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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 66 - March 17, 2002 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 8

AuctionBlackList Creates Online Auction Fraud Database

By Ina Steiner

March 17, 2002

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AuctionBlackList.com is a new site (it's been up for about 5 months) that features an online database of people who have allegedly committed online auction fraud.

Nick Ladd is a 20-year-old college student who got the idea for the site seven months ago when he was shopping for a laptop computer on eBay. Nick noticed a large number of people whose auctions seemed a little on the shady side, but could not find a database containing eBay members who had racked up fraud complaints.

"The entire success of the AuctionBlackList site depends on the people who use it," Nick explained. "I do not enter in any frauds myself, I've just given victims the opportunity to make public what happened to them. The site really builds on itself and the bigger the site gets and the more traffic it receives, the better resource for the auction community it becomes."

Nick told me that AuctionBlackList is a private site that he created, owns, and operates himself. "I'm really not into the site for monetary purposes and have actually spent more money than I've made via advertising."

Knowing that disgruntled auction users might be tempted to file retaliatory or untrue complaints, I asked Nick how he prevents this. "Anytime that anyone requests to be removed from the site, I usually will remove them. From the 80+ cases that have been posted to the site so far, we really haven't had much of a problem with abuse."

I also noticed that the site links to another site that allows users to report deadbeat bidders: http://www.angelfire.com/journal/ronindh/deadbeats.htm. For sellers, deadbeat bidders can be a serious problem. David spoke to a seller last week who receives an average of between 5% and 8% deadbeat bids on his auctions. (Deadbeat bidders are people who win an auction but never pay for the item.) In a recent Newsflash story, I wrote about how Blink.com is sending its members to eBay as part of its rewards program, something that can potentially increase the number of deadbeat bidders on the site (http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abn/y02/m03/i14/s01).

People who have encountered fraud on eBay and other auction sites usually feel helpless. There is always a great feeling of frustration from the people who write to AuctionBytes complaining of their experiences with serial offenders. It seems this may be one way to let others know about such offenders. It may be worth a shot. http://auctionblacklist.com

About the author:

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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