Well, I was pretty clear in my last post that the zero feedback bidder (or bidders) are causing havoc for IAW and all of us real bidders. They are driving up prices, winning items that they will never pay for, and causing aggravation for us all.
Before I get to the problem, the solution is SIMPLE. IAW, go to the "Selecting Buyer Requirements" page and read that. All you need to do is require bidders to have a PayPal account. If you do this, the fraudulent bidder will not be able to have more than one fake account to bid on your items, and after one week, you can ban him from bidding and he will not be able to sign up again.
What is the downside? Well, every bidder who doesn't have a PayPal account (a very tiny # I am sure) will have to sign up for one to bid. Maybe a few refuse to do so, but no one should be paying IAW other than through PayPal anyway. I mean, who writes checks anymore? You don't have to USE the PayPal account to pay, but you simply need to have an account. It is one more piece that ties you to your eBay ID by requiring a credit card or bank account.
(Frankly eBay should REQUIRE this, as I have been saying for years. But they are too greedy to care about cleaning up fraud for real and simply enable shill bidding).
Well, we have seen now, how devastating the fake bidder (and I do think it is one person) can be. This fake bidder has won 13 of the top 19 selling items over the last 3 weeks! Now if that doesn't motivate IAW to require a PayPal account, I don't know will. Now it is interesting that the fake bidder didn't bid up any of the other 6 items in the top 19.
Why do I say it is one bidder? Every one of those zero feedback bidders has a similar name. It usually has something to do with the lot being bid on and a number. They are all registered around the same time.
Some have suggested that this is shill bidding by IAW but I seriously doubt that. Both Dominic and Colin are great guys and decent folk. They wouldn't do this and they don't need to!!!! They are getting great prices for the premium stuff as it is. And why WIN their own auctions? Makes no sense. If you wanted to drive your own auctions up, there are better ways to do it. Whoever is doing this is doing so to be vindictive, pure and simple.
So, how does this affect legitimate pricing?
Now, here is what you need to pay attention to. If the zero feedback bidder wins an item and you are the under bidder, the actual legitimate winning bid is NOT your high bid, but ONE BID INCREMENT above the 3rd bidder.
$ 1,525 winning bid (zero feedback)
$ 1,500 your top bid
$ 1,000 next highest bid
The zero feedback fraudulent bidder's bids should be eliminated, meaning you would have beaten the $ 1,000 bidder with a winning bid of $ 1,025 (the next bid increment). So, you should tell IAW you want the item at $ 1,025, the fair result.
This is why I say the guy who won the Nemesis Starfleet uniform jumpsuit was SCREWED with a $ 2,375 high bid. The under bidder AND the third bidder had zero feedback and the 4th bidder was at $ 926.07. So he SHOULD HAVE won this at $ 951.07 (next bid increment).
I will be talking with IAW and hopefully have them take the steps they need to today. Note that if they do make the change to require a PayPal account, it will not affect this week's auctions, only auctions yet to be listed. So, we may have to deal with this again this Friday.
OK, that is all for now, but email me if you need to, and please read the thread on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum.