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Mon Jan 23 2012 22:16:21

Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Email?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
I recently received a survey from Ebay. This one was about the email system within Ebay. Most was what I'd consider pretty normal questions. It appears they are seriously considering giving us more characters and the ability to do attachments. Both of which I'm sure many of us would find very helpful.

But as is normal for Ebay, there was what I would consider a ZINGER question included in the survey. This question scared the heck out of me.

The question was:

How interested would you be in providing eBay access to your personal/business email inbox to better synchronize your email and My Messages?

Note: eBay would not store the password to your email account, but rather use a secure protocol to allow for authorization, with your permission. eBay would also never alter your email, but rather look only for messages to/from eBay or eBay members so that actions you take in your email regarding those messages are automatically reflected in My Messages.

I for one would not do this willingly. Ebay gives us no reason to trust them and this is just way too much. Ebay already is micro managing it's sellers into extinction. While I see a few benefits with this type of policy, I see far more danger. If I absolutely had to agree with something like this in order to sell on Ebay, I would most certainly open a special email account that was only for Ebay. I would NEVER give them what I consider to be my regular private email account.

Could they legally force sellers to agree to allow them such access?
Pretty scary stuff !!!!
Marie



Comments (101) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: Deltamaster

Mon Jan 23 22:48:55 2012

This is beyond incredible.
I really do not know why eBay has not been hit with some of those suits that they won in the past claiming they were only a venue because they would surely loose now because they have already gone beyond just being a venue.  If eBay started doing this then they would move in to the realm of "Big Brother"!

Neither eBay nor Paypal can be trusted and there is no way in heck that ANYONE should allow them this much access to their personal private data.

Does anyone really think they would restrict themselves to just what they say they will.

What is to say that an eBay member buys something from you that you never listed on eBay... could eBay then claim that you owe them because the buyer had ONCE been an eBay buyer?

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: Willie

Mon Jan 23 23:14:04 2012

I would not sell on ebay again if required to give an email. I hate to sell there now but do make a (very) small profit.  Paypal already is bugging me with notices when I log in that they do not have my social security number on file, which they will NEVER get. The powers that be have gotten away too long with stealing from us (ex., forcing us to use PayPal, sky high fees).  Now they want our most personal information.  I am moving more and more of my business to etsy.com.  

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Jan 23 23:15:32 2012

Pretty scary stuff, indeed, Marie!

eBay can't even get their computers to properly communicate with PayPal or the USPS web site... why in the world would anyone trust them to have full access to our email accounts?

Frankly, I don't trust eBay. I don't trust them to do what they say they'll do. I don't trust the competence of their programmers. I don't trust them to keep my login information private.

If it was ever ''required'' or mandatory, I'd create a new dedicated eBay-only Gmail.com email account.

It's intrusive and they are once again OVER-REACHING. Perhaps they are floating this absurd idea with the full knowledge that it will be soundly rejected... so that they can make a ''compromise'' and offer-up something that looks less intrusive (by comparison). But without first making a serious-looking attempt at overreaching, the ''compromise'' offer (which is what they really wanted in the first place) would also be rejected.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

This user has validated their user name. by: Mercy the Mingless

Tue Jan 24 00:05:24 2012

In the 2011 Fall Update forum, an eBay rep said that images could be attached to eBay messages then promised to post instructions how to do it.

The rep disappeared without ever posting the promised instructions.

http://forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/2011-Fall-Update
/How-Do-We/5200009666&#msg5100208050

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: woodjungle!
Web Site

Tue Jan 24 00:43:40 2012

i think you're missing the point.  this would be voluntary. if you wanted to be able to sync messages more efficiently perhaps. they legally can not FORCE you to provide access to your email account.  never.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jan 24 02:26:19 2012

@woodjungle

The survey said absolutely nothing about it being voluntary or not.  I would venture a guess that they would work it like many other things they have done in the past.  Make it voluntary at first and then either manditory later or make it so that the advantages of having it far outweigh not having it through discounts, a boost in the searches or whatever carrot they could dangle.

So I don't think anyone has missed the point.  

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Tue Jan 24 02:38:29 2012

How is the water? Too warm yet?

eBay is turning up the heat of the water that the frogs are trying to swim in.

How are you doing with all the spam, spoofs and fraud since you gave PayPay your email address?

Now you should give this fine error and glitch free company the contents of your emails along with all of the names of the people you do business with.

How would you feel about this?

Sign up for the added feature.

You asked we listened.

We have a new security feature that you must follow and we can't tell you what is required or what we are looking for because that would give the spoofers an edge. Trust us.

Please note the following change to the terms of your User Agreement.

You are required to allow eBay access to all your information as a requirement for doing business here.

You agreed to the terms of the contract with eBay. If you are unhappy following our policies you are free to conduct your business else where.

People are basically good.

eBay is a community.

Trust us.

Yeah, another Gmail address just for eBay will solve the problem.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Jan 24 06:21:25 2012

Marie notes: ''I would venture a guess that they would work it like many other things they have done in the past.  Make it voluntary at first and then either manditory later or make it so that the advantages of having it far outweigh not having it through discounts, a boost in the searches or whatever carrot they could dangle.''

