Talk:eBay/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

inconsistent currencies

Made a change earlier, which got reverted. Acquisitions section contains lines "for US $50 million", "for $150 million", "for $635 Million USD". How about some consistency?

$xxx USD is plain wrong. I'd prefer working with USD, GBP, EUR etc pp. Also, need to rethink 1x10^6 = 1 Million ... so what constitutes 1 Billion? british/us american? should there be used abbreviations? Where does the milliard (Mrd.) fit in ... now trying to sign this --- well, I would if I knew where the tilde was on my mac keyboard - Chartinael eot

Largest Item

How big was the submarine? - I wonder if the Channel Tunnel drilling machine ( 580 tonnes) was not the biggest? Jooler 20:34, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Auction Video

I had the following: "The default provider of streaming video onto eBay is Auction Video [1]. DMRevolution [2] also legally provides this service. That means if one wants to film a homemade or professional commercial with a webcam or video camera, and place it on eBay, he or she must go through one of these companies." This is all true, and not a salespitch for "a related product", but a encyclopedic reference to the actual provider of all videos for eBay. The other external links were upsells, but this wasn't, so by no logic could have been deleted. I think it's an important thing to know, especially as eBay continues rolling it out to the public. Anyone have any idea why this was deleted? If not I'd ask someone (myself if you're agreeable) to put it back up. Mrcolj 16:28, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, the DMRevolution link is to a specific seller's "webstore", so is inappropriate; and neither of those links back up the assertion that those are the sole providers of streaming video. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:51, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry, I didn't realize that would seem askew. The link on DMR is to "a corporate account" and NOT "a specific seller's webstore." I just thought it had more than, since it has links to the catalog, etc. But I'm fine with the root link. And what proof can I provide that Auction Video is the default provider of video for eBay? It is, you can call them, you can call eBay. It'll be fun to research--just tell me what you need and I'll post it here. Mrcolj 23:58, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Post me a link to any indication that Auction Video is the default provider -- and just as important, provide a link to any indication that your assertion that "he or she must go through one of these companies" is correct. It's the responsibility of an editor making an assertion to document the assertion. As far as "calling them" is concerned, uh, no. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:24, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
    • The best I've found is, where, at the bottom right, is a link from eBay to Auction Video. That's not a paid link, so that at least proves that eBay has some interest in supporting Auction Video. But barring eBay putting out a press release, I don't know what I can show you. There are a ton of review sites, like this. So how 'bout we take off default (albeit true), "must", and DMRevolution and leave it at "Auction Video is the official provider of streaming video for eBay. That means if one wants to film a homemade or professional commercial with a webcam or video camera, and place it on eBay, he can do so through Auction Video's website." Again, Auction Video is really the default (not the exclusive) provider of all video content on eBay, and Auction Video holds the pending patent for such (which is enforceable by law.) They are not a "related tool" any more than PayPal is a related tool. They are an officially endorsed promotion of eBay, rolled out prototypically to certain verticals, most visibly to eBay Coins and eBay Live. Basically anyone who uses eBay Coins or eBay Live knows who Auction Video is. Tell me what more I can get you and I'll try. Mrcolj 12:44, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
      • What makes you think the link on is unpaid? For gosh sakes, it goes through doubleclick. Nothing -- not even Auction Video's own site -- indicates any "official" role; AV's site says only that they're an eBay compatible application. There are several sites that provide the service (and there are few barriers to entry). --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:13, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

History of Ebay?

Why doesn't this article include the history of Ebay? When was it founded? What lead to the idea for ebay? Who were the brains behind ebay? What about the company that was ebay before it was ebay? Ebay has a rich history, and it is a shame we aren't reading about it on wikipedia.

  • I do wish someone would insert such a thing. I've held back because it's too hard for me to separate original research (e.g., my own memories). --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:46, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I'd like to see such a thing too, I came to this page looking for the history. --jimblackler
  • Someone's put up an origins and history now. Though it could be expanded to deal with the growth from 1997 to the present, or is that covered by the acquisitions section?


Shouldn't eBay start with a capital letter when it's the first word of a sentence, like every other word? If you don't agree, could you move it so its not the first word anymore, so that pedantic peopel like me are placated. 06:51, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

  • No, and rewrite sentences yourself if it bothers you. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:44, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

First Member?

Hello. Hope I'm doing this right. Does anyone know who the first member was on eBay? People who work for eBay don't count and it has to be after their public opening.

