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Ebay seller becomes first person in UK convicted for bidding on his own items


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Ebay seller becomes first person in UK convicted for bidding on his own items

 

 

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 6:08 AM on 20th April 2010

 

 

article-1267410-07E03DE7000005DC-868_233x423.jpg

Conviction: A man faces a hefty fine for bidding on his own items on eBay to raise their price

 

An eBay seller faces a fine of up to £50,000 after becoming the first person in the UK convicted of bidding on his own goods to raise prices.

 

Paul Barrett increased the value of the items he was selling by bidding on them under a separate user name, in a practice known as 'shill bidding.'

Barrett, 39, from Stanley, Co Durham, pleaded guilty to ten breaches under consumer protection laws but said he wasn't aware he was acting illegally.

 

Barrett, who runs a minibus hire company, was investigated by North Yorkshire Trading Standards after a complaint that he advertised and sold a minibus that had its mileage reduced illegally.

 

Officers found he was selling goods under the account of ‘shanconpaul’ and then bidding for them under his other identity, ‘paulthebusman’.

 

'eBay let me open up the second account and I gave all my personal details and home address to do so,' he told Skipton's magistrates' court.

'I realised the price was too low on some things and put the prices up using the second account.'

His account has been suspended and he now faces a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence.

 

He said yesterday: ‘I made a mistake in the advert. I put a bid on it to put the correct price I wanted. I didn’t realise I was doing anything wrong but now I do.’

The fair trading laws were brought in two years ago to bring Britain into line with the EU.

A spokesman for eBay said 'shill bidding' was illegal.

'It is important for people to understand that there is not, nor has there ever been, room for illegal activity on the site.'

Sentencing was adjourned.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267410/Ebay-seller-person-convicted-bidding-items.html#ixzz0ld1GcYhi

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Reilly, if you're willing to part with X currency in order to obtain X product, then you've made a value judgment.

 

The only factors that matter in making value judgments are the individual's cost/benefit analysis. If buyers discover an Ebay seller that is bidding on his own goods, they can make other buyers aware of that fact by giving the seller a negative rating. But it in no way changes the fact that you're either willing to buy something at a specified price or not. There is no third alternative.

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Reilly, if you're willing to part with X currency in order to obtain X product, then you've made a value judgment.

 

The only factors that matter in making value judgments are the individual's cost/benefit analysis. If buyers discover an Ebay seller that is bidding on his own goods, they can make other buyers aware of that fact by giving the seller a negative rating. But it in no way changes the fact that you're either willing to buy something at a specified price or not. There is no third alternative.

 

The trouble is, if you give someone negative feedback nowadays, you can end up being sued.:dozey:

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If buyers discover an Ebay seller that is bidding on his own goods, they can make other buyers aware of that fact by giving the seller a negative rating.

 

Aaaand this is where your argument falls to pieces, how exactly are you supposed to know if a person is bidding on their own item? You can't. So how can anyone else? They can't. So how will there be negative ratings? There won't.

 

I'm too lazy to even go into how other parts of your post is flawed, but that's the main one.

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Not dissimilar an undertaking to that of Citigroup for not disclosing to Terra Firma that the only other bidder for EMI had already pulled out, yet still allowed them to keep raising their bids. Whichever scenario, I wouldn't like to be on the end of such devious activity!

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Ebay would probably know. But again, my point stands - who cares? Besides people who are offended when someone does something rude, like dating your ex, or walking their yappy dog near your park bench, or bidding on their own Ebay items.

 

offended-thumb.jpg

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so if you paid $100 for something and then found out your real high bid was $20, you wouldn't be wanting the extra $80 back again?

 

Of course I would.

 

If I paid $20,000 for a car that I later discovered only costs Toyota $12,000 to make, I'd want that money back, too. I want everything I buy to be as close to free as possible.

 

But the margin that I pay beyond what it is worth to the individual selling it, is called "profit". It exists because of the discrepancy between the seller and buyer's relative value preferences.

 

I have no "right" to have my money back.

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No, no, NO!

 

You aren't looking at it in 'auction' terms, you see it as a straightforward purchase. The point of the auction is so that the purchaser has a chance to get a bargain, a cheaper offer on an item that has a cost. That means that the auctioneer is taking a risk, starting the auction at a lower then usual price.

