Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Aug 14 2013 13:29:34

eBay's Biggest Troll - Why Can't eBay Stop Bad Buyers?

By: Ina Steiner

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An article in the Daily Mail has caught the attention of eBay sellers for the flagrant way in which one buyer was able to cause havoc on the site. He's accused of harassing sellers and bidding on items and not paying for them, among other activities.

The identity of the "troll" is not the story here - it's the fact that eBay has apparently allowed one user to harass sellers for years. When eBay took away sellers' ability to leave negative feedback for buyers, its executives said, "what other retail site would leave negative reviews for buyers?"

But I would ask what other retail site would allow a customer to wreak havoc on its site? And why don't you hear these kinds of reports from Amazon.com, which seems able to keep track of its users and their history?

According to the newspaper article, a Fox TV reporter in Detroit hired private investigators to track down the eBay buyer in Canton, Michigan, claiming the name of the eBay user is Charles Fitch. A search reveals that back in 2011, a website had accused a man by the name of Charles Fitch of Canton, Michigan of being a troll who made "several violent threats to members of the game community" and used various aliases on eBay and other websites. An email address tied to the sites he's allegedly operated was accused of being involved in a political fundraising hoax back in 2008.

It appears the data about the harassing buyer, whoever he is, was well within eBay's grasp. With all of its resources, why isn't eBay able to keep bad buyers off the site? I asked eBay's spokesperson yesterday if he was aware of the article and if he had anything to say about it, I'll update this post if he comments.




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This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Aug 14 13:54:14 2013

eBay has the ISP addresses. They know what happens.

Follow the money to find your answer.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 14:29:33 2013

If Ebay got rid of all the bad buyers there wouldn't be many buyers left.

Ebay really doesn't care as it is only interested in the bottom line.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Aug 14 14:31:18 2013

Had read this earlier onlineā€¦.. Sad, really.

Note to self: ''Get out of the house more often - don't wanna end up like this guy!''


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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 14:32:43 2013

This only shows the desperate straits Ebay is in.  Their sales and revenue are falling and soon the smoke and mirrors they put up will not hide it.  

It used to be that 4 different sellers making 4 different NPB complaints would cause the buyer to be ousted from the site!  What happened to it?  Fallen by the wayside like everything else in desperation of collecting those FVF's no matter what it does to the sellers!

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by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 14:43:37 2013

''what other retail site would leave negative reviews for buyers?''

Well, if it were your company selling all new things (like most online commerce) and you got a customer that you could not make money on, too much trouble, too many problems, you would send him packing.  ''We don't want any more of your business''.

On ebay, with all different sellers, it's just not that easy.  

A buyer can use one account, get that one shut down for abuse, and just open a shiny new one. So he can cause a seller to lose money even if you add him to your blocklist.

The only defense we had was by denying buyers who had recent bad fb.  But now even that doesn't work, because of ebay's actions.

As unsatisfactory as the interlocking feedback was it was way better than this one-sided situation ebay inc. created for us. It had some effect at keeping people cordial, trying to work it out.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 14 15:14:46 2013

eBay not only created this environment, they continue to create it.

If a bot can't solve the problem, eBay certainly will not invest money in the manpower to solve it.

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by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 15:27:15 2013

I believe I've seen posts here from a user who goes by ''ebay is a joke''.

Any correlation?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Aug 14 15:28:16 2013

I received a death threat from this buyer several years ago and reported him to ebay.

Their response? Call the police. The US based T&S jerk more or less told me to grow a pair and grow up. Ebay took no action against the buyer.

On a macro scale, however, this example perfectly illustrates ebay management's attitude toward sellers like us.

They hate us. We're nothing more than barely tolerable objects to be abused and manipulated to fulfill their goals. We're not viewed as human beings but as nuisances and whiners.

Buyer of abuse of sellers? They think that's funny and that sellers deserve to be abused because we're so bad and constantly need to be whipped into shape.

The corporate culture of ebay is sociopathic, and their business model is predatory capitalism.

They don't care how many disabled, single mothers, seniors, and otherwise unemployed people they damage or completely ruin so that The Big Ho and all his little hos get their free stock shares.

Even though we built the Ho's plantation, we are viewed as little more than slaves or indentured servants to be used, abused, and then discarded when The Ho has no further use for us.

The Ho created a culture that dehumanized ebay sellers so ebay sellers are just getting what they deserve. We're whiners, failures, malcontents, etc. and death threats are simply the cost of doing business on ebay.

