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Wed Apr 20 2016 21:30:10

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay has a public relations problem that may end up being as harmful as the 2014 revelation of its security breach. The source of the problem: The Counterfeit Report, a website backed by manufacturers that is determined to expose the problem of fakes for sale on online marketplaces. 

The Counterfeit Report continues to pound away at eBay's reputation. The latest shot is a press release published today titled, "Duped eBay Buyers Due Millions In Counterfeit Product Refunds," and it compares eBay's practices around counterfeit goods to the way Takata handled its airbag problem. The press release starts out:

"As a consumer, you would expect to be notified that you may have purchased a dangerous, fraudulent or deadly product on eBay(R) (EBAY). Unfortunately, that doesn't happen."

It goes on to say:

"While consumers would expect to be notified by eBay that they may have received a fraudulent, dangerous or deadly counterfeit product and are entitled to an eBay Money Back Guarantee refund - the fact is, that doesn't happen."

The press release included specific advice for eBay shoppers, telling them never to return a counterfeit item as "it is a violation of US Postal Regulations, Federal Law, and the only evidence for your refund claim," and telling them to open a refund claim under eBay's Money Back Guarantee.

Whether or not that's a fair assessment of the eBay marketplace or sound advice for shoppers, it's a problem for eBay to have the PR assault on its practices - and it's a big problem for sellers as well.




Comments (42) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 20 22:33:39 2016

EBay easily could have set up panels of volunteer experts that would make decisions on questionable items that are reported to eBay as fakes. They never did this because they want all commissions from all sales, whether the item is genuine or not. With some items it's hard to tell, but for a lot of fakes they just scream FAKE and would be easy to declare, with 100% certainty, a fake.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Apr 20 22:35:49 2016

It shouldn't come as any surprise that there are counterfeit items on eBay when Devin Wenig announced that eBay was facilitating the production of "new vintage" (read: counterfeit) products from Chinese manufacturers.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 20 22:35:53 2016

Fakes are an eBay money maker - this isnt new news.

eBay only sics the VERO hounds when threatened by a lawsuit - one they know they cant win.

With 32 THOUSAND employees, they can if they want to, cut down or weed out alot of fakes.

But as usual - eBay doesnt care/

eBay doesnt care about ANYTHING - eBay no longer lets you report certain kinds of listings, ignores theft of sellers pictures, and more.

With all this - why would eBay care at all what happens?

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 20 22:38:44 2016

Part 2 .... if you werent convinced that eBay ignores copyright aka picture theft - go look at the watch category.

Watch listings that have 1 pic in them where the watch time is displayed in digital 10:58 and analog 10:10 are manufacturer pics.

Call eBay and tell them - go ahead I DARE YOU. You will get the brush off and nothing will get done.

Alaska is right - a panel of experts would know this like they would for antiques etc.

eBay just doesnt care.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Apr 21 01:18:24 2016

@pace306

What makes you think ebay has 32,000 employees?

My sources say: 11,600

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 02:35:27 2016

Simple solution cut out china.

If you allow china fakes, you cant go attacking anyone else.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

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

Thu Apr 21 04:39:28 2016

"As a consumer, you would expect to be notified that you may have purchased a dangerous, fraudulent or deadly product on eBay. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen."

How naïve to think that that would ever happen; eBay is no more interested in doing anything about counterfeit goods than they are about shill bidding fraud, or any other form of fraud on buyers or sellers; eBay is interested only in their FVF which they take regardless ...

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 06:51:48 2016

ebay does very little to nothing about fakes and theft, they endorse it, promote it,

Just like Pace306 said is true..

in fact ebay, yes ebay themselves have stolen many of our product photo's which they use for google click-bait for their category titles to sell other sellers products.

How DISGRACEFUL, how LOW can a company be, that needs to steal from such a small vendor like ourselves, and as Pace said, you cannot do anything about it,

Government better start waking up to what these large corporations, are getting away with, it's criminal on a large scale, that the average person cannot fight against it.  

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 07:29:41 2016

TOOL - it was in their last 10k filing (as far as I remember seeing)

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 09:04:10 2016

Yes, all they need to do is cut out the Chinese criminals that have all the fakes for just about everything. Superheros and trademarked characters in every product imaginable, country and rock bands, all the sports teams, auto manufacturers, tv shows, you name it, they have counterfeits from it. And then people in the US saw all this going on and getting away with it so they started selling fake stuff too. So then you have a massive amount, a virtual cesspool of fake counterfeit trademark infringing stuff on ebay.

