Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Redux - THE END of eBay (2009)

Redux - THE END of eBay (2009)

THE END of eBay

Written by
Richard Bilderberg

Randy Bansa
John Coleman
Cam Harvey

Princeton, March 2009

The Community is made up of members, buyers and sellers, as well as staff.
You'll find that respect and communication are the cornerstones of a dynamic
Community. The Community is guided by the following five fundamental values:
We believe people are basically good.
We believe everyone has something to contribute.
We believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best in people.
We recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual.
We encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.
eBay is firmly committed to these principles. And we believe that community
members should also honor them—whether buying, selling, or chatting with eBay
friends.” (1)

From Joseph Goebbels' Speech on Adolf Hitler's 49th Birthday (April 1938):

“The Fuehrer has probably never had so many happy people gathered about him for his birthday as in this year. […]And beyond our borders, millions upon millions of our ethnic clan join with the citizens of the Reich in a unique affirmation of loyalty, connectedness and faithful attachment. The highest form of joy there is on this earth is to make other people happy. Who has had this joy in fuller measure than the Fuehrer himself. I truly believe in the goodness in everyone, a fruitful environment, shared values where the individual strives and grows, within a great community.” (2)

Apart from referring to itself as “the world’s largest marketplace,” (3) today eBay is “one of the most hostile Internet venues” according to Adams (4). What is more, and that is the focus of this article is that eBay is an illegal corporation. Similar to Nazism and the installation of the totalitarian state under Hitler, eBay operates under the guise of legality, uses propaganda mechanisms, manipulating information, extortion and many other criminal means to disguise its malpractices.

Thus, behind the colorful eBay logo, thus rests a hideous and seemingly untouchable totalitarian oligarchy, as will be explained hitherto. This is arguably worse than what happened in the Third Reich, because we know what happened then: the destruction of millions of people, as part of mass extermination, hiding under the face of Nazism; today in 2008 the abuse of millions of users, denying them proper use of its website, wasting people’s time and stealing their money, is not only one of ’s unlawful practices, but more so, what Callahan calls “a digital holocaust.”(5) We are not just talking about a company that lies and cheats, but is actively involved in hitherto unprecedented criminal activity - violating a plethora of national and international laws - seemingly getting away with it, until today. On this matter Bankman notes: The consistent violation of civil, corporate and legal law, however is now catching up, as indicated by the individual and class action law suits against them. Enron and Fastow were then, eBay is now! (6) Lies deception, fraud, slander, artificial auctions creation artificially inflating the total auction listings count, human rights abuses, stock fraud, user “expendability” are all part of this digital holocaust. This list could go on, but significantly it is also a summary of the practices and conduct of the ruler of a totalitarian state, in the case of eBay with parallels to the third Reich under Hitler, that cannot be overlooked: all aspects relate to the “world’s biggest marketplace”, eBay, where you can apparently “shop victoriously.”

The following is an overview of the current situation for eBay (as of May 2008 to March 2009) its rules, fees, feedback policy, abuse of its users (buyers and sellers), unwanted new users, financial malpractices, lack of growth potential and alternatives to eBay. The first, and one of the biggest problems for anyone selling on eBay are its rules and policies. So-called “listing violations” are a continuous problem any seller faces on eBay, i.e. violating one of 's myriad of endless and incomprehensible rules and policies that even eBay doesn't understand. The rules are inconsistent, due to variations, such as in China, for example, where an eBay seller can list for free (or deeply discounted listings) without fear of having auctions terminated for trademark or copyright violations: a place where the eBay listing rules don't apply because eBay wants to encourage developing markets. Daines maintains that over 75% of all eBay rules and regulations (in addition to the flawed listing rules) do not make sense, causing default seller suspensions, a.k.a. NARU (Not A Registered User) - term for a user who has been suspended by eBay (7). However, this aspect does not really matter since eBay has now rolled out its random user suspension, in order to reach fixed quota goals to improve their daily cash-flow.

In addition eBay is a health hazard. Several clinical studies conducted by the Harvard Medical School have shown eBay is a medical danger; on this Becker states: I have had patients of different ages and gender suffering from psychological turmoil to depression as caused by their experience with eBay. We are not talking about a mere bad feeling in your stomach, but psychological damage caused by mental trauma, as a result of dealing with the automated eBay system and its inhumane indifference to my patients. (8)

This clinical study will also be published in several medical journals in late 2008, and segments of it are already on file as part of evidence on plaintiffs seeking legal action against eBay. The painstaking documentation was the main challenge to compile, evaluate and format in order to be accepted as a court filing, but was obviously necessary to make a proper medical case against eBay. The major problem, that is also causing health problems (along with many emotional responses by abused eBayers – see Appendix C) is the fact that eBay does not offer any proper form of customer service, or support. eBay uses standardized notes, templates and never properly addresses customer concerns. The most commonly used term to be found in the eBay templates is “proprietary” - The dictionary meaning for proprietary is something that is secret or privileged. When this term is used by the eBay staff it means "we have no idea what we are doing and you want us to tell you?" When the eBay staff is asked to justify a statement or decision that is contradictory to eBay rules, practices, or common logic, they declare that information to be proprietary. eBay staffers use it to evade the truth: there is no logical or legal basis for their answer because the answer they gave was pulled out of their collective template source, often randomized, to cite Gilligan, a former eBay seller: Many of us have left permanently en masse. I like to call it the Great eBay Diaspora. So much for 's good reputation. Someone else can grow now, It will take time for 's competitors to grow, but they will. Reputation is everything. Whether you're worth billions or a few thousand. People like being treated well. And that, eBay, is the bottom line. (9)

The PINK – is Posting Board slang for eBay employees who are readily identified by their PINK banner. They have unlimited power to make decisions and never have to justify them. PINK also stands for "Powerful Individual with No Klue". Their favorite word is also "proprietary", as in "that information is proprietary". It is their catchall escape clause wherein they avoid answering questions and having to supply logical answers. Most use a pseudonym rather than give the sellers a clue as to what their real name might be. Since they almost always only sign just a first name, why use a pseudonym? Even more flawed is the so-called Live Help - A difficult to locate link on eBay that takes one to a live chat link where one expects to actually get help. Live Help often experiences high call volume and extended waits for the wrong answer. The reason for this is that the people operating the eBay chat are hardly trained, can only use template answers and have no authority regarding anything. Paterson has questioned for years, why eBay does not have an ombudsperson? (10) One reader responded in posing a counter-question: “Why did the Gestapo not have an ombudsperson?”

This leads us to the next area of legal controversy surrounding : data collection, data control and the VERO debacle. eBay often mentions computer glitches, a term used when a company spokesperson blames the computer software for failure when the actual failure belongs to the programming department and the management team that approved the flawed programming change without adequate testing. eBay (falsely) denies using “Easter eggs” i.e. computer programming, special code hidden in the program that does unexpected things. In legalese, weasel wording embedded in a contract that produces results unexpected by the signer. "Not that we would ever actually use this", said one eBay lawyer, trying to hide his smirk. These sellers are not whiners, crybabies, or losers and they don’t belong at a yard sale. This is about control, total control of the sellers and the buyers. If you don’t believe it just watch what eBay is doing, you will be overwhelmed. (11)

The worst part of any user experience is having to deal with ’s Trust & Safety Department, which once a user is caught up with, she/he never escapes. According to Weizman ’s Trust & Safety is an exactly replicated mirror of the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei) Hitler relied on to control his citizens. What is more, “the mechanisms and techniques used by eBay T & S, are identical to the Nazi’s secret police, namely operating by means of surprise, fear, intimidation and terror.”(12)

The Trust & Safety Board - one of many chat boards hosted by eBay. Some are open to the public for posting; most require one be a registered eBay user. All are monitored by eBay groups and have enrollment requirements, and many users have been suspended by eBay, simply for asking a question. The chat boards, thus, are an ideal way to eliminate people who have their own opinion or think differently or independently, an extension of the “digital holocaust” as mentioned earlier: off to the concentration camp. In an eBay memo by Lorrie Norrington of eBay - she admits that eBay has files of users on a list “under probation” if a complaint is made against a user, regardless of its validity. (13) The T & S Gestapo works closely with the “VeRO” Program, a program by which owners of intellectual property rights can enforce those rights on eBay, also used as a verb as in, "I've been VeRO'd". A VeRO Takedown is what happens when a VeRO member notifies eBay that someone's auction is infringing. The VeRO member is not required to provide proof of IP ownership, or provide the seller with an explanation of why the listing was removed, or a legal basis for demanding the takedown. No VeRO member has ever been punished for misusing the VeRO Program although one study estimated an abuse rate of about 30%. eBay will not help a seller who has been VeRO'd and will suspend a seller who is repeat "offender" while pointedly ignoring improper and illegal VeRO takedowns. It has been estimated that as high as 50% of VeRO "takedowns" are invalid or unjust. eBay does not "verify" the claimed rights. Norrington’s Memo clearly states, that eBay does not care about what happens to its sellers in such circumstances, since apparently “there are more than enough new idiots, signing up every day.” (14)

