Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI Friends
Does this only happen to me?!

I was selling my G5 on eBay and the auction was to end tonight.

About an hour and a half before my auction was to end, I receieved an email purporting to be a question about the item I am auctioning.
I clicked on the email and was taken to a site appearing to be for "eBay Stores."
Realizing this was a scam, I mmediately closed the window. I did not input any data before closing the window.

When I went back to check the progress of the auction of the item I was selling, I noticed that all bids (9) had disappeared, and that item was now listed at the original price, with no bids.
Previous to this, my auction item had received 9 bids, with a price of $2,050.
Now, with about an hour left in my auction, I contacted eBay about this irregularity.

Now that the auction has finished, I have a bidder who thinks they won at a price of $2,125, another bidder who is asking why he didn't win with his bid of $2,500, and another bidder asking what a TKO notice is.

eBay is not the sort of organisation that makes personal contact easy for problem resolution. I have sent eBay a couple of notes describing what happened, but I have no idea if they'll investigate, or contact me and/or the bidders.

Now I wonder what I should do.

Should I re-list the item with an explanation?
What would stop anyone who already bid and saw the auction weirdness from giving me bad feedback?
How do the bidders know I was not simply unhappy with the No Reserve price and trying to pull a fast one?
(I was quite happy with the price)

I feel kind of bad, too, because this was a 10-day auction and some of the bidders have been watching and maneuvering for many days, and then they had to jump through hoops with 38 minutes left in the auction.

Any ideas? Anyone experience anything like this on eBay?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,799 Posts
I had something similar. I put a toshiba laptop up and in the last half hour the winning bid was $15,000. This is a $600 laptop. Then I got nailed with eBay's fees.

I did manage to get a resolution but not after extensive searching on eBay and several emails to them. Long story short, I'll never use eBay again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
You know, I've never been able to bring myself to buy or sell anything on eBay, and these type of threads just make it all the easier to keep it that way. Or, to at least keep it limited to small ticket items if I finally do give it a try. :baby:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
Wow - Soymac's experience is really weird.
I have used ebay for about eight years now and have never had a significant problem. In fact, I have more problems with B&M stores, Internet stores next, than with ebay auctions.
But it would be interesting to find out how something like this can happen.
Do you still have the email that supposedly triggered this? I would guess that if this was done on purpose, the new low bidder may be somehow related to that email.
The other previous bidders would also have emails from ebay confirming that they are the high bidder - you should try to get copies of those for evidence.
Good place to post your story is on one of the ebay discussion boards - your best chance to find out if anyone else had a similar experience.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
....
I have used ebay for about eight years now and have never had a significant problem.
See, that's what makes me crazy. It was my second item ever being sold on eBay, and this happens!

...Do you still have the email that supposedly triggered this?
Yes, I do. I sent a copy to eBay and received a response saying it is what they call a "spoof email", and not from eBay.
Any other descriptions of the incident that I've sent to eBay have seen eBay respond with multi-purpose form letters, with subjects such as "How to reset your eBay password".

I would guess that if this was done on purpose, the new low bidder may be somehow related to that email.
That, too, at first was my cynical suspicion. But with an hour left in the auction, there was still lots of time to bid the price high. Also, would that prevent the bidder who had pre-programmed his top bid to be $2,500, from winning? (the "winning" bid was $2,125).

The other previous bidders would also have emails from ebay confirming that they are the high bidder - you should try to get copies of those for evidence.
Yeah, I will ask them for copies. But at least one bidder saw that they lost the auction, even though they programmed their highest bid to be 375 dollars higher than the "winning" bid.

Good place to post your story is on one of the ebay discussion boards - your best chance to find out if anyone else had a similar experience.
Yep, that's what I'll do today.

Helpful Warning?:
One thing that eBay said in their note about "spoof eBay emails", is that to verify that an email is legitimately from eBay, one should not open the email in their personal email program, but instead should log into their eBay account to check their message(s) from within there.


Curiouser ansd curiouser...
I attempted to use eBay's "Live Help" email, and when I went to send the message, Safari warned me that the (supposed) eBay site did not have a verifiable security certificate and I might be sending sensitive info to a fake site. :eek:

Thanks all!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Use eBay's Live Help. This will get you a live person, in real time. It works. Ignore the Safari-related warnings (for this purpose). I get the same thing using Netscape on a PC.
Okay, thanks, I'll use that today.


