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Tue Mar 15 2016 14:57:12

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violation

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I like to watch a few sellers that are competitors when it comes to their completed listings day by day. Not to stalk or try to compete, but to make myself feel better with eBay's daily fluctuating good and bad sale days. It's nice to see when I went from selling 16 items one day to 3 the next that I'm not the only one.

One day after doing this for a year it came across my attention that two of the sellers are the same person. Same location, same word for word wording of policy details, very similar listing details page layout, both use an "*" in their ID's...etc. I was 99% sure it was the same person. 

So with a conscience that felt bad even though I know they are in the wrong violating policy as you CANNOT sell the same items under another seller id - I called and reported them. 

The eBay rep did confirm that it was someone using the same name on both accounts but different spelling. The same IP ADDRESS!, the same town but one a street address - one a P.O. Box, and that indeed this is wrong to do!!! 

They thanked me greatly and said it was a violation that they'd make sure they showed everything I mentioned that ring bells along with their knowledge. I've checked and nothing changed over weeks. No listings removed. Still operating just the same! 

So I called again...this time the rep agreed maybe it just wasn't submitted properly and thanked me for calling as this wasn't right. Along with confirming they are operating the same under FOUR-FIVE SELLER ACCOUNTS..... Still no changes. 

This same seller back a couple months prior had the same listings listed 4, 5 even 6 times various multi option ways. One listing with plus sizes, one with regular sizes, one with both size variations, one with one size option, one color, all color.....well you get the point. Those I reported on eBay without calling because that is obviously also a violation. 

With this violation prior to also being a seller listing the same items under different ID names how can it be possible they are getting away with this??? Does eBay just not care for some reason? Does eBay pick and choose whom which policies apply to??? 
A long time confused and frustrated seller




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 15 15:33:03 2016

You want to see duplicate listings? Check out

bri.bri.inc

He has many duplicates using the same photos, same titles and same prices (some are $82.00, some are $12.15, a few at $10.99 or $9.99). The only difference is the number at the end of the title.  

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Mar 15 16:32:40 2016

To my knowledge, there is no such rule on Ebay.  OP, can you give us a link to the rule that says you can't sell the same thing on multiple accounts?  It may be that you have it confused with the rule that says you can't identify your account A in a listing on your account B's listing or visa versa.

Duplicate listings pertain to the same account.  And while I don't think what you describe is a policy violation, there are a mess of sellers out there that DO violate the rule and get away with it on a daily basis.

What I've noticed is that is is mostly sellers from China or other large mega sellers that violate rules that the average Ebay is not allowed to.  If we did, we would lose our accounts in short order.  But Ebay allows these mega sellers to do pretty much as they please and not just with duplicate listings.

Toys r Us has had a listing up for a very long time as a donation to a charity that benefits some military wives.  This particular listing violates about every rule there is on Ebay regarding a donation listing and on top of all that, Ebay is allowing them to charge the buyer a shipping fee of almost 5 times as much as the donation.  Oh and nothing has to be shipped.  So you have the privilege on this listing to help military wives for $1 and donate $5 to Toys R Us for their troubles.  This listing has been reported a mess of times and Ebay does nothing, absolutely nothing.

The same thing holds true for duplicate listings, fake stuff that is mis-advertised or is keyword spamming.  Just all depends on the size of the seller I guess.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 19:21:24 2016

Its the bottom line folks the bottom line.

Thats the only thing fleecebay is worried about.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Mar 15 20:09:21 2016

@froggy

I don't think anyone was suggesting otherwise.  But just because that is the motivation on Ebay's part, that doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss this issue or any other.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: serioussellers This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 20:46:18 2016

The ''blinders'' conveniently permit many egregious ''cons''.  

Many sellers are selling our one of a kind vintage & antique items using our listing descriptions & often even our photographs.  When the lazy/plagiarist sellers post photos of something they have that is similar to our item (& sometimes it is NOT at all similar), it is obvious to a careful reader (but there are probably very few of those) that the description doesn't match the photos.

But despite the ''red flags' that alert all of us to the plagiarist sellers, our thorough listing descriptions are still successfully selling other sellers' listings (both small & large sellers).

We often wonder what they have sent the buyers since when they have used our photos, the items that they have sold are actually in our possession.

