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Fri Feb 5 2010 11:56:23

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

By: Ina Steiner

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AuctionBytes wrote on Wednesday about problems plaguing Bidtopia, the online auction site started by Paul St. James, a top PowerSeller on eBay selling as Bargainland. We've since learned that the company laid off employees on November 9, 2009.

According to several sources, the company has been negotiating with a third party interested in acquiring the assets of Warehouse 86 Ventures, LLC, which owns Bidtopia.com and Bargainland.net. At stake is the company database containing over one million names of eBay and Bidtopia bidders who purchased from Bargainland and its third-party marketplace sellers.

Ken May and Bill Doherty, successful FedEx executives, came to the rescue of Bargainland in 2009 after a tornado and fire decimated the company's Memphis warehouse. A source close to the situation who wished to remain anonymous said Bidtopia's current problems stem from threatened litigation from a vendor who had redesigned the site, which put new, necessary funding in jeopardy. The owners of Warehouse 86 Ventures were reportedly trying to negotiate with that vendor to settle out of court so they could sell the assets of the company to a B2B liquidation outfit trying to get into the B2C overstock space.

Warehouse 86 Ventures generated revenue primarily through a consignment model - Amazon.com was among the companies supplying it with consumer returns to sell on Bidtopia on a consignment basis.

We have been unable to reach Ken May or anyone at the company since phone lines have been disconnected. Paul St. James is not returning messages left on his cell phone. We cannot confirm the status of inventory that was housed in the warehouse before employees were laid off in November.




Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: fruity

Fri Feb 5 12:53:26 2010

That probably was the final nail but paypal was denying claims and makes you wonder if they went out of business because paypal finally got fed up and took their money, see powersellersunite
http://tinyurl.com/ycuhvc2

bargainland has done more damage to ebay buyers that they should of been put out of business along time ago, selling defective merchandise is just wrong

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: eBuyer Feedback

Fri Feb 5 18:13:51 2010

Considering Fruity's opinion and now that Bidtopia looks like toast where am I supposed to buy untested, defective merchandise now?  Is Liquidation.com the only place left?

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: fruity

Fri Feb 5 18:47:04 2010

have no fear, ebay will bring in some special liquidator who will have such stringent terms that you'll never be able to return or get a refund out of! Look for them to have a Top Rated Seller badge!!

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: joe

Fri Feb 5 19:02:15 2010



Gosh, isn't almost everything, seconds, returns, liquidated, unable to sell anywhere else, chinese type merchandise being sold on eBay...

Nothing new here....

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: WhoGoesWhere

Fri Feb 5 19:38:43 2010

Fruity,

eBay ran Bargainland off.  Perhaps they could run you off next.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: ex silver powerseller

Fri Feb 5 19:49:59 2010

They don't need to run me off. I took my quality american made vintage goods to better buyers elsewhere. I can see these idiots have no clue at all & are going to kill ebay. I do still have a few boxes of under $1 garbage to sell there after 4/1 when i can list 100 lottery tickets a day free.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Fri Feb 5 22:39:29 2010

@ WhoGoesWhere,

If you want to be the odd man out barracking for eBay, why don't you do it on their forums, where all the serious criticisms are reported/deleted by stooges such as you; although I am lead to believe the stooges are having trouble keeping up with all the negative criticisms of late and they need all the help they can get.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Texas skeeterella

Sat Feb 6 11:21:28 2010

Yes the board minders at Ebay are getting tired & cross, they can't spin fast enough to keep up with all the "clowns & whiners" as one of Ebay's paid board minder Liveworld's employees likes to refer to Ebay's sellers.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: too fat to fish

Sun Feb 7 08:56:34 2010

The "names & addresses" of Bargainland's mailing list IS OF NO VALUE> Remember all the negs and bad vibes when they listed their crap on Ebay? Don't get me wrong, i am no fan of eBay, but how can you sell a list of CUSTOMERS that DON'T LIKE YOU. Seems funny to me.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: LOLs

Sun Feb 7 12:00:57 2010

Maybe whoever buys that list will send me the money that bargainland scammed me out of. LOL One thing for sure and that's that I'll never quit doing whatever I can to dissuade anyone from using ebay, paypal and anything associated with them until I get that refund. oops, guess that won't ever happen, so I'll never stop. ebay chumps! 'Save' or 'make' x amount by scamming folks, get back x times 1,000,000 in bad PR hahahahaha!

