Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against eBay Because Of The Way Its Auctions Work
from the oh-come-on dept
- 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.
- Laura views the item and places a maximum bid of $15.00. Laura becomes the high bidder.
- Tom’s bid is incremented to his maximum of $12.00. Laura’s bid is now $12.50.
- We send Tom an email that he has been outbid. If he doesn’t raise his maximum bid, Laura wins the item.
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...