Attempting to generate a little extra cash by flogging off one or two unwanted items on the Internet is now a common pastime in 21st century life, usually via online auction sites such as eBay.
However for the more unscrupulous among us, it seems that there's an all too enticing shortcut to ensuring that the item you have for sale goes for the highest possible price. Once you're sure that you have interest in what you're selling, why not bid on the item yourself, therefore falsely giving the impression to potential buyers that there's competition, and so forcing them to pay more than they would have? This is what is meant by shill bidding, which is a violation of eBay rules and, moreover, illegal. People who engage in the practice are known as shill bidders, and a bid placed deliberately to push up prices is described as a shill bid. The word shill can also be used as an intransitive verb to describe the same activity, perpetrators correspondingly dubbed shillers.
不过，对我们当中会不择手段的一些人来说，似乎有一个很诱人的捷径可以确保你出售的物品拿到一个尽可能高的价格。一旦你很确信你对自己出售的物品很感兴趣，为什么不去自己竞拍呢?这样一来就可以给潜在的买家一种错觉，以为有人在跟他竞买这件物品，从而迫使买家出更高的价格。这就是shill bidding的意思，即“自抬竞价”。这种行为是违法eBay规定的，也是违法的。有自抬竞价行为的人就叫shill bidder，以此方式达成的交易就叫shill bid。Shill一词也可以作为不及物动词表示“自抬竞价”，付诸该行为的人则是shiller。
Shill dates back to 1914 and is thought to be a shortened form of the earlier term shillaber. Its original use was to describe a person who acted as a swindler's accomplice by reacting in an enthusiastic way in order to encourage others, often as an audience member at a carnival in order to elicit interest in an attraction. Over time the word began to be applied in a variety of contexts. For example in marketing, a shill is a person who gives the impression that they are a satisfied independent customer of someone they're in fact secretly working for. (Source: macmillandictionary.com)