ED Magedson – Founder
BIDZ.com, online auctionwww.bidz.com Internet United States of America
BIDZ.com is a large online auction for mostly jewelry. I have been bidding there for a couple of years. I started to notice that no matter what time of day, no matter what day of the week, no matter what the weather (!), there was absolutely no way to get certain items BELOW a certain price. Unfortunately I never did a search online for fraud at this company before buying quite a large number of items there.
One 14k ring I observed for about a month...about 20 auctions for the same item in 3 different sizes. Each time (except perhaps one), someone came in at the last 5-30 minutes of bidding with a bid of $104. That meant that the winner had to bid $105 to get the ring. Each time it was a different person, and one NOT previously bidding on the item. Each time it almost seemed like made-up nonsense user names.
I believe that this is called SHILL BIDDING and is illegal.
I am not going to bid there anymore since I've noticed at least 2 other instances of the same type of thing again recently: a ruby/silver necklace (rarely goes for less than $50) , and a topaz/silver necklace which rarely goes for less than $90...if ever. Mostly this apparent shill type of bidding is for the non-designer 14K gold items or better silver or precious stone items.
I am not going to go through the motions of reporting them to the govt for fraud...they are international on the web. However, I would like to know what happened with older articles/suits involving this company (2007, 2008) which I found mentioned online.
I suspect that they have a program which is set to "intervene" in the last 30 minutes. Their really pricey items are almost always on "reserve," so you won't see this type of activity there. But it is a definite pattern.
Here are 3 ads: 2 sold for $105.
Exquisite Brand New Ring With 1.25ctw Precious Stones - Genuine Diamonds, Rubellites Crafted in 14K Two tone Gold- Size 6.5 We Can Resize from 5 to 8 - Certificate Available.
Exquisite Brand New Ring With 1.25ctw Precious Stones - Genuine Diamonds, Rubellites Crafted in 14K Two tone Gold- Size 6 We Can Resize from 5 to 7.5 - Certificate Available.
Another sold for $108:
Exquisite Brand New Ring With 1.25ctw Precious Stones - Genuine Diamonds, Rubellites 14K Two tone Gold- Size 8 We Can Resize from 6 to 10 - Certificate Available.
The following are numbers and dates of auctions for the same item with the same last minute bidding pattern of $104:
(there were more but I got fed up with keeping track)
# 51987049 8/22/10, livingstondormaier bid $104, 20 min before end (times are approximate).
# 52166653 8/24/10, manchdaoub bid $104, 20 min. before end
# 52174476 8/24/10, strhoneid bid $104, 10 min before end
# 51756178 8/20/10 matticesquyres bid $104, 4 min. before end
# 51926523 8/21/20 (looked like legitimate double bidders vying for ring...8/21/10. ended at $107)
# 51931057 8/21/10 dender1wisky bid $104, 30 min before end
# 51933138 8/21/10 billionbennett bid $104, 20 min before end
# 51941116 8/22/10 menggert2010usa bid $104, 15 min before end
# 51968117 8/22/10 engon bid $104, 30 min before end
# 51979588 8/22/10 chaegen bid $104, 20 min before end
# 51982995 8/22/10 berrybuffuto bid $104, 45 min. before end
Eventually I bought one of the rings and I have to admit that it's a nice ring, but that is not the point here.
A good start would be to get the real ID's for these user names, along with emails and proof that they are indeed different/real individuals. That would be one way to prove that SHILL bidding is not going on. I had mentioned to one of their operators (call center located in Phillipines) about shill bidding. After that the amounts bid during the last few minute started to vary...the pattern was not as obvious on the other items after that call. But the end result was the same: a minimum amount required for sale. In fact, the BIDZ service woman in the Phillipines told me: "We cannot let this ring go for less than $105." That is quite telling! And amazing that she said that!!
I got ripped off in the JTV scandal with their claims about "rare" unaltered Andesine/Labradorite stones. A multimillion dollar suit resulted because they were indeed aware that the stones' colors were being altered, and a large amount of money was awarded. I received very little, although it was satisfying to know that SOMETHING was done.
Thanks for being here!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/25/2010 01:23 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/bidzcom-online-auction/internet/bidzcom-online-auction-aug-sept-2010-evidience-of-shill-bidding-internet-644364. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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