Unfortunately some sellers have a few eBay accounts. The accounts go by the email address, not name or location so ebay cannot detect this. When you bid early and no other bids appear for the duration of no bids UNTIL after YOU bid, it is somewhat likely the seller has bid on their own item to increase the price with a different account. Only bid at the last few seconds to avoid this scam. It is more common than you would think. What if the seller outbids everyone? They simply relist it and do not report non-payment to ebay to preserve their other account.