The Ebay Rag Mag

August 29, 2008

Federal Court’s Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement

Steele et al. v. PayPal, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:05-CV-01720 (ILG)(VVP)

Notice from Federal Court. Please Read.

You may be eligible to receive a benefit from a class action settlement if you funded a PayPal transaction using a source other than your credit card between February 1, 2004 and the present.

A federal court has directed that this notice be sent to inform you of a proposed class action settlement. Records show that you may be eligible to receive a benefit under the proposed settlement.

The settlement will resolve a lawsuit against eBay Inc. and PayPal, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) involving claims arising out of representations in the PayPal User Agreement regarding PayPal’s policies and practices for responding to refund requests from those customers who pay for transactions through PayPal using funds from funding sources other than credit cards. Under the settlement, Defendants have agreed to establish a settlement fund of $3.5 million to pay claims to potential class members. The proposed Class is defined as:

all U.S. based PayPal account holders who funded a PayPal transaction after February 1, 2004, using a source other than a credit card: (i) who subsequently requested a reversal of the transaction through PayPal’s prevailing Buyer Complaint Policy and/or Buyer Protection Policy (collectively, “Policies”); (ii) who did not receive a refund equal to 100% of their transaction payment in response to such request from PayPal or their bank; and (iii) who, through the timely submission of a Claim Form under oath, attest to a reasonable and good faith belief that they would have received a full reversal of such payment had they used a valid credit card in their possession at the time of the subject transaction to fund the payment and filed a timely chargeback request with their credit card issuing bank. Excluded from the Class are any judicial officer to whom this Litigation is assigned; PayPal, eBay and any of its affiliates; any current or former employees, officers, or directors of PayPal or eBay; any Persons currently residing outside of the United States; and, all Persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Class pursuant to the Notice.

To see if you are a Class Member and to obtain full notice of the Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com. This email is only a brief summary of the full notice that is posted on the website.

If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member, you have rights, obligations, and options under the proposed settlement. You have until December 14, 2008 to file your Claim Form and Certification Form. Your legal rights are affected whether you act or not.

1.     Submit The Claim Form And The Certification Form By Mail

This is the only way to get a settlement payment. You must: (1) print and fill out the Claim Form and return it by mail to the address provided on the Claim Form; and (2) print the Certification Page of your Claim Form, sign it, and return it by mail to the address provided on the Claim Form. Your Claim Form and signed Certification Page must be mailed and postmarked no later than December 14, 2008. For more information on these deadlines, the Effective Date of the settlement, the Claim Form procedures, and the settlement benefit, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com.

2.     Exclude Yourself – Opt Out of the Settlement

If you do not want to remain a member of the Class and participate in the Amended Settlement, then you may exclude yourself (opt-out) from the Class by mailing or delivering (email is not permitted) your written request. Your original, signed request for exclusion must be RECEIVED on or before October 31, 2008 and mailed to the following address:

PayPal/Steele Class Action Settlement
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 9309
Dublin, OH 43017-4209

Your request for exclusion must contain your name and address, be signed by you, and include the reference “Steele et al. v. PayPal, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:05-CV-01720.” If you exclude yourself from the Class, you will not participate in the Amended Settlement and will not receive any payment from the Amended Settlement.

3.     Object

Write to the Court about why you do not like the settlement. Your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn Main Office, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201, no later than October 31, 2008. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, you may not be heard on or entitled to contest the Court’s decision unless you have filed written objections no later than October 31, 2008. A hearing (“Settlement Hearing”) shall be held before Hon. I Leo Glasser on November 17, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Courtroom 8B South, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201.

4.     Do Nothing

You will automatically be included in the Settlement Class and give up your right to be part of any other lawsuit about the claims in this case, but you will not be eligible to receive a settlement benefit unless you submit a Claim Form.

To get complete information about the proposed Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com.

Please do not contact PayPal, or PayPal’s customer support about this Notice, or the Settlement. Instead, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com for complete information about the proposed Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options.

