Re-Outing Bad Photo Store… A Good Sign Or A Bad Sign?

from the questions-questions dept

Jeremiah writes “Thomas Hawk has a post up today discussing the return and re-listing of infamous photography retailer PriceRite Photo. It seems they are back in business as “Barclay’s Photo” on both Yahoo! and PriceGrabber under the new moniker.

So here’s my question: Is this a failure of “the system” to keep bad actors out, or is it a success in the sense this company has been outed (again) by the web community? “ If you remember, this was the company we discussed late last year, where we worried that the vigilante justice of the Digg death penalty might go too far. It’s good to see the community outing bad actors — but the risk of people going overboard mistakenly is something that people need to be aware of. In fact, the Thomas Hawk article doesn’t provide much proof that this is really the same company at all. Update: In the comments, Thomas Hawk counters my point about the lack of proof, noting that it has been covered (in detail) previously. Also in the comments someone from CNET’s shopping offering (which hasn’t relisted the company) talks about how difficult it is to keep these guys out.

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Comments on “Re-Outing Bad Photo Store… A Good Sign Or A Bad Sign?”

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dataguy says:

The company changed to the new name just days after the initial digg event (there were a number of posts with the details at the time). Changing company names is a common pratice for these types of “businesses”. The news is that they managed to get relisted with Yahoo! and PriceGrabber so quickly after such bad press. This raises the question – do Yahoo! and PriceGrabber have any ability to keep questionable companies off their sites?

Dan Miller (user link) says:

The reality is that it is next to impossible to always prevent a merchant from returning under a different name. They are more clever than most could ever imagine and they have honed these skills over the years.

That said, every shopping price comparison engine should know by now how to deal with these issues.

Which is why CNET still maintains, what I consider, to be the most vetted list of reliable merchants around.

–Dan (yes, I work at CNET, and yes, I manage our merchant program)

Thomas Hawk (profile) says:



PriceRitePhoto very publicly changed their name to Barclay’s photo on eBay. In my article I have a link to my article when this happened as well as an article by MediaPost covering the name change. eBay has documented that PriceRitePhoto and Barclay’s are in fact the same company. The web address used by eBay is in fact the exact same web address used by the company on PriceGrabber and Yahoo! Shopping.

Whether or not the company deserves the bad publicity or not is a different conversation entirely, but I think your statement that “the Thomas Hawk article doesn’t provide much proof that this is really the same company at all,” is off.

Click through the link in the article or better yet, here is a direct link to their ID history on eBay. If this evidence is “not much proof.” I’m not sure what kind of proof you are actually looking for.

At this point though for me the story is less about PriceRitePhoto and more about Yahoo! Shopping and PriceGrabber. When Yahoo! Shopping and PriceGrabber let a retailer who registers their domain as “John Smith” no address out of Brooklyn (a suspect place for shady dealers) and can get relisted on these shopping comparison sites I think something is broken. It takes two seconds to do a “who is” search on a company’s domain and it would appear that even this basic screening feature is not being done.

People deserve to be protected from these individuals and if you read comments placed on PriceGrabber since I wrote my original story you will see that they are back to their old tricks again.

While the vigilante justice conversation is an important one, if you read the comments at Digg it is interesting to see that with Digg’s new comment moderation feature that in fact most of these vigilante comments are being modded down at the same time while attention is being given to the story.

Of course I’ve yet to have heard from either Yahoo! Shopping or PriceGrabber on the matter at hand and don’t suspect that I will. They should be held accountable though.

If the above eBay “proof” is not enough for you, what kind of “proof” is it that you think needs to exist before reporting on something like this responsibly?

Sean (user link) says:

Good and bad

It’s certainly a failure in the system. People shop at places like Yahoo! and PriceGrabber because they think those websites offer a security blanket that covers the merchants that do business within their walls. Sadly, it seems any scum bag can open shop under the Yahoo! umbrella, and Yahoo! does nothing to stop those scum bags from getting in.

But kudos to Thomas H. for ousting them again. The folks at PriceRite Photo might as well pack it up and open a convenience store.

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