|Wed Aug 1 2012 14:51:20|
Seller Sues eBay Over Unpaid-Items Relisting Policy
By: Ina Steiner
When is an eBay order not really an order? When the buyer clicks Buy It Now but does not pay for the item. One Florida seller is apparently so fed up with his experience dealing with a deadbeat that he sued eBay this week over its policies in dealing with the issue.
In a lawsuit filed this week, the plaintiff, Luis Rosado, says eBay "delists" listings when buyers click the "Buy It Now" button. "However, eBay does not require the buyer to actually pay for the item before delisting it." If the sale does not occur, eBay does not compensate sellers who have paid to list the item for the full duration, he claims.
According to the lawsuit, "eBay refuses to fully refund their listing fees under any circumstances or, alternatively, provide the remainder of days to relist their items without incurring additional fees. This includes instances where eBay affirmatively commands the seller not to complete the transaction."
The plaintiff states that while prospective sellers know they won't receive a refund if their item runs its course and does not sell, "they have no reason to suspect their item may be delisted prematurely by a prospective buyer clicking the "Buy It Now" button but not paying."
The lawsuit states, "Plaintiffs and class members are entitled to and seek through this action restitution of, disgorgement of, and the imposition of a constructive trust upon all profits, benefits, and compensation obtained by Defendant from its improper conduct as alleged herein."
Courthouse News has a nice recap of the lawsuit and Rosado's experience in listing his car on eBay Motors. This case may be more limited than it first appears since eBay Motors works a bit differently from eBay.com listings - class action lawsuits define the class very specifically. (Note: I always get emails asking for the contact information of plaintiff's lawyers, so here it is: Initiative Legal Group APC in Los Angeles, www.initiativelegal.com.)
eBay.com's Unpaid Items policy can be found on this page and states: "When an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, sellers are eligible to receive a final value fee credit to their eBay seller account. Also, if they relist the item and it sells the second time, eBay may refund the insertion fee for the relisting. Learn more about how the free relist policy works."
eBay is actually considering making a change to its Buy It Now policy. The company conducted a survey of sellers last week and asked several questions about cancelled Buy It Now orders, including this question: "How would you feel if all "Buy It Now" orders were placed on hold for 30 minutes to allow buyers to cancel their purchase?"
What do you think of eBay's unpaid items policy, and the possibility of a 30-minute cancellation window? And, how big a problem are deadbeats on eBay?