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Thu May 7 2015 13:15:52

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
We all know that nothing on eBay is "on the level", and I wanted to point out yet ANOTHER glaring example of an eBay "BELOVED" getting special treatment.

In MANY of your columns, eBay sellers (including myself) have expressed their extreme displeasure with eBay meddling into returns. Via eBays Money Back Guarantee policy, eBay has let buyers run wild. I have been a leading critic of eBay in this regard, with eBay refusing to listen to anything OR anyone - even when I can prove fraud in the cases I've had to deal with.

In a nutshell - their policy trumps all. Calling an agent to "ask us to step in" isn't even worth the paper it's written on - it's an out right lie - a sham. OK fair enough - we all know eBay for the slime it is.

BUT what if you could sell on eBay and not have to worry about such things? What if you had special "permissions" to insert YOUR OWN verbiage that would override eBays and they would approve?

THAT would make eBay's return policy livable right?

Meet Kompolt.

They are an eBay approved auction house that gets to play by its own rules. Currently they are doing a Star Wars charity even on eBay. You can bid and buy a custom helmet from Lucasfilm and the money goes to Unicef. Great - its eBay finally doing GOOD in the world, right?

I scrolled down to look at the terms and conditions and guess what it says?

All items are sold as is.

Warranties: It is the buyer’s responsibility to preview any item(s) and determine condition, authenticity, and content. While descriptions are believed to be accurate, neither Kompolt nor its employees, agents, or contractors provide any warranties or guarantees, express or implied, as to the genuineness, authenticity, or accuracy of description, condition, or defect, if any, of the item(s) auctioned and will not be held responsible for discrepancies or inaccuracies in item descriptions provided. Buyer may be required to sign a release acknowledging this provision as a condition of purchase of the item(s). Buyer's sole recourse shall be the warranty, if any, provided by Seller, as stated in the item description.

Highlights provided by myself!

THOSE aren't eBay's terms for sellers! Why is KOMPOLT given rights and "outs" regular sellers aren't given? Is it just because it's Lucasfilm?

Doesn't the different terms make the playing field UNeven and thus illegal?
PLEASE see if you can get a response from eBay!
Best Regards,
Sam




Comments (32) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 7 14:06:41 2015

Sam I could not agree more, the thousands of hours I have invested into e**y and the money is unreal!! now there are some sellers that can completely run wild while others get the listings pulled and the money back guarantee is the old buyer protection, there has been so many sellers up in arms over these issues but still see Chinese sellers getting preferred shipping charges while the usa sellers pay regular prices, now the big box stores have contact info in their listings while smaller sellers do not, these treatments are also exempt from rolling blackouts of their products, it is a real shame what this venue has turned into , it will be the death of e**y for sure

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu May 7 14:13:33 2015

I wonder... is this seller is actually being given special policy-override privileges by eBay... or is this seller just ''bluffing'' a policy override by prominently including these additional policies and conditions in their listing?

Will all buyers be held to these policies? Or does the seller hope to convince (confuse) buyers that these ''special'' conditions take precedence over eBay's policies?

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 7 14:47:34 2015

wow I just read the auction in addition to the OP post there are other "special Umbrella" policies even for "e**y members in good standing"

I wonder if this applies to members with 50,000 transactions??
here is a copy from the auction below

Q: Is Bidder Pre-Qualification necessary to participate in this auction?
A: All bidding activity below $1,000 does not need to be pre-qualified.

Bidding above $1,000 must be Pre-Qualified. Click here to fill out the secure Bidder Pre-Qualification form. In order to help ensure a smooth and successful auction experience, Kompolt will be performing Bidder Pre-Qualification for this auction.

Q: Why do eBay members need to Pre-Qualify?
A: We realize that the Bidder Pre-Qualification policy may seem like an unnecessary procedure to eBay community members in good standing, but to ensure a safe and fair auction, we require that all bidders participate for all bidding activity above $1,000.

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 7 15:13:18 2015

Time and again Ebay doesn't do anything about all those claims that sellers make. Probably because Ebay realizes it is fighting a losing cause.

BUT what makes you think that like everyone else that gets caught in the Ebay return crap that those claims are inforced.  

It is well known that you can claim anything you want but if someone opens a SNAD claim you are going to lose.

Ebays  return policy prevails over any dribble you decide to include in your auction.

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 7 16:53:10 2015

this amazes even me this seller has listed over 44 items and a 0% feedback rating , a feedback score of only 38. in addition sellers ID changed 9 tomes in 5 years , no transactions in the past year? all items with special listing options, and pre bidder qualifications?? this must be an employee or someone with special umbrella policy limits, I can just about say that if any other general seller listed like this e**y would certainly remove all the listings it should be intrusting how this pans out some strange stuff happening lately I question this being Non profit does anyone else?