  • I've not been able to determine for sure whether anybody knows this, but indications are that nobody has any idea. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:04, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm sure the e-bay database techs have an idea. The answer is a simple 'SELECT * FROM users WHERE userid=1'. Of course, that's kind of useless without access to their database.

    • Well, not really. Look at the conditions the question asked: it has to be the first non-employee after public opening. There were lots of non-employees before the public opening. (And a lot of non-employee users became employees before the public opening.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:44, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

I removed the lines regarding the Feb 2005 price increase from the Profit and Transactions section as this is trivial and, at this point, probably irrelevant, and certainly doesn't belong anywhere near the beginning of the ebay article. -- 18:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone know how/where ebay got its name? I've read that it was Echo Bay, California, but this place doesn't seem to exist. There is an Echo Bay, Canada in British Columbia, however.

  • "Echo Bay" is correct -- it was the name of Pierre Omidyar's consulting company, for no particular reason -- he just liked the way it sounded. (eBay was originally AuctionWeb, but someone else had dibs on the name.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:19, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Controversial Practices section

I think someone should rework the "fee avoidance" paragraph, since as described it can refer to the standard eBay seller practice of inflating the handling charge for relatively inexpensive items. Unless the shipping is something like an order of magnitude too high eBay does allow it and will not cancel reported auctions, so I feel that part is inaccurate as well. In the extreme cases eBay will cancel auctions.

  • eBay doesn't "allow" it -- eBay simply doesn't bother enforcing it unless the offense is egregious enough to be worth the hassle. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:27, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Ebay antitrust, controlling online payment options

I'm going to add info to the article. For those that want to edit it, I'm putting info here to help people get the info.

This is from an email I sent to someone personally. I'm going to make this as objective as I can in the article, but I'm leaving it here so you can get the idea.

Ebay has violated anti trust laws, gone beyond just a venue, and done something very illegal. They now require that you use their service paypal to pay for auctions. Ebay listed bidpay as their alternative as a trick because ebay forced bidpay out of business.

DyslexicEditor 11:57, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

That's bad editing you did. Not even editing! You blindly reverted everything. Say what's wrong specifically about each piece so it can be edited. All I see are discussion forums are not good enough sources. I'm going to fix this. Please specify anything else. DyslexicEditor 23:45, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm working with another editor to revise this piece. I'd appreciate it if you could narrow things down to sentences to revise. Thanks. DyslexicEditor 02:28, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Jeffrey Skoll

Hilarious that Prodego, supposedly an administrator wannabee, not only doesn't know who Jeffrey Skoll is but cheerfully deletes any reference to him. No wonder Wikipedia is losing credibility.

"Fraud" section

There's a big essay in EBay#Fraud that seems to have some OR in it. Certainly a lot is correct or seems common sense, but a lot is iffy. For example, Many new buyers seem to think they are buying directly from eBay--they are not -- who says they think that? How many is many? Likewise, the weaknesses in the feedback system; according to whose analysis? And the Russia example.

Thoughts? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 05:57, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

can you ever just

by stuff on ebay without bidding, or is there another website for it?

Pece Kocovski 11:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Sure. Lots of stuff on eBay now is simply sold, not auctioned. See their "buy it now" stuff. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:12, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

A zillion links

Question: Should we, or should we not, include under "external links" a pointer to every single international eBay website? There are a couple dozen of them, mostly with names like,, and so on. All of them, plus all of them that eBay adds in the future, are accessible from eBay's main page; I'm not sure what a long list (a web directory, essentially) adds to the article other than making it look longer. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:06, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

quite agree, no need for such a list. 16:20, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Although if has a specific page listing the international pages (much like Google's page listing their other languages available), it should have a link under the external links section. --Matt0401 03:36, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Questioning Accuracy of Information

Origins and early history states the following "...Founded in San Jose, California on September 4, 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Skoll..." According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K submitted by eBay Inc. it states "...eBay was formed as a sole proprietorship in September 1995 and operated its onine auction service under the name 'Auction Web.' The Company was incorporated in May 1996, but had no employees other than the founder until July 1996..." Also stated in Form 10-K "...Jeffrey S. Skoll has served as eBay's Vice President Strategic Planning and Analysis since February 1998, its President from August 1996 to February 1998 and as a director from December 1996 to March 1998." There is no mention in Form 10-K that Jeffrey Skoll help found Ebay or had anyting to do with Ebay in 1995. Codepro 22:52, 6 February 2006 (UTC)codepro

