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AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sun Mar 12 2017 21:42:16

eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China

By: Ina Steiner
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A seller noticed that a valuable vintage item they had sold several months ago for a winning bid of over $150 was resurrected on eBay with a Buy It Now price of under $30 from a zero-feedback seller in China.

By searching the category and sorting by price (lowest price first), we were able to find numerous zero-feedback sellers from China engaging in the same suspicious manner: listing duplicate items for a fraction of the price the originals had recently achieved at auction.

The Chinese duplicates use the exact same titles, descriptions, and photographs from the original listing.

The only differences aside from the item location and shipping information are that the duplicate listings use only one photograph from the original listings, and the Chinese sellers add a short code to the end of the listing title.

And amazingly, the items described as being located in China are listed with free shipping.

"If anyone thought these were legitimate they would have been immediately purchased as the prices are a fraction of the real price," the seller told us. 

The seller also said they reported the listing twice to eBay, "but apparently eBay no longer looks at reports," they surmised.

The seller wasn't sure what the end game was for these sellers. Some possibilities: they could be trying to convince any would-be buyers to take the transaction off of eBay (and PayPal). Or they could be trying to collect contact information of eBay buyers (for a host of reasons). Theories welcome.

It isn't a new problem, and Etsy sellers have also experienced the problems in the past, calling such incidents, "invasion of the listing snatchers."

While we were working on this post, the seller wrote back and said, "by the way I did not find this, another eBay member sent me the link to the new auction saying someone had stolen my listing." 

Collectors may be spooked by eBay's inability to police its site against such suspicious practices.
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
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eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sun Mar 12 22:26:30 2017
I have reported Chinese scams and many American ones for that matter to ebafia over the years.

Ebafia bends over backward to find ways to deny suspicious or patently illegal listings. If in fact they still do have a department (excluding VERO of course) that takes down counterfeits, scams, etc., they use the excuse that by the time they get to it the listing has expired. They don't seem to be able to check that seller's NEW listings to locate these problem listings.

Ebay knowingly allows illegal and stolen listings making them a willing co conspirator in fraud and theft.

Ming's ebay Law #1:
EBAY LIES. ALWAYS HAS, ALWAYS WILL.

Ming’s ebay Law #5:

EBAY THUMBS ITS NOSE AT THE RULE OF LAW, FTC and SEC REGULATIONS, THE SHERMAN ANTI TRUST ACT, AND THE RICO STATUTES.

Wenig and Lawton want to rid the site of their best American sellers (TRS+) in order to make more room for Chinese and enterprise sellers.
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Sun Mar 12 22:26:42 2017
You can thank Mr. Wenig for this. Remember, before he became CEO of eBay, he was the one who was advising the Chinese about what vintage items they should copy and sell (so-called "new vintage"). He probably has a group of people researching the sold listings to find vintage collectibles the Chinese can re-make.  
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: azseller68 This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 13 00:45:59 2017
I got (almost) stung by a Chinese scammer on eBay a few months ago.

I ordered some USB cables and knew it would take about 3-4 weeks for delivery. After more than a month I still hadn't received them so I filed a claim with eBay. The seller (who did not have a tracking number) said to wait just one more week and if they didn't arrive, he would resend them. He also asked if I would close my claim, which I did (big mistake).

When the second batch didn't arrive, I tried to open a claim again... and you can't once you've already opened and closed a claim for that same transaction. I also couldn't leave negative feedback because it was too late.

So what I had to do was open a PayPal claim, which was eventually ruled in my favor. So I didn't lose anything but a couple of months worth of jerking around.

I believe the Chinese sellers are using eBay's rules to their benefit. They keep the customers on the hook (''Please just wait one more week, sometimes it takes a bit longer!'') until the clock runs out and the buyer has no options left. Most people probably don't know about PayPal claims, so these clowns just list tons of items at cheap-but-believable prices and never send all (or some) of the items.
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness
       
Mon Mar 13 01:38:27 2017
I expended too much energy on this kind of Internet theft years ago. Countless hours emailing administrators and attorneys of websites. I'm done. Chinese commerce is sketchy and I have dissociated myself as much as humanly possible while shunning almost all products with a Made in China label. I'm in full capitulation mode: if they want my eBay store go for it.  
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Mon Mar 13 02:56:05 2017
Part of what all of us pay in fees to Ebay is suppose to cover security and integrity of the site.  But long ago I realized, as I'm sure many others did, Ebay just doesn't commit enough if any staff to investigating the complaints we can make on site.

I recently found a seller with a massive amount of duplicate listings.  A US seller, not Asian.  But so far, Ebay has done nothing.  I'm not surprised as I've seen this time and time again.  

