Tuesday, May 19, 2009

EBAY TRIES AGAIN

Looks like eBay heard the uproar about its fakes policy (see last week's ezine). EBay has changed the rules again. If a buyer and seller cannot agree that an item is fake, then the buyer is not required to destroy the piece. Instead, the buyer not only has to return the item to the seller, but also has to pay the cost of sending the item back. (EBay might pay the cost in some cases.) There's more explanation in EBay's new purchase protection policy. Is eBay more concerned about protecting modern trademarks than it is about obvious fakes of old items?

19 comments:

acg.chicago said...

eBay's policy has _always_ been the buyer has to pay to return an item, which is only logical. You cannot, for example, charge Wal-Mart for your gas expenses in returning an item there, either. Moreover, if the seller was automatically responsible for the buyer's return shipping costs, buyers would all be returning items via Express Next-Day Air and no one could afford to risk selling anything.

The corollary to the Buyer Pays Return Shipping policy is that a conscientious seller will refund that Shipping expense if the reason for the return is the seller's fault (e.g. fake, undisclosed defect or outbound shipping damage). Buyer's Remorse, for example, is not something the seller should be expected to cover.

Anonymous said...

I could not even find Ebay's Purchase Protection Policy on their site but Ebay has a terrible record for fraud and they are more concerned about their loss of business than they are in stopping the fraud. PRIVATE sales, PRIVATE feedback and the hidden buyer's/bidder's name all contribute to this fraud. Anybody who places a bid should be known to all and this would limit these bidders from being shills or friends of the sellers who sole function is to run the bids up. With the name of the bidder known, it is easy to check their bid history and when you see a $1,000 bid on a Galle lamp from a bidder whose only Ebay experience is buying or selling lunch boxes, you are about to have a problem. Another suggestion is to have any seller offering a "known name" item to say in the listing that this item is absolutely guaranteed to be genuine - not just signed. This makes the seller think before they call any canvas bag a Gucci and this would stop the majority of the fraud. Another important factor is to require a credit card from everybody who registers on the site and for Ebay to place a minimal charge against that credit card to insure that the person is genuine. It is also important to have their phone number verified and then you have a 99.9 percent probability that Ebay has a valid buyer or seller. Several years ago, Ebay had a group of thieves operating out of Atlanta who were selling fake Tiffany lamps both on and off Ebay. All a buyer had to do was place a bid and then get their contact information and call the phone number listed to find that all that was there was a disconnected or bad phone number. Repeatedly warned, Ebay did nothing. A lamp was photographed and offered for sale from Michigan, California, Georgia, South Carolina and the sellers used the very same photos in the listing. Stupid, you say? Not quite. A buyer in Seattle lost $30,000 and a buyer in France lost $20,000 and there were others. The FBI got involved which stopped this business but there have been no arrests made yet and after 2 years, this case is still under investigation by the Atlanta FBI. Ebay believes that they are helping stop fraud by requiring all sellers to only accept payments in the form of a credit card all the while touting their PayPal brand. Ebay need to do something or they will see their business deteriorate even further.

Anonymous said...

Yep, eBay blows all 'round. That's why I'm not on there anymore. No sense in your regular Joe trying to sell anything on there...IF you do profit, eBay takes most of it...then charges the crap out of you just to have it on there. What's the point?

Carl said...

Ebay shouldn't be involved in any way with transactions between buyer and seller. It should be just an internet service to connect them as it was originaly intended to be and used to be.

Sandy said...

I believe eBay is more concerned about protecting modern trademarks. In fact, I don't think they gave a moments thought to the impact their prior policy would have on antique/vintage items. This current management is into the new stuff and rarely gives the older items (the things that made eBay unique), a second thought.

The problem of course, is that you can't have a policy like that unless you are prepared to enforce it across the board. I think they realized it would be near impossible to enforce as written. So they changed it :)

Return shipping paid by the buyer is not new. I've only had to refund twice in 4 years. In both cases, I decided that my description missed a couple of important things and I refunded shipping as well. Never had an issue with fakes.

Most of us who are serious about our on-line business want happy customers.

Anonymous said...

Ebay ought to wise up and get rid of the rule having to post your shipping in your ad, How do you know where its going, I sure don't want a bunch to things packed for shipping sitting around if it doesnt sell. Ebay has more or less caused me to stop selling.

williams712 said...

