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Post Info TOPIC: Arbitrary bid increments

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Posts: 3757
Arbitrary bid increments

Looks like more highly fraudulent behavior by ebaY! Who could imagine?

This is right up there with forced 'free' shipping and passing on that fraud via proxy, the 'padded listings' scandal etc.

Bear in mind that 5% (of accounts/listings under 'test') mentioned is still a huge number, and thus are the dollar amounts involved. Although many bidders may not even notice, ebaY's budget/bottom line will get a substantial boost from this.



May 5, 2011 10:20 PM
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Hello fellow eBayers,
This is my first post. I'm ignorant of forum specific codes of conduct so I won't be offended if I violate any.

I'm a buyer, not a seller (yet). The $ amount in my example is trivial but the principal is not.

My purpose here is to raise a flag regarding an eBay practice that I find underhanded and offensive. I hope that others feel as I do and eBay takes note and terminates the offensive behavior.

I won an item tonight for exactly my Max bid amount. I was curious and looked at the bid history to see what had happened. I was surprised to see that the second highest bidder was more than one (usual) increment below my winning bid.

I reviewed the bid increment table and initiated an on-line chat to try to understand why I had paid more than one (usual) increment above the next highest bidder. I've included the text of the on-line chat below for your review and, perhaps, entertainment. I suspect that English is not the eBay reps native language.

Anyway the bid increment table is found at:

Pay attention to the Note below the table which essentially says that eBay can change the bid increment as they see fit. What it doesn't say is that they have to notify bidders in any way. In my case, the "usual" bid increments for the auction were TRIPPLED without notice.

I find this offensive because the it changes the playing field for the buyer. It's underhanded because the Note essentially makes the table useless. The buyer cannot rely on using the table to plan their bidding strategy. It's surreptitious because eBay has not implemented a notification stating that "usual" bid increments do not apply to this auction.

Buyers, check your bid histories. Pitch a bitch. Pass this on to any Lawyer friends interested in a class action cause.

Highly offensive!!!

text of Session ID 26804211:
Connected with Roger Sa.
7:23:05 PM Roger Sa.
Hello, Thank's for waiting and welcome to eBay Live Help! My name is Roger S. How may i help you? We are currently experiencing an unusual high chat volume. We thank you for waiting and we are sorry for the inconvenience. May i have your name please?
7:26:39 PM 4rrh
A few minutes ago i won 360362998116. The next highest bid was $25.80 so I expected my winning bid to be $26.80. The auction shows my winning bid is $27.55 which was my max bid. Why wasn't the winning amount $26.80?
7:27:16 PM 4rrh
My name is Richard Hassett.
7:28:56 PM Roger Sa.
What I understand is that the bid was twice the bid you have given, am I correct?
7:31:13 PM 4rrh
I don't understand your summary of the issue. Please reread my complaint.
7:33:30 PM Roger Sa.
the bid increment on the item was instead of having to pay +$2 you will need to pay $3= on the items price.
7:33:40 PM Roger Sa.
am i correct?
7:35:11 PM Roger Sa.
it was increased by 2x the current bid increment actually.
7:36:24 PM 4rrh
As I understand the bid increment table (I just checked it), at the subject bid range, the increment is $1.00. Therefore, I should have won for $1.00 over the next higher bid.
7:38:20 PM Roger Sa.
Yes i understand this concern of yours on the bid increment on the item, eBay's transaction team will be conducting two tests to our site on bid increments. There was analysis done where in 22% of auctions, where there was proxy bid placed, the final selling price of the item did not max out the proxy bid.
7:40:05 PM Roger Sa.
So basically it's a test on the site, The first variant test will increment the bid increment by 2x the current increment and the second test variant will increase the bid amount by 3x the current increment.
7:40:55 PM Roger Sa.
In this part By testing various increments, we would like to see if this has any impact on the final selling price of an item.
7:41:39 PM Roger Sa.
We may, from time to time, change (increase or decrease) our bid increments found on our help pages here Link.
7:45:28 PM 4rrh
You must be kidding. eBay's current published increment table specifies a $1.00 increment at the subject bid range. It's unthinkable that eBay changes the increment for "test" purposes. I want eBay to revise the winning amount to $26.80.
7:48:15 PM Roger Sa.
I know how you feel about this concern on the bid Increment on the item, but actually This test began on Thursday April 28th and will run for approximately 2 weeks ending on May 12th.
7:48:55 PM Roger Sa.
As part of the test, we are modifying our stated site policy information around bid increments. The following link is where they are published on the site. Link . In addition, listed is the updated legal text which will live on the policy page.
7:50:17 PM Roger Sa.
What happened?
7:50:45 PM Roger Sa.
Sorry about that, system error.
7:52:08 PM 4rrh
After the auction I checked the bid increment table and it stated a $1.00 increment at the subject bid range. Are you now telling me that eBays current published increment table is superseded by some other fine print regarding a "test"?
7:56:58 PM 4rrh
7:57:25 PM Roger Sa.
The thing is that it was tested on items that are listed on auctions, can you try clearing the cache of the browser see if it can be changed.
7:59:31 PM 4rrh
I'll try right now.
7:59:53 PM Roger Sa.
Okay no problem,
8:01:32 PM 4rrh
No change. Are you trying to tell me that the correct winning bid is $1.00 over the second higest bid but the $1.75 that I see in eBay is a software glitch due to a "test"?
8:01:40 PM Roger Sa.
I wanted you to check on it, but it doesn't guaranty that it will help.
8:04:09 PM Roger Sa.
It's not actually a glitch, because this test began on Thursday April 28th and will run for approximately 2 weeks ending on May 12th.
8:04:44 PM 4rrh
This "test" that you referred to is for eBay internal information only and not supposed to affect the actual winning bid amounts. Is that correct?
8:05:15 PM Roger Sa.
This is actually for US core site members actually.
8:06:21 PM 4rrh
I don't know what your statement means. We're not communicating very well. Can you refer this to yor supervisor?
8:08:48 PM 4rrh
8:09:35 PM Roger Sa.
I understand how you feel about this bid increment that was tested in the site, A lot of members actually are having problem with this update, but this test on the bid increments has done to see if this has any impact on the final selling price of an item.
8:10:23 PM 4rrh
We're not communicating very well. Can you refer this to yor supervisor?

