Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against eBay Because Of The Way Its Auctions Work

from the oh-come-on dept

It seems you can find people to file a class action lawsuit against just about any crazy thing these days. The latest, as pointed out by Eric Goldman (with the complaint embedded below), is someone filing a class action lawsuit against eBay claiming all sorts of violations for the way eBay’s auction system has always worked. Here’s the basic issue. eBay developed a rather clever system back when it launched to handle bidding. You don’t just put in your next bid — you put in what’s supposed to be the maximum you’re willing to bid on an item. But the auction system itself always goes for the highest bidder’s lowest increment above the second highest bidder. If that sounds confusing, let’s take the language from eBay’s own site, and quoted in the lawsuit:

  1. The current bid for an item is $10.00. Tom is the high bidder, and has placed a maximum bid of $12.00 on the item. His maximum bid is kept confidential from other members.
  2. Laura views the item and places a maximum bid of $15.00. Laura becomes the high bidder.
  3. Tom?s bid is incremented to his maximum of $12.00. Laura?s bid is now $12.50.
  4. We send Tom an email that he has been outbid. If he doesn?t raise his maximum bid, Laura wins the item.

This is how eBay has always worked. And it’s a perfectly reasonable business model choice that eBay did because it makes life much more convenient for users. Rather than having to put in place each bid, you can set the most you’re willing to pay and rest assured that you’ll just have to pay the next increment above the second highest bid. Of course, in practice, the bidding rarely works that way, with people often feeling pressure to raise their highest bid, or wait until the very end to snipe the bid. But, overall what could possibly be the problem with this system?

Well, according to the lawsuit, this all seems to be a conspiracy to defraud the seller of the full $15 that Laura bid. The fact that she only pays $12.50 is apparently due to eBay failing to “act neutrally” and instead “inject[ing] itself into the transaction by intercepting the bid aamount [sic] before it is received by the seller.” Seriously.

Once again, this is how eBay has worked forever, and it’s pretty clearly explained on the site. It’s a business model choice that makes plenty of sense. It’s not some breach of contract, or “tortious interference” or “unfair competition” or “unjust enrichment.” It’s just a business model. In fact, if eBay were really being nefarious, wouldn’t it set things up the other way? After all, since eBay gets fees as a percentage of the sale price, if the company were really being sneaky, it would try to force everyone to pay the higher bid. If anything, it seems like eBay’s structure is designed to help people, not to unjustly enrich itself…

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Companies: ebay

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Comments on “Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against eBay Because Of The Way Its Auctions Work”

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Cloksin (profile) says:

Where's the common sense

I really can’t believe that a lawyer has actually taken this on. No where do I see that ebay is interfering with the auction. Lets look at it this way.

You go to a traditional auction house because you’ve seen an item you’re interested in. You go to the auction with a predetermined maximum anount of money you’re willing to spend on that item. As the bidding starts, you don’t bid that maximum amount right away, you bid the minimum possible and only increase it when someone else has out bid you. If things work out in your favor, you’ve purchased the item for much less than what you have set as your maximum bid for that item.

Here’s another example, you participate in an auction over the phone, speaking on the phone with a representative from the auction house. You start bidding on an item and tell the person on the other end of the phone, who is submitting your bids for you, that you don’t want to bid more than a certain amount for this item, but you tell the person to keep bidding for you as long as the current bid is below that maximum amount. Again, if things work out in your favor, you’ve purchased the item for much less than what you had set your maximum bid to.

It seems to me that this is exactly what ebay is doing. When in an auction house, the seller has no idea what I have set my maximum bid to, so when I purchase the item for less than my maximum the seller is none the wiser that I was willing to spend more than I actually did. Just because ebay provides a means to set your maximum, it in no way suggests that this amount is the actual bid. The actual bid is the increment set for the auction above the previous bid.

Hopefully the judge will have the common sense to see right through this and dismiss the case right away.

MrWilson says:

Re: Where's the common sense

Yeah, it appears that the plaintiff is just confusing the difference between a bid and a bid limit. The bid limit is how much you’re willing to bid, but the bidder in no way intends to pay that much if the highest bidder with whom they are competing doesn’t bid nearly that high. The bidder’s willingness to pay the high amount is contingent on it being necessary.

Steve Stav (profile) says:

Re: Where's the common sense

This suit may require some mind-clearing for some to grasp, and admittedly the “proxy bidding” angle is ingenious. The essence: eBay does not claim to be an auctioneer. It does not have an auctioneer’s license. In fact, its legal claim as a hands-off “online bulletin board” that merely “facilitates” auctions has allowed them to circumvent various regulations, including the Internet Communications Act. It has allowed them to not be responsible for the site’s content, for example. This has been the biggest elephant in one room of a house of cards for more than a decade, and eBay has thumbed their nose at the lagging legal system while inventing and cornering a huge market share. PayPal shenanigans, facilitating libel via feedback, acting as an arbitrator/return center with sellers’ funds, etc., etc…. and David’s “proxy bid” case comes along with a slingshot. We’ll see if anyone pays attention to his aim. – 14 year eBay member

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: bleh

Typed into address bar.
Hit ‘Sell’ in top right bar.
Hit ‘User Agreement’ near the bottom of the login page.
Went down to the section ‘Fees and Services’ and actually read it.
Followed the link for ‘Fees Schedule’ offered there:

The entire process from start to finish took considerably less time than composing this message but far be it from me to accuse you of a lack of effort and bitching about your own ignorance after the fact as if that was somehow someone else’s fault.

HavaCuppaJoe says:

Re: Re: You linked right to it, Dude

The sale percentage fee is right on the page that you linked to. They call them “Final value” fees and the price is different depending on how much the item sold for and whether it was an auction or a fix-price sale. It’s right in the fee schedule on the page you linked (bold below):

Insertion fees for auction-style format listings
Final value fees for auction-style format listings
Insertion fees for fixed price format listings
Final value fees for fixed price format listings
Business and Industrial equipment fees
Optional feature fees
Reserve price fees
Buy It Now fees
Listing upgrade fees
eBay picture hosting fees
Seller tool fees fees
Other terms

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: bleh

Um… you know, I’ve been both a buyer and seller on eBay for years, and they’ve always been pretty upfront about their fees. The first time I tried to sell something I read through their information several times to make sure I understood the process details, but all the information was right there in the instructions.