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 7 16:56:17 2015

I'm the OP of this email to Ina, and I thank her for being KIND enough to post it.

I understand returns, and I understand buyer confidence in the sellers they buy from AND eBay itself, but I object being STOLEN from just to pacify a few liar buyers with VERY FEW feedbacks.

I only found out about it since it was splashed across the front page when I logged into eBay to check on email.

I scrolled down just to see the terms (since theres so much of it) and I blew a gasket.

I and many others are being ripped off day after day, and yet ANOTHER beloved - and this is because it gives eBay BIG exposure to be linked to UNICEF & Lucasfilm - gets to do as they please.

At least eBay is USUALLY smart enough to try and hide the cheating - but this is IN YOUR FACE (well mine anyway).

If you think that Lucasfilm or Unicef will deal with the SNAD garbage WE have to put up with - I think you're sadly mistaken.

The real question is can Ina (if shed like to be so brave) get an answer from eBay. Sure Kompolts terms and eBays MBG are at odds - need I buy one of those helmets just to prove eBay lies? (even though I already know they do?).

Its not a level playing field and its more then just "unfair", its a blatant assault on eBays sellers - all of deserve an answer.

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 7 17:24:14 2015

@ pace306
very nice article well written, and thank you! to Ina, for posting yet another E**Y Hidden agenda! this stuff is just got out of hand gives all sellers bad taste were one has special treatments and another does not, and even if we listed with a donation to the same cause we still would have to follow e**y policies or get another lashing beating or eviction from those who "are only a venue "

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu May 7 19:27:36 2015

The seller is listed as "starwars_forceforchange" (no quotes). Komplot is listed as managing the auction. I was really confused before I clicked on the auction link, as seller ID Komplot is located in Slovakia. I really like the ice cream cone helmet.

I'd like to know how this person/company got mixed up with Disney since they were last "sugarrayleonardauctions."

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 8 02:46:32 2015

I agree with Annie.  I think there is a bunch of deception going on in these listings.  And I don't think Ebay has caught up to them yet.

I don't know what Sam means by they are an "approved Ebay auction house".  I don't see anything in the listing that says this.

If you look at page two for the shipping terms on the listing.  It states the seller has a no return policy but that the Money back Guarantee still applies.  That tells me that the seller is not being authorized to say what they are saying in their listings.

I think the OP is off on this one.  I don't see where this seller has special rules that they can force us to adhere to.

The pre-qual note for buyers bidding over $1000 takes you to a separate website too.  That is a no no.

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 8 02:50:07 2015

Oh and Ebay's Giving Works has been around for years.  It isn't new.  When a seller allows a percentage of the sell price to go to a designated charity, they use Giving Works to disburse the payment.  The seller never gets the money.  The pre-set percentage is removed and sent to Giving Works for disbursement to the proper charity.

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 8 03:02:36 2015

@ajeweler,
Regarding this: ''I question this being Non profit does anyone else?''

I found this statement in the teeny writing at the very bottom of the page:

''The U.S. Fund for UNICEF does not endorse any brand or product. No portion of the purchase price is tax-deductible.''

However, in larger print above this it states to consult your tax advisor regarding whether the purchase is tax deductible.  

Seems as if the seller may be a bit confused regarding this too!  

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 8 03:14:57 2015

@used2luv

The Charity ribbon would not appear on the listing unless they have a set percentage in the listing set up to go to a valid charity.  

As I stated before, the seller will NOT receive the fund.  PayPal will pull them and send them to Giving Works.  And Giving Works has been around for years.

Also for those that aren't aware.  The statement that this would NOT be tax deductible is correct.  Even though the money is going to a charity, you are getting a product in return for your money and that makes it NONE deductible as a charity contribution.

A statement to consult your tax advisor is just a legal thing that is in their best interest to state otherwise someone my construe them as giving tax advice.  So all of that kind of stuff is proper to state in a listing such as this.

However there is still plenty in the listing that isn't right per Ebay rules.

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 8 09:01:41 2015

@ Marie
if the listing sells, then would E**Y or the seller or buyer? have the write off any portion for taxes? just seems the seller double talks all over the listings and in addition the user Id's being used now and in the past suggest and lead the buyers to believe that the auction is being used to raise money for charity or events , and I agree there is a whole bunch of red flags, as far as E**Y policy violations , as usual they will let these things run until they have enough reports to shut them down , these type of issues are getting more wild monthly

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 8 09:12:35 2015

@Marie

"I don't know what Sam means by they are an "approved Ebay auction house".  I don't see anything in the listing that says this."

It doesnt have to say it in the listing. Its a FRONT PAGE auction that gives eBay credibility (which its severly lacking atm) and status.

They were (like deal of the day people) HAND PICKED to be there.