8:10:45 PM Roger Sa.
And also I know that you wanted to opt out of the test. This is based on item numbers not user IDs so the item you may be bidding on may be a part of the test yet the next item you bid on may not be.
8:11:05 PM Roger Sa.
okay no problem I'll help you with it.
8:11:47 PM Roger Sa.
you will need to contact us through contact us in the "Customer support" on the site.
8:12:32 PM 4rrh
Do you mean I'll have to contact you by telephone?
8:13:05 PM Roger Sa.
Yes you will be given actually a choice to email or call us.
8:13:20 PM Roger Sa.
that way you will be redirected to our manager.
8:13:32 PM 4rrh
8:13:51 PM 4rrh
8:14:50 PM Roger Sa.
I apologize for the inconvenience,
8:17:55 PM Roger Sa.
I don't mean to rush you, but i just wanted to make sure we haven't lost our connection, Are you still with me?
8:19:55 PM Roger Sa.
It looks like we've lost you. If you still need help, please email our support group through this link: Link. Thank you for using ebay Live!
8:22:55 PM System
Roger Sa. has left this session!
8:22:55 PM System
The session has ended!

Uploaded with

here's the other thread mentioned. There is even more.


They sure are getting creative, aren't they? ebay is upset because the highest bid amounts of the proxy bidding system aren't being realized with many auction closing prices...

Secretly and selectively hike those bid increment amounts then! Call it a test! No one will ever know that they've been scammed for a little! *and if they do, what are they going to do? Nothing! Ebay knows that very well.

I also notice this isn't being covered by any of the so-called industry leaders.  Which is sad.

-- Edited by budnonymous on Sunday 8th of May 2011 04:12:16 PM


Exposing the sleazery of ebaY and PayPal


Top Poster

Status: Offline
Posts: 3757

Here is a screencapture of the Internet Archives wayback machine's preserved page for bidding increments/proxy bidding. You can see the additions/revisions, which were unannounced.


FWIW, I had to try repeatedly to get this page to finally load properly.



Uploaded with

-- Edited by budnonymous on Saturday 7th of May 2011 08:05:13 AM


Exposing the sleazery of ebaY and PayPal


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