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Mon Jan 30 2017 23:13:44

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Just signed up for your member newsletter, as I have been following your free newsletter for years. It is essential for anyone selling online via the major sites, Amazon, eBay, Poshmark, Bonanza, Mercari, etc etc. Keep up the good work on being fully open and honest about all matters regarding these sites and others.

I wanted to send along an issue I have had just recently so others do their best to keep an eye. (not much you can do, but always good to be aware)

Another eBay member purchased my item(s) and relisted them on Mercari, using my pictures and text exactly, just copy and paste. Now, do I have an issue with that, not really, I mean when I found her on Mercari doing this I kind of laughed, and in my mind, wished her well on making a profit for herself. 

But here is the rub, as they say, what she does is return the item(s) if they do not sell for her, and returns on the 25th, 26th day of a 30 day return policy. 

Now, please understand, this is a blatant unauthorized use of eBay's images and text, which they deem intellectual property rights to, once you list. But they could care less of course.

I rarely call eBay, because, quite frankly as everyone reading your newsletter knows, why bother. The customer service folks do not have any idea about anything. Nothing. So I decided to call today, but was sorry I wasted my time again as they had no idea about their policies regarding images, text etc. None. 

So I felt like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, and Lucy always pulls it away. God love Charlie for his trust, but Lucy always pulled it away. eBay always pull the football away on their sellers. 

Now, eventually as all your readers know all too well, the majority of eBay sellers are small businesses, and these policies and practices will not stand the test of time,...which does not leave any promise heading forward.

Sincerely, AM
AKA Charlie Brown




Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jan 31 09:01:15 2017

All you can do is block this buyer. eBay will do nothing for you.

This is why many brick and mortar retailers have tightened up their return policies, as they should.  A few bad apples make it hard on everyone.

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jan 31 12:23:15 2017

@AM (the OP) - From reading your letter I get the impression that you get a huge amount of returns from this person. Now, maybe you make enough money from the stuff she does keep that it doesn't matter, but if you want the buy-and-return cycle to stop, you really only have one option, as Rexford stated, and that's to block her from making future purchases.

Also, as Rexford stated, eBay is not going to stop the use of your images and text, especially on a totally non-related site. Heck, they can't even clean up the blatant theft of images on their own site, so why would they worry about what's going on on Mercari?

Another idea: Send her a letter by certified mail (that looks like you're serious) detailing the theft of your Intellectual Property and state that legal action will be taken against her if she doesn't immediately cease and desist with said theft. You should also state that you know that she returns everything she doesn't sell within 25 days (cite some examples), and that that will no longer be tolerated. Explain that you will be monitoring her Mercari account (which you are apparently already doing) and if she attempts to return future unsold items you will block her from future purchases.

Good luck!  

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jan 31 17:15:23 2017

Ebay would not apply their rule for text and pics being pirated because it didn't happen on Ebay's site.  

I can't tell from the letter if this buyer purchased multiple items in one purchase or has made a few purchases over some period of time.  That makes a difference because if they made the purchases separately over a period of time, I agree with Jack, why would you allow this to happen.  Once is enough to make me block them.  But if they made multiple purchases in one transaction, then that is different.

I do not agree that calling Ebay is a waste of time.  It certainly often takes far longer than it should or we may need to call multiple times to get to someone that knows what they are talking about, but being persistent can pay off.

There is an unpublished rule on Ebay regarding this vary situation if it happens ON the Ebay site.  I have used it before and been able to prevent a couple of buyers from returning stuff to me.  I have never tested it out when the buyer uses a different site.

On Ebay if you have a buyer like this that posts what they bought from you for sale, calling Ebay and getting a claims specialist that knows what they are doing can shut down the buyer from being able to return the item.  

Possibly the OP could call Ebay again, ask for a claims specialist and see if they will do anything to help.

Before calling again, I would use the site to report the buyer for this.  If they are doing it to you chances are they are doing it to other sellers, so get them on Ebay's radar.  Then call and see if you can block the return.

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 05:53:27 2017

Here in the UK we have very strict consumer laws for B to C sales, whereby a consumer can return an item for any reason (or no reason) within 30 days. However these rules do not apply to B to B transactions, whereby another business purchases your items.   There you can make your own policies, so long as you make these available at the point of sale. This would apply when a business purchases your goods for resale, or use in a production, etc. I recently had a ''production buyer'' purchase items, use them for filming, and then seek to return them as unsuitable, therefore using me as a free dress hire agency. I now have very tough returns policies and 50% restocking fees for all B to B transactions unless the buyer can prove that the goods arrived damaged or defective.  

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 06:43:32 2017

All you can do is block this buyer. eBay will do nothing for you.

This is why many brick and mortar retailers have tightened up their return policies, as they should.  A few bad apples make it hard on everyone.
^^
Agree with this.  And I have a confession.  I arbitrage at several local retailers and if my items have not sold in 3 months, I return them for a refund.  I just did it yesterday with UO.  I'm sure UO knows I'm doing it, but it was within a 30 day return.  There's nothing wrong with it.  Besides, some retailers have discounts as high as 70/80%, so I"m sure they know folks like me - a reseller- is going to buy.  It's obvious, esp. when you check out with 10 of the same items!!!