Please do not reply to this message. We are unable to respond to inquiries sent in reply to this email. To contact us, please access the official settlement website at www.steelesettlement.com.

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August 26, 2008

The Ebay Rag Mag › Edit — WordPress

The Ebay Rag Mag › Edit — WordPress.

Class action law suit: Unwelcome & Malicious bidding policy

An anonymous powerseller is seeking other eBay sellers whose business reputation has been damaged by lack of enforcement of eBays’ Unwelcome & Malicious bidding policy.

This policy states that sellers may exclude buyers at any time prior to the listing close and are free to cancel unwelcome bids.  After a seller has cancelled a bid, the bidder may not place a new bid without the seller’s permission.  Buyers who do not meet the seller’s terms as outlined in the item listing also are not permitted to bid on or buy the item.

Additionally, members are prohibited from bidding on or purchasing an item to disrupt or to leave non-positive Feedback or Detailed Seller Ratings for the seller, with no intention of completing the transaction.

Sellers are permitted to exclude bidders at any time prior to the listing close and are free to cancel unwelcome bids.  After a seller has cancelled a bid, the bidder may not place a new bid without the seller’s permission.

Failure to meet a seller’s terms

Examples:

  • Seller states item will only be shipped domestically. Buyer is registered outside the shipping area.
  • Seller states that buyers with negative feedback comments are not permitted to bid. The buyer has negative feedback.

Buying with the intent to disrupt a listing Examples:

  • Buyer places a bid that greatly exceeds the value of the item in order to prevent a sale.
  • Buyer bids on multiple items listed by a seller without intent to complete the sale.
  • Buyer attempts to purchase an item after having been placed on a seller’s blocked bidders list.

The policy sites violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation
  • Limits on account privileges
  • Account suspension
  • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
  • Loss of PowerSeller status
  •  

  • Why does eBay have this policy?

    This policy is intended to protect the integrity of the eBay marketplace by prohibiting conduct that would interfere with the completion or performance of eBay transactions.

  • Point 1:  eBay is choosing to look the other way when bidders violate this policy.  eBay refuses to cancel the listing thus allowing the Unwelcome & Malicious bidders to participate in the feedback process including the Detailed Seller Ratings portion of the feedback system.  eBays’ stance on the matter (in writing) is feedback removal is not an option even though the bidder has violated site wide policy.

    Point 2:  Policy wording in the range of action portion is not addressing bidding activity, it is addressing seller activity.  A seller is not doing the bidding, a bidder is doing the bidding.

    Point 3:  By lack of enforcement of this policy eBay is sending the message that Unwelcome & Malicious bidding is encouraged and it is acceptable to committ libelous acts on their site .  Unwelcome and Malicious bidders may be unaware of the policy or they may be a scorned buyer or even a ruthless competitor.

    Point 4:  Sellers are being denied their appropriate search standing, and their appropriate selling fee discounts thus causing financial hardships.

    Point 5: Sellers are losing their accounts causing financial hardships, undue stress and damage to their business reputations.

    The anonymous seller has attempted to address this issue through appropriate channels at ebay, first starting with the Safe Harbour Department, the Feedback department and Powerseller e-mail & phone support.  The anonymous seller escalated the issue to eBays’ office of the President who acknowledges that the actions displayed by their site  staff  is inconsistent and unfair, yet refuse to make the necessary changes and maintain that the bids of any unwelcome and (or) malicious bidder will stand and the transaction will remain valid.  eBay representatives also maintain that although it has been determined that the bidder has violated policy and should not have been allowed to place their bid, all feedback they leave will stand.

    We have discovered a live recording from Griffs call-in radio show where he is in full agreement that the actions of eBay staff is condradictory in nature and the policy needs to be revisited.  Unfortunately, as griff states, he is not God, and even Griff was unable to convince ebay executives to understand that they are out of line.  Griff  is the “eBay Ambassador”. He is the most visible and well know eBay media spokesperson and claims to be an advocate for buyers and sellers when they have encountered inappopriate behavior committed by eBays’ staff.  Griff also functions as Dean of eBay Education.

