A couple of days ago, I listed some Thinkpads on Trade Me on behalf of my employer, who has accumulated too many of them. He specifically wanted them listed so they would fetch what they were worth, rather than us putting a dollar figure on it and selling it cheap to a friend.
Then, I told you all about them. My boss likes to sell things off cheap. You might get a bargain. Promotion is everything.
A friend of mine, who now lives in Australia, said "Oh, yes, I'd like one of those", and created a Trade Me account for the purpose. Someone posted on the auction saying "Beware of saidperson, they're a new user in Australia", and I responded along the lines of "thanks, but I went to Uni with this person, and they're genuinely interested in purchasing it because of the favourable AUD-NZD rate at the moment"
NO! shouted Trade Me:
Your listing for THINKPAD X41 TABLET WITH DOCKING STATION (S=R)
Listing no. 69170303 has been withdrawn.It has been brought to our
attention that shill bidding has occurred on your auction.
Shill bidding occurs when members of the same household or friends bid on
each others auctions. We do not allow this on the site. This is because we
are unable to determine if this is with genuine intent to purchase the
item or is an attempt to increase the price on an auction.
It is a breach of our terms and conditions. Please ensure that you do not
allow friends or family members to bid on your auctions in the future.
Your co-operation in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
So, I try and take the path that leads to Trade Me making a successful sale, openly and honestly, and this is how I get rewarded.
Kyle very accurately observes "if it was happening to things you wanted to buy with sellers creating new accounts and bidding against their own items we'd be pissed off if they didnt stop it". Correct, but this happens all the time. My friends list auctions and say "Here is stuff I'm getting rid of", and if I'm interested, I bid. I only ever bid up to a point that I'm prepared to pay, should I win the auction. That's not shill bidding. Where's the beef?