eBay - your online fence?

By · October 26, 2010 · 2 comments

Although eBay have rules against the listing of items which infringe copyright and are on recordable media they have hundreds of such items for sale at any one time.

Now I understand that some items can slip through the net, but there is no excuse when items are obviously not the genuine article.

Take the case of repair manuals for cars, motorcycles, boat engines and the like. All you have to do is search for something like "MANUAL CD" and you will see hundreds (perhaps thousands) of listings for these type of repair manuals. I would suggest that most people who see these manuals realise that they are obviously either pirated copies of printed manuals or manufacturer's service data that is usually only available to dealers. Many of the advertisers even openly mention the publisher's name. I have no doubt eBay have a department full of people trained to spot listing violations such as these, but they don't appear to be doing anything about the problem, despite myself (and I'm sure many others) reporting these listings frequently in an attempt to bring this to their attention.

I guess this type of theft does not receive the same public attention as software, music and movie piracy so eBay are probably happy not to have to "waste" their resources clamping down on it, and no doubt also happy to pocket the listing and various other fees they receive for acting as a "fence" (definition: a place where stolen goods are bought and sold).

Useful links:

eBay policy on recordable media
eBay policy on copyrights and trademarks

How to report an item that you believe violates eBay's policies:

There is a link on every item page, as shown in the following image (circled in red).

Report item to eBay
eBay and PayPal

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Comments (2)

# Posted by Sick to Death · May 23, 2011

Ah yes but have you noticed that Ebay will not inform you of any action taken against these people??? So you can complain but you'll never know what action IF ANY was taken.

Ebay is for Ebay if they remove a seller they remove potential income. A few times I've complained about certain issues I don't think anything was ever done.

If it was then most likely just a slap on the mouse like "naughty boy... don't do it again I 've warned you now at least a hundred times this week" and the next time probably gets the same response.


Sick to Death
# Posted by John Avis · May 23, 2011

I agree that eBay mostly does nothing when you complain. I see the same sellers selling the same products no matter how many times I report them. Now, if you are reporting circumventing eBay fees my guess is that gets acted on quickly.


John Avis
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John Avis ...mostly about web development and programming, with a little bit of anything else related to the Internet, computers and technology.

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