You're exactly right, Marie. I think some folks are downplaying and minimizing the seriousness of things like this just to be contrary.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: joe

Tue Jan 24 07:20:14 2012

The people who make these kinds of decisions at Ebay display all the characteristics associated with people who have serious addictions to hard drugs. In other words, Ebay is run as if a 14-year old crackhead is behind the wheel.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: honeville
Web Site

Tue Jan 24 07:22:40 2012

This wouldn't bother me.  I'd simple change my email address on ebay to something like Honevilleonebay@honeville.com and use it only for ebay transactions.  Then I'd set the preferences in that account to foward all emails to my main account and the only emails ebay would have access to would be those sent by their buyers.  
I don't have to try to steal buyers from ebay.  Customers migrate to where ever a seller can sell the cheapest.  Ebay can't have the highest fees online and expect to have the lowest prices.  My website is lower than ebay, as most websites are.  I don't have to try to ''steal'' customers.  They will automatically migrate to where ever the best deal is.  
I don't have the problems selling on my website that I have with ebay's customers.  If them accessing my email will help them police their new ''bribe-bay'' enviroment then I say... do it!  

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: frustrated

Tue Jan 24 07:28:10 2012

Sure they can have my e-mail.

They can pay my internet access bill, my fees, and my mortgage too.

Oh, yeah, they can come here and do my laundry also.

Are you CRAZY??

I wouldn't give my BOYFRIEND access to my e-mail.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: journeywoman

Tue Jan 24 07:33:22 2012

Not only NO, but HELL NO!  eBay may not have my email password.
I can count on one hand the number of people to whom I've given my password.  Wait, I don't need a hand, its ZERO.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: Y.D.D.D

Tue Jan 24 07:48:31 2012

But Donahoe could still make it mandatory with one of those "You Spoke We Listened" BS slogans, then tell us how all sellers researched prefer it for quicker access or whatever blah blah blah !

Nuff said

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Jan 24 07:57:37 2012

Honeville is definitely on to something! This type of move is clearly an effort to try and fight back against the sellers who are able to successfully siphon-off buyers to buy DIRECT from a seller's web site.

And as Honeville correctly observes, some sellers don't have to try because the customers will naturally gravitate to the better deals. Others, like myself, are less shy about ''stealing'' customers. (Funny that eBay characterizes it as ''stealing'' when we're talking about OUR OWN customers.)

I believe that customer loyalty is becoming a big problem in the eyes of eBay execs. ~ eBay's customers (ie: the SELLERS) who were once loyal... are no longer loyal and are gradually expanding away from eBay, or leaving eBay entirely... and those sellers are TAKING THEIR CUSTOMERS WITH THEM!

Also... Sellers, who were previously very loyal to eBay... would make an effort to SHOP at eBay. ~ But this is becoming less and less true as sellers begin to realize how little they are valued, they will take their business elsewhere. (Some do it to find cheaper prices, and some do it on principle.)

And then there are the informed buyers (the most desirable ones) who ARE paying attention, and who realize WHY it is that sellers must raise prices... and who realize that ''free'' shipping isn't always the best deal... and who also resent the way that their favorite sellers are being treated.

When all of these ingredients are combined, it creates a very bitter and unsavory concoction that leaves a foul taste in the mouths of those buyers. ~ So they move on as well.

eBay is overreacting to try and counteract a symptom INSTEAD OF thinking rationally to address the actual CAUSE of the growing discontent that's causing people to lose faith and any sense of loyalty to the company.

Ultimately, I believe that such efforts will backfire and will end up having the OPPOSITE of the desired effect. It will become yet another WEDGE that will drive even more sellers away... and those sellers will take many of the best buyers with them as they leave.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: Dee

Tue Jan 24 08:30:52 2012

Preposterous idea, like many before it. I have proofs that eBay HAS access to our My Messages inbox on eBay. Our inboxes have been monitored for a long while actually, so that NO actual communication that would "steal" a sale/customers takes place. The slightest detail that would divert the sale or customer outside eBay and the message is never delivered to the recipient. I tested it just for the heck of it and was right. And since it worked and NOBODY ever complained, now they want to take over our right to privacy ?! Sounds insane, really.
And no government agency or legal channel in the US seems to notice the continuous abuse and breach of the law, infringement of citizen's rights and their Big Brother policies?
I am curious to see if anybody will take on and bring down eBay?

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 24 08:37:25 2012

''You are required to allow eBay access to all your information as a requirement for doing business here.'' - Ed Gadfly

Even though your post was of a jesting nature (or was it??), this is a certainly a 20-20 hindsight view maybe two years from now.

Annie, the last 3 paragraphs of your post are exactly what I was thinking.

This would serve to either: 1 - put me out of business, or 2 - force me into subterfuge mode like honeville.

Yes, yet another bad idea from the Donuthole & cronies.  One of many more to come.

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: Oh Really

Tue Jan 24 08:41:21 2012

by: Mercy the Mingless
Tue Jan 24 00:05:24 2012
In the 2011 Fall Update forum, an eBay rep said that images could be attached to eBay messages then promised to post instructions how to do it.

The rep disappeared without ever posting the promised instructions.

Well maybe you missed the explanation a few years ago, it's really very simple.

In your email client, click reply, attach image files, click send.



Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: Beth

Tue Jan 24 08:44:20 2012

HELL NO!  They can't keep spam out of their message system and I should trust them with access to my inbox?? I don't think so!

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

This user has validated their user name. by: Stockmiser

Tue Jan 24 08:47:28 2012

Very disturbing.

I'm not even sure how they would do this, technically speaking.  There are a lot of different email systems out there, and I'm not really sure how this "interface" and "synchronization" would work.  

What about corporate or government systems where such access would be forbidden?  For that matter, what about sites like gmail (google) or even hotmail (microsoft) that might consider such access by a competitor to be hostile?

Again...I'd be interested in knowing exactly what they had in mind here.  Maybe they are really talking about is offering an actual POP account for all sellers and making it the only valid email option to use for ebay....?

Perminate Link for Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai   Could eBay Force Sellers to Provide Access to Emai

by: EbayDoormat
Web Site

Tue Jan 24 08:48:02 2012

No way they can legally force this issue.  Protocol my arse. This would be hacking pure and simple.

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