Maybe you should have read ALL the words.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well, you do have to consider that in the movies, when there’s a high-stakes auction going, there’s always someone at the end that way overbids because they’re made of money.

These people probably want something like that to occur, where someone doubles the previous bid at the last second and writes them a check on the spot.

V (profile) says:


Idiotic lawsuits like this are one of the reasons that the court systems are so clogged and business insurance rates are so high.

I have sold MANY, MANY things on eBay. I know how it works. I APPRECIATE how it works. I see no issue with the way it works. It really is no different than me telling an agent at an auction my maximum bid and allowing him to slowly increment it.

This happens ALL THE TIME in the art world and at other high end auctions. The fact that some backwards idiot doesn’t like it is now causing eBay to defend itself, which means they have to spend money… which eventually means they’ll end up raising fees to compensate for having to defend themselves against frivilous lawsuits with no merit.

Thanks idiots.

Michael Kohne says:

How is ebay's model any different than a 'book' bid?

I’ve heard of normal auction houses doing a ‘book bid’ where buyers who don’t show up can submit bids ahead of time to be considered at the moment of auction. As is explained here:

I think these people are going to have a hard time explaining to a judge (or a jury) how Ebay’s system is any different than a book bid (which has been used in traditional auctions for many, many years).

Even if it was some new thing (as opposed to a tweak to a very old model), I fail to see where it’s Ebay interfering in anything – Ebay makes sure everyone obeys the pre-stated rules.

If the rules were different, the bidders wouldn’t put up large bids anyway. Instead it would end up resembling the silent auction at my local farmer’s market – where you DON’T get maximum price because people have to come back to bid it up.

Loki says:

As someone who has done both a fair amount of buying and selling, this is pure ignorance and greed.

There is NOTHING wrong with proxy voting.

Look at it this way:

I’m selling a rare Leonardo da Vinci sculpture.

The CIA wants it so they send an agent to do their bidding, and tell that agent he can only bid a maximum of $12.

The Vatican wants it so they send a nun to do their bidding, and tell the nun she can only bid $15.

If mister CIA agent doesn’t go over $12, why would misses Vatican nun bid more than $12.50

The only difference is with eBay, the CIA agent and the Vatican nun are electronic so the President and the Pope don’t have to sit there all day bidding themselves.

What this/these clown(s) want if for everyone to be a Mayflower and just keep upping the bid to outbid themselves until the reach the magic number.

Fine, I reserve the right to blow up the auction and sing a little song

Christopher Weigel (profile) says:

Second-price auction

Ebay’s model is an example of a second-price auction.

The major advantage of second-price auctions is that they encourage a bidder to bid their “true valuation” of a product. I.e. if I am willing to pay $20, I have motivation to insert that as my bid.

A first-price auction, on the other hand, makes it so the bidder has motivation only to bid minimally above the person below them.

It’s a classic game theory problem and the second-price auction is better for both the buyer (no sniping required) and the seller (again, no sniping)

TL;DR, this is a stupid lawsuit.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

Re: Second-price auction

No. Ebay is actually a traditional English Auction. In a second price auction, if I bid 12 and you bid 15, you will pay 12 and get the item. In an English Auction, the auctioneer, starts at a low price and slowly increments it by a fixed amount until only one person is willing to pay the offered price at which point the auction is over. So in the ebay system, you set your max at 15, I set my max at 12 and the auctioneer raises the price until 12. At that point, 2 of us are still willing to pay for the item, so he raises it to 12.50 where I drop out and you pay 12.50. It’s the standard economic outcome you would expect under perfect competition.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

Isn’t this the whole point of an auction, compel people to bid? That is why it is called bidding.

But what’s mystifying about eBay (to me anyway) is why most people don’t just set the max they’re willing to pay, and leave it. Apparently virtually all auctions are won by sniping now, so I can’t even tell by entering a bid if I’m going to win. The “99 cent” current bids on almost everything, and even the higher bids on some items, are meaningless, because they’re just going to get sniped at some unknown higher price.

I would probably use eBay more if everyone just entered bids and left it at that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

I think you’re irrationally attaching too much value to knowing before the auction is over if you’re going to win or not. Just bid you max and leave it be. If you get outbid it’s because someone overpaid for it (from your perspective) and that’s no loss to you.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

I think you’re irrationally attaching too much value to knowing before the auction is over if you’re going to win or not. Just bid you max and leave it be.

I don’t agree. If everyone bid their max immediately, I could see which auctions are still in my budget and which ones are already more than I want to bid, as well as take some guesses. For example one that’s close to my max and still has a week to go probably isn’t worth the time to bid on it. As it is now, the price might as well be listed as “?”. I have no idea how much someone is planning to bid on it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

Again, bid your max. If you win, you are happy. If someone else bids more then you are out nothing and have the satisfaction that they paid more than you thought the item was worth. They might be thinking they got a bargin, but what do you care?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

It’s wasting my time. I don’t want to bid on something, wait a day to find out I lost, bid again, wait another day to find out I lost, etc. And I don’t see much difference between sniping and just shopping, so I just go elsewhere, unless I specifically need something that’s not available new.

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

I use Ebay regularly to buy retired Lego sets. For some of them, I am willing to pay $50. If at all possible, though, I WANT to pay less.

I have a lot of free time, so I just bid the minimum amount to qualify for one of the sets. If I get outbid, I bid again. Y’know. Like an auction. Amazing, really.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

Having used ebay quite a bit in the past, I’ve occasionally run into what I believe is a common seller trick of creating shill accounts to bid up to someone’s maximum bid before the auction ends. They know that most people can’t stand being outbid and will bid again before it ends.

As such, I started the practice of “bid sniping” as well, although I would usually just bid in the last hour of an auction, and then put my maximum bid in within the last couple minutes to circumvent other snipers.

At this point, most sellers aren’t going to mess with it, as they may risk having to buy their own item back.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

Having used ebay quite a bit in the past, I’ve occasionally run into what I believe is a common seller trick of creating shill accounts to bid up to someone’s maximum bid before the auction ends.

I suspect there’s quite a bit of that type of fraud going on, which is another turn-off of eBay. The real problem is eBay isn’t directly hurt by this, and in fact benefits from it in the short-term, so they don’t particularly want to crack down it unless it’s necessary to retain buyers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

I started using sniping software after getting outbid at the last second time and time again. Works like a charm.

