Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Dec 3 2016 16:32:35

Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

By: Ina Steiner

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A tech executive with an impressive resume wants to spread the word about his disappointing experience with eBay. On Wednesday, W. David Tarver published a post on his blog titled, "Seller Beware! EBay Policies Facilitate THEFT of Your Property."

He described what happened when he sold an iPhone on eBay and how he feels he was scammed by the buyer - made worse, he said, because he believes eBay's policies facilitated the theft of his iPhone 6.

"It seems impossible to me that eBay does not know their service is being used on a widespread basis to steal items from unsuspecting sellers," he wrote.

In 2014, we published this article, "Is eBay Really the Best Place to Sell Your Used Smartphone?" Given the high risk involved with selling in this category, we questioned the wisdom of eBay's "Flip your phone for the win" marketing campaign, which encouraged newbies to sell their smartphones on eBay. Two years later, it doesn't sound like much has changed.

In Tarver's case, he's a casual eBay user but not a newbie, and he felt he did everything right to protect himself, including requiring the use of PayPal and insuring the item when shipping. We reached out and asked him if he had heard from eBay. Today he replied, "All they say is that there is nothing further they can (or will) do, and that the case is closed."

Unfortunately, stories like these are all too common and turn off potential buyers and sellers. In this case, the victim blogged about his experience and intends to spread the word to as many people as he can - including his elected representatives and news outlets.

Given the expertise of EcommerceBytes readers, we wonder if you think this seller could have done anything more to protect himself? And what could eBay do differently to prevent scammers from ripping off sellers?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 3 19:27:43 2016

Yet ANOTHER victim of eBay returns fraud ...

Welcome to Devin Wenig's eBay 2017 where eBay is ONLY out to enrich itself and put the crews to theri sellers!

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 3 19:31:35 2016

All i can say is welcome to the club.  You got a taste of what we risk every day. I am sorry for your loss.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Dec 3 19:46:22 2016

It is very unfortunate, but this is what Ebay does on many types of products. But none so obvious as those that are selling one form or another of electronics. That is a hot button category on Ebay. There are some much safer categories to sell in, but there is still risk of this kind of thing happening.

This seller did do all they could to protect themselves on Ebay. I would add that there is nothing wrong with any member having something shipped to an address that is not their primary address. I ship to my daughter and my mother on occasions and other people will have reasons too. Some international members will have items shipped to a US address to a friend, family member or re-shipper. Nothing wrong with that either. The seller responsibility ends at the address in which you shipped to.

Now for this seller, about the only argument that may work for them is that the item came back from an address he did NOT ship to. That exception is in the Money Back Guarantee rules. So I strongly suggest the seller calls Ebay again, armed with this information.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/money-back-gua
rantee.html

The
section is as follows:
Not covered
Buyer remorse or any reason other than not receiving an item or receiving an item that isn’t as described in the listing (see the seller’s return policy for return options).
Items damaged during pick-up or shipping or not delivered when the buyer arranges pick-up or shipping of the item (for instance, the buyer arranges freight).
Duplicate claims through other resolution methods.
*********

Items shipped to another address after original delivery. [THIS IS THE EXCEPTION THAT MATTERS, to be returned to the seller from Texas, it had to get there by some method, which is in direct conflict of this clause]

********

As a further suggestion, I would suggest contacting your local post office and give them all this information. This is called Mail Fraud and is a Federal Crime. Your local postmaster will be able to help you with the steps you need to take.

I hope this helps!

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

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

Sat Dec 3 20:16:11 2016

Wow, we had a similar experience in our Ebay Shop. A buyer ordered custom sterling silver cuff links and then contacted Ebay claiming the cuff links were not sterling silver. Without any evidence provided to support his claim and 30 pages of documentation to prove our side including receipts from the supplier, Ebay quickly refunded the buyer.

To make matters worse, that buyer bragged about his scam on social media. I sent a copy of his postings along with a letter to the good folks in San Jose. It's been 12 months and no word back, so I guess they condone these sort of actions?

I do understand Ebay's reputation was tarnished by frequent scams, so reasonable buyer protection was necessary to improve confidence, but now the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and sellers need protection from Ebay

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 3 20:23:18 2016

I'M SHOCKED!!!

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 3 21:08:10 2016

I gave up on them long ago. Nothing has changed , will it ever? I think not , too much money in it. Call it collateral damage.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

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

Sat Dec 3 21:23:44 2016

Not clear what the basis of the buyer's claim was.

When ebay facilitates, aids, and abets theft and/or theft, they would be considered co defendants in a criminal case.