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 06:44:40 2017

On a different Note, Mercari is a bad bad site to sell through.  Look it up on Ripoffcomplaints.com and BBB. After I went to the site and saw it was another Craigs, I went to the complaint section and Mercari had a LOAD of complaints.

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: ySirTinLee This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 08:23:17 2017

You know what might really be funny?  If this buyer you refer to has a 30 day return policy also and you buy back your item and return it before the 30 days are up, but after your 30 original days are up. That would really be funny.  I know, I'm crazy.

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: EssexEstateServices This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Feb 1 09:00:45 2017

What about changing your return policy and add a 20% restocking fee. I doubt the buyer can claim SNAD after 25 days on something they return exactly as you sold it to them. The 20% plus having to pay the shipping both ways would definitely be a deterrent.  

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 09:39:46 2017

I have a 15% return policy which I instituted last year. After 9 months I see no consequences to my bottom line and I have virtually no returns. I have a small group of seller friends on ebay and we actually share bad apple id's. I trust them all - if they email me and tell me to block this buyer I just do it. These are all long term trp sellers. Reasonable business people. I wish there was a bigger venue for this. Perhaps the ability to explain that option and let the seller decide. For me - the consequences of inviting bad feedback outweigh the $'s

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Feb 1 09:51:04 2017

eBay no longer directly enforces picture theft on it's own site based after having changed their enforcement process through Trust and Safety. As such, eBay will certainly decline to intercede on your behalf with a seller using stolen pictures on another site.

eBay has quietly changed their enforcement procedure.....  In the event you discover picture theft on eBay, eBay now mandates that YOU contact the offender first and ask them to remove the stolen photos.

If they fail to do so, you have a new series of hoops to jump through.

Here is a copy of a response I received from eBay last month after I discovered another seller using my watermarked photos:

   "eBay is not able to determine who the original creator of an image or text is.  We do not allow the use of images or text without permission from the owner or creator on our site."

   "The first thing you should do is contact the other member to ask if they will remove your image or text from their listing."

   "If the other member is unwilling to remove the image or text from their listing, you may report it through our VeRO program by filling out the Image and Text Theft Notice of Claimed Infringement."  

  "Go to this link to file the report; http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/image-text.html"

   "If you have intellectual property rights in regard to the image or text, you may use our Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program to report the item. You will need to fill out the Image and Text Theft Notice of Claimed Infringement to report the item."

  "I have attached a copy of the form to this email. You can submit a copy of the signed and completed form to us by fax at (801) 757-9521 or email to vero@ebay.com."

  "We will fully investigate this and take the appropriate action on these items."

Thanks,

eBay




So, as you can see, the old process of contacting eBay, providing them with a listing number that pre-dates the offending sellers listing start date and having eBay take action on your behalf no longer applies.

The beauty of eBay's system change is that by the time you jump through all the hoops eBay has held up, it is likely that the offenders listing will have expired before eBay completes any alleged "investigation" and they will end up taking no action on your behalf.

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: Katie This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Feb 1 10:40:50 2017

Taking professional looking pictures is a lot of work.  We send legal Cease and Desist letters and it has worked every time so far.
We also charge actual shipping and 15% restocking fee and have almost no returns.

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 11:23:37 2017

@Chicago48

I am beyond flabbergasted that anyone could claim that there's nothing wrong with buying items from retail stores and then returning said items when you're unable to sell them yourself.

You're essentially renting the items without actually being in a legal contract to do so. How is that any different from the ebay and amazon buyers who also essentially rent items, repeatedly buying and returning items within the stated return time? The buyers whom everyone complains so bitterly about?

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 14:51:29 2017

I agree with ilovejacksparrow but go a bit further. Copyright theft can be prosecuted. I suggest do two things contact the other site and make a complaint about copyright theft, send the seller a letter advising them to cease and desist using your photo's. And of course block the buyer. You might want to contact an attorney (hopefully through a free 30 minute referral and get advice/letter drawn up. I have no issue with others selling products they buy from me, but 1) don't use my photo's and 2) don't return the item if they don't sell.  

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 17:26:05 2017

@Cillianred... "I am beyond flabbergasted that anyone could claim that there's nothing wrong with buying items from retail stores and then returning said items when you're unable to sell them yourself." - SELLERS from MANY SITES do this to Macy's, etc. - BUY the new HIGH END bags - try & sell - if not, RETURN 30+ days later = "free" inventory... also, DEPRIVES "real Customers" of owning the bag... then, store sells "old" bag at discount... FURTHER depleting profits... no wonder so many B&M are CLOSING...

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Feb 2 02:42:25 2017

@epuise

Still doesn't make it right!

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Thu Feb 2 16:50:59 2017

ySirTinLee I will file aware your diabolical suggestion as I am HOPING that SOME DAY it will prove very useful.

This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller   This Form of Retail Arbitrage Hurts eBay Seller

by: Sheshells This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 01:47:52 2017

Here is how you can protect your images: copywrite each image, youname¬©feb22017,do this in the lower right corner, all images. This is not ebays problem, it is the problem of the site that is hosting your image, do a whois search for the owner, send them a letter that this image belongs to you and it is being used with out your permission, look up the law governing copywright material, you own the copywrite even if you do not register the image, as long as you created it.  Never had a website owner dispute my claim..ebay could tell you all this but....user friendly they are not.



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