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Old 08-24-2006, 04:03 AM
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Why does this guy retract his eBay bids?

I am selling an item on eBay in an auction that is ending in a few hours. I listed the item with a $150.00 starting price and no reserve for a 7-day auction. The day after I put up the listing, I received a bid for $150 from a buyer (let's call him Repoman). This obviously made me happy as most of the bids I receive are sniped. Anyway, when I checked the auction status last night, I saw that he had retracted his bid. I checked out Repoman's feedback history and see that he has retracted bids 18 times in the last 6 months. Before I decide whether to lodge a complaint, I am just trying to figure out what his game is.

I understand using bid retraction as a means to figure out a reserve price or another bidder's maximum, but my auction has no reserve, Repoman was the first bidder, and there was 6 days remaining when he placed his bid. What could be his incentive?

As eBay's policy is that bids retracted for reasons of error must be followed by the placement of a new, correct, bid, I toyed with the idea of contacting Repoman and telling him I expect a new bid from him. However, I am not sure that I would want to make a sale under those circumstances...
Old 08-24-2006, 06:54 AM
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If you'd observed a pattern of bidding and retracting that didn't include your own items, then it might have been shill bidding, but maybe he's just an indecisive idiot, or maybe he's just seen the same item elsewhere at a lower price (i.e. maybe he does his shopping around after he has already placed a bid).

When a bid is cancelled, do you get to see what the maximum was? Maybe he cancelled it because he put in a max bid with one too many zeroes in it.
Old 08-24-2006, 07:52 AM
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The most obvious reason I can think of is bidding to keep track of it, then finding a better deal somewhere else, and then cancelling the bid to make sure you dont end up buying it.

Im not saying its sensible, just that its maybe an explanation for whats going on.

Otara
Old 08-24-2006, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otara
The most obvious reason I can think of is bidding to keep track of it, then finding a better deal somewhere else, and then cancelling the bid to make sure you dont end up buying it.
Ys, but it's better to put it on your watch list to do that. I would think it's just a clueless newbie, since they aren't learning about reserve prices or about other bids from this behaviour.
Old 08-24-2006, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles
Ys, but it's better to put it on your watch list to do that. I would think it's just a clueless newbie, since they aren't learning about reserve prices or about other bids from this behaviour.
Actually, Repoman has a feedback rating of about 200, so he can't be a complete newbie.

Mangetout, I am not able to see what his bid was (maybe after the auction ends?), but if he mistyped the bid, wouldn't he enter another after retracting the first?....
Old 08-24-2006, 10:13 AM
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I vote with Mangetout's "he saw it cheaper elsewhere after placing his bid." Makes sense to me. I think he's a rotten eBay citizen, but not entirely irrational.
Old 08-24-2006, 12:11 PM
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If he places a new bid later, it was probably the one too many zeros error (or more likely missing the . in 150.00 . If he doesn't come back and bid again, report him to Ebay at the end of your action.
Old 08-24-2006, 12:31 PM
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Why does this guy retract his eBay bids?
Since the bidder is an experienced eBay user, I would say he retracts bids at will because he can get away with it. You can report him if you like, but eBay won't do anything about it. For one thing, you were not really harmed in any way by the retraction. You still have your item, and the bidder still has his money. No eBay transaction is over and a deal consummated until the auction ends. Yeah, the bidder theoretically violated the "retraction rule" at eBay, but since neither party was harmed, so what? And you are correct in not pursuing any kind of deal with the retracting bidder. Why would you want to deal with such a buyer?
Old 08-24-2006, 12:39 PM
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What do you mean by "most of the bids I receive are sniped"?
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:48 PM
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We don't know that Endemic was unharmed. Someone may have been interested, and now isn't since they don't want to get into a bidding war. Someone could have bid, and just had Repoman's bid go over them, so they move on to another, lower priced, auction.

In an auction, when you make your bid, you are agreeing to pay the money. Cancelling the bid is reneging on the agreement, and isn't a 'no harm no foul' sort of thing.

Sniping is the act of bidding at the very end of an auction. People do it to avoid bidding wars. If you bid early, a 'clueless jerk' will probably wind up bidding over and over until he get's over your value. Bid at the end, he doesn't have that chance.
Old 08-24-2006, 01:06 PM
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Yes, withdrawing a bid like that is not completely ethical, and could harm the seller, by inhibiting others from bidding.

I have cancelled bids a few times because I made a mistake. The usual one is putting in a comma instead of a full-stop, e.g., typing "10,05" meaning $10.05, but which gets interpreted as $1005. But then I've withdrawn the bid as soon as I saw the mistake, and immediately put in the correct bid.

However, if you bid for something early in the auction, others may come along and not bid because they see that bid. If I search for something, find a few people are offering the same thing at the same price, and that bids have been put in for some but not for others, I'll generally put in a bid on an item that no one has bid on yet. Partly because I want to avoid a bidding war, and partly because I'm nice: I don't want to raise the price for another person if I can get the same thing from another seller at the same price.
Old 08-24-2006, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles
I have cancelled bids a few times because I made a mistake. The usual one is putting in a comma instead of a full-stop, e.g., typing "10,05" meaning $10.05, but which gets interpreted as $1005. But then I've withdrawn the bid as soon as I saw the mistake, and immediately put in the correct bid.
.
Yes, I have doen the same. And what pisses me off is that eBay considers that a "bid retraction" to be listed on your record, just like this guys bid retraction.
Old 08-24-2006, 01:56 PM
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Is it possible that the guy has an item similar to yours for sale, and wants to temporarily raise the price of your item, making his own seem more desirable?
Old 08-30-2006, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamouse
Is it possible that the guy has an item similar to yours for sale, and wants to temporarily raise the price of your item, making his own seem more desirable?
I like this last theory. It might fit the facts except that my items are pretty unique (Asian antiques) and Repoman doesn't seem to be a seller...
Old 08-30-2006, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endemic
I like this last theory. It might fit the facts except that my items are pretty unique (Asian antiques) and Repoman doesn't seem to be a seller...
I like it too. He might be selling under a different ID - lots of people have separate IDs for buying and selling (and often, another one for posting on the eBay community boards) - multiple IDs are permitted at eBay.
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