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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu May 17 2012 22:30:48

eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
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
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
Comments (126) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: createursdeluxe This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 06:40:05 2012
I don't know how the Purse Forum works but I can tell you that I had a takeover a few years ago on ebay and they told me exactly where he was operating from.
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: RCL This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 08:15:32 2012
I just hope and pray that this is the case that gets eBay under the scrutiny of the Department of Justice or the Cal. Attorney General. Because if there was a pattern, there will be proof of shilling unless data is doctored. And what if we have conspiracy between sellers and eBay? I know it sounds paranoid, but it isn't at all.
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: penpaper This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 09:05:45 2012
@RCL, but don't you think if the Cal. Attorney General finds that there's no shilling you'll think that they're in cahoots with eBay?
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: Winkle Me Evilbay This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 09:45:04 2012
Hey createursdeluxe  .. you're related to the stalking site thepurseoforumadvisory, aren't you?


Sorry to hear you have problems with Pay Pal, but you state in your auctions that you only accept money orders and bank transfers.  NOT allowed on Ebay, you know that right?

And also very unwise for buyers who need protections when purchasing on Ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: createursdeluxe This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 10:37:00 2012
Are you attacking me because I posted here?
I am not related to thepurseforumadvisory.com
My website is createursdeluxe.com and the hermespurseforum.com, please do not confuse the 2 sites. This is exactly how people get confused and make poor judgements on the internet.
As far as Paypal is concerned, they want my receipts and my bank statements for the last 6 months which is a little more info than I think they should have. Now I use DWOLLA, And who are you? I find it amazing the people who hide behind user names, man up!
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: oohlala This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 10:57:52 2012
kbk must be Hyacinth or Apricot Summers friends of BeenBurned, you know.
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: penpaper This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 11:10:44 2012
You can always spot a Purse Forum member a million comments away. They're always big, powerful, and self-righteous just so long as they're hiding behind their silly screen name. Figure out who they are, then call them by their real name, and the candy asses grab up their dollies and go crying to Mommy.
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: kbk This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 13:27:32 2012
@ oohlala

guess again, although I am aware of who those people are.

Also, this is getting rather off topic AGAIN AS USUAL.  The subject is in the article. Ina didn't post this case to start an attack against PurseForum or PurseForumAdvisory or any other site out there.  These sites and members have the right to post their opinions. Members basically hate each other; again, their opinons and they are entitled to them. If you can't get along, well, that's pretty much your problem.  

The topic at hand is about a seller's bidding patterns being exposed and subsequent lawsuit. The topic is an employee at ebay who is knee deep for making statements that are obviously false. The topic is a seller who has stated ON THE RECORD that she allows employees to bid on items. The topic is that this practice is in blatant violation of ebay policy.

Anyone who turns this into a catfight between different purse sites is attempting to deflect attention upon themselves. In my humble opinion, this is an immature, selfish act.  

Quit squabbling like little children and return to discussing this like mature adults.
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 14:06:22 2012
Ebay hides bidder id's, why? and it certainly has been discuseed by many that ebay allows shill bidding. This case may wind up exposing ebay if they are supporting shill bidding law enforcement may have to get involved, because ebay is going to have to release documentation. I do believe it happened to me several years ago, I complained to ebay and I was ignored. I made enough noise that the seller on ebay motors quit selling almost immediately after I complained. It has never happened since and this was before id's were hidden. The seller did not cover their tracks very well but it was cicumstantial and I could not prove it completely
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sat May 19 14:38:56 2012
My, my, my...ladies, can't all of you try to just get along?

While IP numbers *can* be useful in a lawsuit, they might not provide the defendant with the ammunition they need.

1. Employees of any company can use their home internet to post which obviously will register a different set of IP numbers than the work internet connection.

I suspect some of our most beloved ebafia shills and trolls who post here do this.

IP numbers can be faked or anonymized.

Bidders could use proxies which substitute a set of IP numbers that are different than the bidder's internet service provider's IP numbers even when the bidder is logged on to the latter.

Ina asks an excellent question. If ebay didn't tell the plaintiff that beenburned's account had been involuntarily NARUed, who did?

There are ony two entities who would have access to this information, and one of them consistently hides behind the cloak of "privacy" when the rest of have problems with other users.