Could eBay neutralize sniping software? Absolutely. Just use a captcha (random numbers and or letters you must type in to validate) or reset the last minute.

Since there have been many analogies to “real” auctions, I’d like to point out that the auctioneer does not stop the auction when there is active bidding. That is why I like the last minute reset.

I think there should be as little “friction” in the transaction as possible. Currently, the friction goes against the seller when maximum bids aren’t achieved because the bidding closes when there are willing bidders with more money.

My biggest complaint with eBay is the PayPal monopoly. You are virtually forced to use PayPal (owned by eBay). As far as the seller is concerned, PayPal takes a second bite of the apple after he’s already hit with auction fees. PayPal then holds the sellers money (without interest) and charges the seller (a third time) if he spends that money using a debit card.

I remember when Microsoft was king of the hill and there was this little “niche” player in Cupertino California that now has beat the “king” in a big way.

I see eBay as a lot like Microsoft. They abuse their “monopoly” and will continue to do so. In the meantime, it’s only a matter of time until somebody comes along and makes a better online auction site.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

What they’re getting at is that there’s no reason at all to bid more than once with the ebay model. Logically the value of the item to an individual shouldn’t change over the course of an auction so only one maximum bid is necessary. However, for a human the prospect of loosing the item is often enough to change the value of the item temporarily in spite of the long term value remaining exactly the same.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Isn't this the whole point of an auction?

I don’t understand your post. Auctions encourage bidding more than once by the bidder. That is why it is bidding. Whether or not the item gets sniped in the end is irrelevant. You are bidding against other live bidders, snipers or not, and the automatic bidding. I see nothing underhand or even unfair about the process. Bid what the item is worth to you and don’t cry if you don’t get the item. I am speaking of the general “you” here, not you in particular. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Always Worked?

Not that it matters, but I vaguely remember the beginnings of E-Bay working a bit differently.

I remember sitting at my computer waiting for the timer to tick down to 5 seconds and place my bid. I’d pray my 28.8K modem would be fast enough to get my bid in. Then the wait for the refresh of the screen was agonizing. Would someone else have done the same thing but bid more the I?

Then they implemented an incremental “end time”. Every bid within the last minute reset the timer to add another minute for bidding. Or something like that.

I was singing praises when they came out with the “maximum bid” concept.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Isn’t this just the same theme as every other story here?

Someone sues someone else for not maximizing their profits for them.”

Yes, but no, what it is, is someone suing someone else for not doing something that they in their ignorance believe would maximise their profits but would in fact cause utterly different behaviour which would actually reduce the profits that they make.

You know, like claiming piracy is destroying their business when there are more movies making more money and more musicians writing more songs and more able to make a living etc etc.

Nick (profile) says:

Sheesh. And here, as I was reading the article, I formed a thought in my mind of what the complaint probably is. I thought that, in the case of a 12 and 15 dollar max bid, that the 15 dollar person was complaining that they had to bid 12.50 to win, instead of 12. If you think about it, if you have the highest bidder automatically bid the max of anyone else, that means nobody else will bid higher, so it follows the rules.

Again, I at first thought that it was the highest bidder of an item complaining over what is essentially a 50c tacked on price, not a SELLER complaining that “max bid” doesn’t automatically get submitted instantly.

What the client here fails to notice is that this is essentially a live auction, not a silent auction. Live auctions you pretty much just know that you were out-bid, and have time to determine if you wanna go again. Silent ones, you put up a price, and if you are highest you win. Ebay is NOT hiding which one this is.

Steve R. (profile) says:

The Case of the Clueless Seller

I dropped E-bay a long long time ago. In one case, I won the bid for substantially less then the seller wanted. The seller made all sorts of ludicrous noises to the effect that he could simply cancel the transaction since it was far less than his perception of market value. In the end, the seller grudgingly shipped.

smacdav says:

Re: The Case of the Clueless Seller

The seller’s resistance is not EBay’s fault. On the contrary, probably the only reason that the seller shipped in the end is that EBay wouldn’t allow them to cancel the transaction. Once someone has won an auction fair and square, the seller is required to sell to the winner for the winning price. You have EBay to thank for helping you out by requiring the seller to play by the rules.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The Case of the Clueless Seller

You mean like setting a reserve?

Both setting a reserve and setting a higher starting bid incur higher fees to list an item, so that’s why they try to avoid it if they’re sure an item will reach their predicted market value.

The fees for selling items on ebay are ridiculous these days, and on top of that, if you use paypal, they double-dip.

Drew (profile) says:

Re: The Case of the Clueless Seller

Umm, that is not E-Bay’s fault in any way whats-ever. There are ways to ensure that a seller ensures that a particular ‘base-price’ is met when they create the auction, if he wasn’t savvy enough to configure it properly that’s no fault of the winning bidder. However, again, E-Bay is not responsible for someone trying to hold out on you.

Anonymous Coward says:

auction explanation confusing

I realize you took that auction example from them, but did you leave something out? Having never used ebay I found it confusing. Why is it not $12.01 instead of $12.50 for example?

To make this example make sense I would removed the “current bid is $10” from #1 because it is irrelevant and adds confusion. And in #3 add “because ebay has $0.5 as a minimum increment”.

After that it makes sense, but I would remove all the crap about “bid” vs “maximum bid”. Your bid *is* your maximum bid. The whole thing comes down to simply, “The maximum bidder actually gets the item for the cost of the second highest bidders bid plus a small increment.”

Drew (profile) says:

Re: auction explanation confusing

Wow, why comment on the process if you have never used the process?

On E-Bay when a seller creates an auction they can set a starting bid, and the minimum bid increments. When someone puts in a bid on a given item they can set what their bid is and set their bid to automatically re-bid the next increment up to a maximum bid if another person bids on the item.

For instance I put something up for auction with a starting bid price of $10 and minimum increment of $0.50, Tom comes along and bids on the item for $10 and sets the maximum he wants to bid on the item to $12. Well when Laura comes along and bids on the item for $10.50 and sets her maximum bid to $15, the E-Bay system will cycle through the intervening bids very quickly. Meaning Laura bids $10.50, well Tom said he would pay more than this so the system bids $11 for Tom, then $11.50 for Laura, then $12 for Tom, and finally the system bids $12.50 for Laura which is above Tom’s maximum bid.