Sorry this happened to you, but spread the word. Start with that "NY Times" advocate.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Dec 3 22:02:56 2016

Mr. Tarver writes on his blog: "It seems impossible to me that EBay does not know their service is being used on a widespread basis to steal items from unsuspecting sellers."

You can bet eBay knows. And they probably love the fact that not only are they getting fees from the transaction, but the buyer will come back and try it all again, thus generating more fees.

I hope Mr. Tarver gets his story to someone who can actually go after eBay for their egregious behavior when it comes to the treatment of their customers (sellers).

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 3 22:03:30 2016

Selling on eBay shouldnt be Russian Roulette, period.

NO seller would/should/does agree to this. They expect that eBay will at least abide by its own rules for returns - the item must be the same one as the one shipped in the exact same condition.

Is there something in the water in San Jose?

ALL of us have been complaining for ages about the theft, fraud and racketeering that eBay does. They promise one thing - they force you to agree to it - then lie to you and dont uphold their part - its fraud by deception.

eBay counts on them being to big to be sued and that fact that the attorney generals could care less about it. They also know eBay makes LARGE donations to re-election campaigns. This isnt Democrat or Republican - this is simple fraud.

eBay claims they know everything on how to run an ecommerce site - its obvious that they dont - but if you are going to get your nose in other peoples business at least take some damn responsibility when it goes wrong. If you cant - then STAY OUT OF IT.

iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, Galaxys, Beats and many other things are SUPER HIGH FRAUD items on eBay. eBay knows - they created that campaign that Ina mentioned. They know full well about the fraud and theft and do nothing but laugh at "poor abused sellers". Its funny cause it doesnt happen to them.

I hope this guy gets even with eBay - I know I do - I tell every living soul NEVER to get involved with eBay - its like getting into bed with the mafia.

In fact eBay IS the San Jose mafia - and should be prosecuted under RICO - but no ones got the cajones to do so. Id testify against them IN A HEARTBERAT.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 3 23:38:06 2016

ebay will through you under the bus to make a dollar.   Kmowing that....proceed at your own peril....As a seller of 15 years,......ebay turned, and rippe d to shreds. no compassion...no understanding......just flushed me.   it is a pos company....with pos leadership.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 3 23:47:08 2016

eBay is simply not a safe selling community.

Sadly, It's not over for Mr Tarvers yet...his buyer can/will leave negative feedback to and eBay will not  remove it.  

i suspect some eBay exec will catch this story and reach out to Mr. Travers and refund his money to keep the peace.
Mr. Travers, should this happen, please refuse the offer - sellers everywhere will applaud you for keeping the heat on eBay thru social media and legal means.

When Elaine Campbell lost her class action lawsuit to eBay over their policy buyers are always right - the California Courts sided with eBay - the case is closed - this  victory for eBay was a slap in the face to thousands of abused sellers.bIn eBays eyes, sellers are liars.

CS is worse than ever.  Appeals is no better.  The problem remains at the top and Wenig and Co and they have no interest in small sellers.

There are other niche sites and of course Craigslist - I cant believe I'm saying this but Craigslist is actually safer to buy and sell than eBay.  







Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

This user has validated their user name. by: iBuyers

Sun Dec 4 05:52:59 2016

There's a network of Russians and Ukraines that are very vetted in this type of fraud. If one of them buys your phone.....you can bet on a scam  your way.  

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 4 06:19:43 2016

Got a feeling that there is just more to this story than is being told as with most of these stories where the seller complains but doesn't give ALL THE DETAILS.


EBAY IS A CESS POOL OF CRIME AND ANY SELLER WITH AT LEAST HALF A BRAIN KNOWS THAT. Only sell what you don't care about and can afford to lose.

Ebay is just one of those corrupt corporations where no one cares to investigate because what they are doing isn't quit illegal just borders on being illegal.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 4 06:41:43 2016

"Now for this seller, about the only argument that may work for them is that the item came back from an address he did NOT ship to. That exception is in the Money Back Guarantee rules. So I strongly suggest the seller calls Ebay again, armed with this information"

Um.  No.  Kudos for the positive outlook in attempts for constructive assistance, but it remains pointless.  There are many possibilities that can describe how the location of return disparity might exist, and such a difference isn't relevant anyway to eBay.  

That's not to say a 'forwarding' process with subsequent damage isn't seller responsibility per policy as noted, but unless that too is 'admitted to' in some fashion by the buyer, eBay wouldn't even entertain consideration for such defense.

