Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Apr 22 2021 11:26:09

eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

By: Ina Steiner

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A patent filing gives further evidence eBay is interested in offering more options for local selling as buyers and sellers turn to sites like Facebook Marketplace to trade in person.

In the patent filing, eBay said the risks of online selling have been increasing over the past several years, including identity theft and online and real-world stalking. The "Crowd Sourcing Locations for Seller Privacy" patent filing, filed on December 29, 2020, explains in the Background section:

"Concerns about privacy when operating in an electronic environment have been increasing over the past several years. The Internet environment has made personal identification information (PII) much more accessible to nefarious actors, resulting in an increase in identity theft, both electronic and real-world stalking, and other undesirable results. Thus, improved methods of protecting PII in a networked environment are needed."

eBay's patent involves protecting the privacy of sellers who use its marketplace for local selling. The patent describes a feature in which it provides sellers who list items for local pick-up with a calendar, where they can indicate to shoppers their availability, and a "generalized version" of a specific pick-up location.

The buyer would select the time and generalized location, and once they paid through the eBay system, eBay would display a screen showing the buyer the purchased item; price; specific pickup address; and pickup date and time.

A patent alone does not mean a new feature is imminent, but eBay has been signaling its interest in making its platform more friendly to local buying and selling. Last year, it introduced delivery confirmation for Local Pickup through the use of QR codes, and last week, eBay revealed it is working on tools to help sellers sell locally.



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Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: VaGent This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 22 12:18:06 2021

Sounds like they are pushing to have even local pickup sales be paid via managed payments in advance, instead of cash at time of pickup. No way San Jose.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

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

Thu Apr 22 12:32:28 2021

Too Late.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Apr 22 12:39:42 2021

Real-world stalking? Like eBay employees were guilty of?

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: AddyUp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 22 12:55:00 2021

One of the big incentives of local pickups was cash on collection as it avoided PayPals charges.

No such luck with MP as Ebay has no problem in taking what it hasn't earned.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Apr 22 15:42:46 2021

"and real-world stalking".....Yes, they have first hand experience with that don't they?

Based on some of the bizarro comments I have heard from eBay buyers over the years there is no way I'd meet up with one of them face-to-face.

I listed an Apple device on Facebook a year or so ago but every time I suggested that we meet at my local police precinct they quickly lost interest.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Apr 22 16:57:29 2021

If you sell locally, and desire privacy, you certainly have no need to use eBay, especially if you are in mangled payments.

eBay has applied for hundreds of patents for pipe dream ideas that never seem to materialize.  The plan is to own the concept/technology in order to block others from implementing it and monetize it through patent trolling if someone does.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 22 23:56:12 2021

Been, slowly, selling larger items via Face Book and such for local pickup at my Police Precinct. Cash only, 20s and smaller. I've also have had potential buyers disappear immediately upon reading the word Police in my location email.

Reactions may vary at some Police Departments but my precinct is very OK with it. I stick my head in the door and let them know I'm out in the parking area to meet a customer. And one of the Sergeants suggested I get one of those small compressed air can horns and use it to alert them if anything looked to be going South.

I did get the air horn, but have not had to use it.  I believe police are probably very OK with such arrangements is they are consulted ahead of time in a sensible and adult way.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: VaGent This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 23 10:09:45 2021

RE: Meeting for local sales at police... its a good 30 minute drive for me to get to our police department, so I always just meet at our fairly close grocery store or a gas station. If someone does try to rob me, well, it will not go well for them.

By all means, meet somewhere safe, but you need to keep your head on a swivel and be aware EVERYWHERE you go for ANY reason, doesnt have to be buy/sell meets.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Apr 23 10:56:10 2021

VaGent, great points.  One thing to add.  In my city, some folks are actually be followed off the property post transaction.  Sometimes these folks work in teams.  The exchange is made safely at the location, but then the seller is robbed when they leave the property.

There are actually folks that stalk high end designer stores or electronics stores and have been known to follow purchasers all the way home. I have seen this on the news many times in my city. Rolex wearers beware.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 23 15:55:20 2021

Read too fast and thought it said "eBay Patents PIRACY Feature....." which wouldn't be too much of a stretch as eBay is rife with pirated and bootleg items.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Apr 24 11:02:48 2021

Sellers go to Facebook Marketplace to ESCAPE eBay!

I doubt I can ever trust eBay again, I'm a scorn seller now. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 25 08:33:23 2021

I will not sell in person, or do deliveries. I sell online for a reason. So I can keep my own hours. If I wanted to have a store, I would have a brick and mortar store. And be open x to x hours and closed x to x.

I dont need the " I'm held up and will be there in another 45 min" "is that the house", "can I come at 6am" , "can I come at 1am" , "why are you charging so much"......... Online it's $x amount if they want it they buy it if they dont they dont buy it.