It seems ambitious that you would sell something of this nature as your second auction on eBay. Normally buyers are suspicious of high-ticket items beings old by low-feedback sellers....
Well, I have to admit, I sort of wondered about that.
But I ended up being happy with the bids.

...Typically, someone with a lot more feedback will also sell such a product for a higher final price...
By "higher final price" do you mean their "reserve" or their price gets bid higher?

Being an eBay noob, I was expecting to maybe get a bit less, but I figured the eBay exposure would make up for trying to sell it locally on selling boards.

I'm curious: did you try to sell the item on ehMac first? Here you can set your price, any and all conditions, insist on face-to-face, payment (and clearance of payment) in advance of agreement, and so on. eBay/PayPal has protections not in place here; but you call all the shots here.
No, I didn't list it anywhere else before eBay.
I wanted the largest possible market for this computer.
Also, like ehMac, on eBay I can insist on face-to-face if I want, payment methods and timing, etc..

Now, I'll go to ebay's Live Help.
Thanks, HowEver!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
SoyMac -

When you replied to that "spoof" ebay email, were you on a Mac at the time or on a Windows machine?
I had a similar experience recently where an "ebay" email took me to a link, at least it masqueraded as a link. When I checked it, it was actually an .exe file.
No idea what it was supposed to do, but certainly something sinnister if you would click on it with a Windows machine.

As to not getting any more bids even though there was an hour left in the auction. I think that depends how the auction was manipulated. If it was somehow reset to become a new auction, there is a time interval after the auction is posted before it shows up on ebay. One can see it if one knows the ebay auction number but it won't show up in any searches. Also, the high bidder may not get any outbid email and he would be the only one ebay would notify.
But with all nine bids somehow erased, what happens is anyones guess.
What would really interest me and ebay should be able to answer that, how can anyone erase existing bids. In my mind that means the person has your ebay user ID and password and even then I'm not sure you can do that this close to the auction end.

I'm a bit confused by the $ figures you posted in your initial post.

It sounds like you had 9 bids with the maximum bid at $ 2050.-
The the nine bids disappeared and your auction went back to the starting price?
What was the starting price? Obviously quite a bit less than $ 2050.-
And then one person "won" with a bid of $2125.-
This all somehow doesn't compute.
If there is only one person bidding when the auction ends, he can only win with either the starting price or at the reserve price if there was a reserve.
And how did the $2500 guy get in the picture. Obviously his bid never went through.

As to negative feedback, you only have to worry about the person ebay thinks won. He is the only one who can post negative feedback.
But since you were happy with $2050.- from the nine bidders, you should also be happy with $2125.- from the "winning" bidder.

So in the end, is there really a problem?
Or have I misunderstood something?
It may help if you post the ebay auction number to take a look at it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All good questions, KRS!
I'll do my best...
SoyMac -

When you replied to that "spoof" ebay email, were you on a Mac at the time or on a Windows machine?
I was on a Mac.

As to not getting any more bids even though there was an hour left in the auction, sorry for miscommunicating. The bids actually started rolling in again, with one hour left.
What happened was the 9 bids and top bid of $2,050 disappeared with one hour remaining in the auction. The auction was effectively reset to zero. Zero bids, my original starting price of $1,300, at 9 days, 23 hours into the auction.
With the auction reset to the starting position, many bids flew in, and the final "winning" bid was $2,125.
That's fine. I can't complain about that price, BUT...
What bothers me is that the auction was reset to zero after 9 days and 24 hours, with no explanation.
It bothers me that other bidders bid in good faith over the course of the auction, just to see all their bids and work disappear with one hour left in a ten day auction.
It bothers me that at least one bidder bid higher (he says $2,500) than the "winning" bid, but did not win the auction. How many others may have bid higher than the "winner", but did not contact me?

As to negative feedback, you only have to worry about the person ebay thinks won. He is the only one who can post negative feedback.
That's a bit of consolation. But with only two feedbacks, a negative would be two thirds of my score! :-(


It may help if you post the ebay auction number to take a look at it.
item number: 250137755722

Update: Buddy from eBay Live Chat has been on with me for an hour now. At the moment, he's checking into why the bids were all erased. Wow, one hour, ten minutes since his last communication with me!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Send him a question to make sure the connection is still alive, like "Are you back from lunch yet?" or something more personable.
:lmao:
I did. 1 hour and thirty four minutes since last contact.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
Soymac -

i'm beginning to wonder if this whole issue has anything to do with the spoof email you received. maybe that was just coincidence. Maybe you can check the actual times of the TKO notices which are shown in your completed auction against the time of the email - when you opened it and clicked on the link to see if those actually match.

