|Tue Apr 21 2009 12:40:17|
IMA Ex-President Redirects Website of eBay Seller Group
By: Ina Steiner
Attempts to visit the website of the Internet Merchant Association (IMA) this morning resulted in redirects to a page on cancunbeachresortcondo.com, a site registered to Steven Grossberg, co-founder and former president of the IMA. The page contains a message from Grossberg that he said he had posted on the IMA forum late last night, but said "it was deleted and then soon afterwards without an explanation or any communication I was banned from accessing the IMA site."
The IMA is a group of eBay and online sellers formed in 2006 by several members of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PESA), including Grossberg and Ben Mandell.
The message on Grossberg's site today documents his concerns over recent Board elections and whether members elected to the board were eligible to run because, he said, they had failed to pay their dues. He confirmed that he redirected the website out of frustration that the IMA board refused to acknowledge his concerns about the elections. As he wrote on the page, "Inasmuch as I was banned from the IMA web site this was the only way to get my message out to the IMA members, as I felt everyone has the right to transparency."
Cathy Aggelopoulos, recently elected President of IMA, said the group did not ban Grossberg ("the site was down for periods through the day" yesterday) and said the board plans to consult with an attorney to see who legally owns the URL domain IMAmerchant.org. Grossberg said he purchased that domain before the creation of the organization and paid for it with his own money.
When asked how she would characterize the domain redirect, Aggelopoulos said it's up to attorneys to say if it was illegal, but that she was sickened by it. She described it as "totally out of character" for Steve not to have told them ahead of time, and believes it was irresponsible for the previous board members not to have known that he personally owned the domain name on which the site resided.
The IMA Board of Directors has since posted the IMA site, previously hosted at IMAmerchant.org, on a new domain registered today, IMAmerchants.org.