eBay said it has no idea why Facebook removed certain groups that had "eBay" in the title of their Facebook Groups. Rumors had begun circulating after Christmas that some groups with eBay in their names had been taken down.
The rumors may have spurred some owners to proactively change the names of their groups, which could have given more credence to the rumors as people noticed the changes.
A reseller named Dom who runs the Prime Time Treasure Hunter channel on YouTube and runs a Facebook Group
called "Reselling Resource Center for eBay, Etsy, Amazon FBA, Poshmark, & More" informed his members of the rumors but said he was not going to take action until he verified the reports.
On Wednesday, eBay published a post stating it had heard that "a small number of Facebook groups with "eBay'' in the name were removed from Facebook a few days ago."
eBay said that as soon as the removals were brought to its attention, it began actively investigating the cause. "Currently, the team is working directly with Facebook to reinstate the groups that were removed."
eBay also offers some advice to anyone who might have been impacted: "Finally, anyone who proactively changed the name of their FB group to remove "eBay" is encouraged to reinstate the old name," though it also advised sellers to comply with Facebook group rules and with its own rules.
That was surprising advice given how fiercely eBay has protected its intellectual property over the years, suing or threatening to sue coinbay.biz, BayPal.com BrickBay.com, BidBay.com AlternaBay.com, and PerfumeBay.com, to name a few.
Could we be seeing a kinder and gentler side to eBay?
While Facebook has been making inroads into ecommerce and has been particularly successful in attracting eBay sellers to Facebook Marketplace, eBay seems to turn a blind eye to any competitive threat it may pose, appearing comfortable with frenemy status. eBay continues to rely on the social media site as a way to interact with its customers, and many sellers have reported that eBay provides better customer service through Facebook than its own platform.
In yesterday's post, eBay wrote, "As you know better than anyone, community is the cornerstone of eBay. We know the Facebook groups run by you, our sellers, are a critical part of how this community stays connected and informed, and we love seeing the connections among eBay seller groups."