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Sat Aug 2 2008 11:57:41

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay users are protesting the company's new policy that prevents a seller's identical items from showing up on search results pages. The policy was announced in May, and eBay announced yesterday the policy would take affect this week.

With the Multiple Listings Limit policy, eBay will begin displaying only one identical item from the same seller in Search results, and will limit the number of unique listings for different items per seller to ten per page. The move comes amid a host of controversial changes to fees, search ("Finding"), seller performance and Trust & Safety policies launched this year.

There are many parts of the policy that sellers criticize (one pointed out that while he might list many items with an identical title, the items are different, as indicated in the listing subtitle). But what has many sellers livid is that they are paying fees for listings that will not be displayed to shoppers.

A seller sent me a letter she sent to eBay that included this section:

We are paying you for a service to list the items for sale but yet you are  now "hiding" the listings that you have been paid for.
 
Pulling this up under _http://www.usdoj.gov this is considered Internet  fraud. I quote from the information page about internet fraud below
 
(What is Internet Fraud)
 
"These schemes induce their victims to send money for the promised items, 
but then deliver nothing or only an item far less valuable than what was 
promised"

Sellers are also posting their opinions on the eBay discussion boards.


 




Comments (90) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Loops

Sat Aug 2 12:06:08 2008

I paid for 3 Featured Plus listings two days ago and they will not post because of this new policy. I will lose $60 unless Ebay fixes this NOW! I have over 60 active items in another product category that capitilizes on a keyword phrase. Only 3 of my listings are in search results. This is horrendous!

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Patricia

Sat Aug 2 12:48:05 2008

Many artists are protesting this new policy since many of their paintings have the same keyworded titles but are actually different paintings.  Such as "Original Abstract Oil Painting".  What kind of baloney is this now - we can pay for no service at all.  It is FRAUD and between this and best match which manipulates what a buyer sees it certainly warrants an investigation.  Ebay is going way way too far on the pretense that its still the only game in town.  When will they come to their senses?  when the last seller leaves???

For instance, they've become judge and jury over where a seller's paid up listing will show in search - according to that seller's reputation.  Well, if a seller is to be buried on the last page....he should pay a last page fee and not the same as anyone else.  If he's THAT bad a seller - get rid of him!  Its supposedly what the DSR's are for and NOT for placement of his wares!  Sellers pay fees and for fees they must get service!  Anything else is outright fraud!

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Loops

Sat Aug 2 13:13:19 2008

Patricia, you said it right on! If a seller is that bad where you have to shove them a round, rape them with fees, hid them under the bed, then they shouldn't be on Ebay. It's really simple!

I had multiple listings with the same title staged so when a buyer scrolled a category they will occasionally bump into my listings, which they may have already forgotten about. I have had successful sales at 5 days out vs some of my items ending in the hour, just because of a wandering buyer.

I pay for my listings to SHOW. If they do not show at 3 days, 5 days, 7 days or 10 days for which I pay for, then I WANT MY MONEY BACK!

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Lars

Sat Aug 2 13:26:15 2008

Will Ebay ever do anything for the seller? There Quickbooks accounting assistant is horribly outdated doesn't work with Vista or todays Quickbooks.

With all these changes, with this latest change it is easy to game, but very time consuming. When will Ebay let sellers sell and give them the tools they deserve.

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Sherry

Sat Aug 2 13:51:04 2008

As a buyer, I love it.  If a seller had items I was interested in, I'd go on to their "View Other Items".  If I didn't like what I saw the first time, or their shipping charges, or their policies, I didn't want to see at any of their other listings.  I hated being forced to scroll through pages of one seller from whom I would never buy.  In fact, the change I most want on eBay is a "Sellers I never want to buy from list" that will let me exclude their listings from my searches.

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Sat Aug 2 14:06:27 2008

As a seller, I am glad to see this new policy.  I am tired of being squeezed out by competitors who have been flooding the site with listings which do nothing but dilute the buying experience, as well drive down price and STR.
That is not to say eBay still has work to do.  Other seller's complaints about identical but different listings is legitimate, so we need to blog about good solutions to provide the best buying experience.

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Nancy

Sat Aug 2 14:32:31 2008

Pete, I have a question for your logic.

Do you believe that ALL sellers are equally restricted?  And the half million listings of Buy.com in all the categories they've flooded, are you going to be seen in those categories when they dominate them with dropshipped junk?

They aren't paying listing fees.

What is fair for sellers?