Since the ''global venue'' chooses to not see all that is fraudulent/criminal/unethical, we have started mentioning the ''stolen'' listings in our own listings.  We want the shoppers to be well-informed consumers.  We want them to know that the identical listings of other sellers are ''thefts'' of our descriptions & our photos ... so even if they pay a few dollars less to the other sellers, they will not be sent the items that they see in our photos that have been ''borrowed'' by the crook sellers.

We are sure that just as when the owner of an antique mall (where we had a shop for many years) stole all of our longtime advertising ''copy'' and unique descriptions of our business (while we were still in residence as their most expert and experienced dealers)... the plagiarist eBay listers/sellers will also claim that their ''borrowing'' is a compliment since we ''write so well''.

We have even done a bit of additional investigation on some of the plagiarist eBay sellers (& a few of their like minded colleagues on several of the other venues) since many of their other listings ''stuck out like a sore thumb'' ... & we tracked down some of their other sources.  They have no shame, and they keep selling away on eBay .... even though they are often ''selling'' very unique (& extremely hard to find) items that are actually elsewhere ... in an upscale shop or gallery in London or Paris ... or in the possession of another small American seller.

Within recent years, when the legal departments of eBay & Etsy had to get involved on one case, the con artist sellers got their hands slapped, the crooks threatened everyone for quite a while, the Etsy store that was ''sourcing'' from eBay & elsewhere took a little sabbatical .... but then returned & resumed its old tricks.

One seller on eBay that uses our descriptions to sell many of its listings also continues to sell & get good feedback even though the stolen descriptions do not at all match their photos (when they use their own photos of similar items).  In fact there is often a significant disconnect between the title & the description - but somehow buyers proceed with the purchase.  The title might say you are buying a dog sculpture (they inserted the word ''dog'' in our borrowed title), but the photos & the description (both stolen from us) show & describe our horse sculpture.  Maybe the shyster seller did not even send a dog or a horse -- & instead sent a ''surprise'' sculpture of something else that they had on hand!  Perhaps the non-reading shoppers never even realized that what they were sent was something different from what was described (or what was pictured in the photos ''borrowed'' from us)!  (But, even though the buyers always seem to have left the seller good FB, they might have already received refunds & kept the purchased items after filing INAD claims.)

The ''global venue'' does not care about these outright thefts.  As long as listing fees, store ''rents'' and FVFs are being collected from millions of sellers (whether they are criminals or hard working honest folks), the ''monetization' is a roaring success.

Some astute shoppers (if they are lucky enough to find any of our items on the rare occasions when the cloak of search invisibility is briefly lifted) might think that we are selling items simultaneously under different selling accounts.  But we can assure them that we have only one account, but our listings often appear under the seller names of multiple fraudster plagiarists.

And, yes, if you are wondering, we often do send a polite inquiry to the plagiarists .... asking them to remove our listing descriptions & our photos. The requests are rarely answered; the listings usually are not changed or removed .... & eBay doesn't give a hoot (yes, we have wasted many hours on the phone with CSRs in recent years) !

American enterprise at its finest! The American dream has been hijacked and tortured as the fraudsters at all levels of this operation obliterate the original intentions, goals & accomplishments of what was once a functioning and groundbreaking global venue ....  previously enjoyed & trusted by many.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 23:37:12 2016

Marie, here is the link to the poorly understood Ebay policy on multiple accounts.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/multiple-accounts
.html

The
issue isn't multiple accounts, it's using multiple accounts to avoid selling limits or penalties for bad selling behavior.

If the seller messes up on one or more account, they'll shut down all linked accounts and likely ban the seller.

Ebay usually divides maximum account limits across the total number of accounts to prevent the aggregate total of all accounts from exceeding the listing/sales limits.  

I can't say for certain without seeing the actual situation, but I'd guess that in spite of the OP's moral outrage the seller is likely breaking no rules... yet.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Mar 16 02:46:27 2016

@hope

You read that differently than I do.  I don't see where it says anything about running the same type of listings on multiple accounts.

