What’s wrong with eBay?


I recently had what I would call a bad experience with eBay which made me think about this. My partner bought an item from an eBay seller, and the item turned out to be a huge disappointment. We even suspected it wasn’t genuine for several reasons. The item was a mineral makeup, but it didn’t behave the way you would expect and the shade of colour is not to be found on the producers website. It was advertised on eBay with a picture of the product in its box, but it didn’t come in a box. The seller had a whole bunch of explanations for this. All in all, the product looked very shoddy when it arrived with dust and fluff covering the accompanying applicator brush. Naturally my partner gave a negative feedback stating her thoughts.

This started off an array of messages from the seller, where she among other things threatened to sue for libel as well as have us barred from eBay unless we withdrew our negative feedback.

After a number of emails back and forth, hers quite abusive and ours based on facts (I have learned over the years that it’s best staying to facts and not give in and play the opponents game), the whole thing went to eBay.

Taking the side of sellers

Shortly after we recieved a message from eBay that suggested that if we return the item we would get a full refund and in return the negative feedback be removed. We did not agree to this as returning the item in a registered letter would cost almost as much as the refund would be. We stand by the negative feedback, and we told eBay this as well as gave them the background.

However, two days later we get an extremely smug message from the seller stating that eBay has removed our negative feedback, and lo and behold it was gone. This is quite outrageous as it’s stated on eBay’s website that a removal of negative feedback must be mutual, i.e. I have to give my consent to have it removed. I never did, so what happened? Why does eBay remove a negative feedback without the consent of the person who gave it, i.e. the buyer?

Money rules

Money is of course the core of the matter. eBay is in the business of making money. I as a buyer am not generating money for eBay, but sellers (no matter how corrupt, unreliable, tricky, slippery, dodgy they are) do generate money.

“Its not what you know… its who you know.” This was the comment we got from the seller after eBay gave in to her. What a smug bastard!

So this seller got what she wanted. eBay removed the negative feedback we gave her. It was a well deserved negative feedback, I might add. This seller’s got some 85000+ positive feedback, but she also has a few negatives. Looking at the negatives, which we should have done before we bought anything from her, she is not to be trusted and we are not the only ones to have recieved nasty and threatening messages.

Anyway, the point is she is making money for eBay, and that is more important to eBay than making sure that buyers are protected from dishonest sellers. I suppose it’s not surpricing the way eBay acts, after all they want to make money, but for once it would have been nice to see a major company get in touch with their inner human.

What’s also sad to see is how eBay in its quest for money seems to completely disregard its own rules and regulations. Buyers have no or very little protection, while sellers (especially so called power sellers) always get the benefit of a doubt. eBay can afford to loose a buyer, but loosing sellers means a loss of income.

In conclusion

Big business don’t care about the little person, that’s not really news. It’s been that way for ages. However, it would be nice if it wasn’t, don’t you agree?

eBay needs to realise that they can’t treat buyers this way, or the buyers will leave. Only sellers and no buyers makes for bad business. Where will eBay get its cash?

I have a few questions for you, and would appreciate your input:

  • Have you had a similar experience?
  • Would it be ok, or even legal, to name this eBay seller in order to warn others?
  • What can we do to break this monopoly that eBay has pretty much all over the World?