Subsequently, eBay T&S fetishism in combination with the faulty VERO system under the guise of protection leads to users being suspended for no reason. So, how does eBay’s Gestapo operate? Once eBay suspends a user they have a meticulous system in place that tracks and analyzes users, their moves, behavior patterns, keystroke analysis moves, behavior patterns, syntax and much more; using a public computer will automatically get you suspended. Thus, “buying” an eBay account from someone else will not work! There are guides out there which suggest tips to get back onto eBay, such as using dial- up, always changing your cpu name, ip blockers, using false names, new credit cards. However, Tim Young, an MIT computer security expert, who knows how eBay works states: eBay will always track you down, despite having circumvented ALL their tracking mechanisms. eBay WILL GET YOU......The people who should be working in eBay customer support, are working in a HUGE eBay security-tracking department...!!!! The Gestapo of the 21st Century!!! (15)

As a result, ’s security and safety departments employ more people than their customer service department. In fact eBay never considered installing proper customer service, like a phone call-back service, successfully used on Amazon.com, but instead decided to implement the shoot-first, never-ask- questions-later approach, which is consistent with Norrington’s assertions, since there will always apparently be enough new users on eBay. Gould sums this up as follows: “The upside of the continuous abuse of human beings on eBay and its Gestapo is a chance for other auction and ecommerce websites to grow. eBay never has and never will care about people, the nightmare for many is almost over, since eBay has entered a spiral into its own death beyond any point of return.” (16)

The gassed bodies were then taken to another area, where they were scrutinized for anything deemed of value. This included their shoes, clothes and gold teeth. The teeth were removed with a special hammer and chisel. (17)

Among the many illegal business practices of eBay the holding of funds and overpaid seller fees are one of the major crimes eBay openly commits against its users. eBay has a payment system for monthly fees that does not provide a check on amount entered to prevent overpayment; Torman asks: “How much money does eBay make every month by doing overnight investing on the overpayment monies it collects and holds on to this way for several weeks. Why doesn’t the government step in and look at this illegal practice?” (18) What is more, however, is the money eBay has actually stolen from eBay users it has suspended. Just like the Nazis stealing the money from the Jews in the Third Reich, eBay simply takes the money from users, right down to “the last gold tooth” it can knock out of a person’s mouth, without facing any legal repercussions for such crimes, until today.

Like the Propaganda ministry under Joseph Goebbels, eBay employs methods of falsifying facts, misleading people, and using what Orwell called “newspeak” and “doublespeak” and can be found in the Newspeak Dictionary, stating such communication is “Deliberately ambiguous or evasive language; any language that pretends to communicate but actually does not." (19) Until today eBay has been seemingly successful in manipulating many people, since eBay assumes, the majority, or what they call “the masses” are simply stupid, too dumb and will believe anything they are told. Take for instance the blatantly obvious eBay Live! Events, an annual -sponsored convention where eBay staff (all wearing blinders) spend the entire time pretending there is nothing wrong with eBay. This is a great opportunity for eBayers everywhere to over-pay to stand in long lines to hear self-serving tripe and receive schlock. It is much reminiscent of Paul Joseph Goebbels and his famous plenipotentiary for Total War. According to Havercamp, eBay here, again mimics similar sensory and linguistic techniques in order to distort and manipulate (20) ; the “Get IT on ” is what appears to be the first in a series of failed advertising slogans foisted on the public by eBay. “Shop Victoriously” is the latest idiotic eBay advertising scheme professionally supported by equally idiotic Shop Victoriously television commercials. Some advertising firm is making a lot of money from eBay.

The eBay sellers have been lied to, tricked, cheated and manipulated many times, again, without real repercussions. Take for instance propaganda words, such as “ Express” a replacement marketing approach heavily promoted by eBay to minimize the effects of eBay Store listings. By manipulating the eBay search engine, eBay has the Express listings appear long before the store listings, if one can even find the store listings. Similarly, “eBay Stores” was a successful marketing approach heavily promoted by eBay and then orphaned. In an attempt to revive its core auction base, and generate higher revenues, eBay took steps to minimize the effects of the successful eBay Store listings but did not eliminate them. Finally, a “Power Seller” is an eBay seller who averages over $1,000 a month in sales for three months or more. There are three levels of Power Seller: BRONZE, the lowest level, over $1,000 a month; SILVER, over $3,000 a month; GOLD, over $10,000 a month. Some buyers resent power sellers, which is why some sellers refuse to accept the icon. For the seller, other than receiving a colorful “Power Seller” icon, there is no advantage to it whatsoever, other than the tax agency (21) looking for them to cash in on taxation and demand all sales records from eBay, which always hands them over within a few hours. Finally, eBay openly “abused” its sellers during several joint initiatives of sellers in 2008. This is how eBay keeps the listing numbers up when there are boycotts: eBay manipulates the auction counts by turning people's stores back to “active” even though they set them to “vacation” with Items hidden before the boycott. Many members have complained that their closed stores sudden got a sale, and checked to see that their settings had been changed BY eBay. Thus, like the Nazis, eBay has no moral compass at all. Like Hugenberg and other Nazi industrialists assisting Hitler in getting a hold on power, eBay openly lies to the public, their customers, and their stockholders by blatantly manipulating the auction counts so they can shove their heads in the sand and try to pretend that the THOUSANDS of people boycotting the site aren't making any difference; In the words of Wallace: “Until the government steps in and shuts down eBay, nothing will change, and they will continue their criminal activity.” (22)

I'm a small sized eBay seller honoring the boycott and beyond. You see the screw 1st starts to turn with eBay telling me how much money I can make to sell with them. Then the screw completes it's revolution once I see all the FEES associated with having two titles, neon glow bars around my item, super big pictures, double category/double exposure fees, and on & on. 2nd revolution (keeping with the screw metaphor) happens when the auction starts to wind down, and the 10 vultures watching my item wait until the last minute to place a bid. 3rd twist comes when bidder never pays or takes forever to pay. 4th is when eBay takes another chunk the FVF (fancy for it sold fee) just imagine a real store pulling this sort of crap, fee'd again because PayPal was involved (we know how costly it must be for them to transfer funds from one members account to another. 5th & finally is trip to the Post Office & driving on 3.25 a gallon gas, which when all said & done leaves me a little sore and none the richer. Bottom line: It's not fun & eBay gives you no respect afterwards. (23)

Apart from injustices and crimes of Orwellian proportions, eBay cashes in (big) on fees. Previously eBay had reasonably priced fees for items with 99 cents start bid, and no reserve, the very kind of auctions that made eBay so successful when they first “took off”. However, the recent price changes affect many eBay businesses greatly. They will result in the fees going up 40% annually, as Ulrich explains: If I were to achieve the 5% discount eBay is offering a very select few, my fees would go up by approximately 27%. If I were to achieve the 15% discount, my fees would go up by approximately 13%. I feel that the price increases are extremely misguided. Normally, companies only raise rates when THEIR costs increase, or when they are delivering better results to their customers. In THIS case, ’s costs have not risen and they are not only NOT delivering better results. (24)

Many thousands of sellers & buyers are now united together to protest the newest changes made by eBay. The reasons are - Pricing - announced as "significant price reductions" are actually a decrease of eBay. 05 for listing fee and an increase of up to 67% on FVF -Store FVF are increasing - Reserve Fee has been increased by 100% AND is no longer refundable. still blatantly tries to cheat people to come back and say, “Gallery is free.” Gallery is not free. They hit the sellers in this category in the back end with that huge whopping fee increase in the back end of their fees. In effect, what they’re doing is forcing everybody to pay for Gallery now: “You know, right now lower tier – which is bringing in the high transaction volume. So now, if we look at the same $14 ASP item where the seller had a – remember it was a 4.3% increase if he had a 17% sell-through… If you double that sell through to 33%, he got hit with a 13.4% increase. So it’s actually affecting the better sellers.” (25) , an Auction site, for all intents and purposes, is still a market place, and is governed by the same rule as any other market place. Supply and demand. One thing noticeable is the prices for many items on eBay have gone down. This is not by accident, as eBay is just simply over crowded and because of this, has an abundance in supply. This over supply causes less demand, and in turn, forces prices down. While it is not known if this is good or bad for eBay, we do know it’s bad for the auction seller. Items that use to sell for dollars now sell for pennies on the dollar. While eBay fees continue to rise.