    Lack of enforcement of this policy destroys the integrity of the eBay marketplace by permitting conduct that would interfere with the completion or performance of eBay transactions.

    August 23, 2008

    Top 25 eBay Sellers Ranked by Feedback

    Filed under: Powerseller Watch — ebaygossip @ 2:55 pm
    Tags: , , ,

    casacaiman ( 371307)  Not a registered user recieved their last feedback in August of 2007 so we here at The eBay Rag Mag are wondering how this seller figures in to the equation of being the number 19 seller in the “top 25 seller” list.

    glacierbaydvd ( 358326)  Not a registered user recieved their last feedback in Febuary 2006 so we here at the eBay Rag Mag are wondering how this seller figures in to the equation of being the number 21 seller in the “top 25 seller” list.

    It is our opinion that just as feedback is removed from an eBay users’ profile (when it benefits eBay) when a peer goes unregistered, these dummy powerseller accounts should be removed from the equation as well, especially since both of these sellers were removed from eBay for non-performance.

    The Brand New Improved Ebay Logo has been unveiled – AMAZING!!!!

    Note:  This is sarcasm and not the new logo.

    This logo was brought to you by a shooting star powerseller with over 22,100 feedback and has been registered on ebay since Febuary 1999.

    The reponse of the powerseller logo has been agreement:

    “LOL – maybe you could also drape a bath towel off the end of the “Y” – Motley Fool had an article today entitled eBay Throws in the Towel …”

     

    “I think it should be a fork in the letter U.
    as in FORK U….”

     

    Followed by a new logo:

    The poster of this logo has over 8500 feedbacks recieved and has been registered with eBay since March 1999.  “Here is what I think the new logo should be!”

     

    “omg hilarious… stick a fork in ‘er…she’s done”

    Followed by yet another new logo:

    –artfully created by a powerseller with over 4000 feedback recieved and registered on ebay since May 1997.

    Additional possible new logo’s for eBay included the ebay logo with a fork being rasted over a fire, Mr Donahoe (eBays new CEO) pictured in front of an evil castle and a fallen, broken down eBay sign, photos of the eBay logo on a sinking Titanic, the fallen Zepplin, a category five hurricane named Donahoe getting ready to pummel the gulf coast and one large enough to pummel the entire United States and they continue to add up in the growing thread.

    Checks and Money Orders will no longer be accepted – you have to be kidding

    An eBay seller with a shooting star feedback of over 18,000 and has been registered with eBay since April 2001 writes: 

    “Granted – about 10% of our buyers use them these days.
    But gee whiz – thanks Ebay for taking those customers away Ebay.
    Now this really sucks. It sucks big time!
    Didn’t this noble attempt fail in Australia?”

    The overall reception of eBays new policy is not favorable by it’s sellers:

    And from what I’m reading Paypal will take 3.1% of your sales up to $3000.00.

    Lets see, FVF 15% + PP 3.1% + listing fees =s eBay GREED!

    On top of this the punishments are insane.

    4.0, 4.1, 4.2 are all “REASONABLE” DSRs but once again eBay doesn’t understand words and says that they will ban you from listing for 30 days.

    The small claim courts will be getting FULL!

    OH, should I mention the searches THAT DO NOT SEARCH.

    We must now kiss all the buyers that only pay by check or MO goodbye.

    EBAY IS NOW RAN ON PURE GREED!!!!! ”

     

    What should I do if a buyer demands to pay with checks or money orders?

    Send them your address, and tell them that eBay can get stuffed.

    What should I do if I have long-standing, repeat customers who insist on paying with checks or money orders, even after I explain the benefits of electronic payments and offer suggestions?