  • I've always been a little unclear on this myself. Certainly Skoll was involved in the incorporation of the company, but most indications I've seen are indeed that Skoll wasn't there in the early Auctionweb days. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:18, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


In written English, words that are not normally capitalized are capitalized when they are at the beginning of a sentence. There is no reason why this rule should not apply to "eBay". No reputable style guide permits sentences to begin with anything other than capital letters, including our own Wikipedia:Manual of Style. Nohat 23:55, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

The Manual of Style doesn't say that trademarks should be capitalized at the beginning of sentences. In fact, you added it to the Manual of Style. Mushroom (Talk) 00:43, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

The Drawbacks of Ebay

I written a true problem of at 13:59, 28 February 2006 yet it gets removed because they think all the good stuff should be in it, why can't we have the problems in it as well?

A straw poll about this kind of trademark has been created. If anyone is interested, please vote. Mushroom (Talk) 07:25, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

ebay payment monopoly, might need editing

I wrote this:

NPOV here:

  • When ebay was using billpay as a payment service to compete with paypal, it engaged in practices such as requiring all payment banners to be extremely tiny, requiring its online stores to only use billpay, forcing buyers to go through billpay as its checkout system, and changing seller options by themselves to force sellers to accept billpay. For the first one, ebay made no excuse; for the others it claimed were technical glitches, of which the author of the book paypal wars argued were doubtful. Later, when ebay bought paypal, it made explicit rules such as sellers who use paypal must accept credit cards, cannot require anything like quasi-cash, cannot make buyers pay for paypal's fees. It also made a "safe payment policy," which banned all online payment systems (online payment systems are not the same thing as merchant accounts) except its own, Paypal, and a company that only takes eChecks and only operates in Canada. Paypal has responded in emails that even accepting such forms if the buyer offers it are against its policy. ((for the last I can include headers of my email or upload screenshots to wikipedia as evidence--even if not evidence enough you can copy my exact question to ebay and see the same answer))

I don't know:

  • It has been argued that "safe payments" is a monopolistic practice because it has the safety flaws that: (1) The buyer has no way to recoup money if the seller takes money orders and does not delivery. (2) Paypal may not refund a seller who rips them off if the seller's paypal account is empty and they have no bank account, removed their bank account, told their bank to block direct debit, told their bank to block paypal from direct debit, or changed their bank account after verifying. (3) Paypal allows buyers to make fraudulent claims to get refunds; it rarely fights chargebacks; and it has no option for sellers not to keep shipping costs. Example paypal buyer scams include: any time a package is not tracked if a buyer says not delivered 100% of the time they get their money back; any not as described case has no option for a seller to provide their input; buyers can ship to the wrong address on purpose or use a remailer from the buyer's zipcode to ship to their address and claim the seller refused it when it was not delivered; if a buyer returns goods damaged in shipping paypal still gives a full refund; some buyers have shipped empty boxes back for return. ((I have a seen news sources on the last one))

For the second, a list of paypal scams is good. For the whole thing maybe weasel words will fix it. It was here or paypal that had whole sections changed constantly, so I don't know about adding "list of paypal scams--watch out!" as a section in paypal. Umm I wrote this to replace what I added earlier as "Some argue that eBay has pursued antitrust activities through Billpoint and then PayPal." and then I kind of wrote a lot. DyslexicEditor 08:29, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

You know, I've seen several people refer to eBay's monoplistic payment practices and to be honest I have no clue what you are talking about. eBay allows payments via PayPal, Check/Money Order, etc. To have a monopoly don't you enforce only one type of payment period? To be a monopoly eBay would basically have to say any payment type other than PayPal is banned. Since they don't how is that a monopoly?Kaid 11:37, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I can see why this may be edited. ManOfTke 21:39, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

buyit now and gouge on shipping

I knew about gouge on shipping but buyit now + shipping gouge = I didn't. I also find ebay doesn't do anything. I reported these auctions [3] and still they go. $0.99 buyitnow + $35.00 shipping. Maybe this link to the auctions should be a source? Hehe, probably not. But I think the search system could be configured to search for 99 cent auctions with high shipping like that as a proof. DyslexicEditor 08:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