Nevermind the fact that eBay entertaining consideration for ANY valid seller defense in such cases simply won't happen.  In fact, that's the point of this whole issue.  eBay simply doesn't care about proof or truth or fact anything else that doesn't contribute to their corporate jet fuel fund.  

Consider the fact that eBay will refund by default, every time, despite the fact the buyer need provide NO PROOF of their claim.  In this case the obvious physical differences evident in photos supplied, more importantly, the LACK of showing packaging damage and serialized proof of item identity in photos.

They simply do not care to investigate, at even the most basic level.  Call them 'till the cows come home'.  Argue fact, logic, proof, even lack of adhering to their OWN POLICY.  Doesn't matter.  

First, be aware such conversation will be with someone unempowered to act, even IF they speak English.  Second, be aware they will NEVER admit to aiding and abetting ths fraud with their default judgement and dismissal of fact in any event, much less any fault on their part.

They do.  Not.  Care.

Game over.  Please deposit another fee to continue.

If you dare.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Dec 4 08:01:37 2016

His story needs to go beyond his blog. This needs to be picked up by mainstream media.

The ONLY way eBay will make changes is if they are embarrassed nationally.

This unfortunate seller has experienced what most of us have.  eBay does nothing, and they need to be held accountable. If they refuse to do the right thing then the court system should force them to do so.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 4 10:10:11 2016

@Rexford

Embarrassed nationally. Seriously. Your kidding.

Ebay has been slammed more than once or twice in the national news.

Results = Ebay still operates on the edge of legal. The only way to stop Ebay is to stop selling and buying.

But that won't happen because you can't get more than two people to agree to it. There answer is always " Why should I stop, Ebay has done nothing to me."

There are horror stories about every business on the planet. Ebay is no different.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 4 10:49:19 2016

Great article....everyone should comment on Mr. Tarver's blog (I did) as this will increase activity for google for it to show up higher in searches.  Comments from longtime sellers will help him understand what he is up against and to carry forward.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Dec 4 13:10:18 2016

@feelingfroggy

There is a link in the article above that gives you all the details.  You are right, there is more to the story and you will find it there.

Rexford is correct IMHO, we have seen more than one article here where someone got some press coverage on some problem and Ebay reacted in a way that helped the member.  

Just giving up and accepting the current outcome is not the answer and does nothing to recover over $300.  

@Snapped

Ebay does NOT just auto refund all the time when a case gets escalated.  Granted it is not the norm, but it isn't a guaranteed refund either.  So to say it is a "fact" they "always" refund is not factually correct.  Blanket statements rarely are.

You again seem to be recommending, just accept the outcome and move on as your objections are futile.  And that is just not necessarily true.  Certainly if you sit back and do nothing, nothing will happen.  But if you get active as this guy has done, you just might see something happen.  It is a small change, I certainly agree with that, but a small chance is more than you will ever get sitting back and doing nothing.

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

I think Mr. Tarver's blog is well written and thought out.  I hope it gets as much coverage here and elsewhere as possible.  

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 4 13:40:08 2016

I would strongly encourage everyone to click on the link to Mr. Tarver's article. Then read his bio. This guy is no slouch needing a few bucks for his phone. His resume easily rivals and surpasses that of most of the executives at Ebay. He has built and sold a multimillion dollar company and is an accomplished executive in the technology sector. That said, if anyone covered his bases, this guy did. For Ebay to ignore the evidence of the claim and restore payment to an obviously fraudulent buyer is irresponsible and negligent. Any fool with half a brain could see what is going on. I do hope this gets some attention. Ebay will probably want to make him whole because of who he is as opposed to any belief they were wrong in this case. I hope Mr. Tarver would refuse any offers in protest. Ebay engages in this behavior every day. They are too lazy (and cheap) to take the time to complete even a cursory review of the facts before issuing decisions in these cases. It has gone on for far too long. The buyer of Mr. Tarver's phone has clearly done this several times before, to the extent of having a separate PO Box in another state to use for bogus returns. I hope his story gains traction and causes harm to Ebay. Harm to their public image and bottom line is all that will compel them to make changes.

Perminate Link for Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down   Tech Exec Explains How eBay Let Him Down

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Dec 4 17:08:48 2016

I have a BIGGER STORY for you.
I sold TONS of items on ETSY this week.
ETSY is DOUBLE DIPPING.
They take out their fee at the time of sale leaving the remainder for deposit into my account.
Then on the First of the next month they send me a bill EQUAL TO WHAT THEY ALREADY TOOK OUT !
So, that means they've ripped me off for THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS since I started selling there years ago.

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