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  #1  
Old 10-08-2016, 05:14 PM
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Brent Huigens Brent Huigens is offline
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Default PWCC – Announcing Formal Policy Concerning eBay Bidder & Buyer Integrity

My name is Betsy Huigens; Brent and I own PWCC Auctions. Our company has always considered the integrity of our auctions to be our number one priority. We take a proactive approach towards monitoring bidders and taken action when appropriate. The purpose of this post is to announce the next phase of policing. I’ve historically monitored and managed our comments on the message boards (like this one), so I know how important auction integrity is to the collecting community. It gives me great personal satisfaction to take the next step in ensuring our venue is the most trusted and honest marketplace in the world.

As members of the eBay selling community, we don’t operate in a vacuum. The same independence of software that offers transparency and protects maximum bids also somewhat constrains our ability to make quick, sweeping change. Having said that, our relationship with eBay has allowed us to convey the importance of auction integrity to the right people and we are excited by the action eBay has taken. Specifically, starting with our last auction (Premier Auction #7) eBay began a “pilot” project with PWCC specifically enabling us to take action when we notice concerning behavior.

In close partnership with eBay, we are formally announcing the following policy which we will employ to monitor bidding, effective immediately. Considering our policy, we reserve the right to contact users whose behavior falls outside this policy, and in some cases, with the support of eBay we will restrict bidding privileges and eBay may even issue suspensions on specific user IDs from the eBay marketplace.

Bid Retractions:
  • The overwhelming majority of bid retractions are in violation of eBay’s stated policy. With few exceptions, all bid retractions on a PWCC auction are reported to eBay and result in an eBay-issued warning. A second retraction will result in that user ID being blocked from further participation in PWCC auctions and eBay suspending biding privileges for a period of time across the eBay platform. A third retraction will result in permanent suspension from eBay. Please spread the word.
  • eBay wide, any user ID that has a high number of bid retractions on the eBay platform will be blocked from participating in PWCC auctions. We believe that the majority of users who abuse the bid retraction tool will cease this behavior. We have to establish a starting point, so to start any user ID we identify that has greater than 25 bid retractions over the last six months will be blocked from participating in PWCC auctions. Any user ID we identify with between 10 and 25 retractions will be notified of our policy and warned. In time, we plan to reduce the allowed number of retractions to 10, and perhaps as low as 5. Note: a user’s bid retraction count is not a statistic we can automatically filter; we appreciate the help of the collecting community in identifying user IDs which show quantities beyond our defined limits.

String Bidding:
  • String Bidding is a new term we’ve coined to define a series of sequential bids at the eBay minimum bid increment. This practice can be perceived as bid manipulation because it increases the odds of a bidder exposing the maximum bid of another bidder without becoming the high bidder him or herself. Any instances of string bidding will be flagged and bidders warned and logged. Subsequent infractions may result in that user ID being blocked.

Unpaid Items:
  • As has been the policy for several years, any unpaid item on a PWCC auction results in a permanent block of that user ID from participating in PWCC auctions.
  • Additionally, any user ID which has two or more unpaid items strikes across the eBay platform are filtered and restricted from bidding with PWCC.

The time has come for us to respect this hobby as a commodities marketplace. Since implementing this policy last month we have already placed blocks on over 50 user IDs. It is our belief that the majority bidders whose behavior falls outside our policy are otherwise reliable and considerate members of the trading card marketplace. As such, it is our strong belief that in due time, problematic behavior will become a thing of the past. We encourage other eBay sellers to take a similar stance and aid us in supporting the integrity of the eBay platform.

Again, the integrity of our auctions is our number one priority. We ask that the collecting community on this board and others assist PWCC in identifying concerning bid behavior on any of our auctions. Please notify PWCC of any suspicious behavior by sending an email to bidmonitoring@pwccauctions.com. I can be reached at betsy@pwccauctions.com if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. We thank everyone for their commitment to the hobby.

Thank you for your kind assistance in this process.