In the example above remember that Tom, or someone else says Steve, could come back and bid more for the item since auctions last for days or weeks.

Violated (profile) says:


People bidding early are being stupid when this only causes a bidding war. They beat you, you beat them and so on. Price goes up and up beyond what the item is worth.

It is much better to snipe the auction. Just figure out the maximum fair price you want to pay and bid at 3 to 10 seconds before auction close.

The snipe service I use is PhantomBidder but you can get PC software like HammerSnipe.

Doing snipe saves you much time and money.

CrushU says:


I’ve used it to buy and to sell. I have never had problems (except that I think their fee is a bit excessive, but hey, saves me time so I don’t begrudge them.)

One time, I bid on an item and it did not make it over the seller’s listed minimum price. I negotiated with him and he posted it for a lower minimum price and I won that bid as well. (Mostly for covering shipping costs.)

Claiborne (profile) says:

Um …. I believe that this is the exact definition of an auction, as opposed to paying the marked retail price for an item.

The price is not set but is negotiable, depending on the demand of those parties interested in purchasing the given item. The point of placing your items for sale in this way, is to try and get the maximum amount the market will bear in a given time period. Sometimes the seller gets more than they would have asked for the item. And sometimes the buyer gets a the item for below what the seller would have originally asked for the item. But throughout the transaction, the market demand is what drives the price/value of the item.

If you dislike this business model, don’t sell your items at auction.

Philip Cohen (profile) says:

Where do these nutters spring from?

I do hope that the shyster was not stupid enough to have taken the case on a “no win no fee” basis.

But, how could any one, even this idiot lawyer, think that it was lawful/ethical for the auctioneer to disclose the maximum bid of an “absentee/proxy” bidder?

Well, as most of us already know, if the seller is smart enough, the eBay system will disclose the maximum proxy bid. This dill apparently has not yet figured that out.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

Philip Cohen (profile) says:

Where do these nutters spring from?

I do hope that the shyster was not stupid enough to have taken the case on a “no win no fee” basis.

But, how could any one, even this idiot lawyer, think that it was lawful/ethical for the auctioneer to disclose the maximum bid of an “absentee/proxy” bidder?

Well, as most of us already know, if the seller is smart enough, the eBay system will disclose the maximum proxy bid. This dill apparently has not yet figured that out.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

Philip Cohen (profile) says:

Where do these nutters spring from?

I do hope that the shyster was not stupid enough to have taken the case on a “no win no fee” basis.

But, how could any one, even this idiot lawyer, think that it was lawful/ethical for the auctioneer to disclose the maximum bid of an “absentee/proxy” bidder?

Well, as most of us already know, if the seller is smart enough, the eBay system will disclose the maximum proxy bid. This dill apparently has not yet figured that out.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

Adam says:

This is how ALL auctions work

Obviously the person who created this idiotic lawsuit has never been to a REAL auction before. Ever single person sitting in an auction has the maximum amount they are willing to spend tucked in their brain somewhere. The auctioneer doesn’t ask them what is their maximum bid is, they ask what their CURRENT bid is. This whole lawsuit is so stupid the attorney filing the case should be disbarred IMMEDIATELY.

Philip Cohen (profile) says:

@ Steve Stav,

Well, if you really want to open the unscrupulous eBay’s “can of worms”:

A tale of two unscrupulous and clunky commercial entities: eBay and PayPal

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #1

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #2

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #3

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #4

PayPal claims PayPal Is Not a Payments Processor!

Amazon and eBay on the collection of state sales taxes

And from along the way a compilation of (mostly inane) quotes from eBay executives:

Steve Stav (profile) says:

Re: Proxy Bid lawsuit

eBay is an incredible ongoing case study in how to build an unprecedented empire while keeping at least two steps ahead of the courts. Time has been on their side.

This suit’s pretty clever in its simplicity, and everyone leaving comments on various websites are fixated on the proxy bidding process. It’s like one of those weird pictures you have to stare at the right way to see.

The suit contends that eBay is breaking California state law by inserting itself into the auction. Among other things, EBAY DOES NOT HAVE A CALIFORNIA AUCTIONEER’S LICENSE. I honestly don’t know how many suits have argued that eBay is hardly a hands-off, neutral third party, etc. But this specific avenue might get someone’s attention.

AuctionsASAP (profile) says:

Auction Law, Dual Agency and a mine field

If eBay can be held to auction laws within many states then this lawsuit may have a dramatic impact. I agree with the vast majority that its understood how eBay works and that eBay?s process appears to balance the needs of the seller with those of the buyer however that is not the case with auction laws.
It gets into the debate of dual agency which is a mine field in the auction world. Auctioneers normally only represent their client the seller and that makes it nearly impossible to represent the buyer. Dual agency is like having the same attorney represent both the plaintiff and defendant in the same case. Most of us realize the problems with that situation.
I believe the attorneys in this case will argue that eBay must represent the seller and not the buyer. If they are successful on that issue eBay has a problem because they are being made aware that the buyer is willing to purchase the item for a much higher price than what was paid. If eBay is representing the seller, shouldn?t they then sell the item at the higher price? I?m sure the attorneys will be making that point.
Some of the other users have mentioned auction houses and I believe they have slightly missed the mark. EBays bidding rules and process are closer to that of accepting absentee bids at auction. Believe me its something that is very tricky for auction companies.

Philip Cohen (profile) says:

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

?When Do We Start Calling eBay A Payments Company??

A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say. This linked ?Business Insider? article contains a graph of eBay revenues since 2003. It shows, quite starkly, how eBay?s Marketplace revenue has stagnated since 2008, about the time that the headless turkey from Bain & Co, John Donahoe, got hold of the tiller and started his ?destructive renovations?, and eBay?s share price has moved little in the same period; ergo the eBay Marketplace has effectively been in decline since 2008.

It should be obvious, even to the simplest of analysts, that as time passes, the Amazon River flows ever more strongly, whereas the eBay Marketplace now consists of little more than a chain of stagnant ponds covered in slimy green algae?and isn?t that a couple of rusting Chinese-made shopping trolleys that I can see dumped therein?

The graph also shows the eBay-underpinning increases in revenue eBay has received from PreyPal during the same period, that is, from roughly when the ?eBafia Don? effectively mandated PreyPal?s use on the eBay Marketplace. Some analysts therefore think then that eBay?s future lays in PreyPal.