    Remind them that there might be 80 million other merchants on eBay, but you’ll always be happy to accept their payment in whatever form is most convenient to them.”

     

    “In my main category, and I’d assume other collectibles categories are the same, a significant percentage of buyers still prefer to pay by check or money order. This change WILL cost eBay, (and we as sellers), buyers, and many of these buyers are high ticket purchasers.”

     

    “Are there any categories excluded from these payment requirements?

    Vehicles (Motors), capital equipment (Business & Industrial), Mature Audiences and Real Estate will be excluded from the new payment requirements.

    Specifically, the following categories will be excluded:

    Motors > Cars & Trucks
    Motors > Motorcycles
    Motors > Powersports
    Motors > Boats
    Motors > Other Vehicles & Trailers
    Business & Industrial > Agriculture & Forestry > Tractors & Farm Machinery
    Business & Industrial > Construction > Heavy Equipment, Trailers
    Business & Industrial > Food Service & Retail > Concession Trailers & Carts
    Business & Industrial > Healthcare, Lab & Life Science > Imaging & Aesthetics Equipment
    Business & Industrial > Industrial Supply, MRO > Fork Lifts & Other Lifts
    Business & Industrial > Manufacturing & Metalworking > Manufacturing Equipment
    Business & Industrial > Manufacturing & Metalworking > Metalworking Equipment
    Business & Industrial > Office, Printing & Shipping > Commercial Printing Presses
    Real Estate
    Everything Else > Mature Audiences”  (Point for our readers:  PayPal does not accept payment from adult sites or any web payment made for mature audiences.  The rest is pretty obvious.)

     

    “I find eBay’s rationale for this change rather suspect:

    Today, items paid with check or money order are 80% more likely to result in an item not received (INR) than those paid with credit card or PayPal. Also, buyers who pay with check or money order are 50% more likely to leave negative feedback than those who pay with electronic methods. So starting in late October, 2008, we are moving to 100% electronic payments – credit cards, ProPay, or PayPal.

    I tend to find that buyers sending checks or money orders are much MORE committed to the purchase and most of them pay by check/money order because they specifically mention that they don’t like, or refuse to use, PayPal.

    So I’m sure it will work to condescendingly pat the buyers on the head and tell them that they just don’t realize how amazingly safe Paypal is, and that eBay knows best. Uh huh.”

     

    Today, items paid with check or money order are 80% more likely to result in an item not received (INR) than those paid with credit card or PayPal. Also, buyers who pay with check or money order are 50% more likely to leave negative feedback than those who pay with electronic methods.

    This is an excellent example of playing with statistics to justify a change. Percentages tell us nothing when raw data is missing. Out of millions of transactions, what is really happening? An increase from 1% to 1.8% would be 80%, but is still insignifcant relative to total volume.”

     

    “The majority of my buyers are older retired folks who are collectors of antiques. MANY don’t trust online payment in any form, and I don’t blame them. AND they shouldn’t have to be “trained” to do it whether they like it or not.

    Looks like for us it will be ‘business as usual’ until January, 2009. I’ll take the payment options out of my listings for the rest of this year (starting October) but I’m not making any major changes until I have to – and between now and then, will be doing some thinking on whether it may be time to do something else with all this glass.”

    “This change REALLY bothers me.
    I sell collectibles/unique and I’d say about 20% of my customers pay with paper.

    I can understand wanting more Paypal fees but this is a slap at
    sellers AND buyers.
    Some of my customers do not trust or aren’t computer savy enough to go through Paypals hoops.
    What right does ebay have to tell me what form of payment to accept?
    Especially when they narrow it down to the point that Paypal is pretty much the only choice.

    Maybe this is the red herring on these newest changes?
    Everyone says not fair/focuses on this, then ebay reverts to previous rules (similar to the nuets as neg … while no one paid attention about raised FVF).

    I know …. thats really cynical of me …….”

