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Sat July 23 2011 00:05:37

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

By: Ina Steiner

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Online sellers on Facebook began discussing a policy they found on eBay that restricts their social networking activities. eBay's "Promoting your items on other sites" policy encourages sellers to share their eBay items for sale with social networking sites and their community of friends, calling it a "free and a powerful way to drive traffic to your eBay items."

However, eBay does not allow a sellers' online friends to bid on auctions and states:

Offer item at a fixed price format
All selling formats are supported for sharing listings. However, if you want your online friends to buy your shared items, you'll need to offer the items at a fixed price:

Important: It's still OK to offer auction-style bidding on your items. But your online friends aren't allowed to bid. That’s because eBay's shill bidding policy doesn't allow anyone who has more access to your item information than the general eBay community to place bids.

We recommend that you block bids from their eBay accounts. They can buy your items through methods that don't involve bidding, such as Buy It Now.

This raises a few questions. How will eBay determine if a Faceboook friend has bid on your auction? What's the point of marketing to online friends if they're not allowed to bid on your auctions? And why would an auction seller engage in social networking when it could open them up to accusations of shill bidding and jeopardize their account?

As sites like Payvment, Addoway, and ArtFire encourage sellers to engage with shoppers on social networking sites, eBay is actually scaring their sellers away from them, despite the fact it's a great way to bring traffic to eBay at no cost to them.

Do you think this policy will discourage people from sharing eBay listings on Facebook and other networking sites?

UPDATE 7/29/11: eBay has changed this policy, see this blog post for more information.




Comments (59) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

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

Sat Jul 23 00:19:07 2011

eBay’s policy of not allowing “friends” to bid on your auctions is, anyway, words only; it has nothing to do with the reality of eBay otherwise doing very little, if anything, to control the rampant real shill bidding fraud on buyers by unscrupulous sellers, in particular that by professional dealers.

What all buyers should know about eBay’s real attitude to shill bidding, at:  

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=23013>
Enron
/ eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat Jul 23 00:36:19 2011

Hey eBay! ~ Just try and catch me!


(Aren't there some REAL problems that you could be solving? Perhaps some REAL improvements that need more attention?)

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat Jul 23 00:44:12 2011

''However, if you want your online friends to buy your shared items, you'll need to offer the items at a fixed price''

Who defines what a ''friend'' is? Is it a genuine personal friendship? Or if a previous customer ''friends-me'' on my Facebook business page, are they now considered to be a disqualified ''friend''? Even though I've never met the customer, and even though we aren't friends in real life... is this ''facebook-friend'' no longer permitted to bid on my auctions?

What a completely asinine and ABSURD policy. Idiotic and totally unenforceable. It's only value would be for unsavory sellers to point at their competitors and scream ''WITCH! WITCH!'' ... uh, I mean ''FACEBOOK FRIEND! FACEBOOK FRIEND!'' Flimsy accusations with little or no proof needed to throw their competitors into a tailspin as the mindless eBay bots and human-bots start putting holds and other restrictions on the accused.

It's complete insanity. eBay has become an absolute MADHOUSE!

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: nadine

Sat Jul 23 00:46:08 2011

"What's the point of marketing to online friends if they're not allowed to bid on your auctions?"

Gee, ya think? Terminally clueless dweebs.

eBay, the Unsocial Network.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: rofl

Sat Jul 23 02:37:40 2011

It gets more comical by the day. Keeping tweaking, ebay tweakers and thanks for the laff.

PS
Here's a blast from ebay tweaker past
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9Cv-4825vU

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
Web Site

Sat Jul 23 02:52:28 2011

In all my years of selling on ebay and reading their garbage policies, I've never laughed out loud. Not once.

Until now. I've been laughing out loud at this one now 10 minutes. Really.

This needs to be made into a movie called "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Wall Street Nest." Or possibly a remake of "Catch 22."

Michael Douglas could play the sleazy greedball John Donahoe and Louised Fletcher could reprise her role as Nurse Ratched reimagined as Meg Whitman.

No one could possibly make this stuff up.

Ebay is as worried about shill bidding as I am about winning the lottery.

Ebay isn't unsocial.

They're anti-social and all the climical pathology that implies.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Jul 23 02:52:37 2011

In all my years of selling on ebay and reading their garbage policies, I've never laughed out loud. Not once.

Until now. I've been laughing out loud at this one now 10 minutes. Really.

This needs to be made into a movie called "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Wall Street Nest." Or possibly a remake of "Catch 22."

Michael Douglas could play the sleazy greedball John Donahoe and Louised Fletcher could reprise her role as Nurse Ratched reimagined as Meg Whitman.

No one could possibly make this stuff up.

Ebay is as worried about shill bidding as I am about winning the lottery.

Ebay isn't unsocial.

They're anti-social and all the climical pathology that implies.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: Unbelivable-aint-it

Sat Jul 23 06:32:10 2011

Visanet is scheduled to roll out their payment service in a few weeks where anyone with a Visa credit, debit or prepaid Visa card can send or receive money instantly, just like paypal, Amazon payments, Google checkout etc. There are one and a half BILLION visa cards out there while paypal touts a puny 100 million customers by comparison. When Visanet rolls out why would anyone in their right mind want to accept papal and risk account holds, charge backs, site outages or any number of other problems paypal users have complained of?