I also don't know how they can do this with all the regulations in this country. Like electronics, so of this junk from China will burn your house down or kill you. The jewelry probably has lead, arsenic and other harmful metals/materials, yet they are probably in childrens jewelry. The list goes on and on.

This is a low life classless and unethical company. They cater to the Chinese like partners, yet treat long time quality US sellers like crap.

Ebay can go to hell as far as I am concern, and it actually looks like they are almost there!

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Apr 21 09:19:17 2016

@pace306

Yea, in 2014.

Paypal is no longer with eBay and neither are those employees.

I just want you to have your facts in order.

eBay does NOT have 32,000 employees!

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 21 11:01:04 2016

I agree that Ebay does very little to remove fakes from the site.  We can report and report and report such items that we know are counterfeit just from looking at the listing, yet Ebay does nothing.  In all my years on Ebay I've only have knowledge of once or maybe twice when Ebay took action on something I reported.  

As for buyer's returning counterfeit items, that is far more complicated.  Just because a buyer says it is fake doesn't make it so.  I've had buyers try to claim this from time to time over the years.  None of it was true and fortunately for me, I was able to prove that.  But sometimes that isn't easy and buyers are just trying to get something for free.  

This can be costly for sellers.  Honest sellers.  So if a buyer merely says it fake does not make that a fact.  A complex issue for sure.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Apr 21 11:50:38 2016

According to the 10K filed in February 2016:

"As of December 31, 2015, we employed approximately 11,600 people globally. Approximately 6,200 of our employees were located in the U.S."  

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 12:18:59 2016

OK, since eBay ~only~ has 11,600 employees, they are off the hook for counterfeit items, right Toolguy?

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 14:08:49 2016

Sports team, Disney, Marvel, and any company trademark item that is being some by a seller from China is COUNTERFEIT PERIOD! Its pretty easy to tell that whether its the identical item the licensed companies make or not. There are just tons and tons of items that are very clearly fake counterfeit from the Chinese and Hong Kong sellers. Ebay should be all over this, but the Chinese are obviously their partners in crime and they do NOTHING..

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 17:39:39 2016

This is somewhat of a big problem. I buy collectables and maybe 1 in 1000 is a fake. So I feel safe in my category.

HOWEVER, what is most certainly not safe at all is the fact that some fake items really are deadly and being sold like crazy. For example.

One seller in particular

http://toolhaus.org/cgi-bin/negs?User=pawticular_pet
s&Dirn=Received+by

In
addition to 100's of counterfeit claims...If you read his feedback his product has actually seriously harmed pets and is counterfeit.

"SCAM - COUNTERFET ***TOXIC*** PRODUCT - MY CAT IS **DYING** $480 IN VET BILLS!"

"MADE IN GERMANY my dog could not walk a couple hours after applying, still"

"Dog prod in cat box cat very sick at vet toxic overdose very bad"

"***BEWARE*** Fake Advantage proof by EPA $2500+ in vet, cat now on seizure meds"

"COUNTERFEIT! DID NOT WORK & LEFT CHEMICAL BURNS ON MY PETS!!! BEWARE!"

A $300 loss on a fake hand bag sucks....but a pet killed or seriously injured is utter devastation! Report button doesn't work and past calls to customer service yielded no apparent results and poor defenseless creatures are being victimized.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 21 18:43:48 2016

@frank

It isn't just Ebay.  Amazon has them too.  I remember last year when I was looking for a specific NFL jersey.  I checked Ebay and the prices were higher than I was hoping to spend.  I then went to Amazon and found some that I liked.  The price was pretty good too.  Then I noticed, well no wonder they were priced so well, they were coming from China.  And they are still selling on Amazon.

@comments

I sincerely hope you did not lose a pet.  You are so right, that is horrible.  I had never thought about the pet stuff.  Thank you for the warning.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 19:13:30 2016

@Marie, The big difference between ebay and Amazon is, if you reported it as a counterfeit on Amazon that Chinese seller would be gone, but on ebay the management has partnered with the Chinese criminals, so nothing is done about it. Ebay is in cahoots with these Chinese counterfeiters PERIOD!

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 21 20:12:53 2016

@frank F

Maybe, but then someone just replaces them.  Or maybe it is the same seller with different info.

For me, Amazon and Ebay are equal on this subject.  They knowingly allow it to happen.

eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away   eBay Has a PR Problem That's Not Going Away

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Apr 21 22:01:28 2016

Ebay is crap.
Corporate greed murdered Ebay.
NEXT !

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