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Fri May 1 2015 13:47:08

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforcement

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I was wondering how common it is on eBay to have your listed item removed due to "infringement to eBay policy", but others selling the exact same item are left to continue selling.  

This is the statement I found in eBay help: 

"We don't catch all listings that are in violation of eBay policy right away. As a result, you may see listings for items similar to yours for a time. But we do remove all listings that don't follow eBay policy as soon as we become aware of them. We encourage members to report any listing violations you come across to us. Just click the Report this item link at the bottom of the item page."

My listed items had bids by several different buyers - and that is very unusual these days - a real bidding war was in store! But before the item could end, eBay stepped in and saved my buyers from themselves and removed my listing.  

I checked my email and sure enough, I'd been caught red-handed and now was charged with the crime of infringement. At the very moment there were well over 100 of like items sold in the past 3 months, so I had NO IDEA I was committing a crime! In fact, there were also a number of CURRENT listings of similar items for sale that were allowed to remain and there are still more new listings of like items since my event.

I asked the customer "service" person why they only took down MY item, and the response was that my account came up under review and they found the item so it was removed as buyers could be using this to commit fraud. 

As is often the case with eBay, it makes no sense how they are so worried about fraud being committed by MY customer, but not the other hundreds of items selling and sold - nor the fraud committed by buyers against sellers every day. 

My common sense tells me if you find one item that is not allowed to be sold and you are removing it, then why would you not immediately do a search of all like items and remove ALL of them? After all, fraud may be committed using THOSE items also! So why is eBay not interested in taking ALL like items down at the same time?  

I guess since eBay never does much that makes sense, I answered my own question. 

Why do I stay? I've got some inventory of items people buy, but I work full time and list when I can. I no longer buy much to sell and then it has to be a for sure money maker.   

I went to work full time due to a lay off in the family, and I don't have TIME to check out other sites, learn the how to's and start all over. I'm leaving asap and going back to putting time into my garden and other hobbies I gave up for the long gone fun of eBay.  

It was a hoot but now it's just a toot. 15 years and moving on....lose a seller; lose a buyer,
P.




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 1 14:42:23 2015

Ebay doesn't care about you.

You were probably reported to Ebay by one of their lovely Diamond Sellers.

Most of the diamond sellers have fulltime employees that do nothing but troll the auction sites for infringements.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri May 1 15:00:40 2015

I've had that happen with mercury thermometers and a friend is experiencing the same thing with TENS units right now.

I had no idea you couldn't list thermometers when I listed them. Others had been sold and others were for sale.

eBay's gotten too big to handle some of the smallest problems.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 1 15:52:10 2015

I have sold thermometers in the past (vintage ones) however it is usps that forbids mailing them as it is against them for mercury is illegal to ship thru them.

the policy enforcement is unfair I agree they have larger sellers who report items being sold in competition with their ;listings then it is a case of who is the larger seller (fees wise) smaller seller looses, there was a article some time ago Ina, posted I believe it was ebays Vero program, and it also goes to ebay reps option but the dreaded 2 hour call is in line for the seller no matter what

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri May 1 17:39:28 2015

eBay has never treated sellers the same with regard to listing take downs. I haven't sold on eBay in seven years, but when I was selling there, there were three or four times when something I was selling was deemed to be violating some policy, while many more sellers were selling the same thing and their listings remained. I even complained once to a CSR and was told that "eventually" the other sellers would be caught and their listings removed. It seems it would be easy enough to do a search for the product, and then just systematically remove every one. But I guess eBay has to make everything complicated.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 1 19:59:00 2015

eBay doesn't take enforcement of its policies seriously. For months, I tried reporting a scumbag who practiced blatant FEE EVASION. Now, you'd figure that would be one thing that The Hoe simply wouldn't tolerate..when you make $23MM just for hangin' around, and a seller cheats you out of $30 in FVF's, that's intolerable, right?

Well, of course eBay did NOTHING. Again, Customer [non-]Service Rep's and "Trust and Safety" people clearly saw the violations. I couldn't compete with someone offering "discount" off the board with web address and PHONE NUMBER in big, red text.  

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat May 2 04:19:55 2015

This isn't a new problem on Ebay.  It may have been some members first experience with it, but it isn't new.  It has been like this on Ebay for at least the last several years if not more.

I've had listings removed similar to what happened to the OP.  Dozens of other sellers out there with the exact same thing and they were still selling.

There are so many things that Ebay is patchy about enforcing.  It just changes with the wind.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

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

Sat May 2 05:04:26 2015

This system has been in place since 1999. If you don't have to, why fix it?

eBay encourages you to snitch on other sellers, because those show up as page hits.

That is why you have page views when you are on the seventh page of items. The snitches care.