     

    opened it up to more non-electronic payment methods

    LOL, what other non-electronic payment methods are there besides cash, check and MO? Barter, IOU’s and bearer bonds?

    This is probably the change that I find most offensive out of all the changes in the past eight years I’ve sold here.

    I’m sure eBay has its reasons, but I don’t think it actually benefits the buyer experience to limit their options.

    I am deeply suspicious that their statitics are deliberately out of context and are being inappropriately used to make site wide changes (even though they are exempting the most problematic category Mature Audiences).

    items paid with check or money order are 80% more likely to result in an item not received (INR) than those paid with credit card or PayPal. Also, buyers who pay with check or money order are 50% more likely to leave negative feedback than those who pay with electronic methods.

     

    The above quotes are only from the first page.  Currently there are six pages and a total of 300 similar responses to the thread.  We also note that this thread is very active and continues to grow at a very rapid rate.

    New Pricing, More Incentives, and Other Changes

    “To bring more buyers” says Lori Norrington in her August 20th announcement.

    1) Listing fixed price items is more affordable than ever – Starting September 16, eBay is lowering the listing fee for all items sold via the fixed price format to only 35 cents, and a special rate of only 5 cents through the end of the year for Buy It Now™ fixed price listings in the Media categories (Books, Video Games, Music and DVDs/Movies) using pre-filled item information, but what she doesn’t say is that once again eBay has raised Final Value Fees on it’s sellers and it’s not just limited to the above listed categories, it’s site wide.

    2) Free shipping incentives in all categories, plus shipping charge limits in Media – Beginning on October 1, 2008 and running through the end of the year, all sellers will receive the option to use subtitle for free, worth $.50 per listing, when free shipping is offered.  And for eligible PowerSellers, you will receive double your PowerSeller Final Value Fee discount on these items, starting on the same date and running through the end of the year when you offer free shipping – this is up to a 40% discount! As always, items with free shipping will get a boost in Best Match search results.  Again, just a another fase disguised as something good for eBay sellers.  What she doesn’t say is that using the subtitles does not help any seller because eBay refuses to add subtitle contents into the keyword search.  The upside is that if a seller has an average of 4.9 Detailed Seller Ratings the possibility of the discount can be as much as 40%.  Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any item will sell, and the only 4.9 DSR seller we know if is eBay i.d. BUY, and we all know that their elevated DSR score is part of the deal they struck with eBay.

    3) Faster, more reliable checkout on eBay – This is eBay’s way of annoucing that ebay has now manipulated it’s market by optimising their already inflated fee potential aka “checks and money orders will no longer be accepted on eBay”.  This leaves only Pay Pal an eBay company.

    4) Updated seller standards – minimum DSRs – Finally, we’re instituting a new minimum Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) requirement, as a way to further improve the customer experience for everyone on eBay. As of November 1, 2008, sellers will need at least a 4.3 across all four DSR categories, over the prior 30 day or 12 month period depending on volume, in order to list on the site.

    Now that eBay has pushed many of their most valuable sellers off the site by way of intimidation through the elevated fee structure and DSR rating system, they are now making room for the below par sellers to fill their place.  Oh joy.

    August 16, 2008

    Pre-Filled Item Information Available in More Categories

    On August 15, 2008 eBay announced a welcome change that will improve the search feature for both buyers and sellers in the electronics, musical intruments, sporting goods, toys & hobbies and watches catergories.

    Over the next week, we will be introducing Pre-Filled Item Information in multiple categories, including several under Electronics, Musical Instruments, Sporting Goods, Toys and Hobbies, and Watches.