Hard to even warn eBay about fakes.I have contacted them quite a few times regarding a seller that I know makes his own "rare" WWII pistol grips and sells them as authentic. EBay pulled a couple, but the seller just relists a few weeks later. Buyer must rely on close to 100% positive feedback and be sure seller can be contacted. Have had a couple of bad experiences with Chinese "antiques" purchased from China. Lots of fakes.

Anonymous said...

According to the Federal Government, if you purchase a fake, a counterfeit, it is NOT the responsibility of the buyer to pay for return shipping. This is neither logical nor fair. If the item is fake, then the seller must assume responsibility for paying to have the item returned, plus refund the original shipping and purchase price. Why should the buyer assume responsibility for a seller who sells fakes. I will not now, nor in the future, no matter what Ebay's policies, pay to return the fake item. What I will do, is contact the U.S. Government, file charges with the seller's State Attorney, and proceed with criminal charges. Ebay is an endorser of fake goods and I have been taken. No longer will I be responsible for assuming the costs of a fake item because the seller is trying to make a fast buck. Assuming additional costs to return the fake item so that the seller can scam some other unsuspecting person is totally out of the question. Also, I don't want to hear that you, the seller, weren't aware it was a fake. If you think that you can buy 175 dollar B & O headphones for 2 dollars and sell them for 50 dollars, then you are sadly mistaken. These are counterfeits. No Bang and Olufsen products come from China. Selling fakes across state lines via the internet is a federal offense. Again, Ebay's policy of having the buyer assume the costs of return shipping for fakes is against the policy of the United States Government and I refuse to pay. I will prosecute the seller to every extent of the law and the fake will be my evidence for conviction.

Anonymous said...

eBay is only interested in protecting themselves from lawsuits. They do not care if a seller is misrepresenting new items as 'vintage' or 'antique', as long as they get their cut. I know this as I have complained many times over the years about sellers listing new items as 'depression glass' or 'vintage', and absolutely nothing has been done. Although eBay still likes to refer to itself as a 'community', it hasn't been since they made ID's private - it's no longer possible to contact a fellow bidder to warn them that they're buying a fake! Of course, in the short run this boosted eBays's sales, but will eventually eliminate the small sellers that originally made eBay such a great place, as new buyers will only go to the 'power sellers', which do not (and cannot) provide the personal service and expertise that eBay so attractive.

Anonymous said...

It's been an amazing year of stupidity at ebay.

One insane policy change after another with no punishment for the executives responsible.

Ebay is so over.

Marlene said...

I notice you spend a lot of time trashing eBay. I not only sell on eBay but we have found many wonderful items for our collections and family member's collections there. You will find fakes being passed off in flea markets and in consignor shops, it isn't just eBay. Also, it has always been policy that the cost of shipping to return any item is the buyer's responsibility. As a conscientious seller we pay the return shipping if we made a mistake. I am considering unsubscribing from your publications just because of your constant put downs of eBay. It is a wonderful venue for both buyers and sellers and you'll find the same problems you complain about anywhere. there's always a bad seed in every apple as my gram would say.

Marlene said...

I agree with Carl wholeheartedly and with acg.chicago .

hotmayday said...

I had a very bad transaction with a seller who would not take responsibility for damage to my won items due to the way she wrapped and shipped. She gave me a hard time every step of the way. I opened a dispute with Ebay and was informed they would remain neutral on the issue. The seller offered a partial refund that I refused. I got the USPS involved and they agreed that the damage was sellers fault. All this time I had been receiving emails from Ebay telling me that They had reviewed my case and determined I could receive full refund with return but as I thought they would remain neutral I didn't check my emails. I spoke with them a dozen times and they did not inform me by phone the status of my case. The seller upped her refund offer and I accepted. 5 minutes later I discovered I could have received full refund. I asked to appeal the action but was informed there is no appeal process with Ebay, once you accept a refund it is final! ?? Isn't this America? My whole point here is that Ebay seems to protect the seller over the buyer. I suppose those seller fees are very important. The seller removed all traces of the items from the system, all within 30 days, so I could not leave feedback so I started the complaint process with Ebay to be able to leave feedback. The next day I got an email directing me how to open a dispute to get my full refund!! If I could go elsewhere I would. What I have read in these testimonials is almost unbelievable, and I wouldn't have believed it except for my recent experience. Can you imagine the seller fees Ebay received on those $20,000.00 lamp sales? Maybe thats why it continued. And as I move into a sellers role from being a buyer I have some special concerns. I have heard horror stories about seller fees and system changes. If you can give me an alternative to Ebay, I'll try it. Maybe these comments will have some impact upon their policies.

dddundalk said...