Well, if anyone thinks that the retail banks are going to let such a clunky, parasitic, flea-sized, upstart, middleman, ?merchant of sorts? such as PreyPal?who after all does no more than ride precariously on the back of those banks? own payments processing systems?continue to nibble away at one of the banks? principal areas of business for any length of time, all I can say is, dream on ?

PreyPal is little more than a clumsy, fraud-enabling middleman that also nullifies the statutory protections that, in many countries, would otherwise be available to users paying directly with a real bank?s credit card.

Then there is PreyPal?s current testing of ?mobile payments? at POS in Home Depot stores. Are people actually leaving their funds ?on deposit? with this clunky, unlicensed, prudentially unregulated, PayPal ?non-bank? that is itself not even licensed to provide credit? Otherwise, how are the funds for such mobile payments being sourced by PreyPal from the payer?s real banking account in a way that the merchant can be sure of ultimately getting paid by PreyPal? Not with the standard non-guarantee of payment that PreyPal serves up to its online merchants, I hope.

And, unfortunately for eBay?s chief headless turkey, Visa?s professional online offering ?, when it is up and running later this year, will undoubtedly put paid to whatever success that the clunky PreyPal has had with professional online merchants outside of its mandated use on the eBay Marketplace?and soon thereafter both these unscrupulous and clunky entities should commence/continue their long-deserved journeys down the gurgler.

Scott Thompson saw the writing on the wall; John Donahoe remains delusional, that fact confirmed by the many reported sightings of him waving his mobile phone about and mumbling about UFO sightings over San Jose.

?How secure is PayPal for sellers???UK ?Guardian?

And an interesting follow up to this UK “Guardian” article at:

?Vendor Claims eBay Plays Dirty? (Who could have believed it?)

Scott Thompson abandons the struggling eBay for the struggling Yahoo

PayPal claims PayPal not a debit card or payment network!

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

onme23 (profile) says:

Well I do know sooner or later they will have a class action suit against them for suspending accounts for miss categorization of digitally delivered goods. How can they suspend these peoples accounts when they make a policy and can not even police it.

They rely on other members that are jealous to report other members yet watch each week millions of auctions go by with out flagging or removing these auctions.

Case in point even many members that are violating this policy that are top rated sellers and even being reported none of there auctions were removed or there accounts suspended.

Case in point when you see an auction in the wrong category for a penny start bid with free shipping and the seller has listed 100’s even a thousand of the same auction and the highest auction won is 40 cents with most selling for a penny what does ebay think they are doing? paying 44 cents to ship each auction:) they have been told over and over to do something about this and yet to date they offer zero solution except to flag who they feel they want.

Ebay’s stance is if it does not say by email in the listing it’s okay because we can not investigate all these auctions.

Simple to prove they are doing it regardless if they put by email in there listings, check out there feedback. when you see 100’s of comments the same day the auction ended saying fast shipping um does ebay think an auction that just ended for a penny that this was shipped by a rocket ship.:)lol.

They should not have a policy even the members can not keep up with. It’s unfair to flag a few and let millions of auctions and 100’s of members get away with it.

Sound like a fair policy to any of you? I hope ebay continues to suspend more accounts for this stupid policy because the more peoples accounts they suspend the more to join a class action against them.

Brian Faber says:

Probably not gonna fly


I do have something I believe is class action worthy.

Has anyone lost money using eBay as a seller? Recently, I have had several cases open against me by one individual. He is claiming I never shipped the items he purchased. Not only do I have a receipt from the USPS, it had tracking and delivery confirmation which comes back as delivered. If eBay awards this user his money despite the fact that I have rock solid, legitimate proof, I will be taking my case to a lawyer.

I will also be filing mail fraud charges with the USPS. What’s funny to me is, with the solid proof I have, the postmaster general has given me 100 percent confirmation
that I have not done anything wrong and my charges will stick. The user in question will have to provide proof without the slightest doubt that I never shipped them, and that is impossible. Hopefully stealing 30 dollars worth of records is worth several thousand dollars in fines plus criminal charges. WOOT WOOT.

jo says:


i agree all this suit is crazy and not justified im am totally pleased to see the scammers getting it as a seller on then im sick of there rubbish and lack of protection from evil buyers,, no matter what proof we hav ebay isnt interested we are treated with disregard as the hold OUR money…the whole sight needs suing till its crooked arse blows lol

Eleanor says:

ebay abuse

I have been an ebay customer for many years I aways bought items ,& never sold any items . but, this year I decided I had too much jewelry so I decided to sell some on ebay , I checked out on line how to sell & so I started a sellers account I did very well selling some designer pieces & I knew that ebay would get there share of what I made , not a problem with that . One day I listed an item & posted one picture of it & made my discription of the item brief & to the point about five mins after I posted the listing I got an email from ebay stating that due to the fact that I was a new seller they had blocked my listing because it may be a fake listing , I have never cheated anyone in my whole life , but I called & talked with a customer service rep & was told that I did’nt have enought pictures of the item & I may be cheating people & so I could’nt list this item . Iwas not too upset until I was told that I still had to pay the listing fee . Also next month if I still wanted to list I could relist it for free I closed my account . Enought said

Ron Radice (profile) says:

Class Action Against eBay

eBay charges the seller a percentage of the shipping fee. This is basically a tax. eBay says this is due to some sellers charging too much for shipping fees to buyers. BUT when I purchase a fixed priced USPS package how could I be making money by charging buyers. This ploy bu eBay is simply a way for them to make more money from the seller.
I don’t know how to start a class action on eBay for this — but someone who knows how should. There is a lot on money eBay should be returning to all sellers it has taxed with this ploy. If anyone knows how to go about a class action on eBay — please do — or let me know.

jane says:


Ebay supports fraud. It’s that simple! A buyer can scam the seller out of their product and ebay will side with buyer. I gave every shread of evidence to show a woman in california who bought old restaurantware jadeite plates from me, was selling my plates on her site!! She said after over one week of receiving them that they were broken, they weren’t-a truck could have run over them they were packaged so tight. I asked for detailed photos, never got them. 6 weeks later buyer filed a complaint. I told my story, showed eveidence told them this person was blantanly committing fraud, she was lying, EBAY sided with her and took money out of my account. I closed them down. Got my bank involved. After 2 months my bank prevailed and i got my money put back into my account. Now EBAY is sending me harassing e-mails and has put my name in collections because they want their money back!! EBAY should be closed down!!

