|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2456 - January 13, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065 6 of 6|
eBay settled a class action lawsuit for $30 million over allegations it had overcharged sellers in the eBay Motors Parts and Accessories category. The third-party administrator A.B. Data Ltd sent an email to affected sellers this week informing them of the settlement and providing a link to more information on the website, eBayMotorsFeeClassAction.com. The settlement provides partial reimbursement of alleged overcharges to class members.
The class consists of eBay sellers who paid Final Value Fees for selling items in the vehicle-related Parts and Accessories categories on eBay Motors between April 21, 2005, and August 26, 2009. eBay Store listings are not included in the settlement.
Two eBay sellers filed a class action lawsuit against eBay on April 21, 2009 (and amended in June 2009), alleging that eBay charged excessive fees for listing items in the "Parts and Accessories" category.
"In particular, Plaintiffs allege that a web page known as the eBay Motors Fee Page sets the second fee, which was called either a Transaction Services Fee or Successful Listing fee; eBay instead charged a Final Value Fee, which Plaintiffs claim applies only to regular or "Core" eBay.com listings."
eBay denied the allegations and changed the fee page on August 26, 2009.
"eBay contends it correctly charged Final Value Fees on Parts and Accessories listings, as it does for all other items listed on any part of eBay that are not subject to specialized fees. eBay further contends that it has consistently and clearly disclosed to its users in several ways that it charged Final Value Fees for Parts and Accessories."
The parties reached a tentative agreement to settle the case in November. The plaintiffs' lawyers are entitled to legal fees up to 25% of the settlement amount, and Class Representative will seek $15,000 as incentive compensation.
Based upon information in eBay's records, it is expected that after payment of all fees and expenses, each Class Member shall be entitled to reimbursement of approximately 6.67% of all Final Value Fees paid for Parts and Accessories listed on eBay Motors during the Class Period, excluding listings on eBay Stores.
The administrator will calculate the amount owed to eBay sellers based on eBay's records and will mail the payment to the address associated with the eBay user ID under which the covered sales were made.
Sellers can update their address on the settlement website by March 28, 2011, otherwise, it is not necessary for them to do anything if their legal name and address on file with eBay is correct.
eBay sellers who are members of the Class and wish to exclude themselves from the Class must send a letter to the administrator by sending a letter postmarked on or before February 14, 2011. Any seller who fails to seek exclusion from the Class is bound by the settlement.
A Final Fairness Hearing on final settlement approval is scheduled for March 28, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.
Class Members may appear at the Final Fairness Hearing in person or by counsel and may be heard, to the extent allowed by the Court, provided they file a notice with the Clerk of the Court before February 14, 2011.
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Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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