ebay announcement

Jeff Hess

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http://developer.ebay.com/DevZone/XML/docs/WebHelp/images/anonymous_user.png

"To protect bidders from certain kinds of fraud, starting January 2007 certain user information is being made anonymous. In most cases, the following rules apply:

User information is made anonymous on auctions where the high bid has reached $200.00 USD or higher The seller can see information for all the bidders Bidders can see their own information."

I know a lot of you guys do not like this, but from a sellers standpoint it invokes a huge sigh of relief.

Keep in mind that for cheaper items everything will still be open. The fraud usually happens with more expensive items.

This will keep the scammers from contacting you and asking you to wire money to their fraudulent account. This also helps sellers as it keeps competitors from contacting your bidders and trying to derail an auction.
 

clocks4u

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It will also allow sellers to use their shill bidders more often. Jeff, please don't tell me it won't(doesn't)happen. Is Ebay going to hire 100,000 more workers to monitor auctions? I think not!
 

Brian C.

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clocks4u,
I agree with you 100%.
Brian C.
 

Jeff Hess

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Hi,

I know that you guys think that shill bidding is big on ebay. And while it DOES happen and it IS big, it is tiny in comparision to the scamming that goes on with people "mining" underbidders and scamming them. (And other more minor yet seriuous problems with bidder interference and such. Contacting bidders with an offer to sell one for less or with false info about the item being sold in an attempt to derail an auction.)

Remember, you can still see the bidding history of the bidders. If this person has zero feedback or only bids on things different that he is bidding on now, do not bid. You will not totally be in the dark. And this only applies to things going for over 200. So the bidding process will be totally transparent until it hits 200.

Ebay is rife with scammers and this is an important step to stop them. It is not perfect. But it helps.
 

Modersohn

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There's a huge amount of shill bidding on Ebay.

But how can you see the bid history of the people bidding on an auction, if you can't see their IDs?

The only way to check on shill bidding is to use a bidder's ID and see what auctions s/he is bidding on during any period of time. Without an ID, you can't check on other auctions for the current month, and therefore can't check if the person is bidding on multiple items repeatedly from one or two seller ID.s, but never or rarely winning anything.

The notion that shill bidding is a tiny problem compared to the problem that you have, Jeff, is just your point of view-- ie your problem seems much more important to you. Doesn't mean it's more pervasive, or that, in total, shill bidding doesn't involve massive amounts of fraud.

Modersohn
 

Jeff Hess

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Hi,

Thanks for your thoughts. But your are incorrect in your assumptions.

I have terrifc problems with shilling.

I buy a lot on ebay and most of my Hamilton ARBIB era watches have come from ebay and scores of Ball Watches as well. I get ran up on probably 10 percent of the things I bid on. (I have little time to bid at the last three minutes of an auction so I put in a high bid
and then walk away. So sometimes sellers will shill it up to my high bid and then cancel the highest bid leaving me at my highest...)

But this pales to the millions of dollars of misdirected funds that scammers steal from underbidders. They take a nmae like HESSFINE@hotmail.com or something similar to ours and then tell the underbidders that the winner backed out. And please wire the money.

This is huge and way bigger than the shilling issue. Shilling is usually done mby small mom & pop sellers who have the time to shill. Bigger sellers would never bother with shilling.

But bigger sellers DO afford the scammers to nail their auction underbidders.

Ebay could cure this whole problem if they simply MADE VERY BIDDER AND EVERY SELLER provide proff of who they were and put a credit card on file or something.

If they would do this, 90 per centoftheir problems would be gone.

The FBI ha beenworking on the "scammers stealing millions of dollars" issue and I am sure once they get this bigger problem solved they will get on the shiller issue more aggresivly. (BTW, Ebay has thrown off hundreds of people for shilling. they are very aware of this problem also).
 
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peg leg

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This isuue reminds me of the Myrtle Beach arcade game "Whack a Mole". For buyers on any amount, one faces the shillers. I'm curious here Jeff, if an underbidder falls prey to a scammer how does this affect the seller who shows bidder ID's?

Whatever happened to good terms and conditions from sellers stating the terms and conditions and one small paragraph about scammers?

