Shill bidding is when sellers—or someone they know—place a bid on their item to drive the price up. This is called artificial bidding. Often the people placing bids have certain information about the seller's item that other bidders aren't aware of. To make sure no one gets an unfair advantage, shill bidding is prohibited on The Move Market.
People who know the seller – such as family members, flatmates, or employees – can't bid on that seller's properties that are in public auctions, but they can bid on blind auctions. Sellers with employees have to make sure their staff are aware of this policy and what the consequences are for breaking the rules.
Breaches of our policies may result in a range of actions, including:
In addition to this policy, the User Agreement covers that shill bidding isn't allowed on The Move Market. Shill bidding is also illegal in many places around the world and carries severe penalties.
Before selling properties on The Move Market, please keep the following guidelines in mind:
Bidding patterns that show no advantage to the bidder but significantly increase the property's price may suggest shill bidding. Other questionable patterns include multiple bids in short, deliberate intervals or high numbers of cancelled bids.
You can end a listing early by closing the auction. After a listing is ended all open bids are expired.
If you're aware of shill bidding activities on The Move Market, you should:
Our policy against shill bidding applies to all members of The Move Market, regardless of their membership status, and we base our actions on the severity of the violation. To protect the marketplace, we can't talk about how we detect shill bidding or our investigative methods. We also can't disclose certain kinds of evidence if we think that doing so would give someone ideas on how to circumvent the rules.
We understand that some members may not know that shill bidding is wrong. So we're open to giving them a second chance, and to ensure they fully understand the seriousness of the breach, we may issue a temporary account suspension or any other action that's necessary. Keep in mind, though, that sellers may be suspended from using The Move Market permanently, even if it's the first time they violate our shill bidding policy.
For a safe and reliable marketplace experience, we try hard not to have shill bidding on The Move Market. This policy is in place to avoid those activities and to be clear on what can happen when people break the rules. And remember, shill bidding is also illegal in many places around the world.