eBay doesn't let sellers mention competitors in their listings (or when communicating with buyers through its messaging system). But one enterprising seller got around this restriction with a creative use of her product images.
A reader noticed that an eBay listing for a small kitchen appliance contained a screenshot of the same product listed on Amazon with a much higher price. It was the first image displayed in the seller's listing. We can't definitively state that the seller was trying to evade eBay's policy, but it looks like she was trying to show eBay shoppers that her product was listed at half the price they could get it for on Amazon.
Clearly eBay filters missed it.
However, sometimes eBay can turn up its filters too high, such as a case described by a seller who said she was unable to list one of her coloring books titled, "Amazon Animals. She described the problem during Wednesday's weekly chat on the eBay boards:
"How can I list the title/name of my item if there is a restricted word in it? Call it "the South American Jungle that starts with A" Animals coloring book? Who's going to find that."
The seller explained that when she had attempted to re-list the item from her unsolds list on Tuesday, she got the following message from eBay:
"It looks like your listing contains a reference to another site. For example, you may be trying to compare prices or mention where this item was purchased. Referencing other sites where items can be purchased, even if you don't link directly to them, isn't permitted. Please remove the reference from your listing."
When another seller speculated that perhaps eBay had added "Amazon" to its list of prohibited words as part of its Native American arts and crafts policy
, a moderator said the issue "would not be related to any kind of ethnicity policies, but may be an issue connected to our Off eBay Sales initiatives. I will get this reviewed to ensure there is no technical issue present, as there may have been other factors that led to this notification."
He returned to the thread and wrote, "I just tested this out and was able to relist one of the coloring books from your unsold that have Amazon in the title. I believe you may have just run into a temporary issue, but feel free to @mention in any thread you start should this problem persist!"
Some people may not have been aware that some sellers try to make their listings more appealing by highlighting prices on other sites. But eBay is, since it references the practice of "trying to compare prices" in its message to sellers (above).
The strategy could backfire for sellers, however, by reminding eBay shoppers that Amazon has the same items for sale on its site.
Have you seen any listings with photos of listings from eBay rivals?