How is it that its use of price structuring, and now one sided feedback is not deemed as restraint of free trade in the market place, when it can be shown that s fee policies and its restructuring of its feedback system are broadly based in manipulating the normal unfettered free flow of merchandise from seller to buyer, to drive selling price points where they are most advantageous to the eBay thought the number of listings on eBay and the type of services that can be selected by a seller? (26)

Apart from the latest lawsuits against eBay, the feedback controversy is one of the most recent issues of illegal activity eBay is engaging in. Anyone ever selling on eBay knows what the changes in feedback rules mean, eBay knows what it means and the Nazis knew the effects of public pilloried, letting the executed bodies of opponents of the Reich dangle freely in the wind on broad public display. As for the opening quote it can be seen that eBay does not care about anything or anybody, only itself. Some have argued that ’s latest feedback changes help ’s pricing system, and insures that sellers will chose only those alternatives that fit the model for s quarterly earnings reports. But this argument does not hold, since eBay has also begun to implement random user suspensions. eBay does this to improve their daily cash-flow. Higgins (27) looks closely at ’s “rationale” behind the feedback changes with short commentary; anyone who can read, can quote eBay itself, who state: eBay: We believe that: 4. sellers will leave Feedback upon payment more often in order to increase their chance of receiving positive Feedback.

Commentary: This is a ridiculous claim made by eBay, based neither on fact, nor research and thus has no merit, period.
eBay: Is eBay favoring buyers over sellers with this change? eBay: The change in the Feedback system is designed to improve the eBay marketplace that should benefit both buyers and sellers. Improving the Feedback system should increase the number of buyers whose expectations are met. This should result in more buying activity which will benefit sellers. Commentary: This is a ridiculous claim made by eBay, based neither on fact, nor research and thus has no merit, period. It is moreover a pathetic fallacy, since buyers know they can now get anything for free on eBay. Also note how eBay never addresses the initial question they pose THEMSELVES.

eBay: When buyers receive negative Feedback, they reduce their activity in the marketplace, which in-turn harms all sellers. Commentary: This is a ridiculous, even idiotic, claim made by eBay, based neither on fact, nor research and thus has no merit, period.

eBay: The threat of receiving retaliatory negative Feedback from sellers, prevents buyers from leaving honest feedback about sellers, undermining the accuracy and value of the Feedback system. Commentary: This is a ridiculous claim made by eBay, based neither on fact, nor research and thus has no merit, period. And, by the way, what about the sellers?

eBay: Doesn't this change create an imbalanced system? eBay: We believe we will reduce any imbalance in the Feedback system with these changes. Buyers will be able to more accurately assess sellers and sellers will be protected from buyers who violate our policies (via the Unpaid Item system and other reporting) without risking a cut in good buyer activity. Commentary: This is simply an outrageous eBay lie. eBay does not have the means (nor does it intend) to protect sellers, and thus has no merit, period.

eBay: Why is eBay preventing buyers from leaving negative or neutral Feedback within three days of the end of a listing? eBay: Most negative or neutral Feedback left in the first few days is due to lack of communication between the buyer and the seller. We believe that this three-day restriction will create a "cool down" period and encourage communication before the buyer decides to leave negative Feedback. If the buyer still feels the negative Feedback is deserved at the end of the three-day period, there will still be an opportunity to post honest Feedback. Commentary: This is a ridiculous claim made by eBay, based neither on psychological fact, nor scientific research and thus has no merit, period. In plain English: The dishonest buyer will just wait the three days before threatening and blackmailing a seller with neutral or negative feedback in order to get an item for free, period.

eBay: I let the buyer know that I ran out of stock yet they still left me a negative? eBay: Selling an item and then backing out of the transaction for any reason is a violation of 's Seller Non Performance policy. When a buyer does not receive an item already paid for, especially if hours were spent on the winning the auction, it accounts for a bad buying experience. Sellers should always notify buyers if they run out of stock and offer the buyer a full refund, though this does not ensure that the buyer will still not leave a negative. Commentary: This is a ridiculous claim made by eBay, since how can someone “spend hours” on winning an auction? Obviously eBay has and always will think people are dumb, especially its sellers. eBay itself, thus, is the cause of the bad buying experience. eBay: Current rules for negative Feedback removal under dispute resolution will still apply. The guidelines for removal may change as we adjust 's Mutual Feedback Withdrawal system during the second half of 2008. Commentary: The Mutual Feedback Withdrawal “system” is so utterly flawed, it cannot be improved by any changes, especially in the wake of the unfair feedback changes - what an incredible hassle and red-tape sellers have to face just to sell an item.

eBay: Recent Feedback is more representative of the experience a buyer should expect from a seller. Twelve months is long enough to show trends and patterns and will enable buyers to make more informed decisions. It is also a long enough period of time to prevent a single bad transaction from having an overly negative impact. Commentary: A user works hard for their feedback, often many years, but eBay will only credit the last year? Simply outrageous, period. eBay: Why don't you just count all of the Feedback I earn?

eBay: Counting all Feedback would be Feedback manipulation. By separating Feedback into weekly buckets, we are attempting to capture the intent of the buyer who returns to a seller after having a good experience. Commentary: Nobody can capture “the intent” of another person. What is a person’s “intent” ? Example: The Waffen-SS intended to protect the civilians of a Polish village, until they found out they were Jews – the result was a mass execution with precisely “intended” shots to the head. Thus, the atrocities under the Nazis in the Third Reich are more easily to comprehend than eBay and its silly games it plays with people.

eBay: What criteria will eBay use to identify buyers who violate eBay Policy? eBay: The same criteria as today. Reports from sellers based on specific policy violations such as Unpaid Item, transaction interference, Feedback Abuse and Feedback extortion. Commentary: This is a ridiculous claim made by eBay, it is unrealistic since eBay cannot even properly handle customer problems today, since 75% of its staff are located in the eBay Gestapo department, a.k.a. eBay Trust and Safety.

eBay: If we suspend the buyer, any negative or neutral Feedback the buyers left for sellers will be removed. Sellers should only file these complaints when the buyer asks for more than what is promised in the listing. Filing a false claim may result in seller suspension. Commentary: This is a ridiculous claim made by eBay, since they cannot mediate between buyers and sellers as it stands today (how can a “false” claim be distinguished?) and thus has no merit, period. This is just another facet of the already hostile trading environment on eBay, similar to the Jews being reported to the Gestapo by other neighbors and community members.

eBay has replicated the mechanisms and tactics of the Gestapo successfully used in the third Reich. no other Internet service today uses and operates tools of fear and intimidation against its users. (28) Overall, the difference between eBay, its false rationale and Hitler’s Gestapo is only marginal at best. eBay knows they cannot properly manage such problems, so they will just pull the trigger and suspend users, in addition to their random seller suspensions. What eBay has done is taking away the seller’s ability to leave negative feedback on a buyer - But buyers can leave negative feedback on sellers. And so there are no repercussions at all for a buyer to do that. Even if a buyer is totally 100% satisfied he/she can write that he’s not satisfied and that’s the end of it. Bronfman (28) predicts that “we’re going to end up with about a 20% negative feedback ratio on eBay. You’re going to see red ink, red ink everywhere. The feedback changes are disastrous. Sellers are now victimized by feedback extortion by buyers who threaten a seller to lower the final price – if I couldn’t leave feedback then I’d have even more negatives–wrongly so.

