Seller bidding on their own items for inflated prices - protect yourself because Ebay won't!
I've used Ebay for years and always thought with a bit of common sense it's a safe environment for people to trade. Buyer protection via Paypal is good and fairly simple if lengthy to use. So, my complaint? I discovered a seller shill bidding, that is bidding on their own auctions with a fake account to artificially increase prices. It wasn't particularly well done as the same account bid on 5 different auctions, all with the same seller and in each case bid the genuine buyer up to their maximum by retracting any bid that was higher and thus leaving the genuine bidder at their top price. 14 retractions spread over those 5 auctions was pretty conclusive and looking into previous completed auctions revealed a clear history of shill bidding. Ebay at first reassured me that the auction had been cancelled. 12 hours later it was still running and when I queried it, they basically told me, I wasn't the highest bidder any more so don't worry.....er? but what about the poor sod who was the highest bidder pushed from £10 to £30 or the other auction who had pushed one bidder from £22 to £71!!!!. Ebay clearly don't care what sellers are doing to push up their price because at the end of the day they take a fee based on the final selling price! Having used Ebay for years, I am stunned at their attitude. All I can say is Ebay is a great place to buy just about anything and there are some really great sellers on there, but, you have to check every auction....if you're outbid then suddenly find yourself the highest bidder again, before you congratulate yourself on your luck, check the bid retraction section on the bidding page, you just might be being taken for a ride and Ebay won't do a damned thing......