Michael says:

eBay Fraud

Seller ratings is just a guise to scam more money from sellers. Now that they’ve tied fee discounts to this ratings system, buyers who don’t get their products can now game the sellers for further discounts or they will leave poor seller ratings.

Case in point,

I ship via UPS through the eBay site. I ship within 1 business day of printing the UPS label that eBay claims is discounted, but is in fact on average 30% more expensive than printing on the site. The buyer leaves glowing remarks about my products, service, communication, price blah blah blah, but leaves the worst possible rating for shipping.

I lose my “Power seller” status, lose my 20% seller fee’s discount, lose my top-placement on products that are shown to buyers, etc, etc, etc……..

If you can’t see the fraud lining my issues, the collusion with the other sellers on eBay, the fraud and non truthful and deceiptful-advertising about discounted shipping, the collusion with its eBay owned payment system “PayPal”, the unfair trade practices related to larger resellers who are ticked off at my lower prices and initiate targeted attacks through eBay against smaller sellers with bays blessings because of the fee’s ebay collects from the large volume houses, (Proof?) Big Box Seller sells 2K items per month, gets 144 negative ratings still has top-rated, power seller status. I sell 124K worth of products in 350 transactions, 298 Positive feedbacks, and only 2 negatives ever!! (IN EIGHT YEARS OF DOING BUSINESS ON EBAY, I lose my seller status and my fees go up. (HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?)

If you don’t see the issues and fraud, interstate collusion with other sellers, Paypal on fee’s, (Should be clearly stated that PayPal charges on top of eBay fees, not hidden or buried) the efforts on the part of eBay to fleece its smaller sellers for unfair trade practices that are CLEARLY highlighted through their own feedback system, and the outright support of fraud by the criminal element that scours the eBay system looking for victims, and eBays refusal to credit sellers who have been scammed in their system. You need to pull your head out of your proverbial ass and take a refresher course in Business Law.

IN SUMMARY, I call out eBay, with its snarky airheads that operate the business, at best, A FAULTY PRODUCT. I call them out on all of this fraud and really hope some politician on “Capital”-Hole puts together a BILL for Congress to Ban eBay from doing business until they address these issues.

Time to clean out the RATS NEST

Wayne says:

Lost Revenue

Wow… that would mean that I am entitled to about $45 billion in lost revenue from my 12 years as a seller on Ebay. I like it.

Seriously, though, the model Ebay has chosen and enacted on their site has worked…. and is understood by everyone except seemingly the plantiff. This guy needs to stop dreaming of being the next bill gates and simply own up to the fact that he’s Homer Simpson. Doh!

Philip Cohen (profile) says:

Fraud on eBay

This lawsuit was never anything but an absurdity; the plaintiff and attorney involved must both be idiots …

Now, if you want to see real eBay calculated and knowingly facilitated fraud in action …

?Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay: Case Study #5?

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Tercio Neves says:

eBay final value fee

Currently being harassed for $48 on final value fees.
Is there a class action lawsuit going on?
I was never notified of an actual percentage, was never told of final value fees until the invoice came out. They state it’s in their agreement (of course it is), but just because you write out that an unknown percentage will be invoiced at the end of the month it doesn’t mean they cleared stated it. That is a hidden fee.
What can I do or who can I go to so this doesn’t go to to collections agency.

Larry white (profile) says:

Terminated Account

A little over a month ago I started buying and selling on ebay. I purchased some items and I sold two items I had 5 star ratings on all transactions. After the sale of my second item they cancelled all my auctions and terminated my account. They said they would send me an email explaining why. They sent me an email that told me absolutely nothing of any use. When I called to discuss it they said they would not discuss it and that I was banned from the site forever. Well I am a disable retired married man in my 60’s just trying to sell a few things to make ends meet. I was astounded at their attitude and humiliated. Next they send me a bill for my transactions and I called them about that and in short I decided that I probably owed it and allowed them to debit my checking account for the $34.00 in transaction fees. Today I get a notice from a collection agency for $89.00 saying it had been turned over to them by ebay and there was no explanation. I have no money for a lawyer, how can I join in on a class action suit against them. This is no way to treat their customers.

ebayisacriminalcorporation says:

Re: Terminated Account

I would write a letter to the collection agency stating that you do not owe eBay anything. Do this in no uncertain terms. Tell them that they are NEVER TO CONTACT YOU AGAIN regarding this matter and that if any negative data is reported to your credit agencies, that you will document this and the damages that you incur because of the false information. This has worked for most people. They never hear from the collector again and their is no negative information reported. The reason this works is because these agencies are given vast amounts of these to process and they are well aware that 90, 95 percent of these are fraudulent on eBay’s part. They understand they are indeed vulnerable big time if you did as the letter states. Save a copy of the letter and send it with tracking. As they know they are operating on false information from eBay, they can avoid being vulnerable if you don’t have evidence of your disputing the debt. Simply put, knowing that the owed money is fraudulent data, they will take the money from those who are intimidated and will back off those who properly resist (putting them in a legally vulnerable position). If you haven’t done so, do so anyway, despite it being passed the 30 days you are supposed to respond. I can’t promise anything but the chances are about 99 percent that this will resolve your problems.

Gerard Joseph says:

samsung s3g

Same thing about a couple months ago I sold a item that to me was in the description. The seller said it was not as described and asked for a refund after they recrived the item. So ebay held the money until the item was returned because they agree with the buyer the tracking info was bogus and I never received my phone back plus they refunded that guy. Now I asked what can I do to get back phone from ebay and they replied nothing

JD says:

eBay getting to big for its britches

What some may not know about eBay and PayPal is that all payment transactions go through a reserve bank. If there are any glitches in the email address or mis-information in someone account, the payment for what ever amount paid for an item can get held for a period of time by the reserve bank until the arror is corrected. Creating a lag time for a refund for what ever reason. This allows the reserve bank to draw interest on your money. That’s the main reason they don’t get into any hurry refunding money transaction.

ebayisacriminalcorporation says:

This supposed lawsuit is a lie. eBay has countless serious criminal and fraudulent practice as the usual method of operation. This nonsense has been strategically planted to bury the actual criminal actions of eBay. It is designed so when you research the lawsuits against eBay, you see these fake unreasonable charges and not the truely criminal activity eBay does as their standard business practices.

