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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 12 2012 21:19:40

Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Each online marketplace has its own rules about what sellers are prohibited from selling. Many products are regulated, and for items that are illegal to sell, such policies may protect not only the marketplaces, but sellers as well. And don't forget that under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell recalled products.



But many of the items that are banned on marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy are controversial, such as guns, Nazi items, murderabilia - and pets. One reader recently wrote about a policy in which antiques mall Ruby Lane banned ivory thanks to a California law.

Here are some links to some marketplace policies:

Etsy Prohibited Items

eBay Prohibited and Restricted Items

eBay Offensive Material Policy

Etsy has just updated its list of Prohibited items, as reported in Monday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash. And eBay has faced plenty of controversy over the years about items it has banned from its marketplace.

Sometimes it's not the particular item or category of product that's controversial, but the way a marketplace enforces their bans. I heard from a seller today who inadvertently listed a product on eBay that had been recalled, but found many other listings on eBay for the very same product. And Amazon, for example, prohibits sellers using its FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) from sending hazardous products to its warehouse, but many merchant have complained about inconsistent and over-reaching enforcement, as this Newsflash article from January reports.

What do you think? If it's not illegal to sell a particular item, should you be able to sell it on any online marketplace you choose? Where should marketplaces draw the line, and have you ever been effected by such policies?



Comments (7) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?   Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?
This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus
       
Sun Aug 12 22:01:19 2012
How about the guy who ordered a TV on Amazon and got an assault rifle ?

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/08/tv-amazon-assault-ri
fle/
Perminate Link for Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?   Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Mon Aug 13 04:12:57 2012
“… but the way a marketplace enforces their bans.”

Sorry, but I am repeating myself …

Be assured, the treatment an eBay merchant can expect from eBay in regard to any matter  is based solely on the amount of FVFs the seller pays.

Take seller eDropOff, for example, a rampant, blatant, shill bidding fraudster who is, since the settlement of her recent ill advised defamation case, probably now paying eBay FVFs on even more, still blatantly shilled, faux sales than real sales.

Does eBay care about such fraud? Of course, eBay cares; eBay even changed their policy on staff and related persons bidding on auctions (in the US only) especially for the benefit of this rampant fraudster.

So, have no fear, this criminal eBafia organisation is only interested in money, and if enough money is involved they will, ultimately even actively, aid and abet you to rape and pillage consumers—not even the US Criminal Code is allowed to stand in the way of eBafia’s bottom line.

The Mafia of old would be proud of the eBafia’s ever evolving, fraud facilitating, business plan …

And, if anyone wants an updated demonstration of the utter unscrupulousness, indeed criminality, of eBay ...
 
“Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay: Case Study #5”
http://bit.ly/N1nTlc

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
Perminate Link for Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?   Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?
by: wallflower This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Aug 13 10:02:48 2012
"Sorry, but I am repeating myself …"

Really????????

I hadn't noticed, LOL!!!
Perminate Link for Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?   Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?
by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Aug 13 11:29:54 2012
so etsy lets me sell human teeth ??? and not a vintage motorcycle ?
weird.....
Perminate Link for Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?   Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?
by: HarmonyGroveAntiques This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Aug 13 12:22:23 2012
I guess as long as you "upcycle" the human teeth into something useful like a human teeth covered jewelry box, all is okay at Etsy. Ewwwww!

We just sell vintage-antique furniture there without added teeth.
Perminate Link for Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?   Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?
by: AngelaTC This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 16 11:07:29 2012
Let the market prevail.  eBay and Etsy have a right to not allow anybody to sell anything.  But should they?  No - leave people alone, and let the market work.    
Perminate Link for Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?   Where Should Marketplaces Like eBay and Etsy Draw the Line?
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Aug 19 15:39:40 2012
First off let me say---ebay and etsey banning ivory is the right thing to do.  In the case of CONTEMPORARY items.  Where some poacher is being encouraged to go out and shoot an elephant for its TEETH.

That said---

The selling of ANTIQUE ivory is also banned in theory if not in fact.  But---it is still very much out there just sort of "underground".  I dunno 'bout etsy as I find her search infuriating but on ebay all you have to do is look for something like--"Vintage bone carving WITH LINES".  The growth rings of ivory and bone are different and can be seen easily either with the naked eye or with a loupe.  

I see all sorts of things sold this way---no one mentions the word "ivory" or elephant etc.  But yet---there it is.  Now again---these are older pieces.  Should it have been acceptable to hunt and kill these amazing animals EVER for their teeth---ask me I will say NO. Do I own pieces like this?  Yes---nothing under 100 years old as far as I know and all inherited.  But---I hate the thought of how they were acquired while I admire the beauty.  

Down this road lies vegan PETA thoughts.  

Like all "fakes" on ebay these are hiding in plain sight like purses proclaiming  "Style"  "Designer inspired" and items with 5 designer names in the title so you have to wade thru to find out who or even IF a particular designer even had anything to do with the item.

Does ebay "police" this stuff?  Well---they spend more time in my experience trying to shut down innocent sellers of second hand high end brand names than these  fakes.  And don't even get me STARTED on the absurd "rules" to sell Native American items---which I GET--but I resent having real items to sell and finding the marketplace bizarrly restricted by ebay to the point that if you didn't hold the hand of the artist you can't sell the finished product.

And these are ebays odd "quirks" that they claim were FORCED on them by fraud---just like the postage fee!!!!!!

Most of these go back to the "Doctrine of First Sale" issue tho---if I bought the item from someone I have the RIGHT to re-sell,  burn,  bury or eat the dang thing and there is little anyone can to to prevent me from doing this as I OWN THE ITEM.  What the VERO etc whack jobs are trying to claim is NO ONE EVER has an item---a real brand name item--that the owner EVER wanted or needed to sell.   And therefore EVERY item listed MUST be a fake bought on Canal Street for $14.99.  How many things have YOU ever gotten that might have been a  nice gift---but not YOUR taste?  Many of these things cannot be returned.  OR --like me---you might go and deliberatly seek out these things at thrift stores and church sales etc.  Now ebay is not following me around to SEE where I get these items yet they feel free to tell me they are FAKE.  Even tho in all these years I have NEVER had a complaint about fake anything.  

Should they draw the line at Nazi items?  Well they surely HAVE NOT done this.  Look around and you can find TONS of Nazi stuff on ebay!  Coins are  a big area.  But when I went to list an AMERICAN pair of salt and pepper shakers from WW1 --yes---WW ONE---I got a "flag" about NOT listing --Nazi items.  As a "Nice Jewish Girl" I suspect I know if something is Nazi related or not!  But ebay doesn't know this.  And ebay doesn't bother to POLICE these things!!!!!!  

So---fox in the henhouse????


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