I do not view this as a positive rule change for ebay buyers, as I do not participate in on line auctions where sellers shield bidders ID's (due to shillers).

I believe someone hit the nail on the head earlier regarding the downhill trend for Ebay on horological sales.

Whack a Mole thoughts:

* snipers should low ball snipe above $200
* proxy bidders should incremental bid above $200
* scammer's should target below $200
* shiller's should work off commission above $200 with the crooked sellers
* honest sellers should move to reserve auctions only
* ebay should seek buyers feedback as well as sellers on rule changes.

Keith R...
 

Jeff Hess

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I'm curious here Jeff, if an underbidder falls prey to a scammer how does this affect the seller who shows bidder ID's?
Hi Keith,

I am confused about your question above.
If an underbidder falls prey to a scammer and wires the scammer hundreds or thousands of dollars (this has happened to our customers dozens of times over the years (most are smart enough NOT to do it) to a fake account somewhere, who do you think the customer yells at and threatens to sue? The fake seller he has no number for? OR the real seller?

The answer is the real seller of course.

Ebay has problems that could be fixed if they insisted on postive ID of all sellers and buyers.

AS to your other point "sellers should go to reserve autions only", well this one is simple ecomics. No reserve auctions end in profit for ebay. Reserve auctions that do not reach reserve (the huge majority of them) make little money for ebay. Plus no reserve auctions often yield more to the sellers than reserve auctions.

Your other points are well taken.
 
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Tony Ambruso

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Jeff, I agree these new rules on eBay are probably in everyone's best interest. Generally, I am a big believer in openness, but I am unsure that openness affords any real protection. In fact, it does render everyone vulnerable to the scam practises you describe.

Personally, I bid what I am willing to pay and let the market (shill or no shill) handle the rest. I have even begun to question my perception of when I "knew" I was being victimized by a shill bidder. I have an item up for bid on eBay, and a bidder with virtually no history and long membership on eBay bid just after the first person entered his bid. I myself would be suspecting a shill, but it isn't. One has to ask where did this guy come from. He never buys anything, but nevertheless, he's real.

So with all that aside, are we really protecting ourselves by being able to identify other bidders? I think not. We bid what we feel we are willing to pay. Yes, we will get bidded up on occasion. But the fraud by those skillful theives is a far more serious problem. And it is more serious than being victimized by a shill bidder, because you should never pay more than what you think something is worth. It is worse giving your money to someone who will not be delivering the item. Plus, the seller gets a bad rap, and his business is diminished.
 

Jeff Hess

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Couple of things..

First.. Tony, that is correct. If you bid 400 dollars on a 992B you might get it an you might not. But if that is your bid and you are going to be happy to get it for that amount, I guess it matters little if someone shills you up from 350 to 400. Good point.

I just talked to someone at eBay and they pointed out something interesting.

She said that so many people have gone private now that this new plan HELPS buyers and may HELP promote bidding by those who assume all private bidding is scam-oriented.

Why? Because currently, with private a bidder can see nothing. With the new private, bidders can see feedback of other bidders, area where they live and other info such as what kind of things that person bids on.

For instance, if someone has a shill buddy bid on item, you will be able to see whether or not that bidder bids on the type of thing he is bidding on normally or if he is in the same area code etc etc etc.

Then you can make a more informed decision as to whether or not the bidders are shillers.

This HELPS bidders in regards to folks who are already private.
 

Fred Hansen

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The benefits Jeff mentions are real just as the shilling problems others mention are ... but I expect most bidders will still have a negative view of this change. Most eBay buyers I know like the bidding process to be transparent and simple, and IMO whether or not they are really losing anything with this change is not as important as if they perceive that they are losing.

I for one would still like to see the NAWCC eMart offer an auction format and for the members with items for sale to make use of it. Not saying we can try to outcompete eBay ... but why not offer the members an alternative with a focus on the strengths and benefits that we can offer.

