On my religious watch of Shawn Kemp items on eBay, I came across something that made my spidey-sense tingle. There was an auction recently for a rare UD3 Court Commemoratives Shawn Kemp autographed card which fetched an unprecedented $586.99 (1:1500 odds of pulling one from this set so factor in the odds of pulling one specific player and the figure you get is astounding). I took a closer look at the bidding that went on and noticed that the top 3 bidders battling it out consisted of a member who had a 700-plus feedback rating, another who had a rating of 2, and the eventual *winner who was rated at 22. Curious.
Well who knows how many Kemp-crazy fans are out there who are willing to give a fortune for a little ink on their cards, so I let this one slide. Not two days later though, the very same, very rare card surfaced on eBay. This time it is only as a Buy-It-Now listing and its asking price is $600. Curiouser and curiouser indeed. Maybe I’ve got my Fox Mulder thinking cap on but I immediately cried, “Conspiracy!”
I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to say that the seller and bidders were in cahoots. This is an old auction trick. You get mates to bid on your item in order to jack up it’s price and force the legit bidders to enter a bidding war with them. Your mates keep going until you feel comfortable with the price but sometimes the legit bidders may stop bidding and you end up with a faux winning bid which eBay will then charge you for. In this instance you now get your mate who “won” the original auction to sell your item again this time with a high Buy-It -Now price. Since you’ve successfully raised the market value of your item, previous and new bidders will be willing to resort to buying it at this high asking price. Sucked in.
Makes for a good story. What do you guys think?
*Due to eBay’s buyer/seller protection system, there is no way to check who the real auction winners are.