0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

history in the faking

6 July 2010

Mr Paul Barrett has been sentenced to a £3,000 fine, plus ordered to do 250 hours of community service, for committing the offence of shill bidding, after becoming the first person to be convicted of the practice on eBay earlier this year. This occurs when a seller bids on their own item, under another account name (or ‘sock puppet’) in order to jack up the price. Shill bidding is reportedly a widespread problem on eBay. 

Mr Barrett had faced a maximum fine of up to £50,000, or jail time. He pleaded guilty after an investigation by North Yorkshire Trading Standards. He stated that he was not aware he was committing a crime. 

Though the prosecution is to be commended, the size of the penalty, combined with the admission by the authorities that shill bidding is difficult to prosecute, means that without more action being taken, this conviction alone is unlikely to deter future shill bidders.

So do you think that chasing internet crime is a good use of Trading Standards meagre resources – or should they be concentrating on the real risks to consumers like sale of dangerous toys or flammable furnishing?

related opinions

Supreme Court awards compensation to a Professor for an invention created during his employment

A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Shanks v Unilever PLC has supported the right for employees to receive compensation for patented inventions if the invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’.

View blog

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

CJEU shapes up nicely for Louboutin red sole trade mark

The Court of Justice of the European Union has today given its judgment in relation to a key issue in one of the most hotly debated trade mark disputes in recent times.

View blog

Commission requires delivery service providers to reveal price lists with new rules

Rules to enhance regulatory oversight and improve pricing transparency of cross-border parcel delivery services were adopted by the European Council on 12 April 2018.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up