The three core areas of concern, according to Bronfman (28) to eBay sellers are: 1. Feedback - system by which eBay sellers and buyers can rate each other. Originally there were three categories: POSITIVE, meaning satisfied, NEUTRAL, meaning so-so or not sure, and NEGATIVE, meaning unhappy or unsatisfied. Only one feedback from a seller/buyer counts towards a member's rating (UNIQUE feedbacks). eBay has recently (2007) deemed NEUTRAL to mean NEGATIVE when evaluating sellers as a Non-Performing Seller while totally ignoring repeat Positives as a factor. 2. SNAD (Significantly Not As Described) - What a buyer can claim to PayPal to get out of paying for an item. 3. INR (Item Not Received) - Buyer files with PayPal in an attempt to retrieve funds. Buyer is never heard from again after seller provides Delivery Confirmation number showing item delivered. 4. SNP (Seller Non Performance) - Non-Performing Seller - according to a formula that only eBay understands, a non-performing seller is a seller whose positive/negative feedback ratio falls below a set percentage, regardless of circumstances. eBay restricts a NPS to a percentage of listings for a variable amount of time. The percentage and the amount of time depend upon factors that eBay will not disclose. Typically, the first restriction will limit a sell to 75% of their listings for 30 days. Ultimately a seller will be suspended based on average neutral/negative percentages. What is now happening on eBay is that honest sellers will now be subject to the whims of dishonest, unscrupulous bidders, who face no feedback penalty for leaving false negative feedback. What do you do when a buyer leaves you negative feedback the same day he pays for an items, because he/she says you are late with shipping?

Dishonest buyers can now get anything free on eBay following the simple formula: With the new Feedback rules being implemented at eBay, It is the perfect time to start getting something for nothing from eBay, while playing their own game. (or at least what they are encouraging) eBay Rules: eBay 1) Find item you would like to bid on eBay 2) Place Bid on the item eBay 3) Pay for and receive the item eBay 4) Post negative Feedback eBay 5) Have Seller issue refund eBay 6) Retract Feedback if you want eBay The above method will actually cause 2 effects. eBay 1) you stand a excellent chance of getting your item(s) for FREE! eBay 2) this will also cause sellers eventually stop using eBay once they realize they can not make a living in this environment. If you use the Pay Pal service you can easily prove item was paid for removing any unpaid item strikes. If any are even incurred. Most sellers are so relived to have a negative strike removed very few even report an item as unpaid. With ’s new Feedback system, bad buyers are playing within the rules they have set. But then again, who wants to trade in such a hostile environment, facing discrimination, unwarranted suspension as well as (newly implemented) random suspension of sellers. Quinn notes: “All this, just to make a penny or two? It’s just not worth the time and energy.” (29)

Additional factors of ’s hostile selling environment include Evolving Feedback - announced as "putting trust back into the system" Translation - feedback history will only go back 12 months and sellers will only be allowed to leave positive feedback for buyers. DSR's (Detailed Seller Ratings) - will unjustly make good sellers look bad by rating them on shipping time & costs will directly impact a sellers visibility in search results. PayPal changes - 21 day hold on funds for sellers not meeting s 'criteria' and they get to keep the interest is fraud, plain and simple. As Deventiava notes: Positive changes to the eBay feedback system should have focused on eliminating personal comments; expand the 1-5 rating system that included rating both the buyer and seller; and qualify buyers as they have sellers, not create a one sided power. Holding payments 21 days and expecting shipment of goods is just outrageous, isn’t it obvious they want to weed out everyone except mega sellers? The way I looked at this is they made this tremendous feedback change based upon the negative experiences of less that 1% of the buyers on eBay. So for that miniscule amount that’s far less than 1%, they have now basically messed up the entire feedback system for everybody else. (30)

So, what about the mutual feedback withdrawal? It is another brilliant eBay move, and the main reason for the current feedback disaster. Instead of fixing the problems eBay is using them to their financial advantage. ’s new changes are no different than their past approach. Their thinking is still focused on the ancient Company Store model, and the premise that people do not have any common sense and are basically stupid. Change in the business world is inevitable. The eBay feedback system was ill-conceived and flawed from the beginning. Over time instead of adapting it and thinking it through it became and has become a decisive factor in the demise of the eBay experience for its users, especially the sellers. (31)

The proposed seller protection is useless, since: Paypal always decides disputes against a seller; eBay has made and continues to install major changes without properly thinking it though and/or ignoring other interests, apart from its own; the SNP policy is in S best interest, because it helps reduce the total amount of unwanted sellers, in addition to the new random suspensions. Feedback blackmail is what eBay sellers now face on a daily bases, which, in conjunction with the SNP policy based on feedback (neutral is same as negative) is similar to the techniques used by Kurt von Schleicher (32), a senior officer of the Reichswehr to assist Hitler in his rise, by blackmailing political opponents to support the Nazis. Hugenberg was one of the main financial backers of Hitler; exploiting a weak economy and exploiting a volatile global market, financed the Nazi party into power.” (33)

In its annual shareholder filing 2007 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, eBay cited a variety of new threats to its business that reflect “changing customers demands.” eBay acknowledged that its main auction business faced slowing growth in each of its top three markets. The San Jose, California-based Company also acknowledged that significant changes made in January in fees and policies on its marketplaces have been controversial with many sellers: “If these changes cause sellers to move their business away from our sites or otherwise fail to improve gross merchandise volume or the number of successful listings, our operating results and profitability will be harmed,” eBay said. (34)

Based on their past experience they have a habit of messing things up. One is that verifying all users would mean they would have to admit they would actually have something like 80 million users, instead of the 250 million users they claim (which counts all IDs as separate people, which everybody knows is complete fiction). Whether they see this coming or not, they’re going to get hit as well because as those high trends, as action volume sellers leave eBay. The biggest problem with the 2007 shareholder report is that is not only inaccurate, but also openly deceptive as it fails to address the most important financial setbacks, such as the Skype write off. Skype is an on-line communications method. Skype was purchased by eBay in late 2005 for 2.6 billion dollars and overnight it became an immediate failure after years of success. Originally, Skype offered high-quality voice communications to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world. eBay had other plans. In late 2007 eBay took a $1.4 billion charge to reflect the impairment of goodwill arising from the acquisition. According to Bryers, the charge was actually much higher, estimated to be between 3.7 to 5.2 billion. (35)

Just as Hugenberg in pre-Nazi Germany, eBay has perfected the methods of deceit and shareholder manipulation. eBay shareholders are generally vulnerable to such fraud, due to their transparent susceptibility, as Johnson argues. (36) Like sellers and buyers, shareholders are blind to realize, eBay has no respect for either. Now-leaving Meg Whitman and the individual they call the "founder" built a company that functions only for the bottom line and avoids any expenditure even if it means very little customer service, and high customer dissatisfaction. On this, Berger recently posed a decisive question: “Why has eBay stock remained so low over the last four years, when other stocks have shown incredible growth?” (37)

Part of the answer is that the eBay bubble burst a long time ago and the formula that nickel and dime users to distraction and offered them canned emails as the only means of service - until a customer revolt three years ago - has taken its toll on growth. Whitman, a major shareholder et al may wish to believe that 's dwindling growth is the result of a maturing market, but both sellers and buyers on eBay know, that seller quality offerings have dwindled in all categories and that buyers have been turned off by the downtrend in seller listings. To sum up, eBay keeps raising the fees sellers’ pay, without delivering additional value of any kind, and in fact recent years have seen a deterioration of the value they have provided. They also continue to micromanage their sellers, taking control of a greater and greater percentage of their businesses. Pascale maintains: “ has splintered its seller base, and now beyond the point-of-no-return, with the feedback changes incredibly unfair to eBay sellers.” (38)

The other part of the answer is that when any analyst takes a closer look at the few credible figures on eBay there is a discrepancy; this aspect is listings growth versus transaction growth on eBay. Pascale reveals that “the growth – the trend is certainly shifting to Amazon as well as other venues.” (39) Also, the feedback changes before implementation date of February 20 just put sellers to go – sellers have always been gravitating towards Amazon and other venues, including their own Web site. Finally, eBay hires people to manipulate blogs and chat rooms to maintain that despite obvious share losses and layoffs all is well. (See Appendix A) eBay management uses bribes to pay off operators of blogs, news feeds and websites to gain control over general public opinion. The FBI is currently investigating a case initiated by the California DA’s office against Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who received “donations” from an offshore account linked to eBay. Evidently eBay donated 2.5 million to the Wikimedia Foundation, the operator of Wikipedia, but “forgot” to file taxes on it in 2007, as publicly accessible court filings reveal (40). The Wikipedia entry on eBay, must thus be seen as biased which would clarify why the overall tone of the entry is overtly positive, despite the latest feedback controversy eBay has an intricate system of bribery and paying of government officials as is evidenced in the latest court filings against eBay (40). Wordpress.org is another website, in this case owned by eBay, which will delete any negative or critical blog about eBay within 72 hours (http://wordpress.org/).

