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Gun Auction Shills

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by bn12gg, Apr 21, 2010.

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  1. bn12gg

    bn12gg TS Member

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    I suspect many who frequent this forum have
    purchased shotguns etc., via gun auction on-line
    sites.

    Have you had experiences where an auction is stated
    to be without a reserve yet you get the feeling that
    a bidder is really just jacking up price with no
    real intention to buy. I'm having this feeling now
    on an auction site and have had the feeling on occasion
    previously. Generally, I stop bidding quickly
    retreating.

    Is it just me, or have any of you felt the presence of
    what I would call a shill.

    Thanks David
     
  2. melbournemike

    melbournemike TS Member

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    I went through a gun buying frenzy last year and found myself feeling the same way,So I just picked the price I was comfortable with and bid once,if outbid I let it go,you cant get hurt if your willing to pass it up!Just dont get caught up in bidding fever!
     
  3. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Messages:
    4,736
    It seems that happens more, if you communicate to the seller your interest in the gun. I try to not communicate with the seller any more than necessary, if at all.

    Remember most of these guys buy and sell regularly, and we all know about that.
     
  4. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Idaho
    I grew up in an auction ring. It is called running the bid and is an accepted practice. I don't mean to say it is ok for a seller on GB to have another party bid but I am sure it happens. Just bid what you want and quit.
     
  5. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Not uncommon on GB. If the bidder uses his computer or one associated with him (i.e. one use to leave feedback for the seller or to post items) GB will catch it and take SOME action, from a warning to banning.

    But, most aren't that stupid. A FFL I know had several friends who also listed items on GB. They'd simply rotate bidding up the others' auctions when necessary to raise the price.

    Hard to catch that.

    As stated above, bid what you'll pay and don't get caught in the game.

    Bob
     
  6. bn12gg

    bn12gg TS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
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    Guys- Thanks. I've adoped the pick a price and
    stand pat approach.

    Break 'em all.

    David
     
  7. eightbore

    eightbore Well-Known Member

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    Feb 17, 2009
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    Do your own police work. Check to see who the bidders are on the seller's previous sales. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, ask.
     
  8. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    As far as many are concerned, shilling is nothing more than fraud, and those engaging in it are quite unethical.
     
  9. TNCoach

    TNCoach Member

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    I used to see auctioneers do it all the time growning up in IL. They had about 4 or 5 people bidding on nearly everything to run the price up. They normally paid the shill by dumping a bid off on them every once in a while. It's easy to spot...

    I assume they owe GB fees if the gun sells to their friends? If so just set your mark, subtract 5%, and don't get caught up in the frenzy!

    Easier said that done, that's why I quit eBay.

    TNCoach
     
  10. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Coach, What USED to happen was that when the friend won he auction, the FFL would notify GB that the winner was a non-paying bidder and GB would credit the FFL's fees back to him.

    Not too long ago, GB got smart and, now, to get a refund of fees, the bidder has to have a non-paying bidder report lodged against them (too many against you and they ban you), AND, the bidder has to be blocked form bidding on the FFL's auctions.

    So, the FFL claimed he stopped the shill bidding since he didn't want to take a chance on losing his fees or getting his buddies banned.

    I really think he still does it, but not nearly so much.

    Bob
     
  11. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    Why not just put the gun up for sale here on TS.com? Let the bidders use PM to bid and enter his phone number. If the seller likes the price he calls the bidder and tells him he won.

    As the bid advances the seller can update his post so everybody knows the current bid.
     
  12. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Big heap ---U are right on---most on this site don't want to make offers so it is best to put the gun out to auction an let them bid---so what if there is a shill---the price goes up and U either bid or go on to another deal---just my thoughts---sjb
     
  13. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Another thought---If there is a shill and they bid past the reserve and there is no other bids the seller is stuck with the auction comission---not a good idea for the seller I don't think---sjb
     
  14. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    iktphd---U are wrong---I have made many deals on GB and never had a problem---also made many deals with some gun dealers and some are the most nasty people U can meet.I love it when they take out the B-book when U want to sell them something but they never take the book out when they want to sell---on the auction U bid---if not happy move on---just my thoughts---sjb
     
  15. Model Number 12

    Model Number 12 TS Member

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    Set a price that you are willing to pay, and walk away if it goes higher. If you get outbid and the item gets run up beyond its realistic value you still win-you didn't overpay and you still have your money in your pocket. If I suspect there's a shill bidder involved in an item, I have nothing to do with the auction and the seller. I have seen items on GB that were run up to ridiculous prices ( a M94 carbine for $1125! ) and then they would reappear with some BS excuse about how the "buyer" was caught in a flood, civil war, wrecked their car, etc.. and couldn't pay. Let these sellers get bitten by their shill bidders a few times and when they have no income because pretend buyers write pretend checks that they can pretend to cash just maybe they'll realize that its better to sell for real then try to flim-flam customers.
    By the way, I have dealt with some outstanding sellers on GB, including some who I have done repeat business with. There are a few slugs, however.
     
  16. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I agree with those who have suggested setting a price and sticking with it. I spent many years at auto auctions and wised up quickly to some of the tricks. For example, I found sellers "kicking" the auctioneer - bumping his foot with theirs to get the auctioneer to take a non-existant bid and thus run the price up. You just have to stop bidding when the item reaches your comfortable maximum. You can be fairly certain that a non-existant bid was the high one when the seller declines it and it was well in excess of the car's book value. That's when I would approach the seller and offer to buy the car for my last bid or wait for it to be rerun later that day or the following week.

    Otherwise, I like the auction environment and have purchased several guns on such sites. Only once did I not get exactly what I expected - a Remington Model Six was described as being in "mint condition" and appeared in its photos to be just that but it had fine zipper scratches all over the right side of the stock. A hour or so with some fine rubbing compound and polish corrected the condition, so no harm was done.

    Ed
     
  17. bn12gg

    bn12gg TS Member

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    Guys- Thanks for the input on gun auction sites. I've purchased
    approx 15 firearms over the past 4/5 years and have only once purchased
    using an auction. Fortunately, that was most successful and I picked
    up my Browning Super Broadway. The seller was honest and a pleasure
    to buy from. I'm not much of an impulse buyer which I think explains
    my suspicions regarding a couple recent guns I have bid on.

    Trapschooters.com has a wealth of solid info.

    David
     
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