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eBay priveleges downgraded? A rant.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by TedE, May 18, 2003.

  1. TedE

    TedE Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't used eBay in over a year, but I'm moving and decided to get rid of some extraneous crap that I had lying around. First, I posted an auction for a large set of Star Wars ROTJ and ANH storyboards that I'd had for a couple years. A couple hours after I post the auction I got an e-mail: "WARNING: auction removed." Hmmm. OK, wonder what that could be. Turns out my auction violated some copyright rule that eBay had set up. Funny, these items didn't violate the rules when I bought them off of eBay a couple years ago, but rules change. Fine.

    I emailed them with an explanation of why I thought my auction had been removed unfairly (as per their message) and posted links to 4 other auctions that were currently offering essentially the same thing: copies made from production storyboards that were in PRIVATE hands, not pirated or secreted out of the studio. The auto-reponse (of course) from eBay just gave me a bunch of links to rules that I had already read. Nowhere was my case covered explicitly. E-mailed back hoping to get a real person; no dice. Work got busy and I forgot about it.

    I did a little research about what the eBay illegal auction robots were looking for and figured that my wording may have triggered it (I had the words "Star Wars", "copies", "ILM", plus some others that may have triggered the no-no police). I had also heard that eBay was a little more sensitive with Lucasfilm material. There are usually dozens of auctions for copies of Terminator and Aliens storyboards (again, photocopies of studio material that is in private collections). I did notice that sellers are fairly cautious about explicitly stating that in the auctions.

    So, I get back on tonight to re-list with some massaged item descriptions. I was going to just keep 'em, but there are 600+ storyboards and they are heavy so I reconsidered.

    I go to the Sell an Item link and get a "Credit Card/Bank Validation" screen asking me to validate my account with a credit card before I can list. Funny, this didn't happen two weeks ago when I listed some other items. Must've clicked on the wrong link. Go back and try again: same result.

    What?!? I know they did this a few years back before you were allowed to register, but I've had an eBay account since early 1998 so I was grandfathered in the first time they made people do it. I've got a +67 feedback rating that is ALL positive, not a neutral in the bunch. And now they want my credit card, or even worse bank account number, for "verification" purposes? I don't think so. I don't give that stuff out online unless I'm actually buying something. So now I can't list anything. This sucks. And I can't find an announcement of any sort on their site, nor any eBay spam in my email stating similar(although I have deleted a lot of the latter in the past year because of all of the scam artists trying to do the same). When did they change this? Could it be because they removed one of my auctions and now I'm flagged as a potentially shady seller?

    Anyone else had to do this recently? What really ticks my off is that I didn't have to do this two weeks ago. Arrrgghh!! Sorry abour the rant. Needed to get that off my chest.
     
  2. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    While I agree that eBay's policies are overly-draconia -- such is the price we pay for a monopoly -- I don't see the big deal about giving them a CC. Frankly, as a buyer, I would want your identity as a seller to be confirmed up the ying-yang. Then again, as a seller, you could just generate a one-use-only CC number with a $1.00 authorization amount (check your bank's website) and give that to eBay. Lots of ways around eBay's BS... As a PowerSeller, they usually treat me pretty well. But I'd welcome competition in the online auction space.
     
  3. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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    I had an account in good standing with eBay that I'd managed to build up a healthy amount of positive feedback on over the course of over 5 years. One day I used my account to buy a $5 cellphone cover w/ buy it now and paid via paypal. Then a week later I get a nonpaying bidder notice for that item! I sent both safe harbor (ebay's complaint dept) and the company I bought the cover from emails containing the paypal transaction info and asked them to rescind the NPB.

    Two weeks later I get ANOTHER one for the same auction. Again, I email both ebay and the company I bought the cover from with the receipt.

    Two weeks later, my account is suspended for being an NPB. The biggest load of bullshit, ever. I searched ebay high and low for a phone # to call to complain and they don't list anything.

    As far as I'm concerned ebay can kiss my ass.
     
  4. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    You need to give them a CC so they can charge you for listing your items. If you were only a buyer in the past, it will be necessary to give them a way to collect fees for your selling.
     
  5. TedE

    TedE Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  7. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    eBay responds to those that cause it the most amount of grief: 1) law enforcement; 2) copyright holders. In the case of law enforcement, eBay is a giddy friend and volunteers to hand over any and all information regardless of legal necessity. Similarly, Lucas' group of companies provides a tremendous amount of pressure to control content rights. The bottom line is that eBay rarely responds to the needs of consumers. Only those that can cost it significant amounts of money.
     

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