There is no room for growth and eBay is knowingly undermining itself and its potential by implementing the latest changes to the already flawed and unfair feedback system. As seen later, eBay is also quietly cutting off users at random. Cautious analysts argue that eBay shares are just a moment away from freefall, and placing a realistic share price under $5 per unit. Wollner and Kent (41) anticipate that large shareholders like Whitman, Omydar and Cobb are trying to rid themselves of their stock, slicing them up and throwing them out as smaller bundles as well as manipulated floats. They are doing this via smaller holding companies, all located offshore, including grand Cayman, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, which, ironically are where the headquarters of eBay Europe are located. The “official” dumping of eBay shares has already occurred:

June 12, 2008 - 15,150 Shares - Sell
Share Price: $28.19
Transaction Value: $427.1K

June 12, 2008 - 3,600 Shares - Sell
Share Price: $28.45
Transaction Value: $102.4K

June 11, 2008 - 13,650 Shares - Sell
Share Price: $27.84
Transaction Value: $380.0K

June 11, 2008 - 4,400 Shares - Sell
Share Price: $28.34
Transaction Value: $124.7K

June 11, 2008 - 700 Shares - Sell
Share Price: $28.80
Transaction Value: $20.2K

Source: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/24/185555/283

These, as said, are the official quotes, the black area and secretive dumping is occurring almost daily, with the U.S. government doing nothing about it. Nobody cares, as SEC and FBI have been fully paid off and compensated out of the eBay pot. PayPal is still keeping eBay financially afloat, but as indicated, users are migrating to other financial services, often even going back to more conservative payment methods, such as mail-ins of money orders. The global installation of Google checkout (currently only available to UK and USA) will undoubtedly replace PayPal as online merchant payment system within a few years. The biggest financial blow to eBay is just around the corner; it is not the irreversible restructuring and downsizing and layoffs of thousands of eBay employees eBay, but according to Anderson, the forthcoming national and international lawsuits against eBay. The anticipated cuts on ’s “free cash” are estimated at 6-8.5 billion dollars, according to xyz The international lawsuits will force eBay to write off another $4 billion, as xyz notes: The eBay share price is currently overrated. A realistic price per share should be around $2-4 dollars or even less. (42)

Similar to Hugenberg, Krupp and other Nazi-affiliated businessmen in the Third Reich, the key eBay shareholders Whitman, Omydar and Cobb manipulate the stock price, with artificially manipulated pump-and-dump techniques. In effect they are selling and buying their own shares, in order to change the share price as they see fit. Owen maintains “there are no true share floats of eBay stock” since the only floaters are trade-manipulated, and it is a shame the SEC has not examined this more closely.” (43)

Unknown to the general public, to date, eBay is facing several major lawsuits, including three major class action lawsuits. Several court filings against eBay have already commenced, pre-filed in Los Angeles and San Diego. The cases involve: Shareholder deception and stock fraud, Stock manipulation and Artificial Share price inflation. (44) The Public Citizen Litigation Group - A Washington D.C.-based non-profit that defends free speech on the Internet and is one of the major plaintiffs against eBay. Gilson points out the most important facts and arguments of the lawsuit: eBay will suspend a user based on a false complaint, which means they will shut down a user and then make them appeal to be reinstated again when feedback or and open complaint is shown not to be factual – this practice by eBay is illegal. (45)

Under interstate commerce rules and regulations it is illegal for a company to penalize someone, without first ascertaining if such a party has acted in violation of agreed rules. No corporation or individual can legally penalize parties to an agreement before it has shown that under the terms of such an agreement such parties are in violation of the agreement. Thus, eBay is in violation of the law when it assumes such regulatory powers over buyers and sellers against due process and equal protection rights, including fairness in business practices. In other words, as Pohlmann notes, “eBay is appropriating the legal practices that were performed by main Nazi judge Freissler in the Third Reich under Hitler. Period.” (46)

It is only a matter of time until the attorney general’s office in California will respond to such complaints against eBay, despite it having been part of the regional glamour economy. Research by Grundfest and Klausner (47) has shown that eBay spends millions on lobbying federal and state authorities to resist badly needed regulation to make it less predatory and a company that is required to offer customer service and a level playing field, as well as adhering to proper business practices and the law. Since its inception, eBay has argued that it is not subject to the regulatory and taxing authority by state and federal government because the items listed are not owned by eBay, and are presented by private sellers, offered to private buyers - an outrageous claim, that clearly violates business law, as Titian asks: “while the federal government was so busy investigating Microsoft’s monopolistic practices, and penalizing Martha Stewart for example, why is it that a real monopolistic model here has not been scrutinized?” (48) As a result anyone holding eBay stock (or buying and selling on ) may be guilty of supporting an ongoing criminal enterprise – the time has come for the FBI, the Treasury Department and the US Attorney General to begin an investigation into this company.

In order for eBay employees to mediate the up-coming new Feedback Complaints... They may have to act as a "Law Enforcement Agency", "Court Of Law", "Judge" and "Jury".... According to current business law such acts are Illegal. The eBay and PayPal Employees that render the daily complaint decisions between Buyers and Sellers operate under incomplete False Names. The decisions they are making are thus against the Law. eBay may be in deep trouble as the legitimate brick and mortar Major Retailers such as Sears, Target and Wal-Mart have already filed charges against eBay involving corporate fraud. Legal action is pending, as filed with US law firms Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Melveny & Myers. (49)

It is a fact that illegally withholding funds and positive account balances of suspended users holding positive account balances of suspended users without returning it, EVEN if stated in its user agreement, is FRAUD.

As of 2008 eBay has retained an estimated $2,8 billion US dollars from sellers with a positive eBay account balance that were suspended and never reinstated. Any other business that conducts itself in such a way would be reprimanded, penalized and loose any lawsuit filed against it. eBay is not above the law anymore. (50) Heller and Victor have conducted research on participants in the class action lawsuit filed against eBay (handled by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom), showed over 40,000 cases of users who were abused by eBay. (51) The biggest class-action lawsuit against eBay has now been filed in Australia. (52) Strong government regulation is at work there and eBay is not a financial institution the Reserve Bank of Australia is working with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (another government department) in forcing companies (whether they are financial or not) to comply with trade practices acts and Corporations laws. The regulations and acts are in place to force fair prices and services on both the merchant and the consumer. The intentions of the laws are to allow more small merchants access to a wider market, and to ensure customers are aware before they commit to purchasing a product that they know their costs. eBay is blatantly attempting to remove the level playing field that the Australian government has set up, but will be remediated in a court of law; this is litigation that will cost eBay several billion dollars – a financial abyss they have created for themselves, since they cannot win that lawsuit, due to current Australian law. Taking on the Reserve Bank of Australia, may not have been such a wise decision overall. In sum, apart from the aforementioned billion-dollar lawsuits eBay is facing even greater challenges, such as civil litigation, exceeding an estimated 12 billion $US. (52)

Additional controversies surrounding eBay include a separate study by Stanford law professors Heller and Victor (53) with a forthcoming book expected in early 2009 showcasing all findings, results and legal implications eBay will have to face. The study follows a sample of over 10,000 selected eBay users (buyers and sellers) over a 10-year period (1998-2008) and reveals that eBay is in violation of user data and privacy laws, freedom of information and many other legal statutes mandated by applicable laws. Some major findings include:

eBay violates basic good business practices
eBay violates basic human rights
eBay violates freedom of speech
eBay manipulates business data to deceive shareholders
eBay violates tax laws
eBay discriminates against people based on religion, sex and creed
eBay discriminates against people with disabilities
eBay today suspends users at random to reach prefixed quotas and generate
quick and easy cash

“The SS guards at Auschwitz, of course, knew about the “special treatment” the inmates being led to “shower” houses were about to face. All of this process was accompanied by a notable silence, maybe a friendly smile, while guiding men, women and children to their extermination rooms.” (54)

Unknown to the general public, eBay has started to randomly suspend users, predominantly sellers. This is a recent eBay malpractice in 2008 and, at first glance, may seem nonsensical, i.e. why would you cut off the hand that is feeding you, thus sellers who pay listing and FVFees? To understand this better, one has to look at what part of eBay users were actually hit by the random suspension; of the 10,000 users, 6800 were suspended in March and April combined.

Given this small sample one can multiply it several marks up, 10-20 times and upward, as calculated by Heller, thus reaching about 65,000 to 85,000 users illegally targeted and terminated by eBay in the last two months; this number is growing. Notably over 60% of users had not been actively using eBay, thus received the standard generic eBay suspension notice “we regret to inform you…” Applying for reinstatement was pointless as nobody was reinstated after contacting eBay using the standard fax procedures (see Appendix B for the template variations in eBay responses to suspended eBayers).