    Pre-Filled Item Information enables sellers to easily add standard product information such as brand, model, color, and in some cases, a stock photo, to their listings. Buyers find this additional product information very helpful as they shop on eBay. Below is the list of categories where Pre-Filled Item Information will be introduced:

    Electronics

    • Audio & Stage Effects – Interfaces & Hardware
    • Audio & Stage Effects – Multi-Track Recorders

    Musical Instruments

    • Electronic Keyboards
    • Electric Guitars
    • Bass Guitars
    • Guitar Amplifiers
    • Saxophones
    • Acoustic Guitars
    • Guitar Parts and Accessories
    • Drums

    Sporting Goods

    • Home Gyms
    • Electric & Gas Cars
    • Airsoft Guns
    • Bows
    • Freshwater Fishing Reels
    • Fly Fishing Reels
    • Baseball & Softball Bats
    • Downhill Skis
    • Paintball
    • Snowboarding

    Toys & Hobbies

    • Transformers
    • Building Toys – Lego
    • Webkinz Animals
    • Military & Adventure Action Figures
    • TV, Movie & Video Games
    • Board and Traditional Games
    • Model RR, Trains
    • Pretend Play – Fisher-Price

    Jewelry & Watches

    • Wristwatches

    Note: Sellers who use a 3rd party listing service (ChannelAdvisor, etc.), should contact them to verify that they will offer the Pre-filled Item Information capabilities in the categories listed above.

    To learn more click here  http://pages.ebay.com/Pre-fillediteminformation/

    Another Below Par Ebayer Bites The Dust

    trendy*kidz has been a registered seller on eBay since April 6, 2003 and has undergone nine user name changes since registering on eBay, averaging two name changes per year. 

    Terenzy*kidz is a United States based business that has been utilizing eBay to sell her products to Europeans.  Products sold ranged anywhere from childrens’ hats to childrens’ bedding to a wide range of child size clothing.

    On July 20, 2008 eBay decided it was time to pull in the reigns on Terenzy*kids and began monitoring this businesses selling practices due to a number of complaints from buyers who have been receiving items that are significantly not as described in the auction description or not receiving their merchandise at all.   

    On August 14, 2008 eBay finally pulled the plug.   While the name remains unchanged and still appears as currently registered, you may not be seeing any new listing from this seller for quite some time.

    The owner of the business, who recently posted to the ebay message boards, claims that she is a single mother and has been using her eBay income to support herself and her child.   She expressed concern over her ability to support herself and her child following eBays’ actions but in the same breathe admits that she had been previously given a 30 day warning by eBay to either clean up her business practices or to lose her selling privaleges on ebay.   Although she can provide no proof that she heeded the warnings she insisted on requesting that her fellow sellers provide moral support. 

    Instead of moral support, what she received were several questions from her fellow sellers demanding explainations for the reasons behind her lack of ability to clean up her act when she had been given a full month to do so.  Common consensus was that there is much more to this story that can be seen by the naked eye, and perhaps the selling practices of the eBayer are significantly worse than first anticipated.

    It is a great day for eBay when a “bad seller” is taken down, leaving more room for growth for the sellers who have buckled down and have embraced eBay’s new “enhanced buying experience” policies and continue to keep eBay a safe and more friendly place for trade.

    We’ll keep an eye on the progress of this story and inform you of any new developments.  As it now stands, this “bad seller” is off eBay indefinitely.

    August 12, 2008

    Ebay Continues To Welcome Malicious Bidding.

    Despite complaints from it’s sellers, ebay refuses to update the Unwelcome and Malicious Buying policy which states that sellers may exclude buyers at any time prior to the listing close and are free to cancel unwelcome bids.  After a seller has cancelled a bid, the bidder may not place a new bid without the seller’s permission.  Buyers who do not meet the seller’s terms as outlined in the item listing also are not permitted to bid on or buy the item.

    In response to the new feedback system, sellers who are no longer allowed to leave negative or neutral feedback for bad buyers, have been altering their auction policies to incorporate the Unwelcome and Malicious Buying policy only to find that it is an ineffective policy where it comes to seller protection.

    Ebay acknowledges these transactions as valid and rewards the malicious bidder by allowing them full access to the sellers’ feedback profile, including the Detailed Seller Ratings portion.

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