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eBay Encourages Users to Report Price Gouging

eBay
eBay Encourages Users to Report Price Gouging

eBay issued an announcement on Wednesday reminding sellers of its price-gouging policy and encouraging users to report items they believe violate the policy.

Price gouging became a major issue in 2020 due to supply shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, with states and the federal government charging retailers they said violated laws.

In its announcement, eBay said it had a zero-tolerance policy on price gouging “to ensure that buyers are able to find essential items at reasonable prices, especially during challenging and extraordinary times like those we face today.”

It’s taking measures to block or remove listings that make false health claims or that offer products at inflated prices in violation of applicable laws.

“Buyers are encouraged to report items they believe violate our policy using our price gouging reporting tool,” eBay said, linking to a page titled “Reporting price gouging on eBay.”

You can find the full announcement on the eBay Announcement Board.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.

8 thoughts on “eBay Encourages Users to Report Price Gouging”

  1. Predictably, sellers will be abusing this “Report” feature to take down the listings of their competitors.

    Smart move, eBay, you geniuses you! Surely you have thought things through to the end. ‍♂️ facepalm

  2. eBay won’t do jack bleep about COUNTERFEITS AND ILLEGAL BOOTLEGS though! Reports on those are always ignored by the brilliantly programmed AI bots. eBay, you really suck!

  3. I had the understanding that price gouging was illegal when a state of emergency is in effect.

    Besides all of that, to what point does one price an item to cover fees without running the risk of being reported now?
    How does this apply when talking about fees for shipping, and taxes.
    They just admitted to overcharging for rates, and, the more expensive shipping options were always shown first.

    Last time they “enforced” this rule, there were still plenty of hand soap and face coverings listed far beyond fair value. They were removed occasionally, but ebay was also not too efficient in taking them down regularly. (Were those funds put on hold? If so, what would ebay have done with the extra money?)

    I understand what they are referring to, but they are putting out a disclaimer just to not be effective in governing their own site.
    How does this work in the auction format?
    Winner takes all there, and I have seen PLENTY of shills for certain sellers which have never been acknowledged by ebay.

  4. “Buyers are encouraged to report items…”

    Ebay encourages buyers to spend hours trawling their marketplace to report “price gouging” (and counterfeits, prohibited items, and all manner of violations eBay is completely capable of proactively filtering if they so desired) while these buyers are served up thousands of ads (and Promoted Listings) diligently reporting these listings like good little lemmings.

    Some buyers report flagging hundreds of these, sometimes explicitly stating they’ve spent many hours doing so thinking they are being good consumer stewards and ‘helping’ clean-up eBay. Then, often days or weeks later, reach out to @askeBay wondering why these flagged listings haven’t been removed, their valuable time wasted?

    It’s a sketchy, deceptive play by eBay, incongruent with Iannone’s purported, “acting with integrity is simply who we are” assertion.

    There are 4 unique stakeholders eBay deftly spins their messaging for: investors, media, buyers, and of course sellers. Eay has four correspondings “sides of their mouth” they’ll speak from, often with conflicting information – in this case the frequently touted “block filter algorithms” eBay often spins to media they’re employing to thwart [FILL IN THE BLANK] illegal/prohibited/unpopular/bad PR listings, as they did in March of last year:

    “eBay has had block filter algorithms in place and a global security team working around the clock to remove listings and taken enforcement action against unscrupulous sellers who persist in attempting to circumvent eBay filters. New and additional measures are continually being introduced, and eBay has increased the size of its global security enforcement team.”

    That’s not even digging into eBay’s spurious ‘mask ban’ last year, when eBay claimed in the same March press release to have removed 350k items – eBay didn’t mention how many of these prohibited items actually *sold*, which based off screenshots of sold N95 masks from that time period were profuse.

    https://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/letters/blog.pl?/comments/2020/4/1588256131.html#1588271884

  5. this is going to abused as some shady sellers are going to falsely report their competitors.

    if someone thinks a price is too high, just do not buy it.

    problem solved

  6. In all likelihood, eBay was motivated to make this announcement in order to minimize any liability that may result from the attorney general investigations into price gouging that have been undertaken by several states.

    Like sales tax collection, it is the venue’s responsibility to assure that its sellers are complying with both federal and state laws.

  7. Did eBay change the reporting form tree to include price gouging? If not, it will not be reported.

  8. Its eBays fees that need to be reported – and their shady business practices!

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