Your idea that eBay DOESNT KNOW what their terms are is absurd :)

Did you know Deal of the Day people get money per item sold from eBay? Not only do they get front page but they get money per item to generate traffic? I do - I was there when it happened a few times - the cameras and iphones came from a source that Im friendly with.

No offense, but ANYONE that thinks this is some accident, or eBay is too stupid to not have read their terms or makes excuses for eBays bad behavior is just fooling themselves.

Why is it so hard to just admit eBay is rotten to the core? Why is it so hard to believe that eBay would cut the legs out of its OTHER sellers for its own benefit? Does its other bad behaviors and thefts not indicate that this is their standard MODUS OPERANDI?

eBay is what it is, its driven by MONEY. Lots of people - myself included - fall into the trap that the  2015 eBay is the eBay of 1998. Its not.

The eBay of 1998 was C2C and village based. It was feel good, it was friendly and it was profitable for SELLERS.

eBay of 2015 is a TOTALLY different animal. JD was brought into eBay to make it into Amazon. eBay doesnt want to be Amazon. They want to simply monetize EVERY part of eBay - and take money from you until you have had ENOUGH.

JD is a money guy NOT an ecommerce guy. He knows as much about ecommerce as you or I know about nuclear physics - precious little.

He came in to make EVERY part of eBay pay - shipping, returns, listings - EVERYTHING. And judging by the flight of sellers, he did a damn good job.

He just went WAY to far judging by the flight of his sellers.

Im not naive. I see fashion sellers with their semi hidden feedback scores, I see the special treatment of big manufactorers - its as plain as the nose on ones face - all you have to do is look.

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 8 09:46:54 2015

I just checked all the auctions and indeed they do say "All proceeds go to charity" with this in mind someone receives a write off, if the seller does not receive it who does? also this is a [possibility} this is a consignment seller of e**Y, if this is the case then indeed they are in a special "umbrella" this one for sure is a questionable after all they are only a "venue"

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri May 8 10:20:10 2015

@Marie - I do not believe you are correct about the tax deductions for the auctions. For years I attended the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation charity auction, which had major sponsors such as Mattel, and would have correct legal information. We were told specifically that all monies paid above the opening bid (which was considered the value of the item) was tax deductible.  

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 8 10:55:00 2015

@Marie,
I always thought that the amount paid over fair market value was deductible.  So if those helmets are worth $500 and one sells for $1000, the buyer would have a $500 tax deduction.  If I'm wrong, I'm human, so be it.  I don't go to charity auctions, so whew I'm safe!  

I wonder why they didn't put that it is not deductible in the larger print; that's what made it seem fishy to me.

I know Ebay is always on the up and up and would never make a mistake or questionable decision of any kind.  And I would really want to spend thousands with a seller who changes their name when the wind changes direction.  Good grief!  What's up with that?

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

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

Fri May 8 11:11:46 2015

As ALWAYS, ebay PICKS the WINNERS and 'LOSERS'!

This is an example of that, and so is how the listing promotions invitations are handled. We have an outstanding account and have a premium store, yet would you believe we have not received ONE promotion in all of 2015 (and yes, we do have the proper settings to get the promotions).

They have had 13 promotions in 2015 and we have gotten ZERO, NADA, NILCH! Its not a fair playing field my friends..... There is no way an account would not get any promotions over 4+ months and 13 promos...

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 8 11:26:09 2015


It doesn't matter WHAT you say in a listing, Ebay and Paypal's policies govern.

Ebay and Paypal aren't going to change the rules for a two bit player like this.

Toy's R Us, though, that's another story. :(

eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms   eBay Gives Some Auction Sellers Special Terms

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 8 13:08:18 2015

@ajeweler

If you purchase something that the funds from that purchase are going to a legally set up charity, in general the money you paid for the item is not tax deductible.  The reason for this is because you got something for your money.  Just like if you went to the local store and purchase a lamp or desk or chair or game etc.  You got a return on your money.

Now the Tax Advisor can be important when you pay OVER market value for an item.  Then there are some other rules that can come into play and a portion of what you paid may be deduction due to this.

It is all normal wording in the areas you showed concern.  Even where the charity doesn't warranty the product.  Not sure how or why you would expect them to.  It would be no different if someone donated car to a charity and they auctioned it off.  The charity is not warrantying the car.  You can't go back to the charity if something goes wrong with it.  

As for your questions about the seller's ability to write things off, that is a separate issue from what the buyer can write off.  The seller can write of the fair market value of the item they donated to or for the charity to be auctioned off.

@pace

No my opinions are not "absurd".  You may not agree with them, but that does not make them "absurd".  Nor did I ever say this was an "accident".  

@Jack

The the value of the item was covered in the opening bid.  What you paid above that was above market value for the item and most likely within the rules for a deduction.  Which is probably why they worded it the way they did.  And this is what I described earlier.

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