EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Tue Nov 28 2017 21:59:26

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
I have a couple of things I've been wondering about for a while.

I've seen a bunch of legitimate complaints within this forum regarding eBay's ever changing seller "rules". I have experienced many of eBay's seller-slams myself. Has there ever been an active legal complaint against eBay from sellers or stores? 

I know it's a huge machine with an intimidating legal department, but some of the screwing must be illegal in some way (i.e. not covered in the terms of service agreement). Just curious what has been attempted before. (or an expose from a large and visible news organization?)

Another query involves the incessant and repetitive responses from the same few users in the comments sections of your articles. I'm not sure how you feel about this as the host, but as a reader if I were to have a legitimate question or a helpful response of my own for the comments,  I hesitate to weigh in because some of the yik yak is predictably insulting in addition to adding nothing legit or new to the topic. It just is what it is? Bummer nonetheless.

Thanks for all you do; I've learned so much in your forum and so appreciate the comprehensive knowledge within the blog and its groups.  
Have a great week,
LMO




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Nov 28 22:56:21 2017

When you use eBay you agree to arbitration instead of filing a lawsuit.

It's on this page under: Legal Disputes

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/user-agreement.htm
l

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 28 23:06:44 2017

"Another query involves the incessant and repetitive responses from the same few users in the comments sections of your articles"

Maybe you mean me (as one of the people whos comments you dont like, maybe you dont, no idea since you chickened out and didnt include names) but until and as long as Ina provides this forum and I have the time and am willing to post - I will.

As for me seeing the "same people" post over and over - I like %99 of them - even when we dont agree on topics. Those whom I do care for (to read) - some I feel - dont post enough.

Beyond that - you mentioned suing eBay. Bad idea.

1 - Most eBay hire ups are lawyers - and so job 1 for them has never been to encourage sales (god forbid), its been to make eBay "bullet proof" from litigation.

2 - There was a reason that eBay decided one day last year to make sure that there couldnt be any class action suits against them - since thats the BEST way to get any traction against them. As a single individual, you have a snowballs chance in hell of being able to take them to court and then actually WIN anything

3A) - The TOS/UA that we all "agree on" when we sign in to eBay each and every time is sadly mostly legal. Its a simple CONTRACT between 2 parties - one providing "software" (eBay) and one using it (sellers and buyers). These types of SHRINKWRAP agreements have mostly been held up in court - so actually going to court wont help as the judge will simply say "you agreed to the terms when you logged on".

3B) That is why eBay "makes no promises" when you "do something". They make no promises on when a listing will actually be shown, the dont REALLY promise to follow any rules - written or not at the time of logging in - its all covered under the section that says that they can make ANY changes needed to protect, grow and operate "the platform" on an AS NEEDED BASIS DETERMINED ONLY BY EBAY. Says so in the TOS.

4) - eBay did make 1 significant change to the TOS - it was the one that they told the SEC about - when they changed from a VENUE to a MANAGED MARKETPLACE. That change made eBay into a different kind of "entity". It let them make changes (with your tacit agreement by using eBays platform) AT WILL.

5) - the ONLY way you could win is if you could convince a court that the changes they made ONLY benefit themselves - ie the agreement is UNFAIR. THAT sir/madam is along shot - since eBay will trot out any random buyer and explain how "change #1" benefited said buyer and NOT eBay (directly) and thus falls under the rights given to them by the TOS.

6) - they would spend you into oblivion.

7) - even if you did take them to court AND got to a trial (beyond all the change of venue stuff and the weeks/months/years of endless stalling) they would in the end settle out of court with you and you would have to sign an agreement not to divulge any of the terms.

Its a nice fantasy, but its not real.

Better off investing in selling in/on other platforms then wasting time trying to sue a monster that would just love to drain every penny in your bank - just for SPORT.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Castoman

Wed Nov 29 00:10:13 2017

What pace306 said.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Nov 29 02:44:50 2017

LMO
Yes it can be very difficult to weigh through the comments that roughly remain the same no matter the subject matter when it has to do with Ebay.  And it is disheartening that when you disagree with one of their points of view, some will insult you.

Others have posted similar feelings from time to time.  But most, like you don't post because they don't want to go through the unpleasant experience.  I do however encourage you to participate whenever you feel like it on whatever the subject might be.  If someone insults you for your opinions, respond to them or ignore them, whichever you choose to do.  But PLEASE do participate.

Suing Ebay would not be a very easy thing to do and it would or could be very expensive.  The average seller just isn't in the position to do that.  Plus it is hard to quantify what your losses really are for any of the changes.  Clear proof that could stand up in court, not opinions and guesses.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Nov 29 03:31:28 2017

Pace nailed it when it comes to the question of whether eBay has been successfully sued by a seller. And, yes, if anyone has won a suit, it likely would come with a gag order attached.

Those of us who have been selling on eBay before PayPal, Buy It Now, and eBay Stores have seen a lot of changes. Remember when PayPal was free? And they even gave you money to sign up and refer others!!

Then eBay got its hands on it. And charged fees to use PP as a processor. Also, soon after, they began raising their final value fees.