One key question for buddy is "Why did ebay issue this TKO notice?". At this point I wouls assume ebay did or a glitch in the ebay software, not some hacker.
Since you were on a Mac when you replied to the "spoof" email, it's unlikely anything was downloaded to the computer that would have compromised your account specially since you said you didn't enter any account information at that time.

Looks to me that you had five bidders when the auction was reset and bidder 3 would have been the top bidder at the time with a bid of $2026.-

Bidders 2, 4 and 5 came back with some more bids after your auction was reset, I can only guess that bidder 3 never came back with another bid since his proxy bid was already at $2500 and he would not have received an "outbid" notice from ebay to spur him into action.

By rights, bidder 3 should have won - with a final bid price of anywhere between $2150 and $2500 depending on what bidder's 2 maximum bid was, but the bidders 3 proxy bid obviously wasn't in the system any more.

I assume you received an "end of bid" notice with bidder 2 the winner.

Maybe bidder 2 will tell you what his maximum bid was - add $25 to that and argue with ebay to get the difference between that amount and the actual amount back or at least get them to drop the listing and final value fees.

With only two feedbacks, I would leave positive feedback for the buyer after he pays, wait for his positive feedback and then close this ebay account and open a new one.
That way bidder 3 can't come after you later in another auction, you are protected if someone did get your user ID and password and you only "lost" three positive feedbacks.

I hope you will let us know the outcome of the ebay investigation.

BTW - Does anyone know what "TKO" stands for? I couldn't find anything on ebay where they cover this or ebay acronyms.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
Thanks for the TKO information HowEver, but (so as not to use however again) what's in it for the bad guy?

In this case, SoyMac's hijacked account would have bid on hundreds or thousands of listings and won some - then what?
Would Soymax not now get a bunch of "Congratulations you have won" emails from ebay for auctions he (the real soymax) never bid on?
Or are these emails somehow redirected to the 'bad guy'.
Even if they were - no ebayer would send out any merchandise until they get paid, so the worst case is that the hijacked account gets negative feedback against it and a bunch of 'non-paying bidder' complaints on ebay.
For a power seller this may be an issue, but for someone with a feedback of "2"?

And even for a power seller, ebay will just erase the negatives as if none of this ever happened. Still no benefit for the bad-guy that I see.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow. HowEver and KRS, you have educated me today!
Thank you very much. :clap:
Unfortunately, what I've learned is that maybe I should not use eBay any more. It looks like there's no defence against the TKO (account TaKe Over) thing - that it's widespread and repeated - since I didn't fall for a phishing site and I immediately left the strange site I was directed to, without entering any info.

Unlike the TKO activity for some sellers, I have received no "Winning bidder" notices, so at least that's going for me.

For now, KRS, I think your strategy of negotiating the selling price with the highest bidder is best.They bid highest but lost the auction, so one increment above the "winner's" highest price seems fair.

I agree that I will change my user ID, after this mess is sorted out.
But also, I will look into eBay alternatives.

Update:
eBay help status as of 9:04 PM today -
No message from "Live Help" for 8 hours and 24 minutes, but I'm still "connected with a customer representative"
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
For now, KRS, I think your strategy of negotiating the selling price with the highest bidder is best.They bid highest but lost the auction, so one increment above the "winner's" highest price seems fair.
I hope I didn't suggest that!

From what I can tell from your auction, bidder 2 with a bid of $2125 won fair and square - if you sell to bidder 3 instead, bidder 2 is going to have ebay come after you.
Buzu33 or bidder 2 is clearly the winner, bidder 3's bids were cancelled and bidder 3 never ever even bid on the valid auction, the one that ran for the last hour or so.
Bidder 3 I'm sure received the TKO notice like everyone else and could theoretically have bid.

My comment was had the TKO not occurred, then bidder 3 would have won at a higher price than what you are getting now from bidder 2 and if the TKO notice was issued in error by ebay, then ebay should compensate you for the loss.
But it's probably a hopeless cause to get any extra money out of ebay, so my fall back suggestion for you was to accept a cancellation of all the ebay fees.

If you post this scenario on the appropriate ebay discussion group, maybe someone can advise you how to approach ebay about that.
I would definitely not negotiate a selling price with bidder 3!
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top