This person forgot to say "no local pickups." Haha if only I lived near them. DyslexicEditor 08:38, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I thought of a term for when a seller does this "ePlayed"(verb)example "I bought a CD for $5, and got ePlayed for $19.95 on the shipping.ben-jammin 17:33, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm trying to figure out in what way this hurts the buyer (as opposed to denying eBay some income.) Technically, I'd think it helps the buyer, since even those places that want to take sales tax don't tax S&H, so the buyer pays less than they might otherwise. Of course, there's the risk that the buyer doesn't notice the shipping fee, but nowadays shipping fees are displayed right up there with the prices. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:56, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

It is possible that it could hurt the buyer if they need to return the item for a refund as some sellers may not refund the S&H only the actual purchase price. I think that is also the case where insurance is paid out, only on the purchase price and not on the rest. Kaid 11:22, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Screenshots of email answers from ebay on safe payment policy

Link here: User:DyslexicEditor/Ebay/safepaymentpolicyemail3_20_2006 . Please discuss. DyslexicEditor 19:29, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

"buyer fraud" schemes

Currently in the article under "Frauds committed by buyers include" are these two items:

  • Returning items in such insufficient packing that they are damaged and using paypal to force a refund
  • Using paypal to return an item not as described, using a remailer to ship from the seller's zip code to your home so it looks like the buyer rejected the item, and a rejected return according to numerous rules (including credit card companies and paypal) means a refund to the buyer for "good faith" at returning the item.

The first one, as it stands, doesn't seem to make sense. You return an item in such a way that it gets damaged in shipping, and thereby you get a refund? If the seller is offering a refund, why does the item need to be damaged in shipping when you return it? If the seller isn't offering a refund, why would you get a refund if the item is damaged when he receives the returned item? In either case, why are you returning the item in the first place? And how do you guarantee that the item will be damaged, even if your packaging is insufficient? And why would anyone give you a refund if your packaging was obviously inadequate? And how does one "use paypal to force a refund"? Isn't that between the buyer/shipper and whatever shipping service he used?

Phew. Moving on to the second item, After reading it about 6 times I think I get it, but what does it mean to use "paypal to return an item not as described"? Paypal isn't a shipping service. And how likely is it that a buyer will have a coconspirator who's able to ship from the seller's Zip code? And apparently this coconspirator also has an item to ship that's similar or identical to the item the buyer is buying? And the seller somehow doesn't detect, or can't prove to Paypal, that the item that was "returned" isn't the item that he sent? And how does the buyer "prove" to Paypal that he rejected delivery of the item?

Both of these schemes sound like "Rube Goldberg Takes up eBay Fraud" KarlBunker 23:57, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Both include filing a "not as described" in paypal. Paypal allows the seller to return them for a refund plus shipping, packing (even if buyer does not return packing material), and insurance. The buyer just has to give paypal a tracking number. Returning something so it gets broken is like mailing glass in an envelope. The seller may not be offering a refund, the buyer just has to use paypal to force a refund. Have you read paypal's policies? See buyer complaint process in paypal--you sound to me like you have not used them. Also, they don't need a conspirator, remailing services are actually regular businesses. Remailers work by the buyer giving the envelope/package to the remailer and the remailer transports it to another location and puts it in the post office--it's a company thing. Of course if a person ships to themselves they don't even need the item in the first place. You seem confused about this (and I've seen many more confusing articles--many of them scientific with unusual vocabulary) so ask me if you do not understand this. DyslexicEditor 14:16, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Then perhaps you might cite your sources so we can verify them. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:33, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I've just reviewed eBay's and PayPal's policies, and I don't see anything there that makes it appear that these schemes are particularly practical, or much of a threat to sellers. I don't deny that something like them is possible, just that there doesn't seem to be any real loophole in the policies that an unscrupulous buyer can easily take advantage of. There's no indication that eBay or PayPal have automated processes to handle such situations; they both talk about disputed cases being reviewed by human beings, so I don't see how there's any reason to assume that such a dispute would automatically be resolved in favor of the buyer.
The descriptions are also very unclear, even after your further explanation. Is it the purpose of returning something in inadequate packaging--so that it's likely to be damaged--to disguise the fact that the buyer isn't returning the item he was sent? If so, that seems like a precarious and unrealistic scheme. And I still don't get the reasoning behind a buyer having a fake item shipped to him from the seller's Zip code. If eBay is able to track down the paper trail of the false shipment, they'd presumably also find the paper trail of the real shipment.
An article on eBay shouldn't be this hard to understand. This isn't string theory after all. KarlBunker 15:29, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Would you two please also review and critique threads "ebay payment monopoly, might need editing" and "Screenshots of email answers from ebay on safe payment policy" DyslexicEditor 17:36, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Um, do I have to? I'm afraid I find your writing really unclear, and I'm not sure what you're talking about in either of those topics. That's my critique. Sorry. KarlBunker 18:11, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Yahoo/Japan eBay failure

