Shills have some form of vested interest in a product but acts like a customer. There is even a science to it for the really good ones. They get a conversation going about a companies products then do things like bump it at the right times like after it has has slipped to the second page for a day or two. They try and work on herd mentality. It is not normal member behavior. Forums frown on it since done right it can create a lot of focus on a single company at a level higher than the members would other wise do. There are also sockpuppets and pawn. One shill we once found had multiple accounts and had conversations with himself that drew in other people. Well several have had multiple accounts but this one was memorable. It started off with, "has anyone ever tried one of these" There was a couple of posts by other members then the next day the same person with a different username came in "oh I got one of those and it is great" Then the back and forth started and it started bringing other members in. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill Most shills are good enough to not get noticed by most members. The person that stated this thread after some information came in does not seem to be a shill at all but the designer of the knives it seems has done this type of activity according to some people.