Fred
 

Ray Fanchamps

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A couple of years back I offered some auction demonstration packages for the eMart.
It basically went nowhere. The format can be resurrected if there is the interest.
It should be remembered that the eMart is an extension of and thereby governed by the rules of the paper mart. Some rule changes would be required.
In terms of providing software and service its very do-able.
The eMart is not intended as competing with anyone. It's an electronic venue providing NAWCC resources in a format that the whole NAWCC should be following.
There are several Bulletin based presentations that I beleive would be great web presentations and generator of interest in horology and NAWCC.
The offer of funding and work hours to make that happen have always been available.
 
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peg leg

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Jeff, I assume that as a power seller, your repeat under bidding customers from ebay sales would contact you prior to giving away hundreds or thousands of dollars to scammers. With correct wording in your terms and conditions, what case would they have for any US court?

Fred and Ray, excellent re-timing on your suggestion. I had seen an earlier post where Tom M. was entertaining this for the NAWCC. I believe it is time to move on Fred & Ray's suggestion (as I will leave the ebay venue based on Jeff's description).

Thanks for voicing your opinions.

Keith
 

Jeff Hess

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eff, I assume that as a power seller, your repeat under bidding customers from ebay sales would contact you prior to giving away hundreds or thousands of dollars to scammers.

Keith,

for the most part this is true. It is the newbies who usually get stung. Although last year a German customer wired 2400 dollars to a fake account set up by a fake seller named hesfine&juno.com.

Please remember that this change on ebay makes things MORE transparent. Not less. At least for the tens of thousands of sellers who currently use the totally transparent "private" system. (they (we) will be forced touse this more transparent sytem!
 
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mikeh

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Just a few rambling thoughts:

- I've seen my first auction with this "feature" and it stinks. The information they give you is useless. Besides, who wants to have to wade through every auction they intend to bid on just to see if they can figure out whether or not they're being had.

- I used to know quite a few bidder ID's because I bumped into them quite often. Now I don't know a soul and every bidder is suspect.

- I don't understand why they don't just do away with the second chance offer option.

- Checking out a second chance offer is a simple matter of checking your ebay messages.

- Anyone who is too lazy to check their messages AND is willing to wire large amounts of money based on a simple email will not be rescued by hidden bidder identities. They will just fall for something else.
 

terry hall

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what mike said.......... :cool:

It is really easy to determine a second chance offer...on the ebay site in 'my messages'... I have only received one or two that were legit and I tread lightly even then, to the point where the seller said " I will just send you the item" if you like it pay me, if not send it back....


I have also noticed there were time when I could just send these phishing emails to spoof@ebay.com..... evidently some email services have now phishing detectors. when i try to forward to spoof...., it will not go thru and I get an error... then I just do a hard delete on the message.

and I don't like private auctions either...

another example of the 'dumbing down' of the system i guess..... this ain't rocket science...

and ebay is just a venue :biggrin:
 

Tom McIntyre

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I was just browsing such an auction and noticed the feature. If you click on the various links, you can get quite a bit of information about other bidders. However, Mike is right that you cannot recognize other competitors. I don't really know if that is good or bad for me. I certainly will not be tempted to lay off something when I see a friend bidding on it. On the other hand, I used to research competitors to see what they had been bidding on and how much they normally paid.

All of those sorts of strategies are eBay specific and are more difficult now.

Of course, laying off of an item your friend is bidding on is commonplace at live auctions.
 

Jeff Hess

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Terry..Mike,

:rolleyes: :confused:

I know both of you guys and you guys are a couple of brightest guys on these boards.

But. you missed the boat on this one.

It does not matter if they do away with the second chance offer. The scammers care little about this feature.

they would contact the underbidders anyway! This problem has been ongoing for us since the days BEFORE the second chance offer!

The scammers simply do the following... they get on with a zero feedback new account. run up your item to often WAY PAST what it should go for. They then do not pay. they then contact all your underbidders and say the top bidder (themselves) did not pay and you Mr. Underbidder, (remember, there are tons of undrbidders as these criminals have run it up so high) can buy it by wiring money into our account.

Then... ebay loses money... as sellers get their fee's back...sellers lose money.. the time and effort took to put the item up for sale..the sellers lose even more money when they put the item back up for sale. as people are wary of bidding on it again.. and sellers have to answer stupid email ("hey! you scammer! You just sold this EXACT item last week! Scammer!) AND underbidders get phishing emails.