Philip Cohen (profile) says:

The eBay Criminal Complex ...

Oh no, not another “reduction” in eBay user fees …

eBay is demonstrably the greatest calculated facilitator of auction fraud on consumers that the world is ever likely to know …

And the ugly reality for consumers, particularly smaller payees, dealing with the clunky, unscrupulous PayPal …

Regardless, hello “MasterPass”, goodbye clunky PreyPal?it has not been nice knowing you …

Mark Fartin says:

Ebay, oh Ebay

I used to sell on Ebay less than a year ago. Then I was sent a bill for them selling’s and was appalled by the fees.. I think it was 9% for Ebay and 3% for PayPal??? It’s bloody insane that no one’s done anything about that-not to mention that Ebay insists that they protect their customers and that we should trust one another but it’s funny, Ebay doesn’t trust us.. Taking a percentage off the shipping charges is absurd! I understand there’s dishonest people but Ebay can afford to lose a few bucks-I can’t!! And if you think about other platforms like Craigslist-where you can post for free-buy for free-then why is Ebay’s fee’s so g*d d*amn high!!???

I buy on Ebay but will never sell on Ebay again. Buying is the only win on Ebay if you’re up on pricing and bargaining.

Mark Fartin says:

Shill Bidding! Ebay doing nothing about it..

A week ago I made a complaint to Ebay about a Shill Bidder. I am 100,000,000% that this seller is bidding on their own item. I’v bid on the item twice-lost twice to a “private bidder” and the seller keeps relisting the item!!!

This seller has now listed the item for the fourth time after some “mysterious reason” that the ‘winner’ has decided to opt out of buying.. Is it because Ebay’s so busy? Or can it be because Ebay doesn’t care cause either way they’re getting their cut?

Now, I would normally never do something like this unless I’m positive-but I am positive and so am producing here what is already public information anyways. Of course, you won’t be able to see anything less you keep tabs on the item-watch it-make a low bid-the seller will not sell it for under 150..actually, he’s relisted this time with a “Buy It Now” option for 169.99.

item number: 171240963534

Seller : faithandfavor1

Salvage Liquidators says:

Seller at ebay

We sold our surplus at eBay for over 10 years, last year, when they put a new CEO in place, they restricted our selling, we had a rating of 100%. We believe that they did this because the products that we sold were obtained through Costco, at that time we were under contract with them for their “salvage” items. EBay shut us down with no notice, Now 5 months later, we have a credit with eBay, and they will not release it due to the restrictions, I can close the account with eBay. The customer service state that they operate in the Philippines, where does this leave us? Our last years sales were in the range of $30,000-$35.000 USD.

Bernard Macarius says:


Ebay does rather well for itself. Based on business models in the rest of the nayions markets. It is far from the worst. Yet people complain. The only concern I have is China. They ship so much they get a huge bulk rate discount. they can sell an item for $1.19 free shipping?
Oh and yes the case of the flooded markets. On occasion. Markets will be flooded with items that have been clearance or auctioned on other sites. This leaves a huge surplus on the open market. Retailers or brick and mortar stores in no way shape or form can compete. Currently there is an item that retailers ask anywhere from $799.00 to $2,200.00 each for. They are current and not outdated or antiquated but due to these auctions, close-outs, pallet sales. They are selling on Ebay for $40.00.
If this starts to become the norm. Retailers will be out of business. I guess packing warehouses or order pickers. Which is what my daughter does. She boxes around 600 items an hour. Can you imagine a sales clerk doing that? These companies are raking it in.
Maybe a few years from now a day of shopping will be not getting in the car with the family and enjoying the experience, rather huddled in front of a computer or on smart devices doing searches. Pathetic. We are becoming more and more disconnected as a society.

Junkmanbilly (profile) says:

Where's the common sense

Okay I finally managed to download a copy of the suit not knowing why it has been such a problem anyhow, I admit my previous comment is totally out of place and that I retract my preceding comment/s, and apologize to all concern.

Furthermore, although I have not read the entire suit brought against eBay I have read enough and I am in an agreement with the plaintiff it is obvious there is a conflict of interest and has merit on all accounts but one. Nevertheless, it is not something I would bring a suit against because I in fact like the auto-bidding system.

Therefore, I will reinstate I my self would like the automatic bidding system more once the flaws have been removed. The only issues I have with this suit is that it does not address the issue of with the so-called confidential bid system which can easily be exposed to and by anyone that wishes to abuse the bid retraction system and this suit does address this but to the contrary.

In conclusion since this suit is a class action one person does not stand to gain millions that money will be divide amongst the potentially millions of people that have or may have used eBay and suffered some kind of harm if proven as the suit stated.

Again, I apologize to all and I will keep my idiot mouth shut.

no (user link) says:

Business Model

Nice post on the frivolous law suit. With all respect, the choice you refer to as a “business model” is absolutely incorrect. The term “business model” is used all too often to describe aspects of a business approach. Loosely and wrongly called the “business model”. A “business model” is comprised of 4 elements – Leadership (the people who set the direction and manage the execution of the business), Organizational Competency (the level of capability or competency in the field in which the company operates) the Governance model (how decisions are made as well as the related resource allocations), Enabling Technology (the systems and other technology employed to efficiently and effectively enable processed and the resources that depend). There are many variations of the term “business model”, but most every business school and major consulting firm utilizes these or very similar. They do not call business practices a “business model”.

basic skills says:

Where's the common sense

Love your posts. First, you speak without reading. Subsequently, it is clear you do not have any legal training whatsoever. Lastly, your grammar is below 5th grade level. The level of newspapers. How about taking time to work on your skills instead of surfing as others will see your limitations and you will suffer from the lack of them.

Junkmanbilly (profile) says:

Where's the common sense

There you are, and I concur, nevertheless and whether you like it or not the fact remains the suit is not totally frivolous and in fact has merit. Furthermore, you have no idea what my skills are so I will let you in on my veracity, and in all provability it will offend. Either way, I take pleasure in locating your kind on these discussion boards that in some cases can turn this subject matter into a heated debate which consequently I see none here. Not only that call it sickness if you will because I do take great pleasure in comments like yours even if they are directed at yours truly or someone else, which is one of many reasons why others also frequent or participate in such discussions.