Betsy Huigens
PWCC Auctions, LLC
website: www.pwccauctions.com
betsy@pwccauctions.com
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2016, 05:23 PM
ajjohnsonsoxfan ajjohnsonsoxfan is offline
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Bravo! The bid retraction policy alone is a big move. Great to see pwcc and eBay realize and react to protect the integrity of the marketplace.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2016, 05:38 PM
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Very good. Thanks PWCC folks !! I wish all sellers would institute your policy.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2016, 06:06 PM
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Excellent! Quick question about non-paying bidders on ebay: does ebay really keep track? I had a couple of non-payers this summer, and both continued buying (and paying for!) items after I reported them.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2016, 06:10 PM
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I like these policies and they will help the hobby, thanks! The bid retractions has to stop and this seems like a good step in that direction.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2016, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlywynnfan View Post
Excellent! Quick question about non-paying bidders on ebay: does ebay really keep track? I had a couple of non-payers this summer, and both continued buying (and paying for!) items after I reported them.
eBay does keep track, but it is up to the seller to mark their restriction.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2016, 06:53 PM
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This is great news. I will happily be bidding on PWCC auctions from now on.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2016, 07:02 PM
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Great effort! Thank you . Question... If bid retractions are NOT something the software can filter for...how are you going to monitor it yourselves?
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2016, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonepony View Post
Great effort! Thank you . Question... If bid retractions are NOT something the software can filter for...how are you going to monitor it yourselves?
Read the last paragraph. They are hoping/expecting us to do it for them.
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2016, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
Read the last paragraph. They are hoping/expecting us to do it for them.
I know, the one thing that most people care about most ( bid retractions) they have set parameters for with plans to modify... yet have no way to monitor for infractions.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2016, 09:31 PM
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Wow, awesome leadership in the field. It's nice to know someone out there is listening. For those who think there are flaws with the proposal; of course there are, but who else is doing even this much??? It's so obvious that their intentions are spot on that I'm sure they'll iron out implementation. The fact that we have a powerful advocate with ebay's ear and they are using it to help the hobby is simply fantastic.
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2016, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonepony View Post
Great effort! Thank you . Question... If bid retractions are NOT something the software can filter for...how are you going to monitor it yourselves?
We get an email each time a bid is retracted on one of our auctions. Overall number of bid retractions is something we have to check for each for each user ID, so here is where we are soliciting help from the collecting community.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2016, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Huigens View Post
We get an email each time a bid is retracted on one of our auctions. Overall number of bid retractions is something we have to check for each for each user ID, so here is where we are soliciting help from the collecting community.
Thank you
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2016, 12:33 AM
yankeeno7 yankeeno7 is offline
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Great job! Maybe at some point ebay will see the importance of transparency of bidders. But for now, this is a great move and great that you could negotiate this with ebay.
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2016, 12:56 AM
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It's most definitely a step in the right direction to help lessen shill bidding and most importantly bid retractions.

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  #16  
Old 10-09-2016, 01:01 AM
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This is far more than any of the other AH's are doing, (queue the cricket chirp). Much appreciated.
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2016, 01:04 AM
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I applaud the efforts made by Brent and Betsy. The one change I am somewhat concerned about in regards to discouraging legitimate bidders would be the "string bidder policy". I often use smaller bid increments for various reasons. As long as the bidder has no bid retractions (which I don't), I am not sure why I should be told how many times or how often I can bid and in what increment. I would rather not have my maximum bid amount hanging out there regardless of how confidential it is. Bidding smaller increments allows me to get a sense of what the winning bid might need to be in making a strategy for my top bid or a last second snipe. Most of the time so called "string bidding" doesn't result in matching the top bid, but actually puts you as top bidder at the smallest possible increment. As long as you pay for all your auctions without retractions, it seems unnecessary to regulate this part of the process and could result in discouraging legitimate bidders like myself resulting in lower auction prices and fewer participants.
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2016, 01:50 AM
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These are nice steps but the bid retraction policy should be changed. 25 bid retractions in 6 months? That's an INSANE number. No legit bidder would have 25 retractions lifetime let alone in 6 months. I think a number more like 3, or even 5, is more appropriate.

Last edited by Tabe; 10-09-2016 at 01:50 AM.
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2016, 06:49 AM
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Ive had three retractions in my life. Not patting myself on the back . . . I'm sure it's similar to most of you. 25 in 6 months? Serious game playing. If someone retracts bids on 2 or 3 PWCC items in the same auction -- that were consigned by the same person - they should be barred permanently.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 10-09-2016 at 08:17 AM.
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  #20  
Old 10-09-2016, 07:22 AM
PhillipAbbott79 PhillipAbbott79 is offline
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If this policing can't be done live, as it happens, what happens when it occurs at the last seconds of an auction, before action can be taken and the auction closes, leaving one of two scenarios:

The person who won the auction should be banned
The person is legitimate won the auction but the under bidder should have been banned

Will there be a price correction to reflect the policy?

How will we know that this person is actually banned? I came across a forum that had a blocked list based on botched transactions and they published a list of reasons. Is this something that can be done?
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  #21  
Old 10-09-2016, 07:39 AM
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Default Good job

Good job with getting eBay on board with these policy changes. We have been waiting for this for years, and the changes will benefit both sellers and buyers.

