself.

However, on that subject, I think sniping and never accepting second chance offers are probably the best defence we now have against sellers bidding on their own auctions. By their actions it would appear Ebay are not very interested in reducing that threat.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:06 pm    Post subject: Shill Bidding Reply with quote

A question that is indirectly connected to this topic. I won several auctions with shill bidding. Paid for them and all. Each item had a bid from a zero feedback user having 100% activity with this seller and NEVER winning an auction. Over 600 bids on about 80 items, all from the same seller.
So, besides this being against eBay rules, how is shill biding legally defined? Is it a fraud? Is there something I can legally do to get part of the money I lost to an inexisting user back? What would you do when you find out shill bidding on items you won?
Thank you!
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe shill bidding is categorised by Ebay as 'auction manipulation' and by the authorities in various jurisdictions as 'online fraud'.

It's hard to prove though, and Ebay has an interest, through the fees they charge and in maintaining trust with their user community, not to expose it.


None the less your only option is to report it to them, whether or not they ever take any action they won't ever let you know, they used to claim user confidentiality as the reason for that, but since they've anonymised much more of the bidding I don't know what excuse they are currently using.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came here after receiving the email from Mario...

I noticed in the email these parts in bold, and am curious about some things...

Quote:
Gixen will, from now on, try to prevent this in the following way: when the bid is too low, it will try to place it again as close to the auction end as possible. This will be tweaked over time, but it will likely be around 1 second before auction end. The goal of this is to place your bid *after* fraudster's bid has already been retracted. As Gixen has to use its resources sparingly, this will be executed from the mirror server only


After seeing the email, I started looking at final bids of some items I won, just out of curiosity. This isn't related to "shielding", but interesting nonetheless. I won the auction, but when I click on the mirror tab, it says "bid under asking price", and the auction details reflect this, as Gixen only cast one bid in my name.

Which brings up another question... and I'm sure a very rare occurrence... if the mirror doesn't fire off a bid, then an "anti-shielding bid" also wouldn't get sent, right?
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is some misunderstanding here, "bid under asking price" is not a reflection of any Gixen failure, quite the contrary, it is an indication that Ebay won't accept a bid of that amount.

Ebay does not accept a bid, from the same Ebay account, of the same amount at a later time, so the most common reason for that status is that the Main server has already successfully placed that bid for you.

As I've said further up this thread, the most likely scenario (where there is no bid retractions) is that the Gixen bid is refused twice by Ebay, on the Mirror server.
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curious
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
I think there is some misunderstanding here, "bid under asking price" is not a reflection of any Gixen failure, quite the contrary, it is an indication that Ebay won't accept a bid of that amount.

Ebay does not accept a bid, from the same Ebay account, of the same amount at a later time, so the most common reason for that status is that the Main server has already successfully placed that bid for you.

As I've said further up this thread, the most likely scenario (where there is no bid retractions) is that the Gixen bid is refused twice by Ebay, on the Mirror server.


The bids are at the exact same time. I've used Gixen on 1000s of auctions, and 99% of them always have 2 bids from my account at the same time showing on bid history page.

I guess what happened in this instance is the mirror bid came in a second later.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's an indication that the Mirror was later than the Main by enough for the Ebay servers to detect, from experience that is much less than a second between them, but it varies with how busy Ebay and Gixen is.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
Yes, it's an indication that the Mirror was later than the Main by enough for the Ebay servers to detect, from experience that is much less than a second between them, but it varies with how busy Ebay and Gixen is.


So... like I said. If the mirror doesn't work, how could/would the anti-shielding bid?
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mario
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

curious wrote:

So... like I said. If the mirror doesn't work, how could/would the anti-shielding bid?


This is correct, it wouldn't. This is an insurance of a sort for a relatively rare event. Defeating bid shielding was not designed with a 100% reliability in mind. Even when mirror functions correctly it can happen that this additional bid fails because it's sent so late.
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Ar3x
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:11 am    Post subject: Double shields up Reply with quote

Ebay.com/itm/HP-Omen-25l-i5-10400-MODEL-GT12-0197c-/393386002835

The fraudster used two accounts to suppress bidding for the final two hours.
The three accounts were reported to eBay. They tell me it will be sent to their internal team to review. Since these are all 0 feedback accounts, I'm sure he's mastering the process.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.. with the final retraction in the last second. Cutting it very fine.

Did you have a Gixen snipe scheduled on this one ?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:42 pm    Post subject: bid sheilding and schill bidding Reply with quote

Ebay is aware of both practices and IMO couldn't care less as long as they get their money. The only time they are going to take action is when they get such a bad reputation for not policing the site that people stop using it, Can't see that happening!!I can name at least a dozen really shonky sellers who have been reported to ebay by many people and guess what,still selling and noticed one has just got another account opened . I am talking about someone with dozens of complaints ebay is fully aware of. Of course many of these sellers have multiple accounts. Guess there is both dishonest sellers and dishonest buyers out there. Would just like to see them cancelling each other out on the same items. GGG
Can't see how Gixen can help with these problems, though really appreciate Mario trying . Gixen is a great service ,and nearly all the problems with bidding are Ebay's problems . Any problems with gixen are always quickly looked into and fixed, Wish i could get service like this every where. Thanks Mario.
Another question , does any one have a way of actually contacting ebay in person these days, not through the chat line. Would really appreciate any advice about this. Thanks
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, like many these days, Ebay seem to take more notice of bad press on social media than they do to their customers trying to contact them directly.
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