Unfortunately, you have proven you are simply too weak-minded and rather get personal than to keep it on the subject matter therefore this subject between you and I, is mute. Anyhow, I thank you for directing it at me, which it affords the opportunity to continue my point.

First and foremost in the opening commentary it also spoke of confidential bidding this is false there is no such thing on eBay and by people believing this is true are heading into a false since of security because anyone can expose your highest bid amount at will simply by over bidding.

Example 1: The start bid is set at $19.99 and you bid $100, you are the first and only bidder at this time and your bid becomes $19.99 by the eBays so called concealed bidding stair stepping process. Subsequently someone else comes along and intentionally bids $250 instead of $25 with the intent to retract under the right laid forth by eBay policy to retract a bid if an error has been made.

This not only allows the second bidder the opportunity to learn your maximum bid amount this could also allow this person to cause you harm regardless if you are willing to bid $100 dollars or not example as follows:

Example 2, this person learned your high bid amount because theirs become $101 discovering your bid of $100. Subsequently this person learns your highest bid and realizes it is more than they are willing pay, they then retract the bid and place a new bid at $99 dollars sticking you with your highest bid amount (no harm no foul right? “WRONG!”) At this point, you must understand this does not matter if you were willing to bid $100 or not a harm (aka a tort or a tortious act) has been committed against you. When ideally if this so-called concealed bidding were to work as intended your chance to get the item at a lesser amount has just been stolen from you even though this is in contrary to the fact it would make the plaintiff/eBay seller in this suit very happy nevertheless it is wrong.

Example 3, other harms can be caused to the honest seller because it could place them under question as shill bidding may be taking place when in fact the seller is innocent because this person is working on their own trying to gain unfair advantage over thee other bidders/buyers.

In conclusion, I know my point is in conflict with one of the plaintiffs allegation in fact the only one I am in disagreement with as mentioned in one of my earlier postings. Although, I did not go into detail on it at that time because I was waiting for a fish to take my bait and thrash me which I chuckle here because I hooked one so easily.

Either way one of the complaints this person alleges in the suit is that, they are being deprived of your highest bid when they as the seller can simply place a start bid at a minimum they are willing to accept and anything above it is a hell yes! For that reason, in my opinion I do believe no matter the arrangement, this one point would be ruled against.

With that said be forewarned; “PEOPLE” never place your highest bid until the end and hope to snipe it. Additionally always, check the bidders/buyers history you are up against and be sure to check for retraction bids before placing a bid in the first place that way it will allow you to be on guard and bid wisely.

The bad part about me exposing this different kind of shill bidding taking place and for everyone reading this leaves each of you with an ethical dilemma. 1. Do you use this info to protect yourselves, or 2. Cause harm, or 3. Gain unfair advantage to win the item you want.

Take care, I am junkmanbilly and that was my nickels worth.

Gordana Malone says:

re ebay class action

First, I love bidding. Most people don’t like the tension, but I have my limit, items, etc..prepared and off I go. And that’s how it works. They’re never going to win that law suit. In addition, class action law suits are null as far as getting some money. After the attorneys take their cut, what’s left is divided by however many many people, it’s nothing. It ends up being $1.95 per person. Lawyers can get rich, when they spot a good case and can convince as many people as possible to join in. In fact, I received a check for a dollar something, and I never even signed up for any case. Too funny! There’s a lot of nasty things going on with ebay, but bidding is not one of them.

magnus says:


bottom line is that ebay is an AUCTIONEER
and this model is based on traditional auction practices.
If you go to Sotheby’s and do a phone bid they will act for you…if you decide you dont want to hang about on the phone, you can leave your max bid with them and they continue to represent you.
It is not their job to hand the seller your highest bid, it is their job, here, to represent you as if you were in the room.

bottom line

LEE (profile) says:

ebay auction lawsuit

I know this is an old conversation but I see no problems with the way ebay’s auction system works. The only real issue I can see is the cut-off for bids. In a normal auction house the bids keep going until they are no more. So in actual fact the late bidders just keep going until all bidding ceases. Great for the seller and great for ebay, bigger profit. Is this the whole problem here?

I have a problem with an online auction house that conducts normal auctions too, with real people, real-time. This mob takes online bids til close, and if you have bid a maximum of say, $15 and the item is only bid up to $12 by the last bidder after you, then this mob actually invoices you the full 15 bucks. Now that really sucks.

steven troyer says:

Where's the common sense

now ebay is sending push notices telling you to increase your bid that you’ve been outbid t it happened again about 30 min ago ebay sent me 3 notices that I’ve been out bid i raised my bid on the third notice it took my higher bid and then checked in my bids i was still high bidder the same exact as when i placed my bid except now i have a higher max bid now that is straight up fraud this happens all the time I’m ready to testify to this

Arnold Ballnoff dba arnysandra on Ebay (profile) says:

ebay lawsuit

When I first sold items on Ebay which I started to do in 1998, that was not the way it was done. At that time sellers could get a reasonable return for selling especially on difficult to find items. Then the change came, I don’t remember exactly when but sometime around 2002. It was possible to actually make a profit for all the trouble that sellers who spent most of their time looking for items to resell and listing and shipping etc. The new system is probably good for the buyer, so it is at least good for someone, But many sellers dropped out since unless you are listing for fun, it is rarely worth your time to be a seller. And today in this world where everyone is is seller and no one willing to pay the price for items, It doesn’t pay to be a seller, although I admit I am still selling hoping for the market to get better and overcome the shortcomings of the way Ebay is Today.

Constable Flavour says:


The bottom line that you are apparently unaware of is that eBay is not an auctioneer.

Ebay is a seller of advertising revenue to outside merchants beyond just the people who sell on eBay by listing on eBay,

eBay does not benefit from their members getting less money do to proxy bids in any way in the traditional sense of business, so it makes absolutely no sense that they would remain using a proxy bid system.

The reason they do it is because it keeps the auction price as low as possible until the last possible minute.

Why would they do that you might ask.

They do it because low auction prices next to listings are click bait to eBay site viewers.

These low interim auction prices generate more views to listings and result in MORE revenue to eBay in the form of revenue paid by third party advertisers.

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