Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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ebay extortion scam

Charge a fee to refrain from bidding against them
  (+4, -13)(+4, -13)
(+4, -13)
  [vote for,

Spider ebay and make a note of auctions in which the high bidder has bid an amount like $152.50. In such cases, the high bidder has probably put in a much higher bid, and the agent system has adjusted their bid to $152.50 because the second-highest bid is $150.

If you bid $160 in such an auction, it immediately costs the high bidder $10, at a very small risk to yourself. So send email to the high bidder and offer to refrain from doing this in return for a consideration of $1. Collect dollars from many people.

Some people won't pay. You don't have to carry out the threat against all of them; just enough to show that you're serious. One in five should be sufficient.

Occasionally the initial assumption that it's safe to raise the bid by $10 will be incorrect, and you will win the auction, which is what you don't want. But you can cut your losses by putting your new item back up for auction again.

dominus, Jun 23 2000


       many of the auctioneers already emplyee this technique. They overbid the highest bidder and once they win the auction, they send an email to the 2nd highest bidder claiming that the winner flaked out and whether you are interested in making a purchase. In this fashion, they don't even have to pay eBay their cut since everything is handled 'outside'
ps, Jun 23 2000

       They also get thrown off Ebay when they're caught...
StarChaser, Jun 24 2000

       Sounds like fun. Don't you just love ideas that completely disregard moral and ethical principles?   

       Is there enough business on eBay to make the work worth the investment?
dontthink, Jun 24 2000

       Some losers will always try and scam things, for pennies.
StarChaser, Jun 26 2000

       I told you this would happen if you stopped taking your medication.
Ander, Jul 26 2000

       I think there's a word that describes this practice.   

       I think that word is EXTORTION, in fact.
BigThor, Jul 26 2000

       Phew! That's the HalfBakery equivalent of saying "Vote croissant for my idea or I'll vote rotting fish carcass for all of yours". Evil.
hippo, Jul 26 2000

       Reminds me of a friend who specialised in buying sewing machines at auctions. He got known for this. Then people wanting to buy sewing machines would pay him just to go away. In case you are wondering, his girlfriend taught at a college and she would sell them to her students.
mkirksmith, Dec 11 2001

       Ok, so you want me to pay you $1 so that I dont get outbid on that box of crackers that I wanted for $8. Ok, you got me. I will pay up.. BUT how can I stop anyone else from outbidding me? How do I know you wont just create another account and outbid me again? Now my box of crackers will cost me $12 plus I still have to pay you $1.
Jscotty, Aug 17 2005

       This would work until someone reported you to eBay and you were suspended. A day at most.
wagster, Aug 17 2005


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