Management and buyers, eh, not so much.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

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

Sat May 2 05:05:52 2015

eBay is just a venue.

No need to worry. People are basically good.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat May 2 18:55:02 2015

''We don't catch all listings that are in violation of eBay policy right away. As a result, you may see listings for items similar to yours for a time. But we do remove all listings that don't follow eBay policy as soon as we become aware of them.''

'' We encourage members to report any listing violations you come across to us.... ''

Another example of how eBay pits users against each other with a process that assures negativity prevails at every turn.

The many adversarial policies which eBay management devises and staunchly defends contribute to the alienation of buyers and, in this case, sellers.

eBay wonders why they can not grow sales.... with the on site negativity and real world negative word of mouth, it is hard to believe the over compensated MBA's running eBay consistently fail to recognize or appreciate the cause and effect.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 2 22:02:43 2015

As someone whos tangled with VERO MANY MANY times:

I'm assuming you item is legitimate to sell - if it isnt - its irrelevant HOW you "got caught"

Vero is pay for play. SOMEONE - a manufactorer, big competitor, another seller with a lot of time to click and do "report an item" told on you. People like verowatch.com and netenforcers.com get paid to remove people from eBay by telling VERO on you.

You also could have an item that (like mine were) listed on ebay.com but shown in EU and the EU representative there complained to VERO about you. The USA ISNT party to most EU agreements, yet VERO forces compliance anyway. In my case they admitted they dont know the laws, nor do they care - sellers arent important enough to stand up for and fight for. (got the email(s) to prove they said it).

As far as uneven takedowns - beyond the above, eBay being eBay is lazy. Thats why Vitton took them to court on fakes - even when eBay SWORE they did and were working on it.

Vitton knew they were lieing lazy SOBs and flatly called them liars in court.

eBay could EASILY remove all fakes of a specific brand matching up items with a catalog) OR have the manufactorers reps verify listings - but eBay is lazy. Unless theres money in it - they wont do it.

So, the listings that get complaints go down, all the rest stay. (after all, someone may buy that item and eBay wouldnt get its fvf if they didnt)

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 4 10:09:04 2015

This happened with me years back with a Corning percolator. Apparently they are a no-no?

They removed my listing and left up 5 or 6 others. I just moved on and didn't bother relisting it.

A couple of years back, I also got in my first tangle with Vero when I tried to sell some perfume. Anything that has a high-end brand name...forget it, it's not worth the trouble on ebay.

Bonanza is getting my GENUINE Lilly Pulitzer and Burberry ties. lol

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: gla This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 4 10:59:52 2015

items are automatically removed when "reported".  Sellers of like items report others to reduce the competition knowing ebay does not check for like items.  Once an item is reported the rest is "automated" including the form letter.  The less staff, the more money ebay pockets.  ebay is the pits and my vote goes to Bonanza and Webstore.

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 5 01:16:26 2015

I have had items taken down for such thoughtful "reasons" as::

My item was PRICED TOO LOW--after the ebay listing "helper"  tried to get me to list it for .99.  

My items did not have "enough" pictures--how many pictures of aspects of say a toddler snow suit do you really NEED?  

My items allegedly did not have measurements--they did--but again--the truth is out there but not in ebay-world.

I did not have the specific artists NAME when selling vintage Native American items---So sorry that basket makers 200 years ago forgot to sign their work. Of course this was when you could list and sell this sort of stuff and NOT risk it being turned into "I bought a Native BASket and the seller sent me a Longabarger"  sorta dealie!

They rarely make SENSE and I have tweaked the wording on some or just moved the item from one account to another and NOT had any issues.  But mostly they make absurd "explanations"  to fit the whim of the day.  

eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce   eBay Seller Baffled by Inconsistent Policy Enforce

by: nonyme This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 14 18:40:43 2015

Back in January, to make a long story short, I escalated to an exceedingly unpleasant supervisor on eBay over an incorrect payment hold. The supervisor was downright rude, condescending, spoke extremely broken English, and hung up on me.

The next morning, I woke up to find that I'd gotten a violation on a listing for a She-ra action figure outfit called, "Veils of Mystery" ... because ... wait for it ... "Mystery items are not allowed."

The name of the outfit was "Veils of Mystery." It was NOT a "mystery" (blind bag) lot in any way, shape, or form. There were clear photos and a clear description of the item.

I fumed a bit, then called eBay again, and escalated up the food chain. I had to escalate, because two different CSRs essentially said "mystery items are not allowed, and you used the word mystery in your listing, so it was a valid violation."

I lucked out by getting a US supervisor on the phone. (Didn't even know they existed anymore.) That supervisor let slip that the person who'd turned me in was the FIRST supervisor I spoke to on the unrelated issue. That supervisor went through my listings until he found something he could report me for, apparently with deliberate, malicious, intent.



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