As it stands, eBay does not want new users (they will keep a seller’s money, after they suspend them). eBay will let a new seller trade on their website for 4-5 weeks, then suspend them for a bogus reason, aka “abusing eBay” and keep the seller’s positive account balance. “Easy money” for eBay to improve their cash flow, as new ebay seller’s sign up every day, and as no government authority will do anything about it. The changes illustrate that eBay management is totally out of touch with its core business… the sellers, who bring products people desire to the marketplace. And they have already said that the sellers will just come back or be replaced by other sellers. eBay are doing it on purpose, it’s part of their business plan, they know full well they are hitting the sellers with all these recent changes, they want sellers to go, they do not want small independent sellers anymore, they don’t want a “flea market” They are going to turn eBay into a channel for faceless corporate retail giants to flog brand new mass market items, eBay themselves will have a financial interest in the retail of these items. Dumont states: “That is the future of eBay right there - they figure they have this huge customer base, (yes they see the buyers as their customers not yours) and they’re going to have all the pie to themselves soon. They want YOU gone, the wheels are already in motion, just watch and see. “ (55) The number of sellers is totally irrelevant to eBay.

eBay is getting ready to become a selling environment in which only large- volume sellers are wanted. The “small-fry” thus minor sellers, with limited sales revenue or occasional activity are unwanted, thus “expendable” and are simply suspended, without notice. What eBay did not know was that this study was ongoing and active, thus not only delivering empirical evidence, but hard facts with complete documentation, prepared for submission as part of several class- action lawsuits against eBay.

"I feel they will be more responsible to me as the seller," Cox said. "It certainly won't have the market that eBay does now, but I'm positive in time buyers will migrate to other sites." (56) “Greedbay (a.k.a. eBay) has been "showing us the door" for the last few years, however this desperate attempt to get rid of us is working... I've opened stores on eCrater.com, as well as several other venues and couldn't be happier... My 10 year greedbay anniversary comes up on the 4th and I won't be celebrating it by listing on their site (…) I've fully devoted myself to helping others find new venues and start selling (...) There are lots of choices everyone! www.ecrater.com www.bonanzle.com, www.onlineauction.com, www.ebid.com www.epier.com and many more! Keep selling, just don't give all of your money, not to mention your hard-earned positive feedback and excellent reputation to greedbay! BOYCOTT ON! :)” (56)

eBay has miscalculated in my case. I have to examine how much I pay eBay per year, and what I received in return for that money. I have concluded that I can do far better opening up my own auction on my own site. Unlike many other sellers, I had my own business for 10 years prior to starting on eBay, so I am now reversing the process I started in 2000! At that time, I moved my entire business ONTO eBay, and in 2008, I am moving my entire business OFF of eBay. (56)

eBay already drove the good sellers to Amazon two years ago. Hence, Amazon is experiencing hyper growth in those categories. What eBay is doing is driving buyers away to engage in other sites. As seen eBay does not want new sellers, but was not nice enough to tell it as it was. Thus, even as we speak, newcomers are trying to set up shop at eBay, just to find out in a few days, or weeks, that they are unwelcome (receiving the standardized template suspension message) and then wasting their time and energy trying to get reinstated – which they, of course won’t (see Appendix B).

The Internet doesn't provide the type of problem solving services and money making services that make our lives easier. The craze now is social networking or entertainment of some kind. Many want the web to be a source of practical applications that can be used in physical daily life that reduce the stresses. So what alternatives to eBay are there? Burwell has examined several options for sellers to get started and names bonanzle.com, ebid.com, ecrater.com and ola.com as top contenders. (57)

By providing services and new innovations that give back time or help make more money, not just take them away, Web 2.0 has the ability to do that, we just need those innovators to come out of the woodwork and show us what they have to provide. The three previously mentioned options are a good example of 2.0 and some people are making some decent money with Google AdWords, and services like Basecamp, Blinksale and Harvest, helping people improve productivity and make money.

The marketplace is shifting, even if eBay tries to deny that fact (to keep smaller shareholders of its stock at e(bay). Many even, like Douglas, wonder why the market place (apparently) has failed here: “ is a predatory monopoly with no serious competition, despite the fact that companies like Google, Yahoo, Amazon are ideally situated to become avis to 's hertz, or burger king to s McDonald's. = Googlebase and Google checkout end of eBay and PayPal.” (58) However, this is only a matter of perception. As seen, eBay is forcing many to look elsewhere, similar to the mass exodus of many people who were hunted and had to escape from Nazi Germany.

Most recently, eBay CEO confirmed his sorrow stance in an interview he gave on CNBC, March 10th, 2009: In a reprise of his pledge to change a little over a year ago, eBay CEO John Donahoe reiterated on Wednesday that the company must adapt to new e-commerce market dynamics and must be more hands-on in managing its online marketplace. Under increasing pressure from rivals like Amazon.com, eBay has seen its dominance in e-commerce diminished in recent years, as both buyers and merchants seek new alternatives in online shopping. (58a) Now he is bringing the skype and paypal cards into play, but most ratings agencies will not fall for such small talk, as seen in the fact that none changed their options reccomendation to a "buy." As usually, "For New CEO John Donahoe, 'It's eBay's Game to Lose'." (58b) Nevertheless, EBay CEO "Donahoe received a $22.5M pay package in 2008."

The most important piece of information, the way sellers on eBay are currently treated and have been treated within the last 12 months, was never addressed. It is now fully clear that eBay sees any seller, as "quick-cash flow" generator, i.e. allowing site access for a given time, then applying the random suspension, without reinstating the seller, holding on to the positive account balance. That way, and due to the ignorance of new users who sign up as sellers on eBay, the company continues to defraud internet patrons. (58c) The gas chambers continue to flood themselves, by willing participants, eBay disposes of their remains, but keeps their gold teeth (sic).

There is hope at the end of the tunnel, as other (friendly) venues are already there, in which buyers and sellers can come together again, without having to deal with discrimination, abuse, threats, fear, intimidation and terror as experienced on eBay. Watkins confirms: “what use are hits and page impressions, if I am not selling my product, or the sale is reversed and my merchandise is gone? on eBay I was making $300 a week paying over $100 in eBay fees. I have now stopped selling there. On Bonanzle I am selling the SAME merchandise and making $500 a week, with a fraction of the former eBay fees.” (59) Therefore, a more diversified selling portfolio may be best, utilizing common free listing options on other websites. Googlebase with Google checkout will be globally available soon, and that will be the last breath of eBay. Period.

eBay started as a fairly managed company a decade ago, but today it has become a rubberstamp of a totalitarian regime, where the individual (the user) has become and IS SUPPOSED to be expendable. It is important to understand what eBay is up to, since, apart from its deception, eBay management will never tell anyone (not even its shareholders, who it is obliged to be transparent to) what it is up to, because, as seen, the average user is not wanted anymore.

eBay has become a hostile, discriminatory, mismanaged, non-profitable, increasingly non-viable Internet platform. The community placard initial is not a joke, it is a spit in the face of human beings. Stock is overrated, forthcoming lawsuits and class action lawsuits as well as a long due investigation by the FBI and SEC are posing a serious threat to eBay. Indicative of this trend are the loss of the eBay share value, the recent layoffs and departure of Whitman as CEO. Bonanzle, ebid, ecrater and ola.com are bringing buyers and sellers back together again, smaller sellers are seeing a profit again. Thus a small and medium sized seller (under 85,000 annual sales) should not rely and depend on eBay itself, ideally stop selling there altogether but should diversify and sell at other sites. Bonanzle, ecrater, ebid and OLA are mandatory, others are optional but also useful, for example highly specialized websites like gunbroker and overstock.com.

Like the Nazis in the Third Reich, eBay has created an illegally operating business, mandated by fear, intimidation and most recently, the unpublished mandate to reduce its user size, by randomly suspending users, as part of an ongoing digital holocaust.


