by Carlo Longino

eBay's Doing A Great Job Of Cutting Out Fraud -- If You're A Luxury Goods Maker

from the the-other-side-of-the-coin dept

Earlier in the week, eBay and the New York AG boasted about busting a jeweler that was scamming the site's users by inflating prices with phantom bids, despite the fact that a single bust really meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. Now, the company's gotten the New York Times and IHT to bite, with a story about how eBay is supposedly making great progress in its fight against fraud and scams. The article talks about how eBay says complaints from luxury-goods makers about counterfeit goods for sale on the site have dropped by 60 percent following the institution of new restrictions on sellers and other measures. That's really great -- for the luxury goods companies in question -- but again, eBay's supposed triumph does little to combat the other, wider complaints of its user base. It is nice that the company has made it harder for scammers to sell fake items to unknowing buyers, and the eBay says that other changes it has made, including forcing all sellers to register with PayPal and putting a new feedback system into place, will further help crack down on fraudsters. But it's hard to buy into that claim when PR-driven articles like this focus solely on the perspective of companies who say eBay's a haven for fake goods, rather than talking about any of the myriad issues eBay customers and users face.

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  • identicon
    Mark vander Weert, 15 Jun 2007 @ 5:58am

    eBay Fraud

    Anyone who has tried to report an obvious fraud on eBay understands the frustration that can be experienced. There are no phone numbers to call (God forbid) and police are waiting for a crime to be committed. eBay needs a way for users report attempted fraud quickly and easily.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2007 @ 7:32am

      Re: eBay Fraud

      agreed 100% especially when it comes to pirated video games, ebay generally just try to ignore you, even if you are a registered company with trademarks, they just don't give a damn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2007 @ 6:13am

    these articles are starting to get a bit formulaic. if you don't add a valid interesting commentary this site becomes nothing more than a glorified RSS feed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Overcast, 15 Jun 2007 @ 7:40am

    Yep - and mostly... it's why I don't bother with Ebay anymore. I find local ads to be better, I can drive and look at the item before I buy it.

    I've read a few horror stories about Ebay purchases - and you know... for all that, it's not even worth getting stung once.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Egay, 15 Jun 2007 @ 8:13am

    Ebay has horrible customer service; I've stopped using them all together.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eBay is a liar, 15 Jun 2007 @ 10:32am

    eBay does not care to trouble themselves for avera

    I've got a situation where someone was taking hard drives out of their cases and selling just the enclosure as brand new. When merchandise arrived obviously not new (with the "do not remove" sticker removed and stuck back in the wrong place), I did research and found that the original company never actually sold just the enclosure. After talking to company who confirmed this, I contacted the seller who denied everything and accused me of trying to pull a scam on him.

    I remained polite, gave benefit of the doubt and figured maybe his supplier gave him bad info...said I'd be happy with a simple refund...he replied with even more abusive responses. Got all my ducks in a row, including backup from the OEM, and when I filed complaint with eBay, prepared to then he started accusing me of trying to cheat him and also that the OEM was lying.

    I gave eBay all the information, including contacts at the OEM, and eBay's solution, between their policy and PayPal, was simply that I could return it. However, I'd have to pay shipping and would not be reimbursed for either shipping even though it was based on a fraudulent claim.

    So even though I could document that this was a scam, that the seller was taunting me in email saying that I can do what I want but eBay won't help me and he'd simply just resell it, and that the seller purposely had recently been pulling this scam on others...the only solution that eBay had would end up with me or any one else paying for shipping both ways on an item we would not even end up with.

    If eBay really did care, in the face of significant evidence I spent time amassing and offered to them freely this is what they might have done: they would have actually requested it all, reviewed it, and then seeing as it was surprisingly bulletproof, withheld funds from the seller and got us ALL of our money back.

    Instead, the seller continues to do the same thing a year later, as feedback and minor research into what he's selling shows.

    And before the flamers start...yes, it's buyer beware, and to some degree it is my fault for not knowing that the item I bought didn't exactly exist. But regardless of what someone does or not research or know first, fraud is fraud, lying is lying, and if eBay is not going to do anything when it can actually be proved (which isn't that often), then they are negligent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael A. Banks, 15 Jun 2007 @ 4:41pm


    I suppose eBay folks might say, "We can only deal with one issue at a time!"

    An interesting consideration in all this is that there are some problems that cannot eliminated or even dealt with in any effective way under eBay's existing structure. Feedback extortion is one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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