People on this forum have been complaining for years that the eBay sellers aren't responding to information in regard to bid retractions and shill bidding, and now we have a chance to make you aware of problems by providing our input.

Thank you very much! Rick
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2016, 08:47 AM
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I agree with Chris and Steve that 25 is way too many to tolerate. My lifetime total, I am pretty sure, is zero. Any measure is a step in the right direction, but I don't understand why it can't have more teeth right away.
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2016, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushihotwings View Post
I applaud the efforts made by Brent and Betsy. The one change I am somewhat concerned about in regards to discouraging legitimate bidders would be the "string bidder policy". I often use smaller bid increments for various reasons. As long as the bidder has no bid retractions (which I don't), I am not sure why I should be told how many times or how often I can bid and in what increment. I would rather not have my maximum bid amount hanging out there regardless of how confidential it is. Bidding smaller increments allows me to get a sense of what the winning bid might need to be in making a strategy for my top bid or a last second snipe. Most of the time so called "string bidding" doesn't result in matching the top bid, but actually puts you as top bidder at the smallest possible increment. As long as you pay for all your auctions without retractions, it seems unnecessary to regulate this part of the process and could result in discouraging legitimate bidders like myself resulting in lower auction prices and fewer participants.
Agree 100%.
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  #24  
Old 10-09-2016, 09:05 AM
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25 retractions is ridiculous: one or two is realistic. People make mistakes. People don't make them 24 times in six months...Especially in light of the string bidding policy, which mistakenly targets a legitimate activity. I don't know if anyone at PWCC actually bids on items, but eBay (and especially the mobile app) offers one-touch incremental bidding. When I am on the road or it is close to the end of an auction I will often just hit the button repeatedly rather than trying to type in a number. I don't see how you separate the one-touch legit bidders from those fishing for a top bid. Now, if you blocked all bidders with 2 or more retractions in six months, you'd deter the retractors from playing a fishing game while allowing legit bidding activity with the one-touch platforms.
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  #25  
Old 10-09-2016, 09:05 AM
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I also don't understand the problem with "string bidding". If I bid $1 a 100 times and become high bidder and pay for the item is that bad?
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  #26  
Old 10-09-2016, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajjohnsonsoxfan View Post
I also don't understand the problem with "string bidding". If I bid $1 a 100 times and become high bidder and pay for the item is that bad?
+1

I won't change that tactic for various reasons. It will be interesting to see if I get cited. Regardless, I applaud PWCC for their actions.

Last edited by jcc6252; 10-09-2016 at 09:58 AM.
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  #27  
Old 10-09-2016, 10:47 AM
sushihotwings sushihotwings is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajjohnsonsoxfan View Post
I also don't understand the problem with "string bidding". If I bid $1 a 100 times and become high bidder and pay for the item is that bad?
I think smaller bid increments are healthy making the market more liquid in a way. Bidders can better anticipate where the auction might end and this can help prevent wild price fluctuations at the close. We are not bidding in a vacuum and having more bids and bidders in small increments can smooth out that process. I think eliminating the bid retractors will take care of the malicious bidders and messing with bid increments is an unnecessary and potentially deleterious step.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:31 PM
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Really. As long as you pay up in the end, who cares how you bid?
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  #29  
Old 10-09-2016, 03:23 PM
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I've been bidding on ebay for seemingly 100 years and the only retraction I've ever had was a buy-it-now on a card that I didn't realize was OPC and not Topps. I immediately contacted the seller and he cancelled the bid. So, I don't even think that qualifies as a retraction. My point is, I wholeheartedly agree with everyone else that 25 retractions is just way beyond the pale. 25????????? Absolutely ridiculous.
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  #30  
Old 10-09-2016, 03:25 PM
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Happy to hear what pwcc is doing!
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  #31  
Old 10-09-2016, 03:34 PM
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This is great news.
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  #32  
Old 10-09-2016, 04:06 PM
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I had several retractions when I first came back to the hobby. I bid on a bunch of xmas racks before I did my homework. After I bid on about 10 of them, I did a little research, and then I retracted all my bids.
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  #33  
Old 10-09-2016, 06:35 PM
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Thank you for taking a stance against string bidders. As a bidder, I find it annoying and will OFTEN retract my bid if ran up by a string bidder. I just get the feeling I'm being set up to be shilled and I won't play that. This is long overdue and I hope more sellers take note.
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  #34  
Old 10-09-2016, 08:53 PM
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If I read between the lines, I think what Brent and Betsy are saying is "String Bidding" and then retracting, or String-bidding and not paying, will be meet with sever punishment.

