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Julia Wilkinson AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

Julia Wilkinson is Editor of the AuctionBytes Blog and is author of the "eBay Price Guide," "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips and Tricks," "My Life at AOL" and numerous ebooks about selling online. You can also find her writing on Yard Salers.
Tue Feb 27 2007 10:19:34

Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
After watching a video of Court TV's Judge Judy going head-to-head with a woman she believed was an eBay scammer, some users may wish Judge Judy Sheindlin ran eBay. The case before the judge involved a woman and her daughter who bought cell phones from a seller for over $400. But instead of getting the cell phones, they got photos of the cell phones.



The famous television judge did not hold back on letting the seller know what she thought of her auctions (you've got to watch the clip!). But the sad fact is that eBay allows "wholesale lists" to be listed on its site, something just as deceiving as the case before Court TV. In 2005, freelance writer Mark Lewis wrote about this scheme, which is still alive and well on eBay today. (eBay not only allows them, but even has a category for wholesale lists!)

I'm not sure if Judge Judy ordered the removal of the negative feedback in this case, but there is a documented case of a court ordering the removal of eBay feedback. A small claims court in California heard a dispute filed by a seller named Wendy (pure_essentuals). She sued a buyer over negative feedback that she clamed was defamatory. The court ordered the defendant to pay $250 plus court costs and ordered the negative comment to be removed from Wendy's eBay account. (Wendy said eBay did remove the feedback after the judgement.)

While it's great news that buyers and sellers are being assertive, it's troublesome that these disputes must be settled in the court system.

Thanks to Donna Klein for sending me the link to the Judge Judy video.




Comments (29) | Permalink
Readers Comments

Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: george
       
Tue Feb 27 13:54:46 2007
Judge Judy does not work for Court TV. Never has.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Beyond the Treeline
       
Tue Feb 27 15:02:00 2007
You know, here is a classic opportunity for Judy to educate a) herself (on something that is bound to recur in her court, b) the public (as to how to protect yourself using common sense), c) the scammer (spending the full nine minutes illuminating what the seller did wrong).

Instead she railed on the seller's intelligence level, her unemployment, and her inability to keep her legs closed. For Judy, this was a blown opportunity, and one where she should probably be as equally embarrassed as the seller, only for a lack of restraint. This reminded me of kindergarten lunchtime antics.

All in all, one thumb up (for the buyer), two thumbs down (one each for the seller and for Judy).
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Beyond the Treeline
       
Tue Feb 27 15:04:58 2007
For those late to the party, here is her bio, BTW, not that its something to be awestruck by ...

http://judgejudy.com/Bios/allaboutjudy.asp
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Dan
       
Tue Feb 27 20:07:46 2007
Judge Judy awarded the Plaintiff $5000 which I assume is the maximum allowed in small claims court.  Its too bad she didn't award $5000 to the Plaintiff from eBay as well.  Does this seller actually sell any material goods besides photos of goods?  Why ebay is allowed to profit from sellers like this is ridiculous.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: bonni
       
Wed Feb 28 00:55:37 2007
Wow, this will be good for eBay's reputation. ;)
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Jim
       
Wed Feb 28 05:22:06 2007
Wife: ''Sweetheart, i've been ripped off by some rotten scammer on Ebay. I wanted to buy a PS3 for little Danny, but all I was sent was a photo of one.''

Husband: ''Dirty rotten %^&%&, have you got your money back?''

Wife: ''I tried, but I received an email from an Ebay humanoid telling me
I should have paid via Paypal and that Ebay cannot accept any responsibility because they 'are just a venue'.''

Husband: ''Darn it. How can we get our money back?''

*Eldest son enters the room*

Eldest Son: ''Hey mom and pop, you should write to Judge Judy she awarded 5 thousand bucks to a victim of an ebay scammer and the victims were only scammed out of $450.''

Husband: ''Hey! That's a swell idea! I can buy Danny a new PS3 from Walmart, and spend the rest on a family holiday''.

*Meanwhile, at Judge Judy HQ, the patience of the staff who read
Judy's emails begins to be tested under the deluge of Ebay cases....*
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Dan C
       
Wed Feb 28 11:01:11 2007
I saw this episode and was ecstatic.  I clapped when they awarded this lady money.  I work my but off and barely make part time money on Ebay.  

This defendant sells pictures of cel phones and makes a living.  Ebay should be ashamed they don't do anything.  They don't realize that stories like this will deter sellers and buyers and hurts the bottom line and will affect the shareholders.

Someone with some ebay ties should send Meg Whitman or Bill Cobb this story.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Randy Smythe
       
Wed Feb 28 19:22:05 2007
Now the Judge Judy show will get innundated with requests to hear other ebay related cases. All this does is continue to make eBay a joke in the eyes of the public. But's it's good TV
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Beyond the Treeline
       
Wed Feb 28 23:09:57 2007
"Ebay should be ashamed they don't do anything."