Could someone add a narrative to the Profit_and_transactions section about Yahoo having a head start in Japan? It's not at all clear why eBay failed in this region. --BWDuncan 23:50, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure what's to explain; Yahoo was there first and had enough of a foothold that eBay couldn't get the market share they wanted. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:27, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposed change by User:Commando303

User:Commando303 wishes to insert this material. I've suggested he discuss it here. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:00, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

His/her most recent edit was this far more sensible addition, so kudos to him for not engaging in a mindless edit war. KarlBunker 10:51, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I am curious about a couple of things.
    1. eBay has pursued anti-trust activities -- really? I thought that was the job of the Department of Justice, not that they've been doing it recently.
    2. users have no privacy in regard to the items that they have purchased. Since when is the a controversy? The entire seller/buyer trust system is based upon open feedback, and has been since the invention of feedback in the first year or so of eBay; and you don't need to see a buyer's feedback to know their buying history -- you can just search buy buyer ID and get their buying and bidding record for the last couple months (depending upon how recently eBay has aged the accounts). The actual controversy about feedback is the opposite -- it's possible for sellers to set up "private auctions", so you don't know who their customers are, and the resulting feedback is not linked to the item; this is considered something of a dodge by a lot of observers, because it's a way to conceal some sneaky tricks like shill bidding from the general public (though of course eBay knows who s who).
  • Both of the last two items under "controversies" probably need to be moved or zapped or something. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:09, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

wrong information

Currently, eBay forbids sellers from accepting the services of independent money-wiring companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram. Cash-payments, too, are prohibited. i'm pretty sure such payment methods are allowed its just sellers aren't allowed to require them. Plugwash 11:11, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

It appears to be correct. See the reference I added to that statement in the article. KarlBunker 11:29, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

In fact, eBay forbids sellers from accepting cash payments, or any "wire" money-transfer services. If they find that a seller is accpeting any such payment, they will end his or her listing.

I think that it is controversial that people cannot buy products on eBay without being forced to let others know what they have purchased. Barring your mentioned "private auctions," a buyer -- if rated -- has absolutely no way of concealing his purchasing habits. Personally, I think it's be fine for users to be able to see "ratings" (positive or negative) and comments, but it wouldn't kill me if there were no link to the item(s) in question.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Commando303 (talkcontribs) 04:01, April 9, 2006 (UTC)

But there's no reason why an eBay username should reveal a person's "real" identity. Nor (afaik) is there anything preventing someone from having multiple eBay usernames. I suppose an option to "Do not show auctions in my feedback page" would be nice for some, but I can't see the lack of such a feature as being at all controversial. KarlBunker 04:12, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I think that it is controversial -- for better or worse, what you think and what I think is irrelevant on Wikipedia. Can you provide a reliable source that asserts that this is controversial? Besides, you have an obvious remedy: don't use eBay. Nothing's forcing you to. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:16, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

My opinion is my opinion, and I understand that. I accept that this fact about eBay might not have a place on Wikipedia, and thus I have not tried to pursue placing it on the site. That said, it's not nearly so simple as "if you don't like eBay, don't use it; no one's holding a gun to your head." The fact of the matter is that, realistically, if I wish to sell something to a large, international audience, I have no (again, realistic) choice but to use eBay's services. It might be nice if I had the option of turning to other large companies, that had a strong command over the online-auction market, but none seem to exist to rival eBay; further, eBay sees fit to ensure that it remain without any serious comptetition. It might be argued that eBay is, indeed, a business, and that any business will attempt to make as much money as possible, but that does not equate people's "having to be OK with such a situation"; that is, having to be OK with a situation wherein they have no real choice in which company to purchase services from.

