|Thu June 26 2008 20:55:20|
eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs
By: Ina Steiner
I received a flurry of emails today regarding a Buy.com listing on eBay. The latest accusation from members is that Buy.com is peddling porn in the comic book category, referring to item number 180258161717.
eBay allows sellers to list adult items on its site, but requires sellers to put them in the "Mature Audiences" category. eBay requires members to provide credit card information or alternative verification to access the Mature Audiences section, "which helps ensure that minors are not freely accessing adult material." eBay also bars sellers from accepting PayPal for adult items.
There are a few issues here. Should eBay allow comics of an adult nature to be listed in general categories, which could potentially be viewed by children? It's noteworthy that other eBay sellers also have this particular item listed in general categories, and Amazon.com also offers this line from Eros Comix without any adult filters in place.
eBay does not allow PayPal to be offered as a payment option in the adult categories. Does this encourage sellers to miscategorize items to circumvent this restriction?
Finally, has eBay opened a can of worms by striking a special deal with Buy.com? Sellers who resent this unleveling of the playing field will likely be scrutinizing all of Buy's listings and pointing to special considerations that they feel this seller is getting. (At least one of the letters I received today mentioned that the auction had been reported with no action taken from eBay.) I suspect this will not be the last complaint we hear about this seller.
What do you think?