What Is The General Consesus Of Shill Bidding Amongst The Industry?

Retoddesq

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Obviously its frowned upon and against rules and , though I'm not the most knowledgeable on the whole auction process and whatnot, but its obviously illegal.
But what can one do in a situation where you have a domain you're interested in bidding on and you have a good hunch that the seller is shillbidding or having his associates shillbid a domain up so that the winning bidder ends up being forced, if he really wants the domain, to bid significantly higher than what he might have had to in the absense of such fraudulent activity.

Are there ways that shill bidding can be proven? If so, what are the elements that must be proven and what consistutes sufficient evidence? What's the normal outcome of a situation where such an activity is proven. I can imagine the seller should get suspended or banned from whatever particular auction site that such activity occurred at.

However, is there any recourse to the buyer. In other words if bidder 1 is proven to be either the seller themselves or someone working in conjunction with the seller, can the buyer that would have been the winning bidder retain any binding rights to the domainbonce the illegitimate bids are stricken or do such actions amount to something that may have effected more than just the 2nd highest bidder such that the auction is considered null and void?

The reason I ask is that a couple weeks ago there was a auction on a dropped name at a certain site specializing in such domain acquisitions and bmi bid it up pretty high (for me at least) and was the winning bidder up to the last few minutes when all of a sudden, my father calls be regarding something important and I am forced to stop participating in the last minute bidding, which had all but slowed to the point where it looked like i was going to be winning bidder on a domain for around $1500 but with much better potential if i turned around and flipped it but the had more potential if developed as it would naturally promote what do for a living. The winning bidder comes out of no where at the end of the auction and snags it out from under me for no more that $100 more and at those prices, there weren't any other bidders but me for a while.

So had i just about gotten that fiasco outbof no there low and behold, someone lists it on Flippa no more than 2 weeks afterwards. Furthermore, he then does a real Short auction time period and with no nereserve , I think he starting at $1. He says hes from the US on his Flippa page but whois info shows some foreign corporation is the register owner and there's not much I can find out on the guy or the corp. Other to say (a) his description od domain potential shows that hes not overly familiar with the industry that the domain belongs to nor who his real target market of end users are., he's got over $300k in transactions but a surprising number of feedback was from users who were at some later point banned or suspended, and he's got a very small period of time left on this auction and he's nowhere near where he just bought it for last week.

I wanted to test this one random bidder who's now out bidding me in huge jump sums so he's got to have set ar a real high high max bid. I'm guessinging it sits right at what this sellar is looking for as a low end of what he's really willing to sell it for, and even though we are still a ways away from what I had bid for it last time, I get the feeling that this other bidder is a shill and even if I do win the auction at a lower price, I almost don't want to anymore knowing it coukd of been a lot less if the seller played fair.

He already screwed me over in the first auction taking advantage of me having to take an imortant call right near the end and swooping in for the win. I really wanted to win this auction and cause him a substantial loss but it seems he's insuring himself by having Shill bids cover it up to a guaranteed profitable flip.

Thoughts? Can i get such a guy banned or something or is this perfectly acceptable behaviour? Isn't this why they make reserves? Maybe I'm off base Here, but I want to take this domain cheaper than he got for at the dropped name auction, which in of it self was pretty cheap?
 

DomainsInc

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don't be a sore loser. the shill bidding aside the reason for losing the auction the first time around is entirely your fault. you can't expect auctions to stop just because you get a phone call.
 

Retoddesq

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don't be a sore loser. the shill bidding aside the reason for losing the auction the first time around is entirely your fault. you can't expect auctions to stop just because you get a phone call.

Oh contrar, monfrar; I couldn't care less about the first auction, in fact I was kind of happy that happened as I was tight on money at the time. I'm more concerned that there's shill bidding going on now where I could potentially get the domain for a lot lower based on the actual market demand where this dude decided to list the domain BUT FOR someone he has bidding it up who's not really ever going to actual purchase the domain from him. How does that make me a sore loser?
 

Biggie

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report your suspicions to "that marketplace".

if no resolve, then make the choice to continue using them or not.

still, like "DomainsInc" alluded to, had you "not been" called away from the auction and subsequently "won" the domain...... then what?

imo....
 

DomainsInc

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Oh contrar, monfrar; I couldn't care less about the first auction, in fact I was kind of happy that happened as I was tight on money at the time. I'm more concerned that there's shill bidding going on now where I could potentially get the domain for a lot lower based on the actual market demand where this dude decided to list the domain BUT FOR someone he has bidding it up who's not really ever going to actual purchase the domain from him. How does that make me a sore loser?
"He already screwed me over in the first auction taking advantage of me having to take an imortant call right near the end and swooping in for the win" makes you sound like a sore loser but yeah if you suspect shill bidding, report it.
 

Dushan Savich

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I have taken part in several auctions and I must admit that I suspect Shill bidding every time the bid goes over 100$ :D I know its silly, and in the end every time I quit the auction I never get an e-mail that the person who out-bid me decided not to buy the domain, so in light of this I think the Shill bidding was more in my head than factual reality.
 

Theo

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Only major case that was proven and punished, was for 'Hank Alvarez', alter ego of a former SnapNames executive. Of course, every venue has different safeguards in place to monitor bidding activity for unusual patterns, IPs etc. I would expect that it's not easy to pull off.
 

benn

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In my experience, at any given point in time the number of "end user" buyers ready to throw down cash on the same particular domain name is either 0 or 1. It just doesn't happen that often. I think it's safe to infer that shill bidding occurs in any auction that climbs to "end user prices". Below that, hard to say if it's well-intentioned inexperienced domainers or very experienced domain-fraudsters bidding.
 

NameYourself

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If you truly suspect shill bidding, then as mentioned by the others, report it.

Also, just because names reach end-user range prices does not directly indicate shill bidding. I've sent domains to auction myself at times once there are a handful of interested buyers (accumulated over time). Other times, an end-user may contact the seller while an auction listing is active or have been recruited to join the bidding through the seller's own marketing efforts. In either event, the final bid price might end above what one would expect from a reseller crowd of other domainers looking to flip. If in doubt though, research the names, follow up on them the next week, month, etc.. does the whois change? Build a case based on actual evidence to support the hunch, and if its still all off then of course report it.
 
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