So, I understand that eBay's not allowing users to hide their purchases might not have a place on Wikipedia (I still feel that it wouldn't hurt to have that stated on the site, but, whatever; it's not something I'm set to argue about), but regarding my "choice" in not using eBay, it's not a real "choice"; it's an idealistic, impractical alternative. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Commando303 (talkcontribs) 05:47, April 15, 2006 (UTC)

  • (a)Please sign your posts. (b) I wish to sell something to a large, international audience, I have no (again, realistic) choice but to use eBay's services -- well, if you're concerned with "hiding purchases", that's pretty irrelevant, for two reasons: first of all, you're not purchasing; and second, if you're selling and concerned about your customers privacy, then you can make it a "private auction" and the bidders identities will be secret. (c) Even so, the privacy issue is pretty trivial, if not utterly meaningless. Neither buyers nor sellers need to identify themselves with any information available to the general public. All I need to do is create an account linked to my email address -- say, "", just inventing a name out of the blue; then I come up with a userid to use on ebay -- say, FuddyDuddyNitPicker -- and nobody need know it's the guy who also calls himself jpgordon on Wikipedia bidding on those controversial items. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:25, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know how to "sign my posts."

The ability to conceal purchases does not affect me very much as a seller; indeed, even as a buyer, with my purchases, I generally don't care very much whether anyone sees what I've bought or does not. I do think that, as a buyer, it would be nice for me to have the ability of not revealing to the world what I've bought, but, again, as this isn't a very stressed personal concern for me, I see no reason to push for its statement on Wikipedia. Regarding "privatizing" listings, I understand that, as a seller, I have the ability to do this. Further, I understand that my user ID probably won't be a direct reflection of who I am, but, certainly, I can imagine a situation wherein people I know know my user ID; they may then use simply my ID to track what I've bought and haven't bought, whether I wish they be able to do this or do not wish they be able to. I don't see this as a serious offense, but I did see it as enough of an issue to be taken notice of. Once again, however, I have no intention of changing it, or "making it objective," so to push for its placement on this Web site.

  • As it says on the very first line of this page, Please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~).. Regarding the rest, if you think it's enough of an issue to be taken notice of, find a reliable source that's taken issue with it. Oh, and if you as a buyer later decide you'd rather be more private, that's easy too: open another account. eBay has no rule against having multiple accounts as long as they aren't for the purpose of fraud. Many eBay members use one account for buying and another for selling, for a number of reasons (for example, they might not want their potential buyers to know how much they bought the thing for in the first place). Some sellers have multiple accounts just to make their bookkeeping easier; for example, they might use one just to sell comics and another to sell car parts; or, more to the point, one to sell beanie babies and another to sell dirty movies. Members who are active on the eBay discussion forums often have a userid they use solely on the boards. It is the case that few years ago, a lot of users simply used their email address and didn't even have a userid, but eBay now requires non-email userids. However, when email addresses were allowed, and were easily accessible, it was indeed seen as a privacy concern -- so much so that in some countries (Germany comes to mind) eBay had to turn off search-by-bidder. Now snooping's a lot harder; you can only get the email address tied to a userid if you're doing business with them. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:36, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Sorry about not catching the part at the top about signatures; I'll be sure to sign my posts from now on.

About your recommendation for opening multiple accounts, are you sure that doing so isn't against eBay's policy? I'd assume that, with more than one account, there would be little stopping someone from driving up the prices of his or her own auctions; hell, one wouldn't even need a "reserve price": one could just swoop in at the last moment, and place a bid price for which one wouldn't be willing to sell less than. I'm actually aware of the "e-mail address IDs"; I started out with one, and was eventually forced, by eBay, to change it to something else. One thing I've found annoying about contacting users through eBay now, is related to what appears to be a "glitch" in eBay's system: I've tried multiple times to contact a buyer (using the "contact member" button) about something after an auction's end (he didn't win the auction), and eBay states that I have already used my "daily limit" of "contacts." This happens every time I try to contact a particular few members; other IDs seem unaffected by it. I've also run into quite a few glitches ("page not responding" type things) when trying to contact eBay about boot-legged items, customer service, etc. I get that a big site is bound to have problems, but I wish eBay's problems were addressed by its staff in a more timely manner. Anyway, thanks for the info. about the legality of multiple accounts.

(Commando303 06:21, 16 April 2006 (UTC))

  • Yes, I am sure having multiple accounts does not violate policy, as long as it is not for the purpose of fraud. The bidding practice you describe is quite against the rules, and is also illegal in many jurisdictions. eBay calls it "shilling", and uses automated tools to detect it. (I wrote the early versions of "shillhunter", so I'm intimately familar with the issue, as well as with the detection process.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:47, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I've qualified some statements with "" or "US-based eBay" because ebay rules vary considerably depending on the country. I did not check policies as I expect most editors are US based and have probably checked them already, but and currently allow different payment methods than eBay's policies and fees also vary according to country.

