||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 7 -
There have been auctions where an auctioneer
says that he reserves the right to bid up to his reserve price.
However, he does it in such as way that the audience is unclear of
the meaning. Once immunized by the statement, what may happen is
the auctioneer then bids himself. Unscrupulous auctioneers can
start bidding wars by bidding for an item themselves whenever they
sense that a bidder simply must have the item, at any cost. This
type of zealous bidder can often be spotted constantly holding up
their bidder card.
Often shilling is done using a team of “shill
bidders.” They will all have fake bidder cards and attempt to run up
the prices and buy back any items that might sell at a low price.
Obviously, bidders do not like auctions with a reserve, or minimum,
price because they want to get the best deal. The shill bidders
appeal to the greed of the actual bidder, often enticing them to pay
a price far above the going rate.
On eBay shilling is against the rules but may
not be a criminal act. The most famous incident of eBay shilling
was conducted by a California attorney who was part of a conspiracy
to sell fake modern art.
Real World Case: The Crooked Lawyer
Attorney Kenneth Fetterman received a 46 month
prison sentence after being a fugitive for almost two years from an
eBay scam that netted him a fortune from trusting bidders.
Fetterman was the ringleader in a brilliant scam that preyed on the
greed of art collectors.
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