 

THEN- the purchasers make their offers, pushing the price up. The risk for the auctioneer is that the price may not go high enough for them to make the profit.

 

If the auctioneer is tampering with other people's offers, then he can manipulate them to spend more then what they should be paying. And most importantly, the auctioneer can keep pushing the price up until it's too high for the purchasers to want to be involved with any more, so therefore there is no risk involved for the auctioneer. They can simply put it up for auction again.

 

It's very simple, go smack your head off the wall a few times and it might help.

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lol Reilly, it still doesn't matter.

 

If one of the rules of the auction is that the seller isn't allowed to bid on the item, then it should be Ebay's job to enforce that. Clearly it's in Ebay's best interest to catch this sort of behavior, because one of the appeals of auctions is (as you pointed out) getting a good deal.

 

But this is only a problem for Ebay, not the individual buyers/sellers. They have no claim here.

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The ONLY appeal of an auction is getting a good deal, that's the whole point of it.

 

The term 'auction' applies outside the world of E-Bay, and people who can pretend they don't know basic terms can try and get away with behaving illegally, but for the rest of us in reality, it's clearly underhanded and illegal. Not just in the examples you used like a dog barking in the park, when it becomes about money the law comes into account above E-Bay.

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No, the appeal for auctions exists for the sellers as well - they hope to get a better price by having buyers bid against one other.

 

And there's no reason for the law to get involved when a price has been arrived at voluntarily.

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Sigh.

 

It depends on the rules of the auction. If the auction requires sellers sell at the price arrived at, without bidding it up themselves (or starting the auction at that level), then he's broken a rule. But not a law. It's Ebay's issue, not the buyer's problem. The buyer voluntarily traded his money for the item at that price level - the mechanism determining the price shouldn't matter to the buyer.

 

The only reason buyers are complaining is because they see a way to get their money back, or attack a man for making profit in excess of what they would "allow" him to have if they had the righteous guns of the government at their beck and call.

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but it is illegal outside ebay. its fraud. auctions outside of ebay have been rigged, and where its been discovered those involved arrested. in those cases, someone pays people to attend the auction & put bids in to up the price.

 

if you want a minimum amount of money for an item but want to encourage people to bid, you put a reserve on. that's what a reserve is for. you can then start at a low price to try to attract the bidding war, but if you don't reach the amount you want it won't sell.

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The point of getting you to repeat your argument above, was for you to realise that you wrote the point of the auction was to get buyers to bid against eachother, the auctioneer does not count as a buyer because they already own the item.

 

What you're getting at is completely ridiculous, a system where e-bay controls cases of fraud. So how can the law not come into play here? What are the penalties that e-bay.com can enforce? Absolutely nothing, they can't fine, they can't imprison, all they can legally do is close down an account. What would happen if an auctioneer bumped up the price of their item by thousands, and someone bought it, then e-bay found out? Well, nothing, the person would get their account closed, and that would be it.

 

I just don't understand your reasoning, you are still looking at it as just how a normal transaction would take place, a person has an item, puts a price on it to make a profit, and the buyer decides if the item is worth the price. If they buyer thinks it's really cheap, and someone comes up beside them and offers more money, then the original buyer is going to think "Well I can give more, it's still cheap". How can that be fair?

 

As Jenjie said, it is illegal outside e-bay, organisations that hold auctions outside the internet are not accountable for cheats, and what would you expect them to do if they were?

 

Well, if I held an auction and found out two guys were in cahoots, I'd probably ring the police. Because a NORMAL SANE PERSON would assume the activity is illegal.

 

Just tell me, what do you expect e-bay to do in such a case? Hold them in a special e-bay prison?

 

It depends on the rules of the auction. If the auction requires sellers sell at the price arrived at, without bidding it up themselves (or starting the auction at that level), then he's broken a rule. But not a law.

 

That is a law! That's how an auction works, when money is involved, it becomes a case of fraud.

 

I like how most of Reilly's posts are just a few half-baked points, with a bunch of childish insults thrown in, while Jay's posts are entirely relevant to the debate.

 

I like how I don't know you but everyone's told me you're an utter dick!

 

How's that for a childish insult? I need to keep up my quota, seeing as I've only made like 2 in this entire thread (I know because I've been making an effort to hold back).

 

As for the half-baked points, you're right I didn't think very hard about this, because as with a lot of Saffire's opinions, I don't even know where to fucking start. He's on another planet.

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