View Full Version : Social Reality in the Internet age

Formula Jr
08-16-2005, 07:17 PM
I was reading a very long thread on an opinions site the other day, dealing with a certain make and model of a car I'm interested in buying. There were 70 pages, and each page had 20 some odd comments.

I began to notice something. And once I found the pattern, certain posts would stand out.

One in fifteen appeared to be using the exact same speaking points. And comparing the same set of cars in that price range; supposedly, different individuals, giving honest opinions. Writing, is a lot like a finger print. You can't radically change the way you write. But one half, of these posts, seemed to have been from the same hand - a positive opinion, and there was another half of these posts, also with unique characteristics, that had would steer the reader to a competeing car.

I knew that there were paid opinionators out there. But this was the first time, I could recognize these posts. I asked a friend of mine, who also reads opinion sites. And he said, they are everywhere, from Music, to Movies, to Books to MP3 players.

Its just interesting to see how the internet is being used to create social realities that may be nothing more than spin. You really can't trust anything on the internet.

Just an observation.......

08-16-2005, 11:12 PM
i needed a certain something (a hull)and i decided to check ebay. as luck would have it, there was one about an hour or so away. it said it was $105. so i bid.
and again, again, again, again... and so on. i just signed up just for this reason that day. but i could not win this auction.
then , one day before it ended, his item was removed for some violation ebay would not explain. i called him today but someone picked it up this morning.

after it was removed though, he called me and told me i could have it for.....
would'nt you know it? just about what my bid ended at!!!

i'm new to ebay so, is it possible to log on as someone else, bid on your own item, and put your max bid so high it will never be beaten. then just watch for the second highest bidder and contact them?

it was hypnotic! i just kept clicking thinking "this is it! this bid HAS to win this!"
i ended up going way higher than i wanted $160. then he calls me after he was kicked off ebay and tells me i can have it for $160. go figure!

08-16-2005, 11:18 PM
sorry to get off track here but this was just in the last few days and i am just wondering if he was removed for that reason? i am sure with computers now, the technology is there to be able to see other bids. also there is a way to bid on something and just put in your max bid, and even if you dont win, you could end up with the item if the winner falls through.

makes sense though, bid your own item sky high, so people are forced to bid higher.

who here knows about ebay?

Formula Jr
08-16-2005, 11:44 PM
I'm very familar with eBay. And i've watched zero feedback shills run my bid up then drop. I write to the sellers directly and say, something went wrong with this auction. I ain't buying it given this bid history, and don't even think about negative feedback. Remember that your average auction costs so little to run, I'm a seller also, and that there is so much oppertunity to register under multiple identities, that your proxy bid has little meaning now. eBay has no enforcement power for fraud and law across interstate bounds with the net is still wet paint.

What people need to know about eBay, is that it isn't an open auction in the traditional sense. I've done many, many real auctions as a buyer and as a seller.

On eBay the auction is weighed on the side of the seller. If it doesn't make what they want, the auction can be cancelled, and the seller can state that the item is also up for sale in other venues and can there by be sold out from under you.

You are not physically seeing the item, so condition is opinion. Good eBayers show the flaws first.

And also, If someone contacts you after an auction, it isn't auction anymore. I'd tell the guy, that i wouldn't charge him anything If I was to keep it from the landfill.

08-16-2005, 11:57 PM
ok, i'm lost. are you saying you think he dumped me because i have no bid history?
he did call me after it was removed, i have just been so busy. and i would not give him bad feedback, i dont have any reason to.
im just curious about why he was removed, and how my final bid (that did not win) was just what he wanted?
why would he not go to the highest bidder? and call them?
he called twice and emailed me 5 times!!! all within 2/3/ days. i dont even know anymore, 13 hours yesterday, 5 sleep and 8 more working today.
i've been bustin my arse lately.

anyways its gone, i missed out. now im bummed!

Formula Jr
08-17-2005, 12:22 AM
I'm sorry about your no feedback, no bid history.
But Even I will say, I will not accept any zero history bids. The bidder will have to have established itself as a real person with a sign on date earlier than the start of the auction. I think that is only fair to bidders of my stuff.

As a seller, you have this kind of lattitude to define the auction anyway you want.
Like any contract, you have to read the rules. For used stuff, the laws are very loose. Yet I see vendors of new things that fail the fitness tests of most states.

No one but a lawyer would care about this stuff anyway. And we have pretty much abandoned "rule of law."

08-19-2005, 09:54 AM
Feedback ratings tell it all, read them. NEVER bid until the last few minutes of the auction and your only bid should be the maximum amount you are willing to pay. Chances are good that you will get it for less than your maximum, others won't have time to drive the bid up trying feed find the top. The seller should give feedback when he receives payment, the buyer should give feedback when he receives the item. I hate auctions with a low opening bid and a reserve price, most times it is nothing more than cheap advertising for the seller or they are just looking to see what people are willing to pay, and then they will contact the highest bidder outside of ebay. Lastly, if the price seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Just my .02

Formula Jr
08-19-2005, 12:02 PM
If you've looked at a number of high end auctions, $1000 or over, you'll see lots of them that seemed to have peaked and then a zero FB bidder will come in.
Most of the time these are not even shills, they are just kids having fun like a prank phone call. eBay has no, positive ID criteria for buyers. All you need is a valid e-mail address, and there is an endless supply of those. So, I don't think it is too weird to ask Zeros to stay away from your auction. Anyone serious about being a bidder can establish at least some FB as a real person buying small items at first, where no one really cares. What they tend to do, is not to win the auction, but to run up the ceiling and find everyones proxy and stop right there sometime before the last 2days. And its human to then make one more bid, slightly over your high proxy. And then bang, guess what, you won. But you won at a level just beyond your original proxy - which had been blown. I've seen this happen so many times, that when ever a ZFB bidder enters any meaningful auction, I'm out of there.

08-19-2005, 02:56 PM
I've never bid on anything from a seller with lower than 98% feedback, unless the negatives were just plain stupid; and I do look at the feedback comments. I generally wait 'til the last 3 seconds and place my max bid. Over 200 transactions with only 3 or 4 hassles that were eventually resolved.