There’s something rotten in the state of …

eeebay.  On the whole I enjoy looking on the online auction site and have bagged quite a few bargains  – the Kenwood Chefette is a perfect example – just what I wanted, at a reasonable price from a helpful and communicative seller. However during the last couple of weeks I’ve been very disappointed by the attitude of a seller and the lack of action by the auction site. Just before I bid on the Chefette I saw the holy grail of mixers, an Ankarsrun Assistent for sale with a low starting price. I bid on it and put a reasonable maximum bid in rather than continually bidding up but soon noticed that an other bidder – we’ll call him Mr X – was bidding in small amounts up to my maximum then when I added one more bid he added another. At that point I gave up as I’d bid to my limit. When the sale ended Mr X was the winner but didn’t complete the purchase so I was offered a Second Chance bid,  I suggested to the seller that I would offer the amount I’d bid before Mr X started pushing the price up. They refused so the item wasn’t sold. What I didn’t mention was that Mr X only seems to bid on items from this seller and had apparently bought a mixer from them only a few weeks before after a very similar bidding pattern suggesting that Mr X may well be shill bidding ie inflating the price of goods for a friend (the seller). I sent my thoughts to the auction site but heard nothing from them.

The mixer went on sale again, same low starting price, a couple of bids then Mr X began bidding the price up yet again – from £2 to over £100 in a matter of less than an hour. The auction is due to end tonight and again Mr X is the high bidder with another unsuspecting soul as the next highest so I imagine at the end of the auction Mr X will win, opt out and another second chance will be offered at a price well above what it would be without Mr X’s bidding. I have contacted the auction site again – not because I want to win the item (with such devious bidding going on between seller and Mr X, I suspect that the item may not be all it’s said to be and I certainly don’t intend giving them any of my hard earned cash) but because such auctions only work if there is honesty between sellers and buyers and it is up to the site owners to take action against such fraudulent practices.

So if you are looking for an Assistent Original Mixer be very wary of buying one from an online auction and watch the behaviour of other bidders if you do before committing yourself to an inflated price.

 

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