Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Nov 12 2014 22:12:58

Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

By: Ina Steiner

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Manufacturers who back a site called the Counterfeit Report are unhappy with how eBay is handling the problem of counterfeits, and this week, they scored a major publicity win.

The Counterfeit Report, which ironically uses a logo that looks strikingly similar to the one used by Consumer Reports' Consumerist website, issued a press release accusing eBay of banning it for reporting fakes for sale on the site.

Craig Crosby, publisher of the Counterfeit Report, accused eBay of retaliating against him and said eBay removed comments that warned consumers of counterfeit listings.

eBay said its systems had identified him as a bad buyer. After all, what kind of buyer keeps making purchases on a site if they report having poor experiences over and over again. (How many readers can relate?)

Is eBay too easy on the issue of counterfeits for sale on its site?
 
On the one hand, we've received reports over the years that eBay ignores reports against sellers of counterfeit goods. On the other hand, we've received reports from sellers who say eBay's VeRO program designed to protect brands' Intellectual Property is one-sided in favor of manufacturers.

It certainly appears there are plenty of sellers and manufacturers who are unhappy over the issue of counterfeits.

You can read the full story in Thursday's Newsflash newsletter - and let us know how well you think eBay - and other marketplaces - handle the problem of counterfeits.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Fri Nov 21 10:48:27 2014

Phillip Cohen, thanks that worked

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

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

Fri Nov 21 21:26:43 2014

@meci,

eBay has exactly the same policy for:
Shill bidding fraud ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas
Counterfeit items ... http://bit.ly/1ulCb0X
And any other form of criminal activity that they can knowingly and calculatedly facilitate and profit from ...

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

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

Fri Nov 21 21:44:46 2014

Except where they affect eBay's revenues, all of eBay's policies are nominal only; otherwise, their policies regarding the protection of anyone else are "words only"; eBay Inc is simply the most disingenuous, unscrupulous, indeed demonstrably criminal, commercial operation on the planet; about other than their self interest, absolutely everything they say or write can be taken with a grain of salt; and that’s not going to change even when, after the noted face-saving amount of time, Johnny Ho finally leaves “to spend more time with his family” …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid—still ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Fri Nov 21 22:51:05 2014

@comments: You are correct in saying that the owner of the trademark, patent, or copyright is the one who must raise the counterfeit issue. That was true before eBay was created. It's true off the Internet. It's true now too. As far it goes, only the record title holder of a vehicle can claim theft of that vehicle.  

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Sat Nov 22 02:57:43 2014

Okay so fakes are supposedly not allowed on ebay. What other items are forbidden? Lets take a look at ebay's electronics policy:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/electronics.html>
So
we see *surveillance Microphones* are banned. Those tiny "spy" microphones that can lead to a felony if used to "spy" on private conversations. Hmmm...

Now do a search for that exact banned item:

surveillance microphone 2,316 listings

Many with the words 'spy microphone' in the listing heading. Wow, this proves that ebay does not enforce their policies on banned items. Why would anyone assume ebay enforces any banned items, counterfeit or otherwise?

In my opinion, ebay executives must be either asleep, or stoned. Just an opinion.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 28 17:37:25 2014

This week I had an MC999 notice that 7 out of 25 items I had listed on one of my seller accounts were pulled.  The alleged reason(s) are::

Maybe Counterfeit
Maybe my pictures are TOO FEW
and--wait for it---

MY PRICES ARE TOO LOW

After reading the Message about 10 times in it's translated-direct-from-the-Chinese glory I called ebay.

I tried to find out about the alleged "counterfeit".  I was told that this was NOT a counterfeit problem--what??--and that the problems were---

My pictures were too few. And MAYBE--NOT mine.
Apparently they are now SCHOOLING us in how MANY pictures we need--even tho my items HAD several views. No matter how many CSR's and "Supervisors" I got on the line over the course of TWO DAYS I was read the SAME script--You need detailed pictures!  With views! The fact that I HAD these pictures--was immaterial.  This was FOR MY EDUCATION.  No lie--this is a direct quote.  Counter this with::: But ebay RULES say we only need ONE large clear picture--and I have SEVERAL large clear pictures.  Nope--no good!

I was also asked SEVERAL times WHERE my pictures--taken on the back of my bathroom door and other surfaces in my HOUSE--came from.  Since when would a "stock"
picture include a 1970's era door? Was THAT what this was about?  Who knows.

Moving on::::

My prices--on such things as a USED LL BEAN TODDLER SNOW SUIT==were TOO LOW.   Was ebay now deciding to TELL me how MUCH to charge?  Wellll--no;  I was to price my items using something they kept calling "Market Value".  Where I was to GET this figure--they would not say.  When I pointed out that my items were exactly in the MIDDLE of SOLD ITEMS pricing--this was met with a repeat reading of the script and the endless comments that "This is a valid reason to remove your items".  

I did focus on three things::

WERE they accusing me of having fake items? Not as far as I could tell--ALL of the CSR's denied this.  And--I had several brand names involved--BUT I also had at the SAME TIME--other items from the SAME brand names listed on the same account that they did NOT take down.

I asked for Policy and Procedures on the pricing and the pictures.  I was sent off to "Picture Policy"  where it states that you MUST have ONE clear large picture.  No watermarks borders etc--none of which I had. But--I was to include DETAILED pictures of--the details.  Zippers.  Stitching.  So my customers would not be shocked when they received their items. One item they took down was a black fleece vest---bog standard. no real details TO photo.  What was I to be DETAILING here?  They just repeated---

I also asked--re photos--How can I KNOW what you are SEEING if I can't SEE what you are looking at---maybe there is a photo problem? The CSR on that one actually GROWLED at me that YOU KNOW WHAT YOU PUT ON THERE FOR PICTURES AND THEY ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  

Well--sort of!  I know what pics I saw when I LISTED the items!  

The other thing about pricing::

Apparently ebay is now taking a great INTEREST in WHAT we price OUR items at.  I don't EVER use a .99 start;  I don't use Reserves;  and I DO research. I look at catalogs for retail comparisons; I check SOLD items;  I look at what has sold-and what did NOT sell. Where I was to get these NEW prices--I dunno.  Was I to use the "Suggested prices"  on the listing page?  (No thanks!)

Well I got NOWHERE over the course of 4 HOURS of my life.  

I DO find it--disturbing--that it looks like ebay is taking a rather unhealthy interest in HOW MUCH I am charging--for NON-hign end items.  Used.  And--they left UP other items from the SAME brand! Now--if I WANTED to---couldn't I just list these AT that .99 start?  And if it SOLD for that--well that would be MY LOSS.  If they only WOULD crack down on the Chinese and etc sellers of Louis and Coach and Tiffany that ARE listing like this--

Has any one ELSE run into this???  

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