Jump to content
IGNORED

Minor eBay exploit discovered - Shill Bidders may no longer have to incrementally bump bids. >:(


RH
 Share

Recommended Posts

Member · Posted

Well, I'm posting this because I'm in the camp that exposing loopholes is better than keeping them hidden.  I intend to inform eBay of this, but I doubt they are listening.

Anyway, we all know that shill bidding can be a problem but if you happen to be one of those people who throws out a high bid on an item, you have to hope that if you are going to be shill bid, the sellers isn't going to find your threshold.  I don't do this.  Gixen works for me, but the truth is, we all agree that shilling is wrong and we can further agree that we don't want to give them any more tools than they can figure out.

Unfortunatelly, after I'd listed a bunch of stuff on eBay, I logged into my phone and I noticed something odd.  I looked at my auction listings, and I sorted them by "Highest Bid".  Please note, this only works on your phone in the app.  Not on the desktop.

Anyway, I noticed at the top of the list was a copy of Pokemon Emerald.  It said the highest bid was $1.27.  The next item on my list was my CIB Final Fantasy VI Advance for $26.  But wait, that's not right... why would the $1.27 be listed higher than $26... unless the top bidder put in a bid higher than $26 for the pokemon emerald?

Well, I went to test this out.  I opened Chrome in In Cognito, logged in as my wife, went to Pokemon Emerald and I shill bid it up to $27. Hold up, don't get mad.  I immediately cancelled the bid.  Regardless, sure enough, I was auto-outbid.

So, what this means that if someone wants to exploit this, they can open the app, sort their auctions by Highest bidder and for any auction out of sync, they know they can at least bump the price to the one above in the list.  The benefit this provides the shill bidders is that now they don't have to do minimal bid bumps, making it harder to spot real shill bidding.

Again, I'm not trying to empower shill bidders, but by exposing and getting the word out on this, hopefully, it will get eBay's attention and they will fix it.  In my mind, this is akin to finding an exploit in Windows or MacOS and publishing it so Microsoft or Apple can fix it.  And shame on eBay if they don't, or they wait for 5 years to do it.

  • Like 1
  • Wow! 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
2 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

You: "Hi, eBay, we discovered something that's going to cause auctions to get higher bids and make you more money. Can you please stop it?"

eBay: "Yes sir, thanks!"

--- click ---

eBay: "Lead programmer, please make sure this never gets fixed."

I understand the cynicism but isn't shill bidding expressly against eBay rules?  If they didn't care, you think they wouldn't mention it.  Note... I've not verified my claims and to heck searching through their TOS right now.  I don't care THAT much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, RH said:

I understand the cynicism but isn't shill bidding expressly against eBay rules?  If they didn't care, you think they wouldn't mention it.  Note... I've not verified my claims and to heck searching through their TOS right now.  I don't care THAT much.

Dude, eBay doesn't care about their own rules. I used to report listings every day for bootleg games and each 7 day auction ran its full course with sale on every one of them, none were cancelled. Reporting listings isn't going to do anything, they aren't going to stop listings that are going to make them money.

Edited by Code Monkey
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...