I want a serger. I can’t afford a new one so I’m looking at used ones on eBay. I’m looking at one specific make/model, the Baby Lock Imagine. New, they currently retail for about $1,800. No can do. I’ve watched many auctions on eBay where they’re going for about $800 with some exceptions. That’s better.
I was looking at the bid history of a current auction the other day and I just don’t get it.
Here’s the beginning of the auction, starting price $9.99. What, are you kidding me? So the first bidder bids 50 cents and then rounds it up to $50 in 13 seconds.
Watch what the second bidder does: in all of a minute, makes several small bids to get it up to $99. Let’s skip the next 3 bidders who are just incrementing it in small jumps, probably what I’d do. But then, whoa! bidder #6 jumps it up from $117 to $500? Who does that? And then bidder #7 bids against him/her self several times in 10 minutes and jumps it up to $810? Who does that?
In this continuation screenshot of the bid history, bidder #7 is not finished and jumps it up to $1,000. I don’t understand bidder #8′s entry, two days earlier, also at $1,000? and then bidder #7 comes back and at the time of the screenshot, got it up to $1,025. (An important note is that this serger has a special feature called “the Wave” stitch that makes it more expensive than the one I’m looking for.)
So this is what I don’t get: why bid against yourself and drive the price way up? I read the bidding rules and it says shilling is not allowed. But let’s say I’m the seller and I want to start a bidding war. I’m afraid my auction might sell too low so I get a friend to drive up the prices. The rules says your bid commits you to pay for the item, but the friend could “pay” for it and the seller turns around and gives their money back. And then he puts the item back up for another auction. I can see this happening. How does eBay catch it? Or do they?
Am I just being cynical? Or is there more to this that I don’t understand? I don’t have much experience with eBay, but if I’m going to bid on something, I want a bargain. And by bargain, I’m looking for a steal