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Thu Nov 10 2016 20:20:26

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

By: Reader

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Dear Ina, 
When I make an offer on eBay and it is accepted, after purchase I look at completed listings and invariably eBay lists the item as having been sold for the asking price, not the actual accepted offer. 

This of course is fraud. It inflates the true value of the item. This has been going on for months. 

Sometimes eBay even lists the asking price rather than the price I paid in "My eBay" under purchase history. 

Another issue is if I watch an item that has free shipping, in My eBay the ship price says "calculated." This helps eBay pull the shipping scam and slip a shipping charge in when one goes to pay. This is a more recent fraud. 

I think we need a private contractor hired by a government agency to keep on top of these fraudulent practices, especially the counterfeiting issue on eBay and Amazon. The internet companies should be forced to ban counterfeit sellers who are shown to be repeat offenders, and demonstrate efficacy or face fines. 

On Amazon, buyer reviews on a whole range of items show that some of the reviewers received counterfeit items but did not realize it. This is a different phenomenon from buyers who buy counterfeit items at a lower price, with awareness it is a fake. The internet fakes steal from both the buyer and the brand's owner.
Sincerely,
ImBloated




Comments (12) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 00:21:47 2016

I have not seen that in the sold section. The amount the buyer paid me seems to match up.
I have not made any offers to anyone lately, but will watch out for it.
They do sometimes allow a buyer to pay the wrong shipping fee, so it would be different there, but that is a whole different thing!

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 02:17:17 2016

As  far as I  know  I  have NEVER  been charged  shipping  on a FREE SHIPPING item and certainly  would have howled  if  I  saw  anything  like this.  

My  "Best Offer"  sold  items  display-to  me--the amount  agreed  on and paid.  As far as I  have  ever  seen  the Best  Offer  items  on  another sellers page  show as BEST OFFER WAS ACCEPTEd  with no  indication  of  how much  the buyer paid;  in  fact  if  I  remember  right  this was a BIG  deal  when  for  some reason ebay CHOSE  to  display  the BO  price agreed on and both  sellers AND  buyers  were  offended--sellers because  it's  none  of any ones  business WHAT price we  accept  for an item-there can be many  different  reasons  to accept  one price for  something that  should not affect  another sellers  pricing of the same  item.  I  might want  to  clear  something out  and accept  a lower price--the seller with the same  widget  might  not want to sell for my  close  out price. This also  led  to  buyers  trying to force ever  lower price--"Well Seller A  accepted a  Best Offer  of  $25  for  that item  YOU  have  listed  for  $35  so  now  all  I  will offer  is--$20"   Buyers  did not  like  seeing  people block  them  after they  consistently  made  low-ball offers--not  that  you  should  love these  people  but  it was easy  to  tell  who  they were and to not want to deal  with them.  

And let's  not forget  that  nowadays  there is a big  group  of scammers  ever  ready  to scream  FAKE  on  anything  they  think  they can  get ebay to GIFT  them-as  soon as  they start  whining  this is  the FIRST  thing  they whine  ABOUT.  It  has  driven  a LOT  of  legit  sellers  OFF  ebay  because  they were  being  forced to re-pay  these  grifters  and were  going broke  doing it--and  a lot of the time  never getting  the disputed  item back.  

I  don't  know WHERE  these  sellers  and  items (mostly  legit  designer  items  and  jewelry)  have gone  TO--I  suspect  they  did not just give up  selling  these---  maybe   some one here  can  fill us  in!  

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 10:07:55 2016

eBay wants to encourage higher prices so there are higher fees... so people keep listing on eBay... they do not want sellers to see desperate vendors are taking $10.00 on a $100.00 item just to pay their fees.

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 10:53:59 2016

I've never been actually charged for shipping on a free shipping purchase, BUT, there IS an instance in the past year where there is the *appearance* that I paid shipping.

