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Fri Feb 23 2018 13:36:11

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

By: Ina Steiner

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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?




Comments (12) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 23 14:06:22 2018

Ebay is fast becoming a barrel of monkeys.....One never knows what will happen next with them.

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Feb 23 14:36:21 2018

What is even odder about this listing with the reference to Amazon in the picture is that I received this in an Ebay generated email to promote what Ebay called "Several retailers are closing near you. Source these products for buyers."  It was the first time I had ever seen an email like this and the items listing in the email did not appear to have anything to do with some retailers close to me going out of business.  It just was promoting certain sellers.  Mostly small and casual sellers.

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 23 17:14:07 2018

It will be interesting to see if this seller starts crying when ebay catches it and either suspends her for a few days or just flat suspends her. Never underestimate the stupidity of ebay. But then again there are always sellers who think that they have gotten away with something when it just a matter of time before ebay lowers the hammer.

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 23 19:36:10 2018

our branding is right on our products in  big bold letters, similar to most products, like nike, apple, Samsung, and a million others etc.

anyone doing comparison shopping can find the exact same products anywhere Off ebay, and in most cases way cheaper

it would be impossible for ebay to remove text  branding from products,

i find it very funny, and very entertaining to see ebay make complete fools of themselves trying to stop off ebay sales

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Feb 24 10:18:59 2018

@Maxmad

90% of the stuff I buy is cheaper on eBay then anywhere else!

Last night I bought a Rifle Scope from Optics Planet, the price was the same on eBay. The only reason I bought it on Optics Planet was a friend of mine has been promoting them on Youtube and if you used his discount code it was the same price as it was on eBay. I want Optics Planet to know that their free stuff to him to review on Youtube was paying off with customers. Otherwise I would've bought it on eBay!

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Feb 26 00:23:29 2018

Very useful suggestion to covertly direct a sale (in my case) TO eBay.  

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

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

Mon Feb 26 01:06:48 2018

similar to the issue of the 'Amazon coloring book' - I had an issue trying to list a lipstick because the name of the color was 'Rum Raisin!' - We can't sell alcohol around here ya know! *derp*

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

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

Mon Feb 26 01:15:49 2018

I ran into it when trying to list a costume pattern of an Indian. Nope couldn't use the word Indian, listing it as native American meant it had to go through some review. One of the reasons I am so happy to be selling on ecrater. 30 years ago when the pattern was made, they were still called Indians and so that was the way they were described on the pattern.

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

This user has validated their user name. by: Working It

Mon Feb 26 02:12:12 2018

I needed to purchase a replacement household appliance tonight. I wanted to buy it on eBay, I really did. But the prices on eBay were $50 (or more) higher than on Amazon for the same exact model, accessory package, etc. Since I have Prime, shipping is free and fast (even at $100/year, it's worth the many benefits beyond free shipping).
Made me think probably the ones on eBay are arbitrage, and will come from Amazon, anyway. :(  

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

by: Diogenes This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 03:07:14 2018

I once listed an antique which I legitimately described as being in the ''Assyrian'' style. I got a warning not to use adult language. The bot objected to the adjective ASSyrian. I had to change it to something else in order to list it. hahaha

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 09:44:38 2018

I have had the same problem trying to sell old vintage Western Union items such as enamel signs. eBay restricts the item as they believe I am requesting off site forms of payment. It has happened a dozen times to me.

eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons   eBay Seller Gets Around Ban on Amazon Price Comparisons

by: Part Time Seller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 27 19:45:05 2018

When  listing a sewing pattern by Simplicity for a little girl's Daisy Kingdom dress, I got a warning about listing militaria items.  



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