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Rookie and Gixen vs shiller and snipers (my Gixen story)

 
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jpzorrilla
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: Rookie and Gixen vs shiller and snipers (my Gixen story) Reply with quote

I collect old die-cast cars, and recently began to use ebay more often. I did my homework and found about Gixen.

I used it a couple of times as a safety for two pretty obscure auctions, that I was pretty certain to win. I did, and in both Gixen worked perfectly. There were no other bids so it was not really necessary, but they both landed 5 seconds before the end. I was covered. Awesome!

So the other day a big lot popped up that I was interested in, actually many lots from the same seller. There was an item that was a MUST HAVE, some were really cool, and many were "nice to have's".

All started at $1, and shipping was just $0.50 for additional items (very cheap for my country), so I decided to put Gixen to the test and launch a full-scale assault for the lot!

A few days ago I made the initial bid for all items. You could say it's unnecessary if you're going to snipe anyway, but I read somewhere that sellers can cancel auctions at any time... BUT if there are any bids they have to pay a fee, so bidding would discourage that.

Days went by pretty quietly, some bids here and there, and only a couple of items really escalated a little.

Now, the auctions were ending today, and I noticed something interesting. Out of nowhere a guy starts bidding in some items. What caught my attention was that he (or she!) was bidding on the items that already had the most bids. This looked a lot like bid shilling to me. The guy had very low score, only 11 (well, my score's low too so it doesn't mean a lot), and has 81% bid activity with this seller. So that made me suspicious.

A few hours to go, I started being outbid in most auctions. I calmly did my math in Excel to figure what I could afford, and set up my 29 snipes in Gixen. A couple of the cool ones were the highest, around $10 to $15, and my MUST HAVE was low, still around $1.30.

But I didn't like the situation, I didn't know if there were other snipers out there and suspected the seller was a shiller, so I figured how high I could go. I set my MUST HAVE to $41.57, the cool ones at $31.57 and $26.57, and the lesser cools at $15.15. Most of the rest I had to keep very low, at $2 or 3.

Time ran out and, just in case, I made a manual snipe on my MUST HAVE. It landed at -5 seconds. Gixen hit at -4s. A 688-rated sniper hit at -6, but the bid was $21 (the tricky bastard trying to beat any $20 bids!) But it was too low. The MUST HAVE was mine at $21.50!

Next, the Cool #1. It was the most disputed lot, between an 864 and a 293. It was stable at $15, until the 11 guy (shiller?) bid $20. The other guy bid $20.50, but was outbid again. This time he only got to $23.50 and gave up. My Gixen snipe hit at -5s. The 11 guy had bid $30. I won with $31. My max was $31.57. Very close! And most probably shilled?! But victory again!

The Cool #2 was again disputed between two guys, and stabilized at $13.51. Again, the 11 guy drops a $20 bid. Gixen hits at -4s with a max of $26.57, so I got another one for $20.50!

I got two other cool ones at $5.50 and $10.50, both beating the 11 guy. Very cool price for those two. And somehow I FORGOT TO SNIPE another cool one and lost it... and it sold for 5 bucks... NOO!

This all happened quickly, but the bids were like a minute apart, so the 11 guy actually started reacting and posting a bunch of new bids! And the remaining were all my weaker bids, so there was nothing I could do. The trusty Gixen hits fell against the dirty shiller's proxy bids, sometimes even lower than the current bid. Only a few leftovers could be saved. But I got a little gem at $0.99.

After the dust settled, I was left with 8 lots. I did get the ones I really wanted. The price was good and I'm satisfied with the result. Gixen certainly got my back. But there's still that suspicion (or certainty!) that the auctions were shilled, and I would otherwise have got a much sweeter deal.

But that's what you got to deal with if you try to collect pretty rare, 25-year old MOC toys! When they pop up, you got to fight to grab them. And I will certainly be watching when the ones I lost pop up again... that dirty shiller.

Well, that's it for now, I better get some work done to be able to afford some of the crap I bought!

Thanks for reading! And thanks Mario for your wonderful creation!
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newbie12345
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I doubt it is a shiller if it for those kind of prices. But it is always good to keep an eye out on the auctions to see if it comes back. You can report it to ebay then, althought that has never helped for me before.

I suggest you message the seller to see if he has more cars that he hadn't yet put on ebay. He might have some gems left in his collection that he is willing to part for a nice price. I got some very good deals that way.
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jpzorrilla
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're right. It was probably a random buyer, much like myself. It's hard to know since they made buyers anonymous.

And if you consider that ebay is in charge of the proxy bids, and they have an interest in the auctions going for higher prices, it lends itself to getting a little paranoid.
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Cupid



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 5686
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would tend to agree that Ebay have made the system easier for people to abuse in the past few years.

Which makes the Ebay platform less safe as a place for people to buy or sell than it was some years back.
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