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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

IAW making a move on Zero Feedback Bidders

IAW has started canceling bids of zero feedback bidders. Now that is good news. Unfortunately it treats the symptoms of the problem, and isn't a cure for the problem. That fraudulent bidder can still bid at the last minute if he hasn't been added to IAW's blocked bidder list. And if he has been added, he can bid under a new ID.

I spoke with Colin at IAW yesterday and he said that everyone had read my email to Dominic about the situation, they were acutely aware of this problem, and that it was top of mind. So a step in the right direction, for which IAW deserves credit. I know when I spoke with Tiara last week, she was very concerned about this as well. Do not think IAW takes this lightly.

IAW still hasn't adopted the policy of requiring a PayPal account though. It appears they aren't clear that requiring a PayPal account to bid, DOES NOT mean you require people to pay with PayPal. I know I had to explain that to Colin, so I am sure that distinction isn't well understood at IAW in general.

Unfortunately Dominic hasn't responded to my emails for a week, so I can't get the message through. I still have to urge IAW to take this step to ensure that the auctions are not interfered with.

Some people have told me that they "know" it is IAW shill bidding. Two have said "I have a friend, who has a friend who knows that IAW is shill bidding". Now I just don't believe that for one minute. Why? Well for starters, Dominic and Colin, the two guys I talk to regularly, are great guys and not the type to do that. Second, the fake bidding is not "shill bidding", meaning meant to drive up the price. It really is "Interference bidding", someone trying to screw with IAW.

It is also interesting that the items being bid up are often items that people on the Forum have said they were interested in. One bidder said on the forum she would bid the Garak up to $ 10,000 and then the zero feedback bidder was the winner at $ 7,700 when she changed her mind and bid lower. Items I bid on were bid up by the same bidder. Fortunately the zero feedback bidder was the 3rd bidder on the Garak I won and so the auction result was legit.

I can only urge you to ALWAYS check the bidding results to see if a zero feedback bidder has bid you up.
Ultimately, unless IAW takes the simple step of requiring a PayPal account, the auctions will be susceptible to fraud.

Alec


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