|Thu May 17 2012 22:30:48|
eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
By: Ina Steiner
Friday's EcommerceBytes newsletter includes a news story about high-profile eBay drop-off store owner Corri McFadden who was accused of shill bidding on eBay by a poster on the PurseBlog.com discussion boards.
McFadden's company, eDrop-Off Chicago LLC sued both the poster and PurseBlog.com. Twice, first on Thursday and then on Friday.
It filed the first lawsuit in California where the courts have a generous anti-SLAPP law, the second the next day in Illinois where its anti-SLAPP law is viewed more narrowly.
McFadden is an interesting person - she has been profiled by eBay on several occasions and now appears on her own TV reality show about her eBay consignment business.
If the defendants make it to trial and have the resources to defend themselves fully, I imagine they will try to show that the seller was indeed shill bidding - it will be interesting to see what records eBay will surrender about the bidding activity on eDrop-Off's auctions.
One of the most interested aspects of the case is a letter McFadden's account manager wrote testifying that eBay had investigated her account and found that she does not engage in shill bidding - "we at eBay have thoroughly investigated the eDropoff account and currently have no reason to believe that a Shill Bidding violation has taken place."
It's unusual for eBay to vouch for a seller's reputation!
eDrop-off also wrote in its Illinois lawsuit that it believed the defendant, "BeenBurned," previously operated under the handle of "bargainprincess" and has "self-styled herself as a scambuster and detective of auctions on eBay. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that due to her unauthorized attacks on, and cyberbullying of, legitimate Internet companies, BeenBurned has been banned from eBay and her account was involuntarily deactivated some time ago." (I'm curious who informed McFadden of BeenBurned's alleged history and alleged ban from eBay.)
Can you tell without a doubt if a seller is engaged in shill bidding? Or is accusing someone of shill bidding on public discussion boards "cyberbullying"? Let us know what you think!
Update: See Judge Grants Restraining Order against eBay Sellers Critic
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