Ebay is SOOO over. I used to buy and sell on ebay - with a 100% feedback rating. Now with those stupid stars and their outrageous fees and suspension policies - they suspended me because they didn't recognize my computer - they can shove it. I use Blujay now - it's free! and growing. I'll NEVER buy or sell on ebay again.

dddundalk

rob said...

I agree with Carl, just like big business and our government Greed takes over at the upper levels and the people suffer. E-bay was great at the beginning, but they kept pushing for more from from the people that made them great! Forcing pay-pal on everyone just proved the greed. TOO BAD, they had a great business!

scamed again said...

I purchased 2 items in February from a seller who was in China, and asked up front if the items were real and I was assured yes, yes, yes,, When I finally got the items, they were fake. I contacted Ebay and Pay-Pal and was told after 3 months to send the items back. I had to send them separately since I had purchased them separately which costs over 15.00 per package. Pay-pal has to have a verifiable tracking number. The seller never picked up the items and one was returned to me after another month. I still have not seen the other item. Im out all the shipping and am still waiting for a decision to be made by Pay-pal. I have been hearing horror stories about the overseas Seller's. Ebay needs to have better checks on its seller's. Its become a guessing game who you can buy from or sell to. People have ruined yet another business with their greed.

Anonymous said...

Reply to scammed again...

Go to ic3.gov and file an internet crime complaint. Ebay and Paypal did not have the authority to make you ship the fake goods back as a qualifier to get your money. You should have sent them to the manufacturer instead. I urge you to file a fraud report with your State Attorney, ic3.gov and then follow them up. Neither Ebay nor Paypal can violate the laws of the Federal Government and that is exactly what they are doing. I do not return fake goods to the seller at my expense. This is total nonsense. If Ebay wants to challenge me on that, I will gladly see them in court. Good luck on getting your money. I cannot see Ebay or Paypal doing much to help you.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Marlene:

Hopefully you never get taken on Ebay. I have been taken and I have fought with Ebay, Paypal until I learned how to fight them and win. After trying to purchase Bang and Olufsen earbuds, and receiving a counterfeit, I went after Ebay, Paypal until they threatened to block me from their site for exposing sellers of counterfeits. Asking the manufacturer to start a counterfeit department, I then pursued through ic3.gov and the State Attorney for each seller in their home state. You may think the Ebay is the dream selling venue, but at least in a flea market, I can touch, look at and examine closely the item. If I recognize it to be a fake, then I walk away. At Ebay, you are at the mercy of the honesty of the seller and I am here to tell you that for the almighty buck, people will lie, cheat and steal if they think they can get away with it.

Good luck Marlene.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I do long for the good 'ol Ebay days, when the word of the seller on Ebay meant something and the word of the buyer was equally cherished. I was a well respected Authentic Autograph seller on Ebay, you know, before the fakes came into play. I would pay a small fortune to obtain only high quality authentic autographs of celebrities and sports figures by either obtaining them personally, or by sources trusted by me who would obtain poloroids (yes, before digital was sm affordable option) of the celebs signing the autograph. I would, whenever possible, send a copy of the poloroid to the buyer along with their purchase. I never once had a complaint about authenticity. I did, however find out that one purchase I made was faked with a look-alike celebrity on a purchase to a new contact by myself whom I thought was trustworthy, and immediately contacted the 4 people that purchased those autographs, explained the situation, and not one of my customers wanted their money back. Go figure. They appreciated my honesty and said that they loved their pics anyway. It's all about trust. Since that time, fakes flooded Ebay and Autographs went for $5.00! That's when I said So Long to Ebay. Please people....who would go through the trouble of following a celebs schedule, finding out where an opportunity will arrise to get an autograph, get a photo, drive there, confront them and if you are lucky, get them on a good day (all for $5.00?).. Nope.
I'll never deal as a seller on Ebay again. Too many rules, regulations and absolutely ridiculous expectations of both it's sellers and it's buyers.