Ebay wants the public to have a better feeling about them so we can get more traffic.  But Ebay's refusal to have staff available to research and react to this problems we report is counterproductive.  On top of that is just doesn't make sense.  I would venture a guess that this behavior cost Ebay more in lost customers than it would to pay some staff members and dedicate them to the integrity of the system.
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
This user has validated their user name. by: Justbecauseitscute
       Web Site
Mon Mar 13 07:53:32 2017
Frankly I have given up reporting fakes from China. Nothing gets done anyway and it's time consuming. As a result one of the toy category I was doing good money is now overrun by couonterfeit (not even good ones) coming from China selling for 99c free shipping (instead of the 5-25$ for the real deal). This is why I am happy not to depend only on one or 2 product lines. It's always only a matter of time before China ruins a category.
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 13 11:08:14 2017
feeBay hasn't paid any attention to listing 'reports' from users for many years now. VERO is a different matter. I have a question for the OP on this thread: To where did you SHIP your item, and is it being advertised as located in that area?
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 13 11:11:22 2017
Gesh folks get a life. This has been going on for years. Surely one has better things to do than follow this. We all know that Ebay doesn't care and would probably just prefer ya all look the other way.

They will do nothing about it.

So finding something else to do with ones time is probably a good thing.
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy
       
Mon Mar 13 11:17:36 2017
If you're FOOLISH enough to buy a item from china what more can I say?

eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 13 13:36:00 2017
Come on now! Its pretty clear that ebay is in partnership with these Chinese criminals. Category after category is being destroyed by them. In some cases, its duplicating vintage item, thus killing the vintage market for these item. In other cases, its licensed or branded good, where the counterfeiters sell at a fraction of the price and destroy the market and category...

Many of us have reported this stuff and it.. Marie, its not that ebay doesn't have enough people in trust and safety! Its because they choose to turn a blind eye on it as its part of their business model to profit! I've reported this directly to trust and safety, to the Ebay Office of the President (OOTP), customer service, ebay for business facebook page, and NOTHING is ever done..

Categories of items where we sold them for $30-40 each are now less than $10 with free shipping for the same counterfeit item from China.. People believe me, its not that ebay is overwhelmed and can't keep up with it, its because they are a classless, unethical and immoral company that is working with foreign criminals for profit!

Hopefully the new administration stops this subsidized shipping and investigates all of this anti-American business practices taking place on ebay and other marketplaces.. BUT ebay IS THE WORSE!
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: azseller68 This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 13 13:40:24 2017
@toolguy: I don't agree with that statement at all. I've bought tons of stuff on AliExpress and never had a problem. It wasn't until I used eBay that I had an issue. And I did wind up ordering the USB cables on AE and they did arrive.

I saw a video on YouTube the other day where the guy had bought a bunch of stuff from Chinese sellers (to resell) by finding last-minute auctions with free shipping. Some auctions went for as low as 6 cents, and yet he still received the product. So it would be wrong to say that all Chinese sellers on eBay are scammers. But you do have to know how to play the game when things go wrong.
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: Golddustwoman This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 13 16:22:34 2017
eBay is not the only one allowing shady Chinese sellers. I sold a one of a kind item on eBay for $100. A week later while searching online for unusual jewelry, MY eBay listing popped up, word for word, photo for photo, and the item was selling for $30. THERE IS NO ITEM.
When I did a search on the site's name, nothing came up and there was also no way to contact them. What could their purpose be? They stole my info and are selling a non-existent item. Are they trying to steal banking info or identity info?
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: strife This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Mar 14 12:51:53 2017
"The seller wasn't sure what the end game was for these sellers."

People need to realize something...THERE ARE NO CHINESE SELLERS (plural). There is only 1, the Chinese govt. Communist Country remember.

So if people have this pretty little idea in their hads about some poor Chinese seller breaking their backs trying to earn a living just like you and me well, I guess you got suckered just like so many other people.

There are some large companies based in China that sell but as far as the little guy small seller it just doesn't exist!
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Tue Mar 14 13:04:32 2017
Strife says "There is only 1, the Chinese govt. Communist Country remember."

Don't tell that to the people in Hong Kong. I am wondering if you have been to Hong Kong or China.  What you are stating is absolutely not true.  It is a Communist country with capitalist ways.
eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China   eBay Hosts Sketchy Listings from China
by: userfish This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Mar 14 13:36:35 2017
Not only China. I have bought from India and Malaysia and never received the items and was stalled until claim ran out.
Also trying to return garbage to China. I get notice that seller cannot provide shipping label. A couple of times returned goods supposedly never arrived so I was beat.
Russians...I will never send an item to Russia again due to lack of ebay support IE demands to make fake Customs amounts and descriptions.


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