Getting rid of the second chance offers feature would not slow down the criminals one milisecond.
 

Dr. Jon

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Jeff

It seems to me that what Ebay needs to do is to qualify its bidders. To sell you have to provide a valid credit card but to bid you can operate out of trash can.

If Ebay required a credit card with decent credit rating or a Paypal account it would reduce the number of scammers or at least get rid of the really dumb ones.

Most sales oriented organizations hate qualifying their buyers but it always helps.

For one thing they can hit the accounts of the scammer for the missed ebay fees. They can at least make scamming harder than it is.
 

FabRat28

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Well, a FWIW here.

I've been using eBay for years and PayPal as well.

I am both a seller and a buyer, by far mostly a buyer. That means, of course, that I do have credit card and other information on record. I would say that the vast majority of eBayers probably both sell and buy. I could be wrong.

As far as PayPal, I am verified and have a premium account. I think most people with PayPal are verified. That also means they have provided valid financial and address information.

When I look at an item I'm interested in bidding on, one of the first things I look for is whether the seller takes PayPal. If the seller does not take PayPal, I'm gone. I don't care how badly I want the item.

I know there's a whole camp of "No PayPal" folks out there. They may have their reasons and that's fine, but when you look at a seller's PayPal info, it'll quickly tell you if the person is verified.

It's not perfect, but it provides a bit more protection. If you are reasonably careful, check your eBay messages for second chance offers to check validity, even contact the seller through their original contact link from the auction to ask if they sent the offer and just do some research, you should do fine.

As far as shill bidding goes, it is a big problem, but I tend not to bid on high-dollar items and I almost always snipe anyway. Tends to kind of take care of the shill bidding thing, because if the item is bid up high enough close to the end of the auction, I'll either pass or snipe only to what I'm willing to spend. If it goes for more, I'll just wait for another one.

Please don't beat me up for sniping!!! :frown:

That was another thread. :)
 

Jeff Hess

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It seems to me that what Ebay needs to do is to qualify its bidders.

amen.

They nned to qualilfy all buyers and sellers and most of this would go away.

but (and I hope ebay is not reading this) I wometimes think they hae some ulterior motive for not doing this.

Making everyone who bids or sells totally transparent would end all of this foolishiness. (Most of it anyway. Scamers alwasy find a way it seems..)
 
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Tony Ambruso

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It has been said time and again: individuals must exercise care and be willing to be their own first line of defense. There is no substitute for being cautious. There will always be scammers and those who fall for them. Ebay can tighten identities up for both sellers and buyers, but that will still leave the hard-core scammers, who will set up ebay accounts with stolen identities, strike quickly and move on to the next identity. If the majority of bidders would be uncomfortable in not seeing the other bidders, then the idea is moot. You might make eBay safer, but it would be less utilized. Everyone would make less money.
 

Modersohn

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I definitely don't bid on items where I can't verify other bidders.

Maybe I'm in the minority. In which case, the new system may work to reduce the type of fraud that Jeff is worried about.

It greatly reduces whatever chance one has to detect shill bidding-- but shill bidding doesn't reduce the seller's or Ebay's profit.

If $50.00-- several hundred dollars per item (depending on the item) doesn't concern enough bidders--which perhaps it doesn't-- then again, the system may have its uses and not discourage bidding--or not enough not to be, overall, cost-effective for Ebay.

Modersohn
 
P

peg leg

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One would have to be a NYC lawyer to wade through this mess. Must be a sellers market...

Keith
 

mikeh

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Jeff,

I only mentioned eliminating second chance offers because it seems like every time someone brings up ebay scammers they're talking about second chance offers.

All I can say is I may bid on these if it's something I really want, but I my bids will be more conservative so I probably won't be winning many of them. On the other hand, I probably wouldn't hesitate as long as I know and trust the seller. Either way, in my case it translates to lower bids, and that can't be good for ebay or sellers either one.