I also changed "Republic of Ireland" to "Swiss" because their offices are:

eBay International AG
Helvetiastrasse 15/17 - 3005 Bern
Tél. : +41 (0)31 359 06 59
Fax : +41 (0)31 359 05 99
Numéro d'Immatriculation : CH-
Numéro de TVA: 508 508
Directeur : Michael Van Swaaij

for all these ebays:

  • (PO Box 133 at above address) (Germany) is registered in Germany: eBay GmbH Dreilinden bei Berlin. (Australia) is registered at

eBay Australia & New Zealand Pty Limited,
located at Level 10,
45 Market Street,
New South Wales,
Australia (New Zealand) is registered at

eBay Inc., 2145 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, California 95125 (Singapore) has registered offices here:

eBay International AG
Bubenbergplatz 5
3011 Bern

Source for all the above is various ebay pages, this is not a complete list, and I noticed inconsistencies within ebay's pages. For example has based at the Swiss address while has a contact address in California.

- 23:52, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I got to thinking about what eBay needs

You know I don't see anything about parody sites!

You know we could have a parody catagory of some of the better ones. Just of the top of my head this one comes to mind. " Bargain Finds One Bay" what do you think?

  • I think it's not a parody site, and you're being disingenuous. I think they're using the ebay trademark to promote their own site, and you're trying to use Wikipedia to do the same thing. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:51, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

EBay is run by a bunch of incompetent morons.

Sorry to say this, but this is true. EBay is run by a bunch of incompetent morons. They do not know a single thing like to withdraw money from my account. I have my account set up so if I pay, the money is taken dirrectly from my account. Yet they kept sending me a message saying the account is overdue. I was responding with a message saying to withdraw the money from my bank. However, they did not know how to do this and kept sending me the same message over and over again. Now I found out my account has been suspended for being late with my payment. How dumb a person has to be not to be able to withdraw the money directly from my account, considering they had done it many times before (last time at the end of April) and they had all the information needed? As I said it before, EBay is run by a bunch of morons.

Norum 12:31, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Do you have any recommendations that might improve the article? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:48, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I haven't fully read the whole thing yet. First I wanted to tell my thoughts on EBay and this seemed like a perfect site.

Norum 14:30, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

    • Ah. It's not. This isn't a chat forum; the purpose of these discussion pages is to discuss the articles, not our opinions about the subject of the article. My opinions and your opinions are completely irrelevant to Wikipedia. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:25, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Solid eBay Seller Resource Sites?

Does anyone know of any good eBay resource sites? I found this eBay seller's guide, but there is only a handful of articles.

Most of my Google searches just end up with people trying to sell me their auction products. I'd appreciate any links anyone can drop. 05:57, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


The article currently contains this:

*Under its Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) policy[4], eBay permits intellectual property holders (such as software manufacturers) to directly close auctions where its products are being resold. Though the first sale doctrine permits the resale of such licenses, and a court in California where eBay is based upheld it in the case of Softman v. Adobe, as of June 2006 eBay has yet to discontinue its VeRO policy. [5]

First of all, the citation is six years old, which isn't too useful, especially since Softman came after it. Also, VeRO is primarily used for stopping piracy and trademark infractions, as opposed to preventing resale; the paragraph gives the idea that resale is the primary issue. I think we need a more up-to-date cite on this issue. (Thanks to Mrnaz for drawing my attention to this paragraph.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:20, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