Further ebay has found that seller abuse is profitable so they encourage and promote buyer extortion and buyer abuse of sellers.

I wonder how many death threats The Ho has received?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Aug 14 16:31:54 2013

As long as John Donahoe and his hand picked team are in control of eBay - NOTHING WILL BE DONE about malicious buyers and non paying buyers. Any action which is taken will amount to little more than window dressing designed to make it appear as though eBay is addressing the problem.

eBay has a severed artery when it comes to malicious buyers and non paying buyers. Management's preferred methodology for treatment of the severed artery is to apply a bandage instead of the much needed tourniquet.

Since GMV according to eBay means Gross Merchandise Value, eBay management relies on non paying buyers to artificially pump up eBay's GMV to keep Wall Street happy and to hide the downward spiral that is eBay's marketplace.

By tolerating non paying buyers on a huge scale, (some even believe eBay has a secret team of employees that use dormant ID's to make purchases but never pay), eBay inflates their GMV so that C-Level management can reap the benefits when they sell off their gifted shares of stock at prices which are driven higher by the inflated GMV figures reported by Donahoe.

So we have one very malicious buyer exposed - NOT BY EBAY, but by the media. It should come as no shock that this buyer has been able to perpetrate their scheme for years without any action being taken to stop them because eBay does not want to stop them.

By the way, one should note the similar appearance of the exposed malicious buyer and compare the offenders picture to one of eBay's Jim Griffith. The similarity in appearance between the exposed malicious buyer and the eBay figurehead who spouts "There is no such thing as a bad buyer" is eerie.



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by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 16:33:50 2013

He's in some personal conflict with a bigshot ebay seller. I can't tell who is stalking who? There is a website hosted on fly by night Russian servers dedicated to posting all things [Troll name redacted].

This ebay seller guy he's into it with is like peas in the pod with ebay management. Now suddenly the internet is on fire with stories about the 'troll'. How does that happen? Wow.

Funny too, how the issue is being framed around his appearance and lifestyle. Not a mention of ebay's policies that allowed him to carry on so long? No mention of the fact that his adversaries are using the same sleaze tactics (or worse) that he uses?

In the "news" reports, they even say he's not breaking the law. So what is the issue? Why is there no clear example of his wrongdoing? Has anyone seen anything other than accusations?

There is a lot that doesn't add up with this story. As mentioned above, follow the money.

No one wants to look at this stuff. Not the implications for ebay, not this guy's ugly existence. And let's face it, he's ugly. He's beyond hideous. Like the ebay elephant man. His message, (and the ones he brings that go unmentioned) is ugly too. That message needs to be silenced. Do we shoot the messenger or just put him in the room with the rest of the ebay elephants?


He makes a great scapegoat for all that ails ebay. What better way to cover up the real news of failed policies, irate, abused members, mass exterminations and TA program closures, while rallying people to come to ebay's aid, and instill that sense of community?  If I were a PR man I would be in awe.

Moral of the story is don't use ebay. You never know what you're going to get yourself into. Nothing is straight on a crooked platform.

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by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 19:07:39 2013

It happens on Amazon as well, and in my opinion much more frequently.

Amazon took away the ability to leave negative feedback for buyers many many years ago, the end result on both sites is that buyers know they can do or say whatever they want with no repercussions, having the ability to leave negative feedback on both ends kept things much more in check, but Ebay's desperate attempt to bring buyers back a few years ago has let all fairness in the community get thrown out the window.. the worst thing that ever happened to Ebay was taking the company public, since then it's been spiraling downhill non-stop.

I caught an amazon buyer running a scam a few months ago, buying an item, (a DVD) claiming it didn't work right and requesting a refund, thing is the buyer had already done this once last year and I remembered his name, when I looked it up under past messages sure enough.. there he was.. and his message about the item not working properly asking for a refund was copied and pasted into the more recent one.. I wrote him back and told him he was being reported for fraud and contacted amazon and let them know what he was doing..

I'm sure he's done this to many others as well.. probably getting free items and flipping them back on either Amazon or Ebay, if negative feedback could have been left for him to warn others he would never have gotten away with it as long as he did.

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by: Ania This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 19:30:47 2013

I hold ebays impotent policies & trust&safety responsible as they allowed him to do what he did

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by: Epins This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 20:15:11 2013

The Rob Wolchek broadcast www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/23052681/wolchek-investigation-masked-inter
net-instigator

@brokentoys19
You
wouldn't be The C****** ebayisajoke F****, would you? 'cause you're making the identical points ebayisajoke made on his recent public podcast.