Everyone else is seeing social networking as the wave of the future but in my opinion ebay seems to feel you are a crooked untrustworthy scumbag that will use it to get your friends to shill bid your auctions. What an insult. If your online friends can't bid on your ebay auctions what will they do? They will go to a site where they can and that site won't force you to take paypal, so what is ebay's point?

The days of dictatorial policies, interfering with transactions, fees,fees, fees and treating customers by default as they can't be trusted are going the way of the Dodo bird and so will the companies that don't understand that. Greed destroys judgment.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: Hollis Martin

Sat Jul 23 07:39:04 2011

''Block Facebook Friends ebay accounts from auctions.'' Now how does Ebay propose we do that? And Why would they want to? The new rule about links is going to end all this and any marketing efforts outside of ebay. I think Greed has taken over and blinded them.  I would like to hear the logic from Ebay - Any chance of that? I would also like representation of Ebay store owners and sellers on the governing board of Ebay, one from each store level, and one seller who does not have a store.  

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: Macko

Sat Jul 23 08:07:10 2011

Absolutely Ludicrous!....But why WOULD I think any differant coming from eBay?

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
Web Site

Sat Jul 23 09:12:51 2011

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.  What, are they going to build a Facebook bot to compare all bidders against the sellers facebook friends?  Good luck with Griffs friends list!

Next, they will try and control our Twitter followers.  That should be fun.

Don't they have some real problems to work on instead of trying to limit bids on our items?  Sometimes I really think they _are_ trying to kill the auction.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: Kelly

Sat Jul 23 10:26:59 2011

ROFL. Typical ebay nonsense. I wish they could focus on bigger priorites.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: Walker

Sat Jul 23 10:34:45 2011

So if I am a fan of ebay, I can't buy on ebay?  LOL!

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Jul 23 11:29:47 2011

Unless VisaNet plans to operate like a merchant account, ebafia will like they did with Google payments arbitrarily declare VisaNet payments "unsafe" and that will be the end of that.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: buck efay

Sat Jul 23 13:02:01 2011

I have over 1300 friends on Facebook, my business page 500 more. Am I supposed to block 1800 potential buyers, 99% of whom I don't even know personally or have any idea of their Ebay account? Just another BS attempt to marginalize auctions. Ebay is a freakin joke. I guess I won't bother to promote their crummy site anymore, since I only list the 50 free auctions a month anyways. Great work Ebay. You have taken this happy silver powerseller with 20K+ Pos f/b 100% 4.5-5.0 DSR seller that paid you $25,000 a year & sent me to your competition, and you keep telling us stupider & stupider things while you only manage 9% STR, site wide, HAHAHA! Only an IDIOT could make this stuff up, it's like bad fiction!

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: papa smurf

Sat Jul 23 14:33:26 2011

In addition to visanet, look out for bitcoins which might be a sort of unstoppable bittorrent of currency.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

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

Sat Jul 23 15:28:54 2011

Actually, eBay never really meant this nonsensical prohibition; some ex Bain & Co idiot there simply thought that this, nominal only, policy sounded like a good idea at the time, without having the necessary brain power of a flea to realize how ridiculous and illogical such a policy was. Then, what else would you expect from eBay and the Bain & Co idiot(s) currently steering the rusting old hulk? And, regardless, you can be sure that all eBay’s policies about shill bidding are nominal statements only: the fact is, shill bidding fraud on naïve eBay buyers by unscrupulous professional sellers always has been, and still is, rampant.

What all buyers should know about eBay’s real attitude to shill bidding fraud, at:  

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=23013

And, don't worry about PreyPal, outside of whatever will ultimately be left of the Donahoe-devastated eBay Marketplace, PreyPal will be consigned to the history books by the retail banks/Visa/Mastercard once those players get their “online” act together. The fact is, anything that the clunky, parasitic PreyPal can do the banks/Visa/MasterCard can do better without any help from the blood-sucking PreyPal leach currently riding on the banks’ back.

All anyone needs to know about the clunky PayPal, at:  

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=165263  
 
Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 23 15:47:12 2011

That's Ebay...you just never expect them to make much sense so nothing really surprises you as far as they're concerned.  My philosophy has always been "you never know where your next sale is coming from".  In my book my friends money is just as good as anyone elses.  How foolish of Ebay!

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

by: kevin

Sat Jul 23 16:01:04 2011

What idiots.....

of course, from ebay this is par for the course.  

Do they really just try to think up stupid policies like this to hack people off?  

It's really intrusive.....if you have a lot of facebook friends, that could be a problem.

Then again, how do they plan to enforce....will we have to friend ebay and give them access to our facebook acct?  Those idiots just don't think anything through.  

Glad I don't sell there anymore!  Now I can just laugh!  

eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions   eBay Bans Facebook Friends from Bidding on Auctions

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

Sat Jul 23 17:26:19 2011

Please, people, stop worrying about this nonsense. eBay never had any intention of enforcing this policy: it's nothing but words.

Shill bidding fraud is alive and well on eBay auctions, eBay knows it and does effectively nothing about it. And why would they when it improves their FVF?

What all buyers should know about eBay’s real attitude to shill bidding fraud, at:  

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=23013

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

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