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Gail

Sat Aug 2 17:41:02 2008

Sherry ~ Click on Advanced Search, look down the page and you will see Exclude Sellers. Add the IDs of the sellers you don't want to see. You can add up to ten seller IDs.  It doesn't take an eBay policy to do what you want to do.  Have you ever even looked at Advanced Search?

Do you really think this new policy is fair to sellers who have paid to list their items?

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Daisy

Sat Aug 2 17:54:00 2008

While I don't like sellers who prostitute the site with pages of the same item, it isn't fair that Ebay is charging the full amount for listing them.

These management team can't seem to get anything right. Maybe if they could see past the green haze in their eyes...

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: mindelec

Sat Aug 2 18:06:37 2008

here is how i read it...  if i list 30 different books by isaac asimov and a buyer only searches for his name, 10 will show up on the first page, 10 on the second, and 10 on the third.

how will ebay decide which ones the buyer wants to see?

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Reality

Sat Aug 2 18:23:32 2008

Plain and simple! I want my money back!

I paid for 3,5 and 7 listings and I am not getting what I paid for. How do you get refunds for listings not delivered that were paid for?

Regardless of if some buyers or sellers like it better or not, you are not getting what you paid for.

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: pam

Sat Aug 2 18:35:49 2008

Also, let us not forget that Buy is able to list multiples of their items in a single fixed price listing in core.  This is proof positive that they don't pay listing fees because the listing fee for each listing would be $4.00 as most of their listings have enough items to add up to total of $500. or more.  

This is a real sore spot with us because buyers require multiples of the product we sell ranging from 1 to 20 or more.  We are forced to list one in a core listing with a link to our store for buyers to purchase multiples. This means we are also forced to pay the higher 12% final value fee, not to mention that our buyers are forced to jump through hoops to make a purchase.

We took advantage of the recent listing special for fixed price listings so we could list some of the items in our store with multiples of each item per listing in core.  Normally the fixed price sales are very good for us because we list between 500-600 different styles.  This time has been a huge disappointment and we are convinced that the 10 item per page limitation is seriously hurting us.  There are 27 pages of 200 per page for all items and all sellers in the category.  We have 10 items on each page for a total of 190 items on the first 19 pages and then the rest of the 500-600 items we have listed are on the last 8 pages.  

If we didn't spend $100 a day in adwords to drive traffic to our eBay store, we'd probably not be selling enough to pay fees, which believe me as platinum power sellers they are not a drop in the bucket.   We don't think it will be long before our website alone can keep us in business and we are going to run far, run fast.  This insanity must come to an end one way or another.  The constant stress of it all has to be taking it's toll on the mental and physical health of thousands, not to mention the disruption of lives and loss of income for so many who have been dependent on eBay for their livelihoods.  It just makes me sick and there's no end in sight!

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Tina

Sat Aug 2 18:46:49 2008

@ Pam

"The constant stress of it all has to be taking it's toll on the mental and physical health of thousands, not to mention the disruption of lives and loss of income for so many who have been dependent on eBay for their livelihoods."

You described my situation........

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Michael Ford - Auction Inquisitor

Sat Aug 2 18:56:28 2008

Finally! EBay should have instituted this policy years ago. Dishonest sellers have been abusing the system by posting the same item 20 times or more in violation of existing eBay rules. EBay has only automated and tightened an existing policy which was setup for good reason.

If a buyer is uninterested in the first item, then why do they have to continue through 3 pages of identical items before finding another seller? They should not have to wade through page after page of the same item by the same seller.

This same scam technique is used in many categories including vehicles where Romanian scammers post the same vehicle auction 10 times, clothing and accessories categories where scammers post the same counterfeit merchandise over and over, and in electronics and other groups where dishonest sellers try to outspend legitimate sellers and unfairly take their marketshare. Face it, posting the same item multiple times is nothing but spamming. They are posting unwanted items to fill the search listings without a legitimate reason.

Honest sellers have nothing to worry about because their auctions are no longer in competition with dishonest sellers who spam the groups.

At least this is one rule eBay got right!

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Michael Ford - Auction Inquisitor

Sat Aug 2 18:57:33 2008

Finally! EBay should have instituted this policy years ago. Dishonest sellers have been abusing the system by posting the same item 20 times or more in violation of existing eBay rules. EBay has only automated and tightened an existing policy which was setup for good reason.

If a buyer is uninterested in the first item, then why do they have to continue through 3 pages of identical items before finding another seller? They should not have to wade through page after page of the same item by the same seller.

