Shill bidding can happen regardless of whether the bidder knows the seller. However, when someone bidding on an item knows the seller, they might have information about the seller's item that other shoppers aren't aware of. This could create an unfair advantage, or cause another bidder to pay more than they should. We want to maintain a fair marketplace for all our users, and as such, shill bidding is prohibited on eBay. For more details on what constitutes shill bidding, please see our full policy guidelines below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Buy It Now to buy items from people I know?
Yes, you can use Buy It Now to purchase an item from a seller you know.
Can my employees bid on my listings?
No, your employees can’t bid on your items, and you’re not allowed to bid on theirs. Sellers with employees should make sure their workers are also aware of this policy.
How do I report shill bidding?
If you think that another member is shill bidding, you don't need to report it to us. eBay has a number of systems in place to detect and monitor bidding patterns and practices. If we identify any malicious behavior, we'll take steps to prevent it.
Read our full policy
Shill bidding happens when anyone—including family, friends, roommates, employees, or online connections—bids on an item with the intent to artificially increase its price or desirability. In addition, members cannot bid on or buy items in order to artificially increase a seller's feedback or to improve the item's search standing.
Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, you may be subject to a range of actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account. Shill bidding is also illegal in many places and can carry severe penalties.
What are the guidelines?Restricted
- Buying an item from someone you know, as long as you don't intend to artificially increase its price or desirability or violate our feedback manipulation or search and browse manipulation policies
- Bidding on your own items with another account
Why does eBay have this policy?
Shill bidding is unfair to buyers and it's illegal in many places in the world. We have this policy to discourage shill bidding and to make it clear what can happen when people don't follow these guidelines.