At this point (early 2000's), it was OK- eBay had the traffic, and us as sellers could set our own terms of sale. Or refuse returns on our merchandise if we so chose. And most users were on their best behavior, since there were consequences if they attempted to defraud another. A negative feedback can be left for all to see, and the site mostly policed itself.

It was a time when we felt in control of our businesses. And were proud of them. After all, eBay was ''Just A Venue''. Everyone made money. Even the first CEO exclaimed that a monkey could run the company.

Fast forward to 2008. All of a sudden, small sellers were not treated as customers or partners, and were deemed to be disposable. Many rules were enacted which tilted the scales in the buyer's favor. First, the right to leave negative feedback to a problem buyer was removed.

This began the tightening of the screws which still continues. With every Seller Update, more and more power is given to buyers. and taken away from sellers. It has felt for a while now that we are not really running our own businesses, but working for eBay. And giving them money to do so!!

If the comments seem to always be negative, well, most just state the facts. And if they do not present eBay in a positive light, it is what it is......

I think the OP is not referring to cranky sellers who post the same complaints about eBay on ECB as much as those who personally attack each other. Or may appear to be bullies (like commonly on the Amazon Seller Forums). He or she should post freely with their opinions and contribute to the conversation.

.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Nov 29 09:51:11 2017

@eXtinctBay

I've been on eBay since Jan 15 1998

Paypal has NEVER been free!

But yes they did offer $10 for anyone you could refer as a sign up.

If you're thinking of a payment system without fees (for the seller) it was Bidpay, they charged the buyer not the seller the fees on the sale.

Confinity merged with X.com in 2000 and renamed Paypal in 2001, eBay bought Paypal in 2002.

I was at eBay Live #1 in 201 and I was hanging out with the Paypal folks at their booth for most of the day. I was handing out Paypal T shirts and eBay was offering people 2 spins of the eBay wheel if they handed over the shirt to eBay.

At that very moment I knew eBay was going to buy them out. My friends at Paypal thought I was crazy. . .

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 29 10:11:51 2017

Peoples views/opinions/comments here and on eBays own boards will improve when the company does - its that simple.

Its not that anyone here who posts negative opinions DOESNT want to hear anyone elses point of views - its the incessant cheerleading (and Im not singling out any specific poster here with this comment)  regardless of what eBay does.

Theres an old story that comes to mind - its about the farmer and the animal beauty contest - where everyone cleans and grooms their animals for judging, but the stupid farmer just puts lipstick and earings on a hog and expects to win.

That what usually passes as "poistive comments" is the wholesale spin on eBays negative behavior towards its sellers.

eBay hides your listing? NO PROBLEM
eBay steals from you via fake SNADS? NO PROBLEM
eBay reduces the TRS amounts? NO PROBLEM

for some (and again NO ONE SPECIFIC IN MIND) nothing eBay does is ever bad - especially when it doesnt specifically hurt them.

First they came for the complainers about TRS reduction, but since I dont do that carrot it didnt effect me and I didnt complain.

Then eBay came and hid all my listings since I wouldnt do 60 day returns. But since I never did that anyway and it didnt effect me - I wasnt up n arms about it.

Then eBay came and did XXX - which does effect me. But since eBay ran off alot of sellers with thier other policies, there was no one around to help me/listen to me/care about me/advise me.

Thats what happens here :(

I agree - we can ALWAYS use "new blood" here. Ina dn David run a great site with lots of info and news - all contributions welcome (replies/participation).

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Nov 29 10:29:21 2017

@toolguy - You shouldn't be eating your brownies so early in the morning. PayPal was free when I started selling on eBay as long as these conditions applied:

1. If a buyer paid directly from their bank account (i.e., no credit card involved), the seller paid zero to receive the money.

2. A seller could receive $100 paid by credit cards for free during each 30-day period. So, if I received, for example, $150 paid by credit card, I only paid fees on $50. If I recall correctly, my thirty days ran from the 12th of one month to the 12th of the next.  

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Nov 29 10:38:34 2017

Yes, you are right it was free for the 1st $100 for casual sellers.

If you registered as a business you paid on all transactions.

I've had a business account since day 1 so I've paid fees on all my transactions. I sold at least $100 per day so the free model didn't work for me.

Here's a link to what was going on back then. . .It's dated 9-1-2001

https://www.wired.com/2001/09/paypal/

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 29 14:06:45 2017

Once you've been reading these boards for a while, the same names pop up inevitably.  There are certain people (and I'll chicken out as well and not name anyone as I don't know them beyond their persona on this site) who, if eBay gave them a million dollars, would complain about having to pay the taxes on it and it's terrible- in other words, eBay can do nothing right.  I tend to skim their comments as inevitably, it will be eBay-negative without actually offering me anything I can use.  Others will debate the issue and offer solutions and those people I am thankful for.  My two cents.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Nov 29 16:27:05 2017

I am very thankful eBay exists, without them I would've been hitting a time clock from 6-2:30

eBay's not perfect by any means but for me it's the best game in town.

For 17 years I have been able to climb out of bed when I want to not when the alarm goes off at 5 am!