This same scam technique is used in many categories including vehicles where Romanian scammers post the same vehicle auction 10 times, clothing and accessories categories where scammers post the same counterfeit merchandise over and over, and in electronics and other groups where dishonest sellers try to outspend legitimate sellers and unfairly take their marketshare. Face it, posting the same item multiple times is nothing but spamming. They are posting unwanted items to fill the search listings without a legitimate reason.

Honest sellers have nothing to worry about because their auctions are no longer in competition with dishonest sellers who spam the groups.

At least this is one rule eBay got right!

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Lisa

Sat Aug 2 19:26:18 2008

Michael, although I am sure there are some spam sellers out their I can assure you that my listings which were legit were purposely placed at certain intervals to help place the listings in front of different buyers in different countries at different times of day.  I would never waste my money "spamming", but found that my listings were proof that some buyers would find my listing very deep in their browsing experience. If my my competition wanted to compete they can compete. It's not rocket science.

All this new system will do is force sellers to use key scramblers to get there product in front of the right party at the right time. I haven't totally made up my mind about this new policy because I do see potential in saving a couple thousand dollars in listing fees. What's important is to see if this will impact sales or not. This could be a great win for sellers and buyers and a huge lost for Ebay. What do you think Ebay will do at that point. Ebay hasn't been know for making decisions that negatively affect their bottom line.

Only time will tell.

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Loops

Sat Aug 2 19:30:10 2008

Originally a critic, I have toyed with some numbers and I might be changing my mine.

I smell the end of 3rd party listing services such at Auctiva, and Vendio. Their pride and joy is their scheduled listing service. With this new move, why waste my money on them. I can just set an eBay rule to start a listing as soon as one ends. I could save thousands.

Thanks Ebay. Sorry Vendio.

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Sherry

Sat Aug 2 21:08:54 2008

Gail:  Thanks for the info.  Unfortunately after 10 years on eBay 10 wouldn't begin to cover the number of sellers I don't want to buy from.
I might also add I am a seller on eBay and have been for some years.  I very much resent my listings turning up on page five because scammers selling boxes of rocks have shoved me down so far.  Sorry, I'm totally on board with this change.  However, I do agree that eBay does need to tweak it to make it fair to everyone.

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Mike

Sat Aug 2 22:10:43 2008

Ebay wants it's cake, and to eat it too. If thhey want to implement this "great" plan for their BUYERS, they should DROP all LISTING fees to sellers, and increase final value commissions once an item sells (like AMAZON does). Since I switched from eBay to Amazon, my business is oh so SMOOTHER and better. No drama. No outrageous "rules" and stipulations... just plain and simple SALES. The way it SHOULD be. Abd Amazon treats ME as a HUMAN BEING with RESPECT. Wow! I had forgotten what that was like while I was at eBay.  If eBay wants to double-dip it's sellers by charging a LISTING fee as well as closing fee - then ALL SELLERS whio paid for that LISTING fee should be treated EQUALY 0 EQUALY - EQUALY!!! If eBay wants to make the buying experience "better" for its BUYERS... than that is great, but it's eBay's decision... so don't force SELLERS to PAY for eBay's decision! eBay truly SUCKS.... SUCKS... SUCKS.  What abysmal management: cold, detached, greedy and short sighted. Indeed, they have become the true STEREOTYPE of old-fashioned CORPORATE BLOAT. They SUCK!!! I am a former powwerseller who started on eBay in 1999 (boy did I LOVE it at eBay from 1999 to 2004), and stopped I finaly selling a few months ago in May of 2008.  I USED to PAY eBay over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH. We're not talking $100 per month... no, $10,000.00 each and EVERY month! There is absolutely NO REASON why eBay should have treated me as a seller with such utter indifference and disrespect.  Did I forget to mention.... EBAY SUCKS!!! Sure, this move by eBay  will help BUYERS... but at whose expense??? SELLERS' EXPENSE of course! If you have eBay stock.... SELL! SELL! SELL!

Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items   Users Protest eBay Ban on Identical Items

by: Matt

Sat Aug 2 22:15:12 2008

Buyers don't want to wade through 20 extra listings from some sellers. This is the problem....most of the buyers on Ebay are lazy and bottom-feeding and because of these buyers' low IQ...Ebay is making sellers hold these peoples' hands by making it as easy as possible for them.

I'll tell you what, until we started selling online....I didn't realize how many clueless people there were in the world. They don't read...they complain about every little thing....they complain something was 0.25 less than the postage they paid. Quit crying.

Trust me....I think I am in the majority when I say that most Ebay sellers want to give problem buyers the middle finger and tell them to go elsewhere.

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