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Sat Mar 1 2008 08:56:54

Mystery Listings on eBay?

By: Ina Steiner

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Mystery listings are appearing on eBay that don't allow shoppers to bid or buy. The listings appear to be feeds from sellers. A look at the User ID sdc_prod_301013_74, for example, shows the seller has 27,076 listings - but the ones we clicked on did not have bid or buy buttons. Users found multiple User IDs with the preface "sdc" - a commonly used nickname for (Shopping Dot Com).

discussion about the listings began Friday night on eBay's Feedback board. Some posters believe it is a sign that eBay is trying to inflate its listing numbers to mask any effects of the seller boycott. Because of the dearth of data from eBay, Wall Street analysts put a lot of credence on listing numbers to gauge the company's marketplace performance. This month, everyone studied listing numbers to try and measure the impact of the seller boycott. And sellers have been prowling the site looking for any evidence of manipulation.

Others believe the "sdc" mystery is a test eBay is running or may be a glitch.

Update 3/1/08: eBay spokesperson Usher Lieberman responded by email on Saturday, "This was a limited test that has run its course." I appreciate the update on a weekend and, if I learn more next week, will update this post.

Update: 3/2/08: eBay posted on its Systems Announcement board around 5:30 pm Eastern, "Some listings appeared accidentally on over the past two days. This system issue has been resolved. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused."

Update 3/4/08: On Monday, eBay spokesperson Usher Lieberman said he had made a mistake when he called the listings a test on Saturday morning. 

Comments (248) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: disgruntled ebayer

Sat Mar 1 09:01:19 2008

Great. another way sleezebay can lie about How Many Listings they have. The Boycotts were much better than expected and more and more buyers & sellers are leaving, except dopes like Kal.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sat Mar 1 09:17:42 2008

No insults, please.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: CEP

Sat Mar 1 10:00:26 2008

Thank you once again Ina!

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Beth

Sat Mar 1 10:06:44 2008

It is still somewhat amazing to me that eBay would rather to evasive tactics than to simply acknowledge and/or listen to the sellers!

This is indeed strange.  I've never seen a listing other than the test auctions that you could not bid on before, and I've been eBaying for a long time (2002).  

However, what speaks larger cvolumes, is that they would rather play games for the press than to actually propose any middle ground with the sellers.

Yes, folks, it is time to find alternate venues!  There are plenty of them out there that do not play these sort of games.  

The mystery auction listings are really rather sad news. It shows that there is indeed the smell of death in the air.  Has eBay become a self-consuming corporate machine?  Only time will tell...

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: valllerie

Sat Mar 1 10:11:10 2008

I dont believe this was a 'test' or a glitch. Ebay knows exactly what they are doing.  Not only were there 35,000+ auctions listed by this seller, the ones i looked at were dutch!  I tried to bid but got the message Transaction Blocked in big red letters. I asked questions on some and received no answers.  Ebay is feeling the effects of this boycott & they are doing whatever they can to mask it.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: edfb

Sat Mar 1 10:15:46 2008

check out ebay id collect2000
90,000 Clocks from one seller with 548 feedback?


Sold: 0.03%
Total Value Sold: $449.10
Total Value Not Sold: $1511770.40

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Beth

Sat Mar 1 10:19:08 2008

Well, so far, some of the ID's/listings in question are from SDC based ID names.  Many speculate that they stand for "Shopping Dot Com".  

I haven't seen a full count of how many ID's there are like that, but a quick review of just two of them mentioned on the boards brings up a pretty hefty number of listings -

sdc_prod_9452 = 19808 items found

sdc_prod_301013_74 = 27076 items found

And that is just two of them. None of the listings can be bid on, and none are store listings - they are all auction format.

Very strange things happening in there at the moment!

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: L

Sat Mar 1 10:19:46 2008

The clock listings would make sense if Ebay gave reduced or free listings to that seller.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Kal

Sat Mar 1 10:22:00 2008

To disgruntled ebayer:

I love you too.


Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: L

Sat Mar 1 10:22:32 2008

so far the id's have been linked to

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Beth

Sat Mar 1 10:23:11 2008

Well, you have to hand it to Meg - she knows timing and when to leave!

Sounds like eBay only listens when the pocketbook is hit to the negative!  

Congratulations sellers, for a successful boycott!  I am calling it a success now, because the evasive actions are speaking for themselves.  

Don't forget - there is a call on the sellers board for an extended boycott beginning May 1st.  They are asking sellers to start planning now for changes to not listing, and to find other venues as well.

eBay seems to always believe that their customers are the BUYERS. The sellers are doing a good job this time of telling them who their paying customers really are - the sellers!


Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: TopDollarofMonroe

Sat Mar 1 10:24:46 2008

Check this one out -

Something funny about that auction. Sometimes you get 90718 items but then refressh you get 89641 items found. Then back to 90718 items found!


Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Rosebud

Sat Mar 1 10:30:24 2008

Thanks Ina,
    I think another possibility is eBay testing different auction formats for a ''Super Size'' seller (sdc) who will soon be listing items under multiple usernames.
    It may turn out to be a desperate move on eBays part to mask boycott damage, but I find it hard to believe they'd open themselves up to a debacle with ''Enron'' potential, using such a transparent method.
    They (eBay) knows they're under extreme public scrutiny at the moment, and I think there's a plausible explanation.
    Either way, time will tell. The conspiracy theories are interesting (and may have merit), but I think it's a little early to come to any conclusions.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Jane

Sat Mar 1 10:34:57 2008


I don't think this has anything to do with Meg's leaving. She picked a time to retire, which would have been known months ago by upper management that was to succeed her. You can be sure all these new plans and ideas were discussed, analyzed, and approved by her while still in command.

I'm really not happy to hear of an extended boycott, or the current one extending. You know, some of use do HAVE TO MAKE A LIVING and eBay is our living, love it or hate it.

I'm not sure what effect the boycott is having on buyers. A seller boycott only hits eBay in the listing fee area, and indirectly in the FVF since nothing listed means nothing sold.

I don't know, the entire event is very distressing.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: warren zbon

Sat Mar 1 10:38:29 2008

I noticed e-mart has another special listing event today! I want to keep the positive feeling that we are noise that's beginning to sing. I have made a new home
you can too. It did not take a few weeks to build greedbay, so it will take a while to break them down, we have to really explore other options and plan to stick it out for the long haul.  Yes I'm not getting a lot of hits yet, but I didn't on fee-bay either in the beginning. Also a few sites would be great to all migrate too, not just one.
I put them in alphabetical order, here:

are some fun ones too check out.
take this time to learn about other venues. stay positive.  we can really grab them by the #@*&#@ if we want too.
thanks for letting me vent, didn't feel the need to re-say everything that's already been covered.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Jeff

Sat Mar 1 10:39:03 2008


That IS weird. Also, if Gallery is now automatic, how come so many listing have no gallery picture, yet the auction itself does.

Refreshing the first page gives a different total count each time.

Do I actually believe somebody made all those custom clocks and has them for sale? I think not. Why would one print a clock with a custom name if there is .01% chance that name would find it or buy it. Very odd.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: CEP

Sat Mar 1 10:43:44 2008

Funny how all these got pulled overnight after the thread on this all started.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: s.b. davis

Sat Mar 1 10:47:11 2008

Here's something elso, TopDollarofMonroe. At the bottom of those listings, of which they are all the same items--clocks, is an 800 number to call. That number belongs to Spirit Airlines. Here is that proof:

am getting sick of being lied to by politicians, my pastor, my family members, businesses that I've trusted, etc. I sure hopet that I am not out of line with this posting. If I am, please forgive me, or edit it, or whatever you kind folks do. FYI--This is the very first time I have ever posted how I feel--amount anything. This simply hurts me man. Truly hurts me. Thank you folks for allowing me to vent. SB Davis.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: Beth

Sat Mar 1 10:48:26 2008

While I have more than one store, we chose Wagglepop as our alternate venue, and have been very happy there. They went to an all-stores format last November, which makes them a very effective e-mall.  

I encourage eBay-ers who are tired of the games to come over and check them out. Flat monthly rent, no games, no individual listing fees, etc etc.  Well worth your time.

What eBay is doing is simply scary... how they can LEGALLY get away with all this is even worse. They must employ a very large legal staff.

It will be interesting to ses if anyone ever actually admits to doing anything wrong on there.

How sad that greed overtook them at some point, and the stockholders became more important than the sellers. Speaking of stock, one of the eBay boards last night posted the amount of eBay stock sales by Meg, Bill Cobb and other top level peeps. Several MILLIONS of dollars of stocks were sold off before the announcements.  How do they do this without it being insider info?

I guess I'll never be a giant company. I couldn't live with myself knowing I was living my lifestyle at the expense of so many other people.

Mystery Listings on eBay?   Mystery Listings on eBay?

by: cj

Sat Mar 1 10:49:02 2008

Don't know if testing or padding, but I've never seen the likes of it in all my years there.  

Add another new and upcoming site to the list of alternatives:

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