String bidding alone is probably not a fireable offense, IMO, even though I hate it. It does seem suspect, and you could make a strong case that string-bidding is the gateway drug to retracting/shilling and non-payment.

If someone has a long history of on-time payments and no retractions, but is also a string-bettor, I can't imagine your going to be on their radar.
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  #35  
Old 10-10-2016, 01:28 AM
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Default nice job

Brent great job know you have to start somewhere but 25 bid retractions is way to many
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  #36  
Old 10-10-2016, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
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If someone has a long history of on-time payments and no retractions, but is also a string-bettor, I can't imagine your going to be on their radar.
Start imagining it.
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  #37  
Old 10-10-2016, 06:36 AM
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As people have pointed out not all string bidding is nefarious, but during the craziness we saw a few months ago there is no question certain guys were string bidding on big ticket cards to try to push up the price as far as they could push it.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:26 AM
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If the bidders risk buying the item it doesn't matter what bid increment they use or how often they bid. The retraction is the sin here. It allows the bidder to fish for the high bid with no risk of getting stuck with the card. That is why 25 strikes is asinine, fake pseudo-security. I mean that's "my toddler BINed my entire watch list" level error.

If the purpose of these changes is to stop shill bidding it won't work. If I represented a class of aggrieved card buyers suing PWCC for unfair trade practices that 25 number would need to be explained and I don't think it would go over well.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:30 AM
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Easily explained. I made 25 mistakes. Now do I win?

I agree, the 25 retractions should leave off the 5 part.....2-3 seems about right.

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Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
Completely irrelevant if the bids were not retracted. If the bidders risk buying the item it doesn't matter what bid increment they use or how often they bid. The retraction is the sin here. It allows the bidder to fish for the high bid with no risk of getting stuck with the card. That is why 25 strikes is asinine, fake pseudo-security. If I represented a class of aggrieved card buyers suing PWCC for unfair trade practices that 25 number would need to be explained and I don't think it would go over well.
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Last edited by Leon; 10-10-2016 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:09 AM
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I try very hard to avoid rushing to judgment on any issue. So further investigation was needed on the issue of "string bidding". As a logical first step in my investigation, I went to my EBay summary page and typed "string" in the Search box. I suggest that you do the same. I strongly support "string" bidding as a result of my investigation.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Huigens View Post

String Bidding:
  • String Bidding is a new term we’ve coined to define a series of sequential bids at the eBay minimum bid increment. This practice can be perceived as bid manipulation because it increases the odds of a bidder exposing the maximum bid of another bidder without becoming the high bidder him or herself. Any instances of string bidding will be flagged and bidders warned and logged. Subsequent infractions may result in that user ID being blocked.


Thank you for your kind assistance in this process.

Betsy Huigens
PWCC Auctions, LLC
website: www.pwccauctions.com
betsy@pwccauctions.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by sushihotwings View Post
I applaud the efforts made by Brent and Betsy. The one change I am somewhat concerned about in regards to discouraging legitimate bidders would be the "string bidder policy". I often use smaller bid increments for various reasons. As long as the bidder has no bid retractions (which I don't), I am not sure why I should be told how many times or how often I can bid and in what increment. I would rather not have my maximum bid amount hanging out there regardless of how confidential it is. Bidding smaller increments allows me to get a sense of what the winning bid might need to be in making a strategy for my top bid or a last second snipe. Most of the time so called "string bidding" doesn't result in matching the top bid, but actually puts you as top bidder at the smallest possible increment. As long as you pay for all your auctions without retractions, it seems unnecessary to regulate this part of the process and could result in discouraging legitimate bidders like myself resulting in lower auction prices and fewer participants.
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Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
.Especially in light of the string bidding policy, which mistakenly targets a legitimate activity. I don't know if anyone at PWCC actually bids on items, but eBay (and especially the mobile app) offers one-touch incremental bidding. When I am on the road or it is close to the end of an auction I will often just hit the button repeatedly rather than trying to type in a number. I don't see how you separate the one-touch legit bidders from those fishing for a top bid. Now, if you blocked all bidders with 2 or more retractions in six months, you'd deter the retractors from playing a fishing game while allowing legit bidding activity with the one-touch platforms.
I was going to comment on this "String bidding" scenario when it was first posted but I wasn't sure, nor am I still, what exactly it means?

If I am wrong, please correct me.

My take is, it means bidding on cards incrementally until you find out what the highest bid is in order to become the highest bidder?

If that is the case, I do not understand the need for this to be regulated/policed. Numerous times, when I see a card I want that already has bids placed for it, I will enter the minimum higher to become the top bidder. Sometimes/most of the times, my initial bid is not enough to become the highest bidder so I enter/choose/opt for the next $ amount until I beat the current bidder therefore becoming the highest bidder.

