Sneaky eBay Auction Tactic

caannie

Mother of Dachshunds
O.G.
Mar 28, 2006
2,675
1,084
Montgomery, AL
I recently bid on a Louis Vuitton item for sale by a Japanese seller. The listing was auction only with bidders' identities hidden. The auction only had one picture of the item but the description detailed any flaws. I decided to place a low bid hoping that maybe I'd get a good deal.

Less than 12 hours before the auction ended, at the point where bidders who bid earlier could no longer retract their bids, the seller added 11 more pictures. One of them detailed significant damage inside the wallet that was in no way mentioned in the description. I sent the seller a message requesting to cancel my bids since they had chosen to add pictures of damage at the last minute. They didn't cancel my bid. I ended up winning the auction and asking for an immediate cancellation which they did eventually give me.

I thought this was a one off, but today I found another auction by a different Japanese seller for a Louis Vuitton item with only one picture. Bidders" identities hidden. The description says the item is like new to excellent condition, but the one picture is questionable. I just messaged the seller and asked when they planned to post more pictures and let them know I got burned in an auction just like this.
 
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caannie

Mother of Dachshunds
O.G.
Mar 28, 2006
2,675
1,084
Montgomery, AL
I didn't think so either! But the auction I won only had 1 picture for 4 days, then suddenly 11 more appeared. And their were 10 or more bids at the time.
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
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Feb 25, 2007
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East Coast, USA

CeeJay

A BAL-enced Life!
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Dec 6, 2005
14,477
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A Yank in SoCAL
I don't believe that sellers can add pictures once there's a bid on an auction. Unless something has changed, that's the way it always has been.
Not that I'm aware of, I have added pictures when an individual requests to see something additional.
 

V0N1B2

Armchair Supermodel
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Jul 10, 2009
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It's my user name
Just for fun, last night I checked out this seller and took a screencap on a Keepall 50 with one bid.
There were no additional photographs.
Today, I went back and found the same listing with several more bids, and several more pictures.
I am certainly no eBay expert that's for sure, but I wondered if the 99 cent bid was the opening bid by the seller and that was why there were no extra pictures. But then I found that there were a couple of other items with 99 cent bids that did have additional photographs included.

IMG_0584. IMG_0586.
 

caannie

Mother of Dachshunds
O.G.
Mar 28, 2006
2,675
1,084
Montgomery, AL
Most of this seller's auctions start with .99 cent bids and only one picture. He's also the seller that I won the wallet from that I canceled.

 
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BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
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Feb 25, 2007
48,078
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East Coast, USA
Most of this seller's auctions start with .99 cent bids and only one picture. He's also the seller that I won the wallet from that I canceled.

So many Japanese sellers do 99-cent starting auctions and private bidding. I wouldn't ever buy from one of them. There's too much opportunity for seller to manipulate the bidding and selling price!
 

onlyk

Member
Feb 25, 2015
2,586
2,483
Garden City
I recently bid on a Louis Vuitton item for sale by a Japanese seller. The listing was auction only with bidders' identities hidden. The auction only had one picture of the item but the description detailed any flaws. I decided to place a low bid hoping that maybe I'd get a good deal.

Less than 12 hours before the auction ended, at the point where bidders who bid earlier could no longer retract their bids, the seller added 11 more pictures. One of them detailed significant damage inside the wallet that was in no way mentioned in the description. I sent the seller a message requesting to cancel my bids since they had chosen to add pictures of damage at the last minute. They didn't cancel my bid. I ended up winning the auction and asking for an immediate cancellation which they did eventually give me.

I thought this was a one off, but today I found another auction by a different Japanese seller for a Louis Vuitton item with only one picture. Bidders" identities hidden. The description says the item is like new to excellent condition, but the one picture is questionable. I just messaged the seller and asked when they planned to post more pictures and let them know I got burned in an auction just like this.
That was so tricky!! I'm glad you were able to catch it and had the order cancelled!! Thank you for sharing your experience!
 
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caannie

Mother of Dachshunds
O.G.
Mar 28, 2006
2,675
1,084
Montgomery, AL
This is a relisting of the auction that I won. This is the third time it's been relisted. Note that at this moment it has one picture and one bidder. In a few days it's going to have 11 pictures but right now it only has one.

 
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BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
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Feb 25, 2007
48,078
17,687
East Coast, USA
This is a relisting of the auction that I won. This is the third time it's been relisted. Note that at this moment it has one picture and one bidder. In a few days it's going to have 11 pictures but right now it only has one.

It's odd but there seems to be enough evidence that this is happening that I'm not doubting you nor needing you to prove what you're seeing.

I'll make a general comment on another commonality among Japanese (and other) sellers' listings.

In the olden days of ebay, auction listings with low starting prices seemed to encourage bidding wars, something that isn't normally seen in the last few years. It's been only auctions of OOAK or very rare but highly desirable items that experience a bidding frenzy.

So in an era when common items aren't (normally) being bid up to highly inflated prices, sellers with 99-cent starting prices and private bidding raise red flags in my suspicious mind. Add to that the fact that after being "sold" to the highest bidder, the same items are being relisted, often multiple times.

Is there shill bidding? Are items being won by complicit buyers? Are the sellers so unfortunate to get multiple NPBs forcing them to relist over and over?

I avoid private listings because I feel that I can't do the research (I personally do) to vet a seller, the seller's integrity and the item. (Additionally, private listings can't be seen when looking at the sellers' feedback histories either so there's no way to know the history.)