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eBay seller suspended after caught bidding for own item

'Nutcase' art goes for $135,000

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A scamster has been caught trying to push up a price on an eBay auction by bidding for his own item.

The "GREAT BIG WILD Abstract Art Painting" went under the cyber-hammer for $135,805 last week.

The seller, an unregistered user going by the name of 'golfpoorly' in California, said he got the piece of art at a "garage sale in Berkeley, California a LOONG time ago, back in my bachelor days".

Sadly, his wife banned the said item from the house because "she says it looks like it was done by a nutcase". However, Mr golfpoorly never lost his affection for the three-foot long painting, which he claimed "used to wake me up in the morning. YIKES!".

Yikes indeed, for it turns out that he loved the painting so much that he tried to buy it from himself and actually placed a 4,500 bid halfway through his own auction under a different user identity.

eBay didn't see it that way.

"It has been brought to eBay's attention that there was a questionable bid placed on the 'GREAT BIG Wild Abstract Art Painting'," the company said.

"This practice, known as shill bidding, can artificially drive up the price of an item and is strictly against eBay's posted policies."

"The bid in question was well below the final sale price and may not have materially affected the bidding. However, eBay's policy in these circumstances is to void the results of the sale and suspend the seller, which it has done."

eBay added that it had released the winning bidder from their obligation to shell out for this "nutcase" art, but that they could still go ahead with the deal if they wished. ®

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