And when the auction Gestapo steps in and starts ''policing'' auctions (including your own), will you be willing to let bygones be bygones and not complain about it? Unlikely. There is a middle ground here that is being missed altogether.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Dan
       
Thu Mar 1 10:12:03 2007
Treeline, eBay should require people selling "pictures" to list in the "picture category" so customers are more clearly informed what they are buying.  This way buyers will get a better experience.  Noone wants more policing.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: steven
       
Thu Mar 1 23:23:35 2007
Good gravy, how on earth could anyone defend the sellers position? JJ was mean to her? She didn't stick to the facts, legal grounds, whatever. If I tried to do something like this in my store, I would be thrown in jail. Rightly so. Just because she's on eBay, and preying on stupid people, it's acceptable? Shame on eBay for not kicking her off, and shame on you, for defending her. The woman is scum, plain and simple!
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Tom
       
Fri Mar 2 10:59:29 2007
Judge Judy is no longer a REAL JUDGE. She used to be, but retired to have a TV show.  Show participants give up their real courtroom rights to appear on this TELEVISION SHOW and are actually compensated to some degree and must agree to take Judy's rulings. Judge Judy's opinions and decisions have NO REAL LEGAL jurisdiction and are NOT legal decisions that anybody has to follow. It's more like to parties agree to hire a private mediator and agree to that decision.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: firemeg
       
Sun Mar 4 08:54:37 2007
One problem with that episode (and that's what it was, an episode of a TV program, nothing more) was that the seller actually had a point.  Sure, the seller is a scammer and had hoped that people like the buyers would bid up a photo and not actually read the listing.

Naive users that refuse to read listings are worse for eBay sellers than any scam.

A better ruling would have been to throw the case out on utter stupidity of all parties.  All this show did was reinforce the notion that buyers are not responsible for anything on eBay.  If Judy had also yelled at the mother & daughter like that, humiliated them for being so stupid, it might have made buyers realize that they should read AND understand every word in an auction...or refrain from bidding.

Every day my inbox is stuffed with questions that would never have to be asked if the buyer would simply READ!  This seems to be an eBay specific phenomenon.  When I sell on other sites I don't get those type of questions.  I might go 10 sales on my personal website before I ever get a single question.

Seller was a low life, trying to run a con.  Buyers were dimwits who should have been a bit more diligent in understanding what was for sale.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: underdog
       
Wed Mar 14 06:15:54 2007
I doubt she was running this scam for very long because all it takes is a single complaint, then a quick view of the ad from an eBay administrator who sees it's a scam and poof, seller is removed from eBay, especially for something like this which is just too obvious and outrageous to not raise a flag immediately, not to mention the fact that the seller gets negative feedback for all to see.  eBay is also pretty serious about catching scammers (eBay makes money from buyers, and scammers scare away buyers - not good for eBay.)  The 8 other people they said she ripped off were probably sales she made that same week before the complaints started rolling in.  The buyers were stupid to fall for this, but it's amazing people so cold and shameless exist in the world, to actually rip someone off and then appear in court as if they did nothing wrong.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Wally
       
Tue Mar 20 16:32:27 2007
I'm glad to hear that Judge Judy is not a real judge anymore; her decision was extremely biased and reflected her own personal feelings more than any law.  The scammer recieved anything but a fair trial, and was only badgered by Judge Judy.  It's not that I condone scamming people out of their money, but I do agree with a judge making lawful decisions.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: keishkamom
       
Mon Apr 30 12:22:54 2007
While I felt very little sympathy for the defendent's position, I was apalled by Judge Judy'd conduct.  I would think that every mom out there with three small children would be up in arms about JJ's comments that she should "get a real job," or that JJ was "half her size and twice as intelligent".  No matter how much of an idiot the defendent was (did she really think she could pull something like that off??), JJ's comments were way over the top.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Tim
       
Fri Jun 8 18:19:20 2007
"Judge Judy is no longer a REAL JUDGE. She used to be, but retired to have a TV show.  Show participants give up their real courtroom rights to appear on this TELEVISION SHOW and are actually compensated to some degree and must agree to take Judy's rulings. Judge Judy's opinions and decisions have NO REAL LEGAL jurisdiction and are NOT legal decisions that anybody has to follow. It's more like to parties agree to hire a private mediator and agree to that decision."

Actually, Tom...the participants must sign a contract stating that Judy's rulings are final. Though she retains the title of Judge, she is, in fact, a mediator, and her rulings must be followed by those who signed the contract.
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: Hilda
       
Thu Jun 28 19:05:59 2007
My name is Hilda and I'm from Australia. I admired Judge Judy and watched her show every day. Last week I got a shock of her comment. Judge Judy said to one of her client "she doesn't look like a Gypsy thief does she?" I always thought Judge Judy was an inteligent women but how can a person with high inteligence make such an ignorant racist comment in national television?
I want a public apology from Judge Judy televised in national tv. about her racist comment of my race. I'm a Gypsy and I can assure Judge Judy I'm not a thief. I'm shure if she would of say "she doesn't look like a Jewish thief or a Nigger thief" she would lose her job over it.. but is it ok to say Gypsy Thief?

I WANT JUSTICE AND I DON'T REST UNTIL JUSTICE DONE!
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: tina
       
Fri Jul 13 11:12:32 2007
I was watching Judge Judy yesterday and she was describing a letter/piece of evidence in one of her cases. This is what she said: ''it looks like it was written in some third world country where they only go up to kindergarten''.

My jaw dropped.
How dare she!  Does she even know how far more rigorous education systems are in developing countries then in North America?
Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer   Judge Judy Destroys an eBay Scammer
by: DD
       
Tue Aug 7 09:36:42 2007
I adore Judge Judy and agree with her that she is smarter on her worst day then most people are on their best day. HOWEVER, she really does needs to quit the comments about people's looks, body size, and frequency of reproduction (although when she does nicely tell someone that they shouldn't make that 1st - nth child when they can hardly take care of themselves, I wholeheartedly agree). But back to the eBay case: The woman was a scammer and,  the judge's personal comments aside, got what she deserved.
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