I’m not going to call it common, but I think there is far more “shill” betting going on than considered. I don’t know if that’s the correct adverb there, but basically I see suspicious bids that I would wager are made on a fake account by the seller or the seller’s friends in order to pump up the interest or bump it to reserve. Or, bump it to an imaginary reserve on an alleged “no reserve” auction.
I forgot which car it was... I think it was another fake — eer, replica — Cobra was auctioned off at no reserve, and the top bidder turned out to be the owner of the car. His move was to prevent it from selling too cheaply, even though it was no reserve. The actions were defended by some as “protecting his investment” and that “this happens all the time.” It’s corrupt, is what it is. They banned that account (I suspect he has another), but the seller got a finger-wag even though he was potentially in on it.
But that’s HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars on the line. I’ve been noticing dubious bets on sub-20k cars, on auctions where there’s been no activities for days and suddenly someone who made an account two hours ago triples the previous bid even though there appears to be no real interest in the vehicle with one or two days left on the auction.
I don't know... I love the pornographic photography and seeing cars that I've never even heard of, but there seems to be a little bit of... [Pantomimes "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"] ... lurking around. Maybe I'm paranoid.