I think it's ironic that sellers making, or agreeing to, 'back door' deals is what caused ebay to create the second chance offer in the first place. It is also quite possible that those transactions were more common because their shills were winning the auctions. I guess one could say that sellers brought this on themselves.

By the way, should I call you Jeff or Bidder2 now? :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
 

Jeff Hess

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I guess I am the dense one this time!

The bidder 2 joke went over my head. What is bidder two?

Not to beat a dead horse but this new rule is a perfect compromise. Bidders who despise private had forced those of us who have private auctions to be more transparent. This is fine by me. Scammers are still pretty much stopped.

Everyone wins.

O well..
 

mikeh

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The bidder 2 joke went over my head. What is bidder two?
I was just messing around. Aren't you bidding on one of these auctions right now? To others you show up as Bidder 2.

But who is Bidder 3? I wonder if he's reading this thread. ;)

Scammers are still pretty much stopped.
Ummm, OK.
 

danM

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I like to know who is bidding by name -- I have a few good customers and also friends who have helped me in the past -- and I would not normally bid against them if they had started bidding before me. It seems only polite not to bid against one's own customer ?

This new system means I could unknowingly bid against a good customer, win a watch, then offer it to that customer - only to find we have forced each other up in price.


dan
 

Tom McIntyre

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Dan,

I think that is precisely the point.

When you refrain from bidding against a friend you have formed an informal bidding ring. If you did this by agreement, it would be illegal in the United States and could result in criminal prosecution if you intended to divide any profits you made between you.

If you put on the sellers hat for a moment, the practice of not bidding against friends cheats the seller out of his reasonable price on the sale.

I don't intend this as any criticism of you or anyone else and I am certain we all take friendships into consideration when bidding at auctions. However, there is a second side to it.
 

danM

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Can't entirely agree with the above. It is wrong if done by arrangement, but in my case the friend or prospective customer will never know I was thinking of bidding - I am just leaving the auction to him as a courtesy. No ring because no mutual agreement - therefore no illegality ?

Anyway I'm not sure that only two people can form any sort of effective ring (even if by an arrangement), on something as world-wide as eBay.


dan
 

Desmond Lundy

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I am not all that concerned with shill bidding. I tend to make up my mind concerning how much I am prepared to squander [risk, invest, whatever] and bid. It would be preferable to know, for obvious reasons, when a friend is bidding but this is not feasible in the present circumstances. I know it is not the answer, but I do really get entertainment from yanking the chain of scam artists sending me phony second chance offers.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Dan,

I was just talking about the principle, not the actual practice.

Desmond and I never bid against each other. The reason is that our pension checks arrive about two weeks apart. His at the beginning of the month and mine in the middle. By the time my check arrives, Desmond is broke and by the time Desmond's arrives, I am broke. :biggrin:
 

danM

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One other disadvantage of losing the bidders' names is that when I see certain major, and probably rich, collectors bidding, I just don't bother to bid further as I know their buying power can outbid me many times over.

It is a sad fact, as above, of being a pensioner, - but do these buyers really need multiple examples of everything - perhaps another story.

dan
 

Brian C.

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If you wait until the end of an auction and then snipe away, you can still be shilled, even if you have a high bid fixed in your mind. If an item is at $50.00 and you are willing to pay $100.00, the shill bidder brings the item up to $99.00 at the end of the auction, and you win with your snipe of $100.00, you've just been cheated out of $50.00.
Private Auctions, I'm gone.
Paypal only auctions, I'm gone.
Second chance offers are always deleated.
Brian C.
 

bangster

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Having read this entire thread, two thoughts emerge:

(1) I shorely am glad I'm not in the league with y'all high-rollers, since most of these problems won't affect us little 'uns.

(2) I got the native wit to NOT take any goofy business seriously.

and a third one:

(3) Ebay transactions amounting to thousands of dollars are just asking for trouble.

bangster
 
J

jeremy_icu812

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I dont see this as really helping the buyers at all. I don't bid if the auction is private, i don't answer 2nd chance offers and I bid in the last 20 seconds of an auction. If I can't be there to actually bid I run a sniping program and check the results later. Bidding early in my eyes is a waste. It can cost you money you didn't need to spend.
 