JMO, I kinda think that company helped a great deal to make ebay look bad. Search the name of the place they had/have thousands upon thousands of complaints. ebay didn't care though, they were partners in crime all the way. As I recall, the canned email and the lie were some of their favorite tools.
(like ebay)

Bad karma likely will follow that list and whatever else is left they may think are assets.  

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Timothy Mathews

Sun Feb 7 12:06:24 2010

having just got off the phone with paypal representative- sellers have no protection they will alway refund money no matter what you say in your ad. do not use paypal or e-bay to sell anything... no longer buyer beware... seller beware... past the word;

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Another Wronged Seller

Sun Feb 7 15:35:56 2010

I know this won't be a very popular opinion but here goes...

Bargainland had AS-IS all over their listings. If you didn't want to take a chance on buying something for a fraction of retail, than you shouldn't have bid. It's the SAME ''get something for nothing mentality'' that buyers use that near everyone here complains about(including me).

Think about it. The problem is the buyer who expected a 100% perfect IPOD for .99  In my view, if the listing was described accurately and it SAID AS-IS, there is nothing to complain about. No Negs, no bad DSR'S.

To me, this is all about realistic buyer expectations and managing them. The same buyer that will neg you and leave bad DSR'S because they didn't get their order in 2 days is the same one who expects a PERFECT product DESPITE ''AS-IS'' with listed problems in the listing.

Ebay is not and never will be a true auction as long as it allows returns. Anyone who has gone to a REAL auction know what ''as-is, where is'' means as well as both a seller and BUYER premium. Buyers and sellers BOTH pay a  commission. AND NO RETURNS! AND NO REFUNDS!

I bought probably a dozen things from bargainland over the years and every item was described accurately and I didn't expect perfect, new, in the factory sealed box products for the price.

I remember buying a $150.00 high end convection toaster oven for around $25.00. It was missing the racks, pizza stone,instructions and original box but it was new, worked perfectly and I got exactly what I paid for. The fact is I had the exact same model that was defective so I already had the racks, etc...

Another buyer might have left bad negs, DSR'S and complained about Bargainland.

I miss the deals I got from bargainland cause I saved a ton and got what I paid for.

Bargainland did sell distressed products but perhaps that's exactly what some of us were looking for.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Smitty

Sun Feb 7 18:35:27 2010

@LOLs

''Maybe whoever buys that list will send me the money that bargainland scammed me out of.''

If I buy the list, you will be getting a email from me with the subject line of,

ebay refunds now available.

The message will be a pitch for a e-book I'll slap together on how to obtain refunds for ebay transactions. Maybe I'll just copy and paste from 2 or 3 different sources. A US government booklet and some other common sense pages, found all over the net. I can put together a nice little e-book in less than an hour.

I don't think I would want the whole list but just the premium portion. I mean those who left negs or neutrals. That's still a big list if you consider that Bargainland's feedback had gotten down to 88 or 89% at one time.

Yes, if I could get you and another 9,999 BL victims to click on that email order link for your $2.49 e-book, even though it won't do you any good regarding the BL transaction, I'd be happy.

BTW, Bargainland did a whole lot more than ''make ebay look bad'', and you are proof of that. If you tell 10 people about your bad ''ebay experience'', a good number of them are going to repeat the tale as plain old chit chat. In the end, a whole lot of people hear about one bad ''ebay experience''. Multiply that by the number of BL's buyers who felt the had gotten burned, and we decent sellers lost a lot of possible customers.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Smitty

Sun Feb 7 18:39:38 2010

@Another Wronged Seller

''I know this won't be a very popular opinion but here goes''

Everything you state is absolutely correct - for the savvy experienced buyer knowing exactly what they are doing. People like yourself.

Unfortunately, there are only a few dozen of them on ebay. Most buyers need help to light a candle. I sell fixed price with free shipping and get requests for the total ?????

Bargainland was a bad fit for ebay and their record proves that.

BTW, unknown to many is the fact that they are not NARU. You may just see them back one day.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Another Wronged Seller

Sun Feb 7 22:58:21 2010

@ Smitty

I can't disagree. Savvy buyers are few and far between on ebay.