If the card later gets bid up again, I will either choose to beat it again or walk away if it is more than I want to bid or can afford. Am I now labeled as a "String Bidder"?

I also agree, 25 retractions is excessive in that time frame. I believe I have 2-3 total since I began bidding on E-Bay and my last one months and months ago but those were rookie mistakes and I am much more careful/thorough before I decide to bid on something now.

Last edited by irv; 10-10-2016 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:21 AM
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String in the search box had some interesting returns ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbmd View Post
I try very hard to avoid rushing to judgement on any issue. So further investigation was needed on the issue of "string bidding". As a logical first step in my investigation, I went to my EBay summary page and typed "string" in the Search box. I suggest that you do the same. I strongly support "string" bidding as a result of my investigation.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbmd View Post
I try very hard to avoid rushing to judgement on any issue. So further investigation was needed on the issue of "string bidding". As a logical first step in my investigation, I went to my EBay summary page and typed "string" in the Search box. I suggest that you do the same. I strongly support "string" bidding as a result of my investigation.
Quite eye-opening frank. I may be forced to study this issue for an extended time.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:44 AM
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It would be nice if Ebay (or PWCC for that matter) would block sniper software so auction items would be won in a fair bidding process, as compared to losing an item you have been winning for 6 days and losing it with one second to go in the auction. That is my biggest issue, who has not lost an item with seconds to go and felt "ripped off "by some high-tech computer sniper software that is nothing short "illegal". Only solution..if you can't beat em..join em.
One solution to this problem ......, you should be "blocked" from bidding, if you have never bid on the item in the last 10 minutes before the auction ends.
This solution at the very least,would allow the seller get higher prices for items for sale, as opposed to a prospective bidder getting "blocked out" by the bidding ending with 1 second left in the auction due to sniper software.

Last edited by smallpaul2002; 10-10-2016 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpaul2002 View Post
It would be nice if Ebay (or PWCC for that matter) would block sniper software so auction items would be won in a fair bidding process, as compared to losing an item you have been winning for 6 days and losing it with one second to go in the auction. That is my biggest issue, who has not lost an item with seconds to go and felt "ripped off "by some high-tech computer sniper software that is nothing short "illegal". Only solution..if you can't beat em..join em.
One solution to this problem ......, you should be "blocked" from bidding, if you have never bid on the item in the last 10 minutes before the auction ends.
This solution at the very least,would allow the seller get higher prices for items for sale, as opposed to a prospective bidder getting "blocked out" by the bidding ending with 1 second left in the auction.
I have never felt ripped off, only disappointed. I don't use a Snipe service but have won a couple cards with just seconds left (lost many too) but I understand the beauty of them especially when the auction ends late.

Sniping services are available to everyone, as far as I know?
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:53 AM
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Solution = Snipe higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpaul2002 View Post
It would be nice if Ebay (or PWCC for that matter) would block sniper software so auction items would be won in a fair bidding process, as compared to losing an item you have been winning for 6 days and losing it with one second to go in the auction. That is my biggest issue, who has not lost an item with seconds to go and felt "ripped off "by some high-tech computer sniper software that is nothing short "illegal". Only solution..if you can't beat em..join em.
One solution to this problem ......, you should be "blocked" from bidding, if you have never bid on the item in the last 10 minutes before the auction ends.
This solution at the very least,would allow the seller get higher prices for items for sale, as opposed to a prospective bidder getting "blocked out" by the bidding ending with 1 second left in the auction due to sniper software.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbmd View Post
I try very hard to avoid rushing to judgement on any issue. So further investigation was needed on the issue of "string bidding". As a logical first step in my investigation, I went to my EBay summary page and typed "string" in the Search box. I suggest that you do the same. I strongly support "string" bidding as a result of my investigation.
In American English, judgement is generally considered a misspelling of judgment for all uses of the word, notwithstanding individual preferences
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:11 AM
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Agree with some others regarding string bidding, I didn't really appreciate being told how to bid or that I need to bid in larger increments. If this is going to be a problem moving forward, you can go ahead and block me from bidding in your auctions.

Mike.Pugeda

Last edited by docpatlv; 10-10-2016 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:11 AM
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Great work PWCC team. Seeing funny business in the past I've been reluctant to bid on many items. I have won a few and with these new policies I anticipate more packages in the future.


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Old 10-10-2016, 10:01 AM
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Never understand why ebay doesn't institute dynamic endings for their auctions. Would certainly eliminate the sniping issue. sellers and therefore ebay would also make more money.
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