What It Is

  • Sellers employing multiple user ID’s or enlisting the assistance of others to place bogus bids on an auction in order to raise the number of bids and the final bid price.
  • Artifically increasing bidding activity and inflating the going bid.


  • Watch for recurring ID’s used to place bids on several of the seller’s auctions. These bids are rarely, if ever, the winning bids.
  • Look for a recurring pattern of last-minute bids by the same bidder or bidders.
  • Shill bidding is harder to detect now because eBay will only show first and last couple of characters of another eBay bidder’s ID in a listing’s bid history.
  • Look for bidders and sellers who regularly bid on each others auctions.

What to Do

  • Report suspected shill bidding activity to Safe Harbor for investigation.
  • Bidding at the last moment is your best defense against shill bidding. Learn and employ auction sniping techniques.