Chris Radano

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Jeremy, I respectfully disagree that bidding early is a waste. I have won many "bargains" exactly this way. I know, I know, MOST folks here are convinced this is NOT the best way. Sorry ebay brainiacs, you can't argue my success. There is another thread here where I described my stratagy...Always experimenting, I pride myself on being unconventional. My apologies of sidetracking this thread zzz
 

Chris Radano

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I searched for 1/2 hr. for the thread where a lot of people describe how they bid on ebay, but couldn't find it! Then, the time past where I was allowed to edit my previous post :^ It was an interesting thread.

I used to sell some using private auctions. Now, I don't have to list that way. The idea of private auctions was so bidders were unlikely to recieve unwelcomed emails regarding MY listing!

This new way has been successful in achieving it's goal, until scammers figure ways to get around it.

As always, people are suspicious of everything, but they still use ebay :%
 

Jeff Hess

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ebay is not the venue it used to be.

Profits are off. Interest is waning.

But it is going to be there for a long time.

I suspect quality will go down as well.

It was a very ineresting and demoralizing experiment. Pierre thought a self policing community run place would be terrific. And it was. Until TRUE human nautre took over. The scammer overran the place.

And not simple garden variety scammers. And not people who say WOW or MINT or MINTY or people who forget to mention (whether on purpose or not) if a watch has a hairline, but genuine bona fide con-artists.

Con artists just over ran the place.

Ebay is taking big steps to prevent this. And the prevention of big time big-business scam artists doing buisness (as in the action described on this thread) is a HUGE step and far outweighs the inconvenience of seeing who is bidding or of some low level thug shill bidding his 992b from 350 to 400.
 

clocks4u

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Jeff...As you know, you already had the option of having anonymous bidders. It was called a Private auction. The big Power Sellers just forced this down everyone's throat. It should be the sellers option as to weather they want the bidders to be private or public!
 

W.R. WoodWorking

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Im fine with all that. but if Ebay really wanted to do something productive they would get down to business on this spoof emails and put a end to it.
I get about a dozon or so every time I buy something or sell. I always catch them, but they are getting more and more real looking. and Im scared one day I will be off my game and click on one of there links and there Ill be, totally exposed.:( ......WR
 

W.R. WoodWorking

Registered User
Jul 6, 2005
820
0
0
Reform,Alabama
my first reply has been posted 10 minutes and I just got another spoof email.
say I have a dispute over a iteim not shipped to click on the link to take care of it. I havent sold anything in a year.
 

Brian C.

Registered User
Jun 9, 2001
1,246
4
38
NH
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Good point Dr. Jon.
I also think it's a very sad world when someone states that they don't mind being shilled as long as they get the item for the price they were willing to pay.:(
Brian C.
 

lofty

Registered User
Aug 22, 2005
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Well, I have never done this before, but I just went to the Ebay home page and clicked on to Chat Board. There are a couple of options there, but I clicked on to The Round Table, where all sorts of issues are discussed
I typed in private auctions and started to read the pages of comments regarding ebay's new system.

It is NOT popular. I clicked on to links to American and Uk chat boards and the overwhelming sentiment is the same. It is not liked.

If you have a spare half hour or so to browze, give it a look. There are some very interesting comments.


Lofty
 

ClockJim

Registered User
Nov 16, 2004
647
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North Central Ohio
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I just wonder what percentage of the buyers are “cash and carry” (checks) or credit card/PayPal?

If the numbers show that the majority are check writers, then to require credit cards might alienate some of the buyers.

All my eBay purchases are paid by cashier’s check/money order, even a personal check upon occasions.

I personally don’t divulge my credit card information over the Internet, except where I feel a very high level of trust and comfort. For whatever reason, eBay (and PayPal) has never been high on my trust list, even with the universally accepted practice of using PayPal when purchasing through eBay.

This old dog just can't accept some of the new tricks on the Internet. Credit is too easy; To Use and To Steal.


 

neighmond

Registered User
Jan 31, 2003
938
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eBay is digging their own grave, one selfish move at a time.
 

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