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How to Report Bidding Abuses on eBay

The Trust & Safety (SafeHarbor) question and answer boards is where eBay’s Trust & Safety gurus focus on protecting the website from members who aren’t playing by the rules. Through this department, eBay issues warnings and policy changes — and in some cases, it gives eBay bad guys the old heave-ho.

Here’s a list of bidding abuses that eBay wants to know about:

  • Bid shielding: Two users work in tandem. User A, with the help of accomplices, intentionally bids an unreasonably high amount and then retracts the bid in the closing moments of the auction — leaving a lower bid as the winning bid.

  • Bid siphoning: Users send e-mail to bidders of a current auction to offer the same merchandise for a lower price elsewhere.

  • Auction interference: Users warn other bidders through e-mail to stay clear of a seller during a current auction, presumably to decrease the number of bids and keep the prices low.

  • Bid manipulation (or invalid bid retraction): A user bids a ridiculously high amount, raising the next highest bidder to the maximum bid. The manipulator then retracts the bid and rebids slightly over the previous high bidder’s maximum.

  • Unpaid item (nonpaying bidder): The bottom line is that these people win auctions but never pay.

  • Unwelcome bidder: A user bids on a specific seller’s auction despite the seller’s warning that he or she won’t accept that user’s bid. If you want to ban specific bidders from your auctions, you can exclude them in your my eBay area links.

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