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Thu June 26 2008 20:55:20

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

By: Ina Steiner

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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?




Comments (51) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Kira

Thu Jun 26 21:18:07 2008

The item has been removed, I just checked.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Keith

Thu Jun 26 21:40:26 2008

What really bothers me is that ''Buy'' has received a special deal from eBay and that is where the focus needs to be.  They have hundreds of thousands of listings and if they were treated as the bulk of sellers are being treated they would probably have been tossed off the site for hundreds of violations.  

EBay has purposely detached itself  from the entire community in general. I have  more NPB's in the last two months then the entire 8 years I have been selling.    

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Chuck

Thu Jun 26 21:47:33 2008

I have to defend BUY on this. Ebay's policy on Mature items does state that if the Item ISBN is in their database it is not necessary to list it in Mature Audiences.  

I listed an item last year that got pulled and got myself a strike on my account, and when I appealed the issue as the item had a database entry and was listed using eBay's own stock image, the strike was reversed, the database entry was of course removed.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: postcardgirl jillian

Thu Jun 26 22:12:25 2008

Ebay has got to be pretty desperate to pull this sort of stuff. They seem to have angered most of the sellers.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: gg

Thu Jun 26 22:46:16 2008

Ina this was not just a "Mature Item" This was child pornography in comic book form. I will spare the details but basically the topic was kinky lesbian sex between high school girls. I think we can say safely that it violates pretty much any communities decency standard. Looks like Buy.com has caved as the item shows:

"Sorry, this product is temporarily unavailable."


I hope it stays that way. No major retailer should have this stuff anywhere available to children! Period.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Start-Selling-Online.com

Thu Jun 26 22:54:51 2008

We wish ill on Ebay.  Ecater.com seems to be the only place that can compete with them.  We listed our stuff there, and it is almost beating ebay.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: bonni

Thu Jun 26 23:07:43 2008

I thought eBay owned buy.com? Am I mistaken? I'm sure I've read that in a few places, is it just urban legend?

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: RicRoe

Thu Jun 26 23:10:35 2008

Chuck... Perhaps if you had seen the description in the listing, you might be a little less defensive of the issue.

The description read as follows:

Teens at Play: Spoiled Brats

THIS IS A BRAND NEW ITEM.

Buy SKU: 204379343
Description
"  Oh, those naughty, naughty high school girls! Talk about spoiled! The rambunctious raconteuse of raunch Rebecca takes a vacation from her horny Housewives and Hot Moms to throw a VERY explicit spotlight on the younger generation of female flesh and, oh my! Knees and other body parts are kissed, girls are forced to act like dogs and babies (and Thanksgiving dinner), strap-ons are given a workout, friends meet enemas, nipples squirt milk, and those cute little teenagers do things to each other's per little butt holes that you have to see to believe (did you know why it was called corn holing? Well?)."

This is hardly the description which could be considered appropriate for an item listed in the Comic section of eBay listings.

________________________________________

The bigger issue here is the number of listing violations which are being found daily with buy.com items.

Buy has favored seller status and apparently can do no wrong.

Any other seller on eBay that created as many listing violations as buy has created would be NARU'd faster than you can say eBay.

But because Buy provides eBay with hundreds and thousands of listings a month, these violations are allowed, permitted, condoned and tolerated by eBay.

Besides the pornographic listing, Buy items have been found previously that violate eBay listing policies by the thousands, and the count grows daily.

There were hundreds of items that were titled only as "NEW". Nothing else in the title, no picture, no item description beyond the SKU number, just the word "NEW".

There are currently hundreds of other items listed by them on eBay that have a shipping and handling charge. Not controversial in itself, until you look the item up on buy.com by the SKU number provided in the eBay listing.

You will find that if you purchase the exact item directly from buy, on their web site by searching the SKU number from the eBay listing, the item will ship free.

eBay gives Buy their listings for free, and then buy violates listing policies by providing the SKU number to encourage buyers to purchase the item directly from the buy.com web site.

eBay loses the FV fees, and the PayPal fees every time this happens.

Oh, and when buyers complete the purchase directly at buy.com, they must pay through Google checkout, not PayPal.

eBay was not even strong or smart enough in negotiations with Buy to get PayPal included on buy.com. Or maybe Buy simply said no to PayPal given the higher fee structure. Makes you wonder who is benefiting from this partnership.

Now, I am sure that eBay will, if they are questioned or asked to comment publicly, will claim the porn item was a "glitch". OK...

And I am sure that the "NEW" items listed and relisted by the hundreds were another "glitch".

And the items that have a S/H fee on eBay but ship free if purchased directly from buy.com, yet another "glitch".

Just like the mysterious Skype fees assessed to some members PayPal accounts was just a "glitch".

eBay has explained away every controversial act as a 'glitch' so many times, they no longer have any credibility.

