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Shill bidding policy

Policy overview

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.

Review our shill bidding policy tutorial to learn more about this policy.

Reporting shill bidding

Learn more about reporting listing violations. If you think you see shill bidding taking place on a listing, report it to us. Be sure to provide the member's user ID and the item number. We thoroughly investigate every report we receive. Often what appears to be shill bidding isn't a violation. If there is evidence of shill bidding, we will take action, which may include listing cancellation or referral to law enforcement. However, our User Privacy Notice prevents us from disclosing the details of our investigation to other members, including the person who reported the issue.

What are the guidelines?



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  

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • 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.

Contact Customer Service

You can contact Customer Service to report a listing you think violates this policy. Go to that listing, and then click the Report item link on the right side of the page.

We'll review your report and take appropriate action.

Contact us

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Ask eBay members

Get help from other eBay members. Visit the eBay Community to post a question.