That aside, he impersonated an FBI agent. Buy recording here www.amazon.com/Ebay-Joke-Phone-Pranks-Explicit/dp/B008MJDN0A

That kind of investigation takes 1-3 years. Not even year one yet.

Many Civil Court charges available against ebayisajoke, but remember whats her name not a shill? Anyone got several hundred thousand to prosecute a case against someone on public assistance?

ooooh he did steal photos. Like from Getty Images. Ya know, the Copyright Troll. They never stop.

That ebayisajoke getting his justice. From the people he trolled and scammed.

Ford www.blueovalforums.com/forums/index.php?/topic/54456-hall-of-shame/>preview.tinyurl.com/momrp6a

Vintage
Arcade Preservation Society preview.tinyurl.com/khpxvet

www.coinopspace.com/forum/topics/mc
a

Too
many to list. Wow.

Ahh your YouTube accounts, ebayisajoke, ebayisajoke101, EbayisaJoke Wins, ebayworkerjoke, Chucky Finch, 995sun, priestofmymachine, ShillBusters, ILEAVEYOUNEGS, dbcw3752, sithmember, chinesehubcaps, Panty Horder, EBAYISAJOKEONAIR.

Too many to list. WOW.

The kicker. Not stalking ebayisajoke. His story went VIRAL, and the links and lists are EVERYWHERE.

How did I find out? ebayisajoke made the BLACK HAT Forum.

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/blackhat-loung
e/596149-ebayisajoke-troll-unmasked.html

What
an accomplishment.

BTW ebayisajoke, where or who ever you are, how is that recent Personal Protection Order you served on a recent trollie going? Put your real name on that one.

And filer wrote they weighed 270 lbs. Can't be the guy in the news article.

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by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 14 21:24:33 2013

@Epins
No. Just an observer, not a participant. I do not support or condone his activities in any way shape for form.

There is more to this than meets the eye. If one should look.

However, ebay alone has culpability. They are the ones who should have taken measures long ago.

Let's look at something else for a  second. How many other high profile deadbeats have there been on ebay? There was just a 15 year old who wrecked the $15 million Coke recipe listing.
Where was the outrage then? Who did most damage? There have been many others too many to count. Wow.

The masked man didn't create the environment. Only ebay can change it.

Lastly 'troll' is a verb. The origin was in reference to fishing where a bait is dangled in the water from a slow moving boat. It was only afterwards it was taken to mean  a creature dwelling under bridges.

Ebay's biggest troll is the turnaround and disruptive innovation.  

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by: paperdetective This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 15 03:35:53 2013

I was reporting to Ebay a major scammer for a year and a half. before that he had already bene operating for years on Ebay, despite reports from other sellers. He wreaked havoc in our large niche market on Ebay, so our buyers got scared and angry and lost trust in Ebay and in most of us sellers in that niche. Ebay never acted on our scam seller reports nor on the buyers' reports, not even while the guy was subject of a local news station's special report and the cops had been at his home with a search warrant. Even after his court case and conviction, they still let him operate again. So one cannot expect that Ebay will fight buyer trolls. I think that there simply is no know how at Ebay to do so, apart from there not being the will. My guess is their lawyers, who usually run the show, told them to stay away from investigational policing. Ebay will only act if a judge forces them and even then they will resist first as knee jerk reaction. This is what you get when your business partner (Ebay) runs its site based on 'moral equivalence'. For them we're all bad. Or they have days where they make propaganda that they believe all humans are good. Neither is true of course. They refuse to moraly judge and differentiate between whom they deal with. In the real world, not in Ebay's, there are good and there are bad people.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Aug 15 03:37:24 2013

@sasikat9 wrote "If Ebay got rid of all the bad buyers there wouldn't be many buyers left."

That is in NO way correct.  The vast majority of buyers / customers are just wonderful.  The majority of transactions on Ebay go off without a hitch.  They just don't get as much press as all the bad ones.  But if what you say were to be true, there would be no reason for any seller to be selling on Ebay as it would not be worthwhile in any way.  It just would not make sense.

**********************

@Ming

Did you really want Ebay to protect you against a potentially crazy person threatening bodily harm?  Can you just imagine what that security team would look like?!?!?!  LOL   Humm, I think I'd pass can call the police.  I would think my chances of staying alive would be greatly improved.