Now this link simply states you can't refer to or otherwise state your other account or accounts in the listings.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/account/questions/second-a
ccount.html

For
years I used one of my accounts to run similar listings as I did on one of my other accounts.  I ran BINs on one and auctions on the other.  Same stuff, just different selling approaches.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

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

Wed Mar 16 10:46:36 2016

Yes it is a mess but the policy does not prohibit it.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: kilogirl78 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 16 22:51:17 2016

Check out this guy:
http://stores.ebay.com/masonline-store/_i.html?_nkw=alpine+remote&
submit=Search&_sid=1005529469

I've
reported him over and over and over again.  He has 8000+ listings and 6000+ are duplicate listings. But if I so much as think about doing a duplicate listing, I get my listing yanked and an email from ebay.  I don't know who in ebay he's paid off, but I need that person's contact info.  

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: Aahz This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 00:22:01 2016

@Marie & @HopeForTheBest

The relevant policy is at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-multi.html

It includes "These restrictions on duplicate listings include listing an identical item in different categories or listing an identical item using different user IDs."

I've accidentally got caught up in this every few months for the last several years and eBay always removes my duped listings from different selling IDs.  In fact, they did it just this week.

For me it's a good thing since I sell OOAK items and don't want to accidentally double-sell something.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 00:39:50 2016

The Chinese Sellers will each have 10+ I.D.'s, w/ each I.D. listing "vintage item" as single in auction, single in buy now, then lot of two, lot of three, etc., effectively making a search page a long line of the same stock photo. That and letting them bid up their own auctions, and blocking a buyer after they win one 0.99/free ship item, is allowed... While a US seller (can't speak for my EU friends) risks suspension for an accidental duplicate when an item accidentally gets relisted (due to delete unsold NOT deleting), or, a family or friend member on same ISP bidding... two sets of rules, and WE support eBay w/ our FEES and the USPS w/ our ever rising postage. Something is VERY VERY WRONG here.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Thu Mar 17 00:45:55 2016

eBay has been known to remove listings with duplicate titles even if the item and image are different.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 02:33:35 2016

I do remember reading on ebay's own pages that you CANNOT use different seller accounts to advert the SAME product listings;  whether or not ebay would weasel out of this if the seller had a different number in the listing title but every thing ELSE was the same--and same pic and description--I dunno.  

But I do SEE this happening a LOT---go look at certain items ---say;  motorcycle headlights.  You will see a "listing"  for EVERY different brand of bike;  every different model;  every year;  with the exact SAME pics;  exact SAME description;  but with a different "stock"  number in the title.  This "allows"  them to flood the listings to the point of sometimes not being able to get PAST these to see other items  under the same search.  We ride a fairly rare bike;  there are more head light bulbs from ONE seller than there are actual number of these  bikes in the world.  When I want to do a wide search of everything listed FOR this bike I now have to do an ADVANCED SEARCH and eliminate head light bulbs;  brake pads;  some trim items;  and other parts that are just listed by the hundreds--and ALL with the name of this bike in the title--1000 times over.

Something like this:::   Motorcycle Headlight Bulb Kawasaki Suzuki (Fits: Honda Goldwing) 3579  
Motorcycle Headlight Bulb Yamaha Indian (Fits:  Honda Goldwing) 1357

There are endless ways to vary this---all the years of a bikes make;  all the colors of the bike;  different OTHER bikes in the title and then (Fits:XYC Bike) slotted in there!  And the title can be EXACTLY the same over thousands of listings if the "stock number"  is different.  Multiply this out by how ever many brands and models and sub models there ever have been in the world for motorcycles--and you are running thousands and thousands of ads JUST for this ONE rare bike;  and hundreds of thousands for the more popular ones.  And ALL FROM THE SAME SELLER!  They must have written codes for this as no one is sitting there doing this by hand.

When I eliminate these from my searches the total number of listings often drops by half or more.  I cannot eliminate JUST China sellers ---there used to be a way TO do this but now you have no longer got this option.  Now you get the choice of US or--not US sellers.  

Clever of ebay to enable their darlings so we can't NOT see them if we want to see Euro sellers but NOT Chinese for example.    

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 17 02:41:41 2016

@comet

Please provide a link to where you read this in the rules.  I find nothing that says that.  That certainly doesn't mean it isn't there, I'm just saying I can't find it and no one else has provided a link that says that in the rules.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: Maui5150 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 06:54:18 2016



LOL.  Too Funny.  Like you actually think that will do anything.  

