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How can a person determine if a buyer is only bidding on a specific sellers items? I have noticed a buyer has only bid on one specific sellers items and then backs out when the normal selling price is reached. (could this be shill bidding)
Not necessarily shill bidding. If you have a look at the stamp section as an example, many sellers combine shipping. I, as a stamp buyer, will have a look at the items I am interested in and if I find a particular seller, I try and stick to that seller to combine postage and keep my costs down. Sometimes, unfortunately, the price of some items will go over my personal limit and then I abandon the bidding, this does not mean it is shill bidding.
As I understand it, the definition of shill bidding is when the seller and bidder know each other or conspire to bid on each others items to drive prices up or get ratings.
We do monitor shill bidding on a daily basis, there are certain things we look at but what you describe above is not proof that shill bidding is taking place, if you are unsure please feel free to report it to email@example.com.