I purchased an item that was quite heavy. Shipping was free. Yet, right now, when I look at the item in my purchase history, it's showing a shipping charge of over $30. The amount mysteriously showed up well after the sale and I've verified that I did NOT actually pay that.

Again, I did NOT actually pay for shipping in that instance. There's only the appearance in my ebay account (not paypal) of shipping being charged on that item.

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Nov 11 13:33:08 2016

@cillianred

That probably means that sometime after your purchase the seller decided to charge for shipping separately and updated the listing.  Not sure if that is what happened, but you may want to look at their current listing on the item to see if this is what happened.

@imbloated

I haven't seen what you describe either.  At least not on the listings I've viewed.  I'm not saying that what you are reporting is incorrect, I'm just saying I have not seen it.

With that said, I don't see "fraud" in what you have observed.  

@epuise

Of course they do, Ebay is a for profit company.  So absolutely they would encourage higher prices when they can.  But if something doesn't sell because of pricing or some other reason that does nothing to help Ebay.  Zero!

The Ebay shipping calculator has had problems throughout its history.  But when it makes a mistake, it is NOT always charging too much to the buyer, there have been plenty of times that it has calculated the shipping cost too low.  Which results in the buyer not paying enough for shipping.  So Ebay screwed themselves out of a little FVF income.  It goes both ways with that darn calculator.  This site and the Ebay threads have been full of comments about it over the years.  

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: Ilka This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 20:19:37 2016

I always see the original price slashed and "Best offer accepted" underneath it. I've never seen what you're describing.

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Nov 12 12:15:20 2016

They haven't shown the accepted offer for years, making it that much harder to price anything based on past sales.

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 13 00:12:05 2016

The letter is not very factual. The only thing they got right is when searching for sold items, the price paid is not shown, only the listed price and a message that a lower price was accepted. I don't like that either. Most sellers use the sold list as a price guide and this omission does not help.
The thing most amusing in the responses from different sources is the statement that eBay wants to get the highest prices they can for items.

You would think so, but the reality is they encourage buyers and sellers to make and accept offers, do auctions with a low starting price, etc. This generates short term cash but hurts long term profits for everybody. While it may attract buyers, it's generally not the money crowd that flocks to Amazon. I assume it's the short term nature of most corporate attitude. There's always the execs with stock options getting vested and they need the current quarter results to be as high as possible so they can cash out now. Lather, rinse, repeat.  

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 13 00:48:29 2016

Too bad I can't post pics here. I will post on facebook to show I paid $10 plus shipping and the completed item shows ''sold for $28.00. Ina's blog blocks links but you can find the pics under the name Barbara CB (in Salem Oregon).

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: kvl1 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 13 07:59:17 2016

I think I can provide clarity on this one.  When a buyer is willing to accept a ''Best Offer,'' for an item, the listing will show a ''Make Offer'' option.  When that offer is accepted, it shows up in the sold section with a slash through the original price and the message that a Best Offer was accepted.  

However, if a buyer sends an e-mail through the eBay system to the seller and asks for a better price, the seller can send an offer directly to that particular buyer.  When this method is used, the sold section shows the original price in the listing.

As a seller, I like this feature.  I do not inflate my prices, so there is not a lot of wiggle room for me.  But occasionally, I do decide to offer a lower price for a variety of reasons, as comet described in an earlier post. I agree that it is nobody's business if I decide to lower the price on an item for a buyer.

I also agree with Marie that this is not fraud.  When you post reasonable prices and people still offer you less than half, it can be very frustrating. If I decide to accept less occasionally, I am happy it is not broadcast to everyone.

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 13 09:46:46 2016

One can only wonder, since eBay has never clarified, what 'sold price' is calculated in their GMV claims.

eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers   eBay Inflates Selling Prices of Best Offers

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Mon Nov 14 00:56:08 2016

Snapped:

I have been thinking that since they quit showing the actual sale price and I just assume that the GMV IS inflated.



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