I just dont need the aggravation.

Just like Amazon, if ebay thought they were a threat they should have done something way before their delayed alarm bells went off.  While ebay is figuring out what to do they are set up already. Always late to the party. I am really surprised Facebook has not done a real marketplace. If and when that happens, ebay is in real trouble.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 00:27:28 2021

I've sold on eBay since 1998 and don't think I've ever had any local customers want to pick up their purchase. I have had local customers from Etsy, FB Marketplace, Craig's List (and maybe other places over the years) stop by. Unless there's a VERY GOOD reason that the customer needs to come to my home (such as buying a sofa), I meet them somewhere nearby. At the very least, I tell them to park near the mailboxes which means they can't really see which way I come from ... and I mill around outside until they leave so they don't get to see which direction I go! Also, I only meet during daylight hours. Yes, there are occasional flakes. It happens.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: TiredJustTired This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 02:13:22 2021

Ebay Classified website:  Been there, done that.  Never had many sales that way.  Also did Ebay local pick ups only on regular site.  Never had a sale that way.  Buyers still wanted me to ship item bc they were out of state.

Currently, I am selling on Craigslist.  I do have people come to my home; however, I have three Ring cameras with photo & sound recordings. I meet them in my garage (12 feet away), and they have to wear a mask due to pandemic.  I also tell them ahead of time that I don't make change and the price will not change when they arrive. I sell daily between 12 noon and 6pm when there are lots of people driving or walking by.  They can select the specific time.  Still, I've been stood up, but at least I'm at home and not on a public corner somewhere.  I do quite well selling my LP vinyl collection.  They can inspect the LP in person and not waste shipping fees.  Some buyers have complained that I don't take Venmo, PayPal, or other electronic payments that they can cancel once they leave.  One retiree said he wouldn't have $8.00 cash until his Social Security check came in.  Well, if he doesn't have $8.00 cash, perhaps he shouldn't be shopping.  Ya think?  Cash only and no paper trail.  Either they play by my rules or I don't sell to them.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: TiredJustTired This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 02:21:42 2021

One other thing I don't do.  I never give out my phone number.  People would rather text than email.  Too bad bc Craigslist is set up thru email responses so they can complete the sale thru email, too.  I tell them that I will not call or text them, but they give me their number anyway.  I still email them.  No exceptions.  If they cannot email me, then I'd rather not do business with them anyway.

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 05:18:03 2021

Ebay facilitates, encourages, and promotes fraud. Ebay does not let you speak with their appeals dept. so when you make an appeal you do not get to state the sellers side of the problem. Horrifying customer service. NO seller protection. Leaving Ebay ASAP. I am paying them over 5k per month to steal my money. Not for much longer tho

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 05:55:26 2021

If you watch the Ebay youtubers meet people via Facebook, you'll see it has its ups and downs.  The downs are the buyer doesn't show up.  The seller is left in the parking lot waiting.  I wouldn't do anything in cash anymore.  I've seen too many Judge Judy episodes to know that cash doesn't "talk."

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 07:58:32 2021

Sadly we've gone past the point in time when a buyer could just be given a grid reference and a time, with confidence that they will arrive as promised.  

Now they want to bombard you with messages and calls asking for directions and constantly changing the ETA.  And if you prefer to use your professional time working on sales to lower maintenance buyers then you risk getting an unfavorable feedback essay about not being willing to provide turn-by-turn directions.

There may be an opportunity for local pick up sales, but I think that eBay has neglected its core business for too long and new entrants have now eaten eBay's lunch in this segment.

For me to consider using eBay and not one of the cheaper new alternatives for local sales, there would need to be a screen on the mobile device that requires the buyer to state that they have inspected the item and they attest that it conforms to the seller's description.  Only after they state 'yes' would the transaction close and the funds be released (irreversibly).

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: eastwestphoto This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 09:06:08 2021

In Pa. they shoot guns, NOT cameras!  Local sales has never happened out of 15,000 sales. So waste of marketing for me.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling   eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling

by: 1 Angry Artist This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 26 09:55:51 2021

I have been using Craigs list for decades for my in person sales and never had a problem.  However, the only things I sell in person from my home are LARGE pieces of furniture that I want to get ride of anyway.

I actually get paid a few bucks instead of having to pay someone to take away the old desk or dresser..

I tried to sell locally on Ebay and it was a complete flop.  Likewise on disgusting FB marketplace which is a sick joke in my estimation.  ( I live in the NY suburbs).
I have never seen so many creeps in my life including scammers, stalkers, you name it.  I tried 3 times to sell things on FBM and ended up deleting the posts.  The people who responded were dysfunctional, illiterate ne'er do wells.

Meanwhile, everyone I have dealt with on CL has been perfectly fine, no problems and they are all happy to email rather than text.

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