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Mon Mar 12 2018 16:07:08

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art Prints

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I recently ran into an issue with eBay and was wondering if you could possibly publish a story relating to it.

I sell collectible art prints and pay monthly for an eBay "Premium Store".  I was recently looking through my store (not my active listings page which I view much more frequently), and I noticed an item that did not have a photo showing.  

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the title was also missing, and in its place was the notation: "Adult only item - Requires verification".  

As you may know, items in the "adult only" section can only be found if you specifically select that section. This means that if you do a normal eBay search with "All Categories" selected, the item in question will not show up, even if the title matches the terms that were searched for.  

The items in question were art prints that all had various levels of nudity. However, eBay does allow nudity in the regular "Art" section, as long as the subject "Nudes" is selected (which it was).  

After doing some more browsing through my store, I noticed that it was not just one, but six items that were restricted to the "adult only" category. To make matters even worse, I was never notified that these items were being restricted. Also, the items show completely normally in my active items list, so unless I was to look through my store page (or actually click on the item) I would never know about the restriction.  

I contacted eBay on Facebook over a month ago, and they agreed with me that these items did not meet the requirements to be restricted to the "adult only" section. I was told that the issue was being looked into, but there was no time frame for a resolution.  

A few days ago, I initiated contact again, since the items were still being restricted. The person who replied suggested that the problem might be with certain words I was using in the listing title. He suggested that I remove the word "sexy" from the six titles. Although not all of the titles even contained the word "sexy", I removed it from the ones that did, and sure enough, the items were visible in a normal search.  

After replying about the ones that did not use the word "sexy", I was told to remove the words "nude" and/or "topless". I did so, and again, the restriction was removed.

My primary concern involves what happened next. I told eBay that I read all of their user agreement and terms, but never saw any mention of these words being restricted from a listing title. I asked for a complete list of words that I was not allowed to use. The response was that the eBay rep did not know the list of words, and that if he did, he would not be able to share it with a customer.

Although I do not agree with all of eBay's rules, I do make an honest effort to follow them. If words are banned from use in a title (or elsewhere), I'm willing to comply, but I need a reference as to what I can and cannot use in a title.

With these six items, the words that needed to be removed were adjectives that were not very likely to be the reason an item was found by a buyer, but when all other relevant terms were used, I thought it would be better to include such descriptors rather than leave an empty space.

However, there are cases when these words could be vital to a buyer finding the item. I used the example of an art print by the artist Faile (not one I'm selling). The title of the print is "Sexy Ad". The print does not contain anything that eBay would normally restrict to the "adult only" category. If the word "sexy" was removed from that listing, it would make it incredibly difficult for someone to find, since that word is part of the name of the print.  

I tried to explain to eBay the importance of knowing what these restricted words are, so that I do not source inventory that would be nearly impossible for a buyer to find.

T.

Comments (9) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Mar 12 16:59:59 2018

Sorta reminds me of George Carlin's Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV. At least George shared them with his audience.  

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 13 06:40:06 2018

I am about as far away from being a prude as anyone can be, but if the prints were innocent in their presentation, as I am sure that they likely were, why was OP using the word sexy at all?  It may not have made a difference, but I am sure that it didn't help.

As for eBay, American censorious puritanism at it's best.

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 07:21:48 2018

"The response was that the eBay rep did not know the list of words, and that if he did, he would not be able to share it with a customer."

No matter the subject, concern, or limitation, THAT is seriously inexecusable.  

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 13 17:27:33 2018

I agree with Rexford, just dump all the words that could appear to someone as adult material. Of course, it doesn't help that you don't know which words are forbidden. Maybe use "seductive," if that would be applicable, Or maybe "erotic," since that doesn't necessarily mean nude.

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 15 01:36:43 2018

I wonder then if they'll move all of the clothing listings that say "sexy women thin knit" or "LQQK! SEXY!!!" (which are legion) to adult listings? Or how about stocking and lingerie colour called "nude" which is a very old industry designation. That goes, too?  

But then they can't TELL you what these are?  I can't figure out this alternate universe.  

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 15 01:37:19 2018

Or just say "nekkid".  

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 15 01:47:32 2018

I was gonna say same as Babylon did--- this is absurd, taken to extremes that the SELLER is not even permitted a LIST of "banned" words--- like "Ivory sweater" can get your knitwear banned!!!   Ebay runs on AlternativeFacts, apparently, it's as if KellyAnne Conway writes the rules.  

Sexy is everywhere on ebay, so why banned in this ONE place??  I ran into this with lingerie--- where ebay decided some things were not labeled correctly--- they were--- and others were the same, but they were fine.  Why???  Who knows.  

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 15 02:38:33 2018

I am a prude, just to get that out of the way, but at this point in our society the word 'sexy' has come to mean a description of some so so that food is sexy, a website is sexy )and I'm not talking an x-raed one, cameras and computer software is sexy. I hear that so many things are sxy that it about blows my mind.

How can something be sexy if it doesn't have reproductive organs? How can a fountain pen be sexy? It can't as it doesn't have the ability to be, neither can a car, a pieces of gaming software, and the list goes on. I don't know where ebays list is, but sellers need to broaden their vocabulary as do speakers and commercial makers who seem to think if you throw the word sexy into a commercial that you will get more eyes on it. Well I hate to tell them, but it makes my eyes go elsewhere.

Leaving computers to make decisions just makes it worse. I'm a prude remember? I had a Pinterest picture taken down on my site because it was a picture a a hand knit/crocheted bikini....for an American Girl Doll! Unless there was something in its meta tags that I couldn't see, I have no clue why a bikini on a doll would be banned from pinterest!!!

eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art   eBay Acts Like Awkward Adolescent with Certain Art

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 15 09:03:42 2018

Does the OP list in AMZ?  



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