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Fri Dec 23 2016 21:47:09

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counterfeit DVDs

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
After many months attempting to stop the sale of counterfeit DVDs on eBay, I finally realized that eBay profits from piracy and will do everything possible to protect its own pocketbook. For this reason eBay relegates buyer complaints about counterfeit DVDs to the trash bin. 

During a period of about 9 months I purchased over 20 new DVD Box Sets on eBay. These accounted for almost all my eBay purchases during that period. Although the boxes, artwork, package printing, graphics, disk labels and disks all looked genuine, I determined that all but 1 of these DVD Box Sets were counterfeit because:
 
(1) the studio information printed on the packaging had the Region 1 logo, but the disks were actually Region Free; 

(2) the studio information printed on the box sets stated that the DVD disks were dual layer, but in reality the disks were single layer; and 

(3) the DVD disks were not copy protected (genuine studio authorized DVDs are copy protected). 
 
At this point I understand that the best selling new DVD Box Set listings on eBay (which generally appear very high in eBay's Cassini Best Match search results) are pirated and are generally priced anywhere from 20% to 80% below the Amazon Prime price for the same DVD Box Set - the Amazon Prime price is generally the lowest or one of the lowest prices anywhere for authentic DVDs.

I contacted eBay Customer Support telephonically to report that I had received fake DVDs from eBay sellers. The eBay CSR in the Philippines advised me that eBay wouldn't accept a telephonic complaint about counterfeit items, and that I must use the "Report Item" feature in the applicable listing to report counterfeit DVDs to eBay. She also advised me that I could return the items for SNAD refunds.

I couldn't return virtually each and every item I purchase on eBay as counterfeit/snad without being labeled an "abusive buyer" and suspended by eBay (eBay suspended The Counterfeit Report as an "abusive buyer" for the same reason). 

So I tried returning them at MY expense for reasons such as "wrong size or does not fit," (while informally notifying the seller of the true reason for the return). I stopped this practice quickly when I discovered that eBay charged me well over $7.00 for a return shipping label (on a $15 DVD Box Set) - despite the fact that the seller paid postage of less than $3.00 to ship me the item. 

I used the Report Item link in each of the listings but the report form only allowed me to enter a limited number of characters (no more than 10 or 11 words) to describe the problem - so all I could report was that I had purchased from this listing and received counterfeit DVDs. It was impossible to report details.

Although the eBay Help section states that members reporting an item will receive an e-mail confirmation of the report from eBay, I did not receive a single confirming e-mail when reporting counterfeit DVDs to eBay. 

Out of curiosity I reported a problem involving a non-copyright issue - and I DID receive an immediate confirming e-mail from eBay - and in submitting THAT report, eBay didn't limit the length of my description.

Five months after I started regularly reporting counterfeit DVD Box Set listings to eBay, I contacted eBay customer support telephonically to inquire why no listings had been removed or other action taken in response to my reports, and to ask why these sellers were still selling counterfeit DVDs on eBay 5 months after being reported. 

The eBay CSR in the Philippines initially advised me that eBay had no way of determining whether reports of counterfeit DVDs were true so eBay could take no action when counterfeits were reported. (Why did eBay create a mechanism to report them?) 

I explained to the CSR that eBay's Report Item feature allowed space for only a few words to report copyright violations, so it was impossible to report the factual basis establishing that the DVDs were counterfeit. She then told me that eBay investigated every report, but that "Trust and Safety" was very busy and eBay required more time, and that I shouldn't expect eBay to act on reports of counterfeit DVDs within such a short period (of only 5 months!). 

She assured me that eBay would eventually investigate the reports I submitted, and that offending listings would be removed. I asked her what length of time was usually required before eBay would investigate a report of counterfeit DVDs and she stated she didn't know. I continued reporting counterfeit DVDs after this conversation using the Report Item feature.

I have been reporting the fake DVD Box Sets to eBay, one at a time, over a period of many months. Offending listings haven't been removed from my purchased items list, not one eBay bootlegger has been disciplined or suspended, and these sellers continue selling many thousands of counterfeit DVD Box Sets on eBay (in the aggregate). I've stopped buying DVDs on eBay.

The bottom line is that users reporting counterfeit items using the Report Item feature should expect their reports to end up in the trash. eBay's customer service will NOT accept reports of counterfeit items telephonically. 

eBay is fully aware that the overwhelming majority of the DVD Box Sets sold on its site are fake and deliberately turns a blind eye to the situation because it earns healthy listing and final value fees from the sale of such contraband. 

The SOLE reason eBay will remove a counterfeit DVD listing is receipt of a VERO take down affidavit from the rights holder - because in that specific situation take downs are required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Otherwise, eBay takes NO ACTION in response to member reports of counterfeit DVDs. 

I suspect this problem isn't limited to counterfeit DVDs, and that it actually extends to ALL the stolen intellectual property being sold on eBay.
Very truly yours,
Concerned eBay Buyer




Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Dec 23 22:58:57 2016

@Concerned eBay Buyer - Don't forget that Wenig encourages the Chinese to manufacture "new vintage" (aka, fake) items for sale on eBay. And as you correctly observe in your opening sentence, eBay only cares about the money they can collect on sales; the last thing they worry about is if a seller is offering counterfeit items.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 24 08:33:21 2016

One more time.

Ebay gives lip service to counterfiets. They have neither the intelligence nor the programers to fix counterfiets or double listings.

Its not to their advantage to fix anything that affects the bottom line.

One can report this stuff everyday forever and you will have accomplished nothing expect wasting you time.