****************

There are a couple reasons why Ebay is slow [that's a real understatement] to move on this types of buyers.  First, there are many sellers that fear what a buyer might do to their FB and they never file UIDs.  Even though there are newer rules in place that do help to protect the FB.  But for all those sellers that never file, Ebay gets to keep that FVF.

Then there is EBay's financial reporting.  Ebay reports total sales by Ebay sellers as part of their financial reporting.  Ebay does not reduce that number for sales that are never paid for or for a sale that gets cancelled.  Therefore they are ALWAYS reporting an inflated number.  Now this number doesn't drive any of the numbers you see in the traditional portion of a financial statement such as the Profit & Loss statement.  But it is something they brag about and state when they come out with all the financial reports they release quarterly.

These things because they are positives for Ebay makes them slower to fix the problem.  They give us little tidbits of change every now and again to help with the problem but they never even get close to a viable fix.  They could fix it if they really wanted to, but they quite obviously don't as this problem has been around for years and years.  But more prominent over the past 5 year.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 15 07:32:00 2013

Recently we had a case filed against us.  The buyer claimed that a new item was damaged.  I was perplexed and I thought that I must have missed some very small defect.  The item was returned and the buyer was refunded via the dispute process.  When I opened the package I was amazed to find that the buyer had mutilated the item to force a return.

I called eBay and they would do absolutely nothing.  Their solution?  Providing me with a coupon that was only worth 1/3 of the price of the damaged item, to use to shop on eBay.  I told the CSR that I do not shop on eBay and until their CEO changes the policies that have wreaked havoc on small sellers that I never will.

Buyer gets away with this, unscathed, and he's on to the next unsuspecting seller.  No repercussions whatsoever.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 15 09:34:38 2013

Bad buyers happen because eBay wants it that way PERIOD.

You can be a seller and point out fakes, fraud, lieing buyers and it doesnt matter.

They YES you to death just to get you off the phone. As long as money is comming in, nothing matters.

There are only 3 things that eBay takes seriously.

1) Sellers paying thier fees on time. If you dont do it, they shut your account and put you in collection. It doesnt matter what the reason is - JD needs his STEAKS ON TIME ALL THE TIME (and Wenig needs type 1 air fuel for his learjet)

2) VERO - eBays 1 real nightmare - that someone larget then they are (ala SONY) will drag them into court and sue them. While Id pay to be there for that trial - it wont happen as eBays VERO Dept made a deal with manufactorers that they will assasinate anyone that any manufactorer claims is in violation of thier copyrights or trademarks. The truth be damned - it doesnt matter if you are in the right - its about eBays pocket (see #1) that counts. eBay even coludes with mnanufactorers to remove sellers so that those manufactorers will put up anchor stores (Skullcandy).

3) Poor CS agents/sloppy work/bad rules/bad buyers. eBays view of small sellers is that they dont count so therefore what ever happens to them doesnt count. Do you think ANYONE in eBay looses sleep at night if you get ripped off? Hardly.

eBay doesnt stop bad buyers because of the culture of corruption that exists in eBay. Thier motto is do as little as possible to make as much money as possible and when ANYTHING on eBay goes wrong - blame the seller. Make THEM take it in the shorts. Why should JD NOT sun in the south of France this yr? "just cause Pace306 lost money to bad buyers? ... so what?"

The answers are more then obvious to ANYONE that can see!

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by: Spokonzaga Pete This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 15 10:36:51 2013

The real issue with the man behind the mask, ebayisajoke, is that he makes false identities to coordinate fraud over and over and he loves to do it to the same people, over and over.  An ebay false identity racket.

I am Spokonzaga Pete on youtube.  Watch my videos and I hope that people will contact me with the proof of his crimes and how ebay is at the mercy of people like ebayisajoke.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 15 11:19:32 2013

eBay profits off our labor and merchandise, and we bear ALL the risk of fraud, theft, and slander. In my own experience, eBay has chosen to remain ignorant of fraud--mail fraud--rather than protect me as a seller. As in Ming's case (I don't think he wanted eBay to prosecute a muderous threat; he wanted eBay to protect ALL its users by suspending or barring a crackpot) I don't expect eBay to prosecute mail fraud, but I never dreamed eBay would allow such conduct to thrive. They enable fraud, theft and slander but God help you if you list an antique ivory toothpick. And now we have to wonder are they complicit? My head hurts.

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