Hate to break it to you, but eBay LOVES the seller you are reporting.  The LOVE the fact they are creating an appearance of tons of more items on the site, where most sellers are packing it in

Way back when you used to see IDs more clearly, I used to report BLATANT BID SHILLING.  What makes me think it was shilling?  Only two feedbacks, both from the same seller the ID was bidding on, ALL BIDS over months were ONLY with this seller, and a pattern of winning auctions, followed by relisting AND the bidder bidding and often winning again.  

Nothing happened, except me being warned of being suspended for BIDDER INTERFERENCE.

Another time when I used to give a crap, I reported a competing seller who was FEE AVOIDING.  They would list an item I would start at $250 for $9.99.  No reserve.  When the item would only get to $70 12 hours before the end, they would cancel all bids, end, relist.  I showed eBay a TRAIL and HISTORY of 6 items from this seller will 4+ relists each.  NOTHING HAPPENED.  I was paying a extra $1.00+ Per listing I, I was following the rules, eBay did not give a crap

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 09:12:07 2016

Marie et al,
It IS a violation to list the same item on two accounts.  It is NOT a violation to cross-link to your other accounts as long as they are your accounts.  

I can't cross link to Marie's but I can cross link to every one of my 5 ebay accounts. However, listing the same thing on both active accounts (or all accounts) is a violation.  

HERE is the exact notice I got from ebay when I inadvertently listed the same thing on a 2nd acccount before it ended in the 1st listing.

Hello XXXX,

To make sure eBay buyers have the best possible shopping experience, we want to ensure easy and accurate searching and purchasing. To help make items easier to find, we have a policy that doesn't allow duplicate listings.

We understand that you may not have been aware of this policy or that this may have been an oversight. Unfortunately, we had to take the following action:
- Duplicate listings have been removed.
- Any fees for listings ended early because of this violation will not be credited to your account.


Please take the time to review your listings and remove any other duplicates.

The duplicate listings we identified were listed on the following multiple accounts:



The items we removed are duplicates of the following listings that are currently active on your eBay account:

XXXXXXXXxxxxx


Please follow these guidelines when listing multiple items:
- If you have identical items for sale, please list them in a single, fixed-price, multiple-quantity listing. If you have an active fixed-price listing, we recommend revising it to increase the quantity.
- If you are listing similar items with quality differences, please be sure that these differences are clearly reflected in your title, Item Condition, Images, and other areas of your listing so that buyers can easily find what they are looking for.
- Review any automated listing features to prevent these items from being relisted.
- If you have more than one user ID, please review all of your listings. Duplicates aren't allowed across accounts.

To learn more about our duplicate listings policy, go to:
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-multi.html

P
lease
be sure your future listings follow these guidelines. If they don't, they'll be removed and your fees won't be refunded. It could also result in additional actions, including loss of buying and selling privileges on eBay.

If you have more questions, contact us:
http://ocsnext.ebay.com/ocs/home

Here’s a sample of both the duplicate listings that we removed and the listings we left on the site. To see the full list, go to My eBay, click the "Activity" tab, and then click the "Unsold" link under the "Sell" heading.
XXXXXXXXXX - Pink
XXXXXXXXXX - Pink


We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Thanks,

eBay  

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: Aahz This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 11:17:52 2016

@Marie

For the second time...
The relevant policy is at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-multi.html

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 11:31:35 2016

@Marie---I am not sure where exactly on the site this is listed--sorry!  I do remember reading it tho and if I remember right it was in an announcement not that long ago that refered to this exact scenario.  I remember laughing because i see so MANY of these.  But again--I think the way these sellers get around it is to have one tiny thing--like the "stock number"  ---be different.  The itme will be the exact same but that one  little number--and it might  not even be noticed if it is buried deep in the TOS or something --but it makes it just the wee-ist little but different so that eBay can claim they are NOT the same.

And this is directly in violation in spirit if not in fact.  

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 17 13:33:41 2016

@beth

Thank you for the clarification.  The information you offered is very useful.

@comet

Beth's post has all the info.

eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati   eBay Turns Blind Eye to Duplicate-Listings Violati

by: Aahz This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 13:57:46 2016

Are my posts invisible or am I just not one of the "cool kids"?

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