So it would appear that what we have here is eBay was so desperate to have hundreds of thousands of items listed on the site to manipulate listing numbers and hide the impact of seller exodus, that they rushed into this mega seller deal with buy.com, and are being gamed at every turn.

eBay CEO John Donahoe has managed to make quite the mess of things. It is no longer possible to have confidence in a company that has turned itself into the disaster that eBay has become under his short tenure as CEO.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: MrsR

Thu Jun 26 23:21:22 2008

Ina, thanks for putting this story out !!
I don't know what the agreement is between 'buy' and eBay, or why it was made. I do know that 'buy' seems to be able to create their own TOS and not have to follow those 'level playing field' rules that eBay has placed on other sellers.

I also agree with 'gg'.
I think that any merchandise that has explicit sexual content belongs in a 'mature audience' category, regardless of who is selling it, or whatever site it is on.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Rhonda

Fri Jun 27 02:24:55 2008

All I want to say is that any porn involving children under 18 should be against the law!!!! It should not be allowed on line point blank!!!
Somehow, little angels in tutu's came up on line and I could not believe what I was reading-about the little angel's (pre-teen it read)!!!!(just the way we like them)!!!!!  
Sick _ _ _ _ S!!!!  My Grand baby is having her ballet receital.  Why is this info online?  This is where the Government/Feds needs to step in.  I will do my best to have all this b.s. banned from any online cyberspace period!!!

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Misty

Fri Jun 27 03:31:09 2008

@ bonni
Some where I had seen a reference made that Buy.com was a part of Shopping.com
We all know eBay owns Shopping.com so there is the possibility it is a part of eBay however I do not know how accurate that claim is.

It certainly would be nice to know for sure.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: John

Fri Jun 27 05:42:01 2008

I could careless about someone's lifestyle. However, this stuff should be in the Mature Audience section. The same rules should apply to ALL users. Yes, I saved screen shots. Here are some beauties...
170231566152
150263947435
150263590117
150261511773
150263447362
170231568247

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: disgruntled ex-ebayer

Fri Jun 27 05:45:40 2008

When we sold adult mags & items maybe  up until 6 month ags before we left ebay for good, it was no Paypal, in Mature area listings only, can't be in your ebay stores and NO paypal. Checks and Money Orders only, you could not say send cash as well. I assume this rule does not apply to all ebayers as some are more favorite sellers than others.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Joe

Fri Jun 27 06:05:42 2008

We wouldn't have this problem if PayPal wasn't trying to be an arm of the church!

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: deana

Fri Jun 27 06:41:06 2008

Not to mention Buy Policy Violation for accepting Paypal but Excluding echecks... all their auctions should be pulled until they get with the program just like any other seller. and child porn...shame on BUY and shame on Ebay

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Lisa

Fri Jun 27 07:48:17 2008

I don't care about people's lifestyles either, UNLESS, it involves children. They have no voice or power. If it's child porn, get it off the site, Ebay. That's something government agencies won't hesitate to look into right away. Disgusting!

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: V

Fri Jun 27 08:22:40 2008

Deana,

A couple of months ago PayPal and eBay reps told me it was ok not to accept e-checks.  I hate e-checks, you have to wait so long and then it might not clear.

Did they change that recently?

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Carol

Fri Jun 27 08:30:44 2008

Ina, thanks very much for posting this.
Anyone who supports this book and others like it needs to have their neighbors alerted: this is a book that promotes child pornography. There is no doubt about that.  I don't care about SKU numbers; the description is filth and doesn't belong anywhere on the ebay website. Doesn't belong on ANY website. There are "special" bookstores where "special" people can purchase this garbage. There are other ebay sellers who sell this book and others like it; I believe only Buy included the excerpt.

In the same item, Buy's TOS stated that payment had to be received in 6 hours and if it wasn't received in 12 hours the order would be cancelled. Also stated that they didn't take paypal echecks. I almost feel sorry for ebay. They appear so desperate; so needy.

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Patrick Alexander

Fri Jun 27 08:43:27 2008

''I almost feel sorry for ebay. They appear so desperate; so needy.''

Is the abuser becoming the abused ???

Stay tuned...


:O)  

eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs   eBay Sellers Keep Buy.com in their Cross Hairs

by: Joe

Fri Jun 27 09:00:55 2008

Has anyone questioned Buy.com's DSR on eBay?  Isn't it quite convenient that eBay announced their Diamond Seller status requirement of 4.8 across all DSR's and miraculously Buy.com has never dropped below a 4.8 in any of those DSR categories? For an eBay seller to charge for shipping on some their items and sustain a 4.8 in Shipping and Handling Charges is a down right miracle.

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