It's not easy but it's well worth the hoop jumping I have to do.

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle a real day job if I get it. . .

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Nov 30 00:31:49 2017

Excellent comment, @pace306.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 30 01:40:55 2017

actually paypal's slogan when they first started was "always free".  i knew that wouldn't last, lol

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 30 02:26:41 2017

I understand the OP's comments and feel somewhat the same. As far as eBay I fit somewhere in between disgruntled and trying to see if I can still make some money on the site. I have been selling full-time on eBay for over 10 years and Amazon now for 5+ years and I have been doing less and less business on eBay and more and more on Amazon. I will be ending my premium store yearly subscriptions this May after years and will be closing 3 of my 4 accounts . I am unsure if I will stop selling entirely on eBay or just pair it down.

Suing is not a good alternative for reasons already posted. eBay is just a tool use it if you can or dump it, there are to many selling sites to use which dilutes the traffic on all. Creating your own products and selling on Amazon is the direction I am going into as well as trying to promote my own site.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 30 08:43:42 2017

I agree with Pace on that post - you won't win.

Generally, I don't know if anyone disagrees with my comments as I rarely go back and read any other comments after I am done. I have noticed some of what you are saying about others; but, everyone's selling experience is different. There are some on both sides of the fence that are pretty one-sided as far as ebay is concerned, but that really does not bother me. There are others who have knowledge to add with varying degrees of ability to get their points across...some are really polite and informative and some do so in a different way which can lead to some misunderstandings between people.

I hope you will not be afraid add your comments when you have the time. I am sure a lot of readers who don't post would appreciate hearing a new viewpoint!

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: semper fi This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 30 08:52:34 2017

As ebay states ''this is their baby and they will diaper it anyway they want to''.
Best to spend your time saying ''yesa masta'' or get off the site. It would be a fight you could never win. Sorry

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 30 09:27:33 2017

To the OP - I really don't think the kind of poster bashing that happens on the ebay boards happens here. While we might not all agree - I think there is a much kinder attitude here despite whatever is holding you back. Is it the same people posting? well yes I guess and the ebay bashing? well if ebay wasn't screwing up so bad perhaps we'd have a few more cheerleaders - when you put your heart and soul into building something good it's hard to swallow as you watch the ship go down.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

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

Thu Nov 30 11:49:46 2017

There are a lot of eBay bashers on here that still probably make some money on eBay, regardless of what they say.

I served in the Navy for 4 years. At times, the days were extremely long, the work schedule was grueling, and you learned to get by on 4-6 hours of sleep a day that wasn't necessarily all at the same time.

After the service, I floundered for a bit as a financial adviser, then dove into e-commerce and started an eBay consignment business out of my garage. Six plus years later and I'm still here, getting ready to celebrate my best year of sales yet (almost $300K).

eBay is annoying, but not hard. Yes, there are often new hoops that come and go, but you don't have to jump through all of them. You can still sell mostly what you want, set a lot of your own terms, work when you want (and leave your store in vacation mode when you travel). The platform gives people an incredible amount of flexibility, but there's some give and take involved with using it.

Anyhow, if you're stuck in a rut, I'm always happy to offer some advice to help your sales.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 30 12:37:59 2017

> To the OP - I really don't think the kind of poster bashing
> that happens on the ebay boards happens here.

At the risk of putting words in the OP's [keyboard], I think he was referring to the eBay-bashing rather than poster bashing.

I have to agree that most any thread about eBay's latest injustice will have an inevitable percentage of really repetitive comments about how eBay is circling the drain, how things won't improve until (name of current eBay CEO here) is (fired/indicted/arrested/taken-out-and-shot), and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

But if you're going to play in eBay's sandbox, you're going to have to play by their autocratic/abusive/ludicrous rules, and if you're posting here, you're going to be reading whatever Ina & Company allow to be posted here. As for a fabled Class Action Suit that will swoop in and Make Everything All Right Again, that's not going to happen anytime within the next few years, if ever. You play the hand you're dealt.

Yes, I sometimes wonder how some folks can be posting the same complaints about eBay in virtually every thread here going on years now, without apparently noticing that doing so has achieved absolutely nothing and will continue to do so in the future, but it's their time to waste as they see fit.

While it might be nice to have an Ignore button, as the eBay groups did for a while, I don't see any harm in letting them pop off, and just scroll past those posts in the hopes of finding something original further down.

eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers   eBay Lawsuits and Cranky Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 30 13:13:16 2017

My opinion is that the OP was pretty clear.  "I'm not sure how you feel about this as the host, but as a reader if I were to have a legitimate question or a helpful response of my own for the comments,  I hesitate to weigh in because some of the yik yak is predictably insulting in addition to adding nothing legit or new to the topic."  To me the OP is saying they hesitate to post because of the "predictably insulting" postings you get from some of the regulars to this site.

The OP should not be made to feel that way, but what the OP says is very true.  While many of the postings on this blog tend not to agree with the OPs observation on this point, that doesn't make the OP wrong.  It only means some don't recognize the observations of the OP.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.