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Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?
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Author:  mohavesam [ Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

Watching a "news" story on FBI investigation into shill bidding (a federal crime when bids are sent across state lines) and other auction house fraud cases with the expected FBI self-congratulatory conviction lists. Gunbroker.com came up as one of the auction websites (crossing state lines) under past or current investigations... The point was made that the auction house or website has culpability for preventing and addressing shill bidding criminality...

I can't imagine other auctions hosts are any different? Any concerns out there?

Author:  ChiefMuzz [ Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

There is a lot of FBI noise right now around Sports Card collecting and a couple large auction houses/consignors regarding fraud and shill bidding is a big part of it. I wouldn't be surprised if they are starting to crack down in general on it.

Author:  Fox Mike [ Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

I am sure it happens. I worked with an auction and was told what to 'run' a bid to in order to get higher bidding. I have always said that at any auction you set your maximum price for the item and NEVER go beyond it. Once again, buyer beware.

Author:  RoninPA [ Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

Fox Mike wrote:
I am sure it happens. I worked with an auction and was told what to 'run' a bid to in order to get higher bidding. I have ways said that at any auction you set your maximum price for the item and NEVER go beyond it. Once again, buyer beware.


When I go to a live auction, and the auctioneer is not one I am familiar with, I look to see who all the auctioneers "workers" are. Then when the auction starts, I watch them to see what they do. When the thing that I may want comes up, when I bid I then look to see who else is bidding. If I see the "workers" bidding, and many will be disbursed in among the crowd, I may bid a couple times to see what they do. If they keep bidding then they are shills and I'll stop bidding because I figure I am now being cheated. Even if the bidding is below my max, I figure that without the shills I possibly would have gotten it cheaper than my max.

Bad part about on line auctions is that you don't know who the shills are unless you happen to notice the same name come up a lot over time bidding only for a certain sellers stuff. Even with that it's hard to prove it's a shill.

Author:  Enigma [ Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

If the FBI and DOJ are REALLY serious about wasting our tax dollars and their resources over this, which, realistically would result in many thousands of indictments across the entire spectrum, then we have serious problems. I'm much more concerned about political corruption and terrorism than I am about catching a bunch of shill bidders.

Author:  Ale-8(1) [ Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

A couple of years back, I watched an extended online auction of a bunch of really nice Ruger Old Models. I watched three dozen guns get auctioned off. On each and every gun offered, the very first bidder was ALWAYS the same name, and the next several bidders were all the same names but perhaps in slightly different orders. These same bidders would "get the ball rolling" up into some pretty nice dollars until some apparently "legitimate" bidders got involved and then the "starting crew" would drop out. These guys NEVER pursued an item to the final sale. I was amazed that it appeared that no one noticed this bit of subterfuge.

It wasn't Gunbroker, but a similar big-name online firearms auction outfit.

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Author:  SAJohn [ Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

In the few auctions I have attended, there was always an abvious initial shill bid to set up the minimum winning bid.

Author:  LuckenbachTexas [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

But Hillary walks

Author:  Mobuck [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

If caught doing such things at farm country auctions, the response used to be a little "physical intervention" applied in the parking area.
Auctioneers caught taking "bids from the rafters" soon lost their credibility and also their business.

Author:  The Norseman [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

I hope the FBI is investigating Shill Bidding.

I believe this happened to me on GB. Unfortunately I have no way to prove it.

It happened about four years ago. I wanted to bid on what appeared to be a
perfect S&W 625 45Colt Mountain Gun. A lot of perfect, zoomable pictures.
I knew it would go to at least $1200.

I started to email questions about it. The Seller got real Defensive, said he was
insulted by the questions. I was just not going to hand over that kind of money
to someone I didn't know. The guy Buys/Sells on SW forum.

Well the Bidding had the same name countering each of my bids. I asked about
"Shill Bidding" and Seller and his friend (which I couldn't figure this person)
went crazy.

Needless to say I quit bidding. The Seller also blocked me from bidding.


Lesson learned: do not buy from a Website. If I can't handle it, and look the
guy in the eyes, I won't buy. There lots of guns out there, I'll patiently wait.

Thank you for reading my Experience. It's bothered me for years.

Author:  BlkHawk73 [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

Ale-8(1) wrote:
A couple of years back, I watched an extended online auction of a bunch of really nice Ruger Old Models. I watched three dozen guns get auctioned off. On each and every gun offered, the very first bidder was ALWAYS the same name, and the next several bidders were all the same names but perhaps in slightly different orders. These same bidders would "get the ball rolling" up into some pretty nice dollars until some apparently "legitimate" bidders got involved and then the "starting crew" would drop out. These guys NEVER pursued an item to the final sale. I was amazed that it appeared that no one noticed this bit of subterfuge.

It wasn't Gunbroker, but a similar big-name online firearms auction outfit.

:roll: :roll: :roll:



Ya never know but this stuff can be completely innocent as well. Those that KNOW they likely have no chance but figure, "hey, if I can just get my name in the running..." And they simply hope to have it passed over and they walk away with a with for next to nothing. Heck done this myself on eBay. It's especially good when the seller uses an incorrect description of misspells a key word.

Author:  jgt [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

The Smith & Wesson sight had a Redfield scope for sale touting it was the bullet drop compensating model. I ask if it had the three ring/bushing adaptors and booklet that tells you which one to use for which caliber/load. The scope is useless as a bullet drop compensating scope with out these accessories. I only asked if it had these with it, and did not say anything else. The moderator blew up about me asking the question saying something to the effect if I was not a buyer I was breaking the rules. I told him I was very interested in buying the scope that is why I was trying to get the information. I also added I was buying and selling long before there was an internet and I didn't need the internet to get what I wanted so if he wanted to ban me that was fine with me. So far I have heard nothing more.

Author:  mohavesam [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

There are complications when state lines are crossed, i.e., advertising language, interstate commerce with auction & raffle licensing (the feds decide which is in play, no one else), USPS mail fraud laws, and I'm sure much more.

Author:  blume357 [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

40+ years ago I signed onto a community college night class on becoming and auctioneer. It was being taught by a state senator who also did auctions... the second class I attended was on how to rip off older widows who were trying to get rid of the stuff in their husband's work shop. I didn't attend anymore classes.

Author:  Mobuck [ Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunbroker Bidders Investigated?

My Cousin is a licensed and bonded Auctioneer in his home state. I can't even ask him to bid for me on items when he's actually calling bids. As ring man, he can and does bid to my max on the stuff I want. Same guy, same auction company, different spot on the auction truck.

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