Once, bargainland was a welcome seller on ebay but with the policy changes they were being shown the door. No question, some bad experiences by buyers reflected on ebay and likely hurt ebay to some degree. I do think there was a place on ebay for bargainland but it would have required some vision and backbone from ebay management. Something that was and still is sorely lacking.

I've often thought judging sellers of brand new merchandise and used merchandise by the same yardstick is crazy. You don't buy from Neiman Marcus and a flea market and expect the same experience, customer service or product. The problem is you have high end luxury sellers as well as low end, bargainland type sellers of distressed product selling in the same marketplace to the same customer base. You don't know ahead of time if you have a luxury department store customer buying from a BL type and expecting a luxury experience.

I know ebay would never do it but they should establish either different sites with different criteria for the type of product being sold or different classifications for sellers. A simple pop-up that would have to be agreed to for buyers of used, as-is product.

'' By bidding/ buying this item, I do understand that this product is USED and is being sold AS-IS with absolutely no returns or refunds''

You don't agree, you don't get to purchase...

But than both ebay/paypal would have to enforce it and there's the rub. They would have to actually be willing to say No returns, NO refunds to customers. It would take backbone, establish a policy, inform the buyer before purchase and than stick to it.

A different set of feedback standards for this type of transaction too.

I know i've gotten negs in the past for selling used products that said ''used'' several times in the listing. Customer contacts me outraged ''hey, you sent me a used one''. I initially point them to the listing description that clearly says it was used. If they insist on returning it, I'll take it back despite the fact that it was described accurately. There should be no way for a buyer to leave a bad feedback/ DSR in this scenario nor should a seller be punished by ebay for it. But ebay allows both punitive feedback/ DSR's returns/ refunds that could hurt your visibilty in '' best match'', remove discounts, listing restrictions, etc...

It should be obvious to all how wrong this is. Including ebay management.

Bargainland and like sellers have their place. There should have been a way for ebay to make it work.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Smitty

Mon Feb 8 00:34:17 2010

@Another Wronged Seller

Once again, every thing you say is correct. A different site (ebay distressed merchandise) would have been perfect for BL and a few others.

No CC funded payments and a big pop up window explaining the transaction fully, would be perfect for distressed item sales.

I doubt that ebay will ever do this even though it would be the right thing to do. Ebay has no track record of doing the right thing.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Online Auction

Mon Feb 8 02:04:36 2010

Hi

Great information in this post and the owners of Warehouse 86 Ventures were reportedly trying to negotiate with that vendor to settle out of court.

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: Another Wronged Seller

Mon Feb 8 10:29:13 2010

@Smitty

On a final note.. Bargainland was a big volume seller on ebay for many years and made them a lot of loot. Yet, ebay threw them under the bus. If they cared at all about keeping that business, they could have come up with a workable solution. If ebay cared so little about a customer that large, it explains the total disdain they have for us little fish.

Arguably BL tarnished ebays image through the complaints it generated so there  was likely little good will there to motivate them to work on keeping them.

To me, much of what I said in earlier posts is common sense. Something that is absent in ebay decision making of late.

Like my father says: You can't teach common sense. You can take ebay management with their high powered degrees but they truly don't understand the most simple things about this marketplace. Most of us posting here on AB have a far better grasp of the facts and what it would take to fix things.

Every week that goes by, a larger percentage of my total sales come from outside ebay and I expect the trend to continue. Ebay is quickly becoming less and less of a factor as time goes on.

They are ruining ebay and they are too arrogant to admit it. With their high priced, hard earned degrees, how could they possibly be wrong? (That was me being sarcastic!)

Truly a shame

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: danduhman

Sat Feb 20 17:19:33 2010

well I guess bidtopia is kuput i won the bid on several items and cant check out and pay for them all of their phone numbers have been disconnected and their customer service has not replyed to numerous emails

Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs   Money Woes May Put eBay & Bidtopia Bidder Names Up for Grabs

by: rjk

Thu Jun 24 11:41:53 2010

it's 6/24/10  11:36am EST - just tried to connect to Bidtopia.com -  no connection
was made. I suspect they have finally closed down, or they are having IT problem.-  It's too bad about Bidtopia/BL
they had great items @ really cheap prices, once you understood the concept of their merchandise.  As mentioned above, some people just expected too much, and when the item arrived without a manual, they became upset. The real difference is that DEALERS knew what to expect, and end users expected too much. I will certainly miss their auctions and income producing concept

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