I think if I were the plaintiff, I'd contact their local ACLU chapter and ask if this could be a free speech case.

The long term ramifications of this case could mean the chilling of any anti corporate speech.

T&S to any accused Ebay Seller: Ar you or any your employees bidding on your auctions?

Ebay Seller: No.

Well...maybe...but only occasionally.

T&S: Excellent. We didn't think you were since people are basically good.

Our investigation is over.
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: penpaper This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 15:21:22 2012
@kbk

"The topic is an employee at ebay who is knee deep for making statements that are obviously false."

There you going getting all Purse Forum-y on us.  
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: kbk This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 16:19:59 2012
@penpaper
if stating something that appears to be based on fact is "purse forum-y", whatever the heck that is, then so be it.
Thank you I guess???
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: penpaper This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 16:31:25 2012
Getting "Purse Forum-y" is when one takes their opinion and presents it as fact. This is what BeenBurned did at the beginning of the thread which has subsequently been removed by the PF. You did the same thing here when you stated that the eBay employee's statements are "obviously false".
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: penpaper This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 16:34:00 2012
There is nothing "obviously false" about this statement:
"we at eBay have thoroughly investigated the eDropoff account and currently have no reason to believe that a Shill Bidding violation has taken place."  
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: kbk This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 16:37:00 2012
I believe Chris Von Waggoner's statement is false based on the WRITTEN and TELEVISED statements by the seller and her employees which are in direct conflict with the stated ebay policies regarding shilling.


Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: penpaper This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 16:44:13 2012
There's a difference between "I believe" and "obviously false".
But again all of this is purely your opinion since you do not have any facts.  
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: kbk This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 17:16:31 2012
Of course anything I post is purely my opinion. I've stated that clearly and multiple times. I stand by the 'obviously false' based on what I posted above.
FACT: shilling per ebay policy states employees may not bid.
FACT: seller has stated on TV and in print she allows employees to bid on items
Therefore Chris VW's statement that there is no sign of shill bidding is a false statement per the seller's own admission.

It is a reasonable assumption that anything posted on a comment blog is an opinion of the poster even if presented as fact.

You don't really believe that, although presented as 'fact', that the Nigerian widow is really going to give you $3.5 million dollars, do you?

Critical thinking is really under utilized.

Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: Winkle Me Evilbay This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat May 19 19:39:52 2012
FACT:  Ebay seller Edropoff has feedback for multiple auctions from one of her employees who uses her legal name as her Ebay ID.


Thanks for recentering the focus, Ming.   You're right.


And for those that are making assumptions about posters here, not all of the posters here use, know about, or care, what the pursie boards are.    

However if you're going to visit from those boards, be honest.   The owner/creator of the Hermes board also created the purseadvisory one.   So who is being sly here?  As for Pay Pal, you either give 'em what you want or you don't get to use 'em.   Asking for inventory receipts is wise to prevent sellers from scamming buyers.    Also ebay tries to take some measures to make sure stolen items aren't being sold.  

As for investigating shill bidding, as has been shown over and over again throughout Ebay's history - they do nothing to investigate on their own.  They deny reports until a seller becomes really blatant.

Like here?   Time will tell.
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
by: Lumpsofstuff This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 20 11:06:36 2012
Doesn't anyone find it odd that all of the eBay feedback received by the Media Coordinator for E-Dropoff (jenagambaccini) is from the company she works for? I wonder if these items were re-listed at some point?
Perminate Link for eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding   eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding
This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus
       
Sun May 20 21:07:16 2012
You just can't make this stuff up !! As Lumpsofstuff pointed out, the eBay buyer jenagambaccini has 17/19 feedback with seller edropoff. Look up Jena Gambaccini and her LinkedIn page clearly states ''Social Media Associate at eDrop Off ''

How on earth can eBay justify an employee bidding on their employer's listings?

Not to mention, if you check out  eDrop Off's listings, they all have links and phone numbers that encourage off eBay transactions. Any other seller would be NARU'ed for the links alone.

This nonsense has to stop. While most believe it's high time eBay paid the price for preferrential treatment, what's going on here is criminal RICO racketeering if I've ever seen it.
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