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Wed July 25 2007 12:03:56

Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account

By: Ina Steiner

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It took almost a day to react to a frustrated seller who posted profanities in his Overstock Auctions user profile and on the site's Technical Discussions board. The seller, mistuff4yu, apologized to other users, saying he was unable to close his account and hoped they would report him. "My posts are still up and I am not even suspended yet," he wrote Tuesday at 1:41 pm, almost 2 hours after his first pleas to be suspended because he could not get the company to close his account. He wrote that he was 16 years old.

Twelve hours after the company failed to take down the seller's profile and posts, another seller went into CEO Patrick Byrne's section of the board, "Take 5 with Patrick," to complain:

"I don't mean to interrupt this thread, but, there is a serious situation on the message forums right now. A user, mistuff4yu, has been posting ALL day with the worst kind of filth and foul language you can imagine. He has been reported over and over again, all day, and is still on the boards with more of the same filth! Any customers that may come to the message forums would be horrified. It's bad enough for the sellers to have to deal with it, but, where is the moderator for the forums? Back when Byron was handling it, it would have been dealt with swiftly. Please contact your people and tell them to get the user totally banned and wipe those posts out. It's an abomination for anyone to see them. Thank you and again, sorry for interrupting your thread but no response from the techs in charge."

Over 10 hours after Byrne acknowledged the problem, the profanity was removed from the seller's profile and the posts he had initiated were removed from the site.

When launched its Auctions service in the fall of 2004, many eBay sellers had high hopes it would be a viable alternative to eBay. Now, the message board is a shadow of its former self, and with this incident, it looks like even employees don't bother to keep tabs.

But Overstock has not given up on eBay sellers - just the small ones. Byrne keynoted at the spring ChannelAdvisor Catalyst meeting, announcing that ChannelAdvisor customers could list their inventory on Shopping on a drop-ship basis.

Comments (4) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account   Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account

by: Cowbell

Fri Jul 27 07:09:57 2007

Not surprising, as eBay has abandoned the small sellers, too.

Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account   Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account

by: Quin

Fri Jul 27 11:05:01 2007

Overstock still does auctions? LOL

I know they do, this just doesn't surprise me. I had heard TPTB a Overstock kind of abandoned the auction side a while back.

Really kind of sad, I thought if anyone could give eBay a little run for the money it would have been the big O. Oh welp.

Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account   Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account

by: David Gibson

Mon Jul 30 01:18:15 2007

I looked at joining Overstock and stated in the message boards that they were exactly mimicking eBay in everyway.  That the way to compete was to focus on STORE concepts not auctions and to charge people only when items sold.  Not to charge for listing.

I was told by Overstock officials that they were "PIONEERING" this online auctioning.

The site has virtually no differences from eBay whatsoever.  It is set up exactly the same.  Same fee structures, everything.  The fees are just lower.

I stated that they needed to get sellers to have the variety of items so people would know they could find what they wanted there.  That they needed to eliminate risk of selling there by NOT HAVING LISTING FEES.  Only Final Value Fees.

Again, they told me I was stupid to suggest such a thing and how they were "PIONEERING" their own form of online auctioning.

What a joke!  Forget eBay.  Forget Overstock auctions.  

You might try

Store concept.  No listing fees.

Sales do get made.  Don't try making a living there.  BUT DON'T TRY MAKING A LIVING AT EBAY. or Overstock.

The horror stories are unbelievable, but true.

Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account   Overstock Auctions Seller Resorts to Profanity to Close Account

by: Rho

Wed Aug 1 14:47:00 2007

At one time, Overstock had live customer care for sellers. The forums were moderated - I know, I told someone to "bite me" and was banned within 2 hours.

The initial "Average/Small/Mom & Pop Seller" Overstock courted at the onset of the Auctions division has been displaced by high volume sellers. Unfortunately, this is common to Overstock, eBay and UBid auction. So, too, is their inventory. Common.

I've discovered that select smaller alternative venues offer superior customer care for sellers. Smaller "St Elsewhere" venues strive to accommodate smaller business operators while creating a more intimate, boutiquish style of shopping.

While Overstock works to trim some of the physical excess of warehousing, data centers and employees, it's not surprising that the Auction division continues to be over looked and under utilized.

No one is shocked that an Overstock Customer - and sellers are customers - has been, is, and will continue to be ignored.



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