Appendix A

eBay hires people to manipulate blogs and chat rooms to maintain all is well, here for example, an anonymous user on the yahoo blogs: excellento. seichiro POST: eBay "The results have been very profound, measurable and positive. The much covered 'boycott' didn't cause any decrease in listings or buyer activity that we could see (I'm sure I'll get flamed for saying that, but there it is folks.)." Another user’s response: How can you, excellento.seichiro, make such an untrue statement? Anyone can look at the stock price chart and see that the shares are falling (and have been ever since Jan08)! My questions to you, excellento.seichiro, THUS ARE: eBay 1) If you are an eBay company employee, why would you make such false claims? Why don't you work somewhere else, if you are so afraid of losing your job? 2) If you are an eBay shareholder, why would you make such false claims? Why don't you just sell your shares RIGHT NOW, before they fall below $10 a pop? 3) If you are an eBay user (buyer or seller), why would you make such false claims? Don't you know that there is a MASS EXODUS from eBay to other websites, such as bonanzle.com, ecrater.com and ebid.com ? 4) If you are ALL OF THE ABOVE 1) 2) & 3), why don't you just leave honest people alone, stop posting such false information and insult other people's common sense! eBay Sincerely, Liam Clandfield

Appendix B

It is important to understand that once suspended, eBay WILL NOT reinstate a user again, as part of its latest strategy – faxing, or emailing eBay is pointless. Thus, as part of ’s latest 2008 random suspension, a user applying by fax to eBay for reinstatement will receive ONE of the following:


b) : eBay Hello, Thank you for writing to eBay. I am happy to assist you further with eBay <<<>>>. eBay Again, thank you for your email and please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. eBay Regards, eBay Skip eBay Community Support

c) FPA NOTICE: eBay Registration Suspension - User Agreement - Abusing Dear Member, We regret to inform you that your eBay account has been suspended due to concerns we have for the safety and integrity of the eBay community. "Abusing " of the eBay User Agreement states, in part: "...we may limit, suspend, or terminate our service and user accounts, prohibit access to our website, remove hosted content, and take technical and legal steps to keep users off the Site if we think that they are creating problems, possible legal liabilities, or acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of our policies." Due to the suspension of this account, please be advised you are prohibited from using eBay in any way. Please note that any seller fees due to eBay will immediately become due and payable. eBay will charge any amounts you have not previously disputed to the billing method currently on file. Regards, eBay Trust & Safety.

d) eBay INS NOTICE: eBay Reinstatement Denied () Dear eBay, Thank you for sending your request for reinstatement. We understand your desire to have your eBay account reinstated.

I have reviewed the information you have provided, as well as the information we have on file. The decision has been made to deny your request.
You are prohibited from registering under a new account name or using eBay in any way. Also, eBay reserves the right to suspend accounts opened by anyone in the same household of a suspended member, or by any other associates of a suspended member.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Regards, eBay Trust & Safety

Appendix C

Some responses by former eBayers, who have been mistreated and abused by : Terrible customer service, it does not deserve me. I f***n hate eBay, I hope they all go to hell You can kiss my ass while I am taking a sh*t Lick a dead donkey’s rotting anus, ! I am no longer waiting my time and energy on eBay. P**s Off, Donahoe, you retard. The fee increase is bad for many of us and the “many” is why there are buyers.

eBay DOES have competition – this may not have been serious before, but watch the numbers rise for them now. It used to be on eBay in the late ‘90s early 2000s you could put an item up for 99 cents and it would close at a price that was the value of it. And that’s what eBay really wanted you to do. Start the auctions at 99 cents, let them roll and they’d close at a market value. That’s back when people really bid on the site. eBay says that boycott had no effect.. Ha! Last night eBay members found several sellers who had 1000’s of listings that had NO option to pace a bid! Two of these “sellers” were NOT a registered user and still had active listings.

eBay is like Pogo the clown. Flashy and fun colors, then they cut off your balls, slit your throat and piss on your corpse, laughing!

Specifically fees and feedback are – appears to be the big one. And we can go into talking about the fees a little bit. We had some concern because ’s had – eBay has had issues for years. And ’s take rate seems to be quite high in many areas and that has caused these issues. Creating this hostile buyer-seller environment is going to be their downfall.

F+F++F+++ eBay Don't deal with eBay, Big time Scammer! Takes your money in Fee$ & will treat you like disposable diapers. “eBay employees are computers. No humanity whatsoever. They are also braindead, with an IQ of under 50. As of an IQ smaller 50, bread starts to speak…” Are People Striking to Increase Their Wealth, or to Survive?... Yes, there are eBay millionaires, just as there are lotto winners... few and far between.

A more likely eBayer is a single mother trying to earn the school lunch money so she can afford some extra time with her kids, or the retiree with no or little pension, a young, hopeful couple trying to save for that ever elusive house, a disabled person and many, many small business persons -the mom and pops... The people, the reasons, are as vast as America is diverse. One thing they will surely tell you is "It is NOT easy money."

Shame on those who brag they will capitalize on lower listings to increase their take. Shame on those who do so quietly. Shame on those who clamor to invest in a company that will heartlessly stomp out the cries of the very people who brought it to greatness -like so much noise. Lies and deception only thinly veiled... as if not worth the bother, really - packaged as a gift... and you'll take what you get and like it. You don’t have to beg us to leave, we will use you as a crutch to leave this lousy site. I can be treated with respect and we'll find it on another site. Sure glad I didn’t take my customer service so lightly! Appears a little person like me has much higher values than a big corporation. IT is America and there are choices!! Your not the first company the American people have been crapped on by, I see many companies struggling that have sold us out, keep listening to big business! Watch the elections, the people words will be heard. I have been graciously invited to other sites, a concept strange to me, but I like it.

eBay management is SCUM. They not only should all be fired, most of them probably should be arrested. The SEC ought to look into these practices. Deliberately deceiving investors about the condition of the company is ILLEGAL. At the very least, they have breached their contract with these sellers by manipulating those store settings to keep sellers from being able to boycott. eBay sucks. BOYCOTT VICTORIOUSLY one company's "noise" is another company's "music"

The problem facing eBay sellers is a collective problem, and therefore requires a collective solution. Only the eBay users themselves can truly break the eBay Inc. monopoly, rescue our auction businesses from destruction at the hands of corporate greed. “Go to youtube and watch the videos of user: ebayredux. Then you will know what ebay is all about!”

If you want to get even with eBay, then start making complaints to media for failing to tell the story and start sending financial bloggers and your reps in state and federal government complaints about eBay with outlines of your own examples of how eBay dealt in an abusive way with you.

As run by John Donahore eBay is one of the companies that got it into its head that its rasion d'etre was to make money--well it is, but you need to provide a valuable service or product that a reliable customer base is happy with, to get to the winning bottom line. the bottom line here, is that all eBay cares about is the bottom line.

“eBay is the cancer of the internet: they steal money from sellers like me after suspending me for NO REASON! I hope they suffocate on their own puke!” I no longer sell on eBay, I bid once and a while but never win anything anymore because I do not trust the system. The not so funny part is I had 6 years with out any serious problem, now they are rampart. Just turn around...and walk away... As long as you stay connected with the negativity it will follow you to your new endeavors.

eBay can still be used as a resource for looking up the unknown article or a pricing ballpark. You can list one item or 2, but go ahead and start out new again! We are all out there ready to start building!

Appendix D

WARNING: ioffer.com IS NOT an alternative to eBay !

And YOU thought eBay was bad: ioffer is WORSE !!!

I stopped selling DVDs and Blu-Ray on eBay in 2008 when the eBay V.E.R.O became to bad.
The eBay Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program got out of hand and forced many sellers offering legal products, like DVDs and CDs, into suspension.

So, subsequently many sellers moved on to ioffer.com:

On May 20, 2009, we listed 5 brand/new factory sealed Blu-rays on ioffer, we had bought two weeks earlier on Amazon:

Batman Begins [Blu-ray] (2005)
March of the Penguins [Blu-ray] (2005)
Twister [Blu-ray] (1996)
I Am Legend [Blu-ray] (2007)
300 [Blu-ray] (2007)

Two days later we received a notification from the Warner Brother C.O.P.S. (Counter Online Piracy System) that our listings were infringing on their copyright (which is 100% untrue), and our ioffer account was thus terminated.

We contacted the Warner Brother C.O.P.S., provided valid Amazon receipts POP (Proof of Purchase) for all items: WB did not care, or act on our behalf, apart from sending us a useless template suspension message.

ioffer does not care about people being unrightfully and unlawfully suspended sellers, stating it is none of their business: "iOffer Customer Service can not assist you with COPS removed items."


Ioffer is dying a slow similar eBay-like death by not standing up for their sellers, and being intimidated by WARNER BROS, for example. It is thus, NOT A VIABLE WEBSITE FOR SELLING, and serious, professional sellers will have to look elsewhere* to list their items.

