Second Chance Offers
You can get some good deals on eBay...but I have noticed the following annoying trend more and more. I place a bid on an item. I don't place multiple bids, my original bid is what I am willing to pay. If something is at 99 cents but it is worth $25 to me, I bid $25. I am not one of those people that will bid $2, then $5, then $10, then $15, then $25 when they are outbid. I put in my high price and let eBay do the rest. I am like a Ron Popeil Rotisserie Oven - I Set It and I Forget It. If I win it for less, that is great, if I don't win I don't feel bad as that was higher than I wanted to pay.
The I have noticed is this happening more and more - I place my bid, maybe a few others bid as well, and then auction ends. I didn't win...but right away (often minutes after the end of the auction), I get a Second Chance Offer for what my high price was. I know sometimes buyers don't follow through and some second chance offers are legit...however, I am almost positive that when I receive them this quickly it is because the seller used another account to run up the bid to see how high I was willing to go. Then since it is a fake bid, offers it to me as a second chance if my high bid was within his tolerance. It's happen once and I was a little suspicious but didn't think much of it...but now it has happened so often lately that it is annoying. This happened to me on one item from the same seller three times. Can I really believe that I was outbid by 3 buyers that "decided they didn't have the money" even though it was less than $40?
I usually will not buy the item, even though it is at what I was willing to pay. Running up the bid through shill bidding is a crappy business practice. You are artificially inflating the market price and I will never buy anything from you (I have a list of sellers that I no longer trust). Keep screwing your customers, I hope you get caught...and yes, I forward suspicious offers to eBay Safe Harbor to look into. I realize you want to maximize your profits...but that is what reserve prices and "Buy It Now" are for. Forcing your auction higher with fake bids is immoral and against eBay's rules. If you can't deal with an item going for lower than you want to sell it, don't put in on eBay without a reserve. Douche.