So again EBAY DOESN'T CARE

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 24 08:49:43 2016

The SOLE reason eBay CAN remove a counterfeit DVD listing is receipt of a VERO take down affidavit from the rights holder

FTFY Yep, that's the US law governing counterfeits. To expect ebay to do anything else is to expect them break the law on your say-so.

If you 'know' ebay needs the rights owner to issue a take down, why aren't you reporting the fakes to the rights owners?

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 24 13:10:43 2016

There was a time I sold DVD's. I stopped selling DVD's because price wise I could not compete with the counterfeits.

not only does eBay not care, the distributors and studios do not care.

I did call the distribtors and studios and they blew me off like I was bothering them.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Dec 24 14:49:48 2016

@unknown

Ebay can and does remove listings without Vero's involvement all the time.  In our UA with Ebay it states they can close / remove listings violating Ebay policy.  Counterfeits violate Ebay policy.

But while Ebay can remove these listings, they all to often do not.  It is a big problem.  Ebay says they want us to report listings in violation of policy, but I've rarely seen them do anything about it.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 24 23:47:30 2016

eBay pays lip service to any kind of reporting - bad buyer, counterfeits and does nothing.

Doing something requires hiring US based people, making test buys and industry cooperation. Those are things that eBay does not want to spend money on (it goes to people's $23 million dollar golden parachutes instead).

eBay only removes items (in general) when confronted with a VERO takedown request. Otherwise there's "no purpose" in doing so.

I'm in the electronics category and there are PLENTY of fakes which eBay does nothing about. I stopped reporting items yrs ago.

As far as the takedowns go that do get done, a large portion of them are from manufacturers who don't want their items on eBay - the items themselves are genuine!

eBay screws up everything- this is just another example of that mantra.  

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 25 09:05:56 2016

Yes, these fakes have ruined about all categories. Have been reporting illegal China fakes for six years.
Ebay does not care because they make money off of them.
The US post office makes deals with them for cheap shipping and tracking at lower rates than US sellers pay.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Dec 26 10:20:39 2016



Fact is that the OP purchased the DVDs from Asian sellers. These items (at least the true examples) are made in North America. And many counterfeits appear to be of high quality.

The thing here is the OP trusted that eBay was a reliable site to buy genuine product. Amazon went to their preapproval process on DVDs with a $25+ suggested retail to help combat these fakes.

The lesson here is not to buy from Asian sellers. And, as mentioned by the OP, American buyers do not have the luxury of returning items to Asia at the same e-packet shipping rates.

The old saying ''If it looks too good to be true, it probably is'' applies here. New movie releases or box sets are not generally available at deep discounts if they are indeed authentic.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 26 13:44:34 2016

I have seen reports o several news channels of a crackdown of counterfeit being sold online recently. Ebay and Amazon were mentioned. These sites are courting Chinese sellers like horny teenagers.
Ebay is the worst , they do nothing and never will unless forced by the government.
I bought a tactical flashlight on Ebay it turns out it was a counterfeit, I had no idea. It was too late to return when I found out. I spoke to ebay, they took the information and to this day that seller is still selling the item this was six months ago.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: Golddustwoman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 00:21:17 2016

I'm a small seller on eBay and they removed one of my listings because of a copyrighted photo I used.  However, the large Chinese sellers continue to sell knockoffs of handbags and jewelry and eBay doesn't flinch. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 01:03:31 2016

Report the counterfeiter to the Vero rep.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 02:37:26 2016

do not report the DVDs to Ebay. Notify the film studios. They took Amazon to court over the selling of fake DVDs. They will Ebay also. It does no good to report to a venue. Instead, report it to the people who care and who are losing money on the deal.  

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 08:41:44 2016

.... a few copyright laws arent "going to ruin THIS BUSINESS of ours"...

the kickup(s) to JD (head of the family WILL continue unabated).

earners will continue to earn and the kick up to the people in Utah and San Jose will continue as normal.

buyers who get in the way will be ignored/silenced.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: counterfeitebay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 09:14:00 2016

we have been trying to get rid of counterfeit goods removed from ebay as well. the 2 top listings that come up on ebay for samsung fast chargers are counterefeit.  

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Dec 27 09:28:25 2016

I won't lift a finger to help the MPAA.  Few organizations have a sicker entitlement mentality than eBay and the MPAA is one of them.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Tue Dec 27 09:50:55 2016

Send the information to the studio owner of the material instead of eBay.  Include all information... such as what tipped you off that it was a counterfeit, what platform you purchased it on (eBay), and the seller's account name.  Send as much information as possible.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: Twiganne This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 09:59:54 2016

This is exactly what Trump is saying about all these foreign companies counterfeiting US copyrighted. Intellectual,or patented products!  The other countries are taking our ideas right from under us then making cheap knockoffs to sell to unsuspecting buyers.  Hope there is someway to put an end to it and that he does what he promised to do.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 15:00:11 2016

Report counterfeit DVD's to the Movie companies and the FBI. They are very aggressive about going after people who distribute them.

Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter   Buyer Says eBay Unresponsive to Reports of Counter

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

Sun Jan 1 13:47:12 2017

Its quit obvious that ebay is in partnership and 'cahoots' with these criminal counterfeiters... Don't these fool realize that this WILL eventually be the deathnail of their existance.. No doubt all the big brands and companies are in concert to lower the BOOM on these imbeciles..

And doesn't ebay realize that they are literally DESTROY market categories and segments one by one, with the Chinese and their 'march the price to the bottom' approach.. And I wouldn't doubt that the feds raid them too, as what is being done is a conspiracy and the building of a virtual monopoly to give the Chinese ALL the business, and probably to avoid paying US taxes.......



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