WARNER BROS (WB) is a company that blatantly violates people's rights as consumer/customer.

You may not want to purchase any Warner Bros. products anymore (Myself, family and friends have stopped!) as WB continues to violate constitutional rights of others under the guise of copyright infringement. WB, today, has become Orwell's BIG BROTHER, it pretends and acts as if it is the police, or law enforcement, when, in all truth, it is just a privately held company, desperate for survival by bullying and intimidating others, and by default, others freedom and legal rights. In that way, WB itself has become involved in illegal activity, which seems to know no boundaries.

So, having said:

start selling and buying at companies*, which are NOT intimidated by VERO, or COPS systems, treat people like human beings and put the customer/consumer first; among them are:


These are growing fastly and will treat you with courtesy and respect, unlike eBay and ioffer, apart from actually being fun and generating sales.
Spread the news, tell all your friends, family, business partners about them!!!!

I am sending this story to all blogs, media outlets and news agencies around the world!

Ken Attkinson
Chicago, IL


(1) From the eBay website (May 2008): www.ebay.com
(2) Haffner, Sebastian. Germany: Jekyll & Hyde. London 1940, Berlin 1996.
(3) From the eBay website (May 2008): www.ebay.com
(4) Adams, Paul. "Reshaping the Net” in Wall Street Journal 05/08
(5) Callahan, Dan. Issues on Ethics. Health Policy Review, January 2007.
(6) Bankman, Joseph. Corporate Governance and Practice, New York, 2008.
(7) Daines, Robert. Future Prospects of Legality, Duke: Duke University
Press, 2007.
(8) Becker, Anne. Professor of Medical Anthropology, Clinical Study IV,
(9) Gilligan, Laura. Five Years After – The eBay Exodus, Dallas, 2008.
(10) Luke Paterson. “Making the Internet a Better Place” in Newsweek, June
(11) Weizman, Isaac. Lawful Procedures in the 21st Century. NYU Press,
(12) Weizman, Isaac. Lawful Procedures in the 21st Century. NYU Press,
(13) Norrington, Lorrie. eBay Memo 2007, San Diego court filing # C-08-137
(14) Norrington, Lorrie. eBay Memo 2007, San Diego court filing # C-08-137
(15) Young, Tim. “Keeping it Safe “ in MIT Internet Security Anthology, July
(16) Gould, Martin. Faster and Better. Chicago: Chicago Free Press, 2007.
(17) Haffner, Sebastian. Von Bismarck zu Hitler: Ein Rückblick. München 1987.
(18) Torman, Bryan. “Banking Today” in Forbes Magazine 1/2008.
(19) The Newspeak Dictionary. http://www.newspeakdictionary.com/ns-
(20) Havercamp, Eugene. Instrumentalizing Words. Oxford: OUP, 2006.
(21) Podinsky, Chris. “Powerselling on ” in New York Times, August 12, 2007.
(22) Wallace, Henry. The Countdown Divers. Edinburgh: Edinburgh New
Press, 2008.
(23) Johan Ulrich. “ sellers unite against ” in Newsweek, 5/2008.
(24) Johan Ulrich. “ sellers unite against ” in Newsweek, 5/2008.
(25) Windsor, Evan. Pressure, Visibilty & Credibility. Boston: MIT Press, 2008.
(26) Pralait, George. “On-demand Yesterday, Today” in Sun-Times, March
(27) Higgins James M. Innovate Evaporate. Management Publishing, 2008.
(28) Bronfman, Kate. The Cultures of Work Organizations. Prentice-Hall, 2008.
(29) Quinn, Tomas. “Racing with Low Speed” in Business Gazette 04/08.
(30) Deventiava, Horaz. “Field Straight Open” in Washington Post, 6 May
(31) Allan M. Kennedy. Corporate Culture. Addison-Wesley, 2006.
(32) Winkelmann, Dieter. Geschichte einer Epoche. Stuttgart & München 2000.
(33) Schein, Edgar H. Culture with Leadership, 2d ed. Jossey-Bass, 1999.
(34) http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSN2923696420080301
(35) Bryers, David. “Sales Inhibitors from Beyond” in Wall Street Journal,
(36) Johnson, William. Global Business Reader. New York: Praeger Books,
(37) Berger, Briget. Culture of Entrepreneurship. ICS Press, 2007.
(38) Pascale, Richard G. The Art of Management. Warner, 2008.
(39) Pascale, Richard G. The Art of Management. Warner, 2008.
(40) Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco court filing # A-08-443
(41) Wollner, Daniel and Kent, Ray. “Southbound” in New Media Journal,
(42) Anderson, Elizabeth P. Second to None. Irwin, 2007.
(43) Owen, William. Theory Z. Afton Books, 2008.
(44) Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, court filing # C-08-1002
(45) Gilson, Ronald J. The Legal Journal, Stanford, 2008.
(46) Pohlmann, Heinz. Wirtschaftsbetrug heute. Berlin 2007.
(47) Grundfest, Joseph A. and Klausner, Michael. Stanford Business Review,
(48) Titian, Doreen. “A Better Time, a better way” in Los Angeles Times, March
24, 08.
(49) Melveny & Myers. Press Release, May 9, 2008.
(50) Yuronis, Harriet. Upsizing for Downsizing. New York: Ballantine, 2008.
(51) Heller, Thomas C. and Victor, David. Untitled Study. Stanford, 2008.
(52) Gillian, Jones & Primek vs. eBay. Sydney, Australia, Office of GA, #M
2281-02, 08.
(53) Heller, Thomas C. and Victor, David. Ongoing Study 98-08. Stanford,
(54) Aust, Erwin. Der Teufelspakt: Hitler und andere. Zürich 1987.
(55) Dumont, William. “Life on the Fast-Lane” in Chicago Sun-Times, May 4,
(56) Former eBay sellers. “Making the Change” in Washington Post, April 14,
(57) Burwell, Jennifer. Internet Selling Made Easy. McGraw-Hill, 2008.
(58) Douglas, Warren. Trade, E-Commerce on the Internet. Berkeley, 2007.
(58a) http://www.techchuck.com/2009/03/11/ebay-ceo-pledges-more-hands-on-market/
(58b) http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/printer_friendly.cfm?articleid=1888
(58c) Applebaum, Anne. “eBay: The faster they come, the faster they go“ in Slate Magazine (March 2009)
(59) Watkins, Elliot M. “Sales in the third degree” in NYU Journal, April, 2008.

Additional Reading

(1) Callahan, Dan. Issues on Ethics. Health Policy Review, January 2007.
(2) Bankman, Joseph. Corporate Governance and Practice, New York, 2008.
(3) Daines, Robert. Future Prospects of Legality, Duke: Duke University
Press, 2007.
(4) Becker, Anne. Professor of Medical Anthropology, Clinical Study IV,
(5) Gilligan, Laura. Two Years After – The Filmbaby Exodus, Dallas, 2008.
(6) Luke Paterson. “Making the Internet a Better Place” in Newsweek, June
(7) Weizman, Isaac. Lawful Procedures in the 21st Century. NYU Press,
(8) Weizman, Isaac. Lawful Procedures in the 21st Century. NYU Press,
(9) Young, Tim. “Keeping it Safe “ in MIT Internet Security Anthology, July
(10) Gould, Martin. Faster and Better. Chicago: Chicago Free Press, 2007.
(11) Torman, Bryan. “Banking Today” in Forbes Magazine 1/2008.
(12) Podinsky, Chris. “Powerselling on ” in New York Times, August 12, 2007.
(13) Wallace, Henry. The Countdown Divers. Edinburgh: Edinburgh New
Press, 2008.
(14) Windsor, Evan. Pressure, Visibilty & Credibility. Boston: MIT Press, 2008.
(15) Pralait, George. “On-demand Yesterday, Today” in Sun-Times, March
(16) Bronfman, Kate. The Cultures of Work Organizations. Prentice-Hall, 2008.
(17) Quinn, Tomas. “Racing with Low Speed” in Business Gazette 04/08.
(18) Allan M. Kennedy. Corporate Culture. Addison-Wesley, 2006.
(19) Schein, Edgar H. Culture with Leadership, 2d ed. Jossey-Bass, 1999.
(20) Bryers, David. “Sales Inhibitors from Beyond” in Wall Street Journal,
(21) Johnson, William. Global Business Reader. New York: Praeger Books,
(22) Berger, Briget. Culture of Entrepreneurship. ICS Press, 2007.
(23) Pascale, Richard G. True Financial Outlook. Bantam, 2008.