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Thread: Ebay is not the way
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 Ebay is not the way
Sent: 02-10-2008 08:10

Okay, this is classic Ebay. I had a perfume store that was suspended by Ebay for a supposed "trademark violation" although noone from Ebay could tell me what in particular was violating a trademark.

Well, I went through their process to get reinstated. You have to fax a bunch of info to prove you are the account holder, blah, blah, blah. I waited a few days all the while trying to get a hold of someone there which you can't to see if they got my fax. Needless to say, 10 days pass before I get an email saying they did not get all of my fax. Another 10 days pass. I spoke with an attorney who specializes in internet cases and had dealt with a perfume store in the same situation before. Basically unless you have 100s of thousands of dollars, you aren't going to be able to sue Ebay. Now I could spend $3000 to retain the attorney and he possibly had a contact at Ebay that could help me determine exactly what my trademark violation was and how to fix it, but for what little money I stand to make it doesn't make sense.

So anyway, about a month passes before I finally hear back from Ebay saying I am reinstated. Great, I thought. I revised all of my listings to make it absolutely clear that I bought these items from a liquidation lot, that they were pulled from shelves of department stores. All copy, photos, etc are mine. I changed the headings to read "Ralph Hot by Ralph Lauren" for example to make sure there was no confusion in who held the trademark. This was beginning of Jan 2008. For about a month I made several sales, I had 48 people leave feedback with a 100% rating.

Just the other day, my first batch of listings ran out. I had several 100 listings in store format. I thought I had set my preferences so as not to have them auto-relisted but apparently not because Ebay auto-relisted all of those after they expired 30 days from the first list date. Well, wouldn't you know....I get an email less than 24 hours later saying I am suspended from doing business on Ebay again....once again for trademark violation. My suspicion is that the auto-relist triggered something, as Ebay has had 30 days to have a problem with my listings and has not until a mass listing event happened. I have found on the internet several people saying their security software seems to have all sorts of problems.

What it all boils down to is this...Ebay is getting sued all over the world by trademark holders ( and even by a country!! France or Germany if I remember correctly ). Their people are not trained very well in what is and what isn't a trademark violation, so when in doubt, they just shut you down. The fact that noone from Ebay can tell me what in my listing is violating a trademark is confirmation of that. What makes this whole thing criminal on their part is I was charged for all the listings that went on only to be suspended less than a day later, and they will not refund my money! In any other line of business that would be called "stealing."

What I have learned in all my attempts to make an honest buck on the internet is this: If people are telling you they are making money or even making a living using one of many techniques on the internet, be highly sceptical!! The only people I can tell making money on Ebay are Ebay themselves with their high fees and business model that includes stealing money, and the cottage industry that has sprung up around Ebay directed at sellers on Ebay. Those would include all the supposed "wholesalers" who want to sell you product to offer on Ebay who are not wholesalers, but actually retailers who bought themselves at wholesale then mark it up and try to offer to you "wholesale". Beware these people, they are also called "internet middlemen". You will lose money using them. Also people selling these seminars and books and e-books on how great it is selling on Ebay. I'm sure there are people who do actually turn a profit on Ebay, but they must be few and far between. When you have people offering the same product, same exact item with price ranges running from $20-$55 and the wholesale cost is $25, there is just no way you are going to make money. Truthfully the only way I see to make money ( and you won't be making a living ) on Ebay is if you make your own product and therefore have little cost, or you are selling junk around your house that has already been paid for and depreciated over several years.

Anyway, that is my wonderful experience on Ebay. Needless to say, I am through with them. It was a noble experiment, but I won't allow my self to be suckered in by their sales pitches again about how great it is to open a store on Ebay. Not saying it couldn't work for you, but lesson learned....stay away from any product that could cause trademark problems ( just about everything )...especially designer brand items. Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there...the internet is full of people trying to take our hard earned dollars with dreams of making a nice income sitting in front of the computer.




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