In principle VeRO is for stopping piracy, trademark and copyright violations; in practice it is used by many companies to effectively prevent resale. There are frequent posts on the eBay Discussion Boards from sellers who are selling legitmately purchased products on eBay that have had their listings shut down because the company didn't want their brand sold on eBay. Here are some examples: Vittoria North America, L.L.C.: "Unfortunately, in order to protect our Trademark, we have been forced to eliminate all Vittoria products from the eBay website." 1 Ojon Corporation: "We do not want our products being bought or auctioned on ebay. We are working in having all Ojon items being removed from ebay" 2 Fleurville Incorporated: "we do not authorize any of our wholesale accounts to sell our products on ebay." 3 "please be informed that photographs of our XanGo(tm) Juice bottle featuring black wrapping around the top of the bottle represent a misappropriation of our trademarked bottle design." (In a notice explaining why a seller's eBay listings for legitimate product were ended.) 4 Onkyo USA Corporation "Onkyo's Authorized Dealer Agreement expressly prohibits the retailer from selling to any party for resale." (In a notice explaining why a seller's eBay listings for legitimate product were ended.) 5 I agree with the statement made about the VeRO program. Perhaps it could be edited to include more up-to-date references? MonaLS 01:17, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Sure, I know VeRO is abused, but it's one of those things that you simply don't hear about when it's working right -- that is, the thousands of auctions closed legitimately, usually software and video piracy, for evey one that's not legit. So I think my "primarily" is still correct. Perhaps it might say something like, "eBay's VeRo program, through which copyright and trademark owners can quickly protect their rights, has been abused by some manufacturers seeking to prevent all sales whatsoever of their products on eBay." --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 06:23, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that is a good summation. MonaLS 19:25, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, not quite NPOV though; how do I know they're seeking to prevent all sales whatsoever? Hm. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:42, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand how it isn't NPOV. It's a statement of fact, not an opinion. Now if you had said a lot of, or most, or unscrupulous (stupid, elitist, controlling) or something that injects a flavor (for want of a better word) into that statement, I think that would make it NPOV. MonaLS 22:40, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
It's a statement of fact that they're seeking to prevent all sales whatsoever? Then we need a reference for that, or we need to weasel it a bit: "some manufacturers seemingly seeking to prevent..." might be sufficient. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:34, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
They are seeking to prevent all sales on eBay. Other sites are rarely mentioned. If you look at the letters quoted above, some manufacturers believe, among other things, that selling on eBay cheapens their brand and damages their reputation, therefore their items may never be sold on eBay. I have seen more than one manufacturer site that states their items may never be sold on eBay, and that they will have any listings removed if they find their brand being sold on eBay. I can rustle up some of those links tomorrow if you like. MonaLS 06:17, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Any cases prosecuting individual sellers for selling counterfeit brand-named shoes?

Are there any (or, does anyone knows that) lawsuit prosecuting the individual sellers for their selling counterfeit brand-named shoes (e.g. PRADA, Gucci, BAPE) on the ebay? Or, the shoe companies just prosecute the ebay company as supplying a platform for people to sell fake/counterfeit PRADA, Gucci shoes through ebay?

Are there any laws set up in the USA, Uk and other European countries against the counterfeit Gucci/PRADA shoes on ebay? Or, those genuine companies are just not aware of this yet?

But, will it be reasonable and right to ban for selling the fake shoes on Ebay, as a online e-commerce platform? Would it be practically possible to supervise the listings on ebay, and suppose one really get genuine brand-name shoes, and want to re-sell it on Ebay, what type of proves do they need to put on the listings on ebay? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Korenzhang2244 (talkcontribs) 13:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC).

You have asked this question on Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous as well as several other pages. Please do not post questions in multiple locations without mentioning it in each location, otherwise you are just wasting other editors' time. Also questions like this should only ever be asked at the Reference Desk. Thank you. Road Wizard 21:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC) (Your answer is here by the way)

Learn how to make eBay

I want to learn how to start making websites like eBay (from scratch), and I was wondering what programming languages/tools I would need to do so. I know some programming in C and C++, and a little html.

Could you list what language/tools would be good, and why/what they would do. Also, if you could list any excellent books or websites to learn from for each respective programming language and tool, that'd be really helpful. Thanks for your help!-TAz69x 02:14, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

hmmm, seems to be slow getting off the ground here. Anyways, I saw on the front page of eBay that it is "Powerered by..." either Java or Sun Microsystems. One thing I'm wondering is could a website like eBay (user database, html-programmed user pages, etc.) be programmed using only Java?-TAz69x 20:19, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

This page is for discussing the eBay article on Wikipedia, not for providing how-to instructions. Perhaps your question is best asked at an eBay discussion forum. Good luck. --MichaelZimmer (talk) 20:24, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Most auction sites are powered by the typical web back-ends... Perl and PHP. You'd likely do better downloading one of the bajillions already coded rather than writing one from scratch. But yes, it can be done entirely in Java. Or C. Or Python. Or whatever. Ronabop 02:25, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Heh. eBay was originally written in Perl. The joke on the Internet was, "Auctionweb: World's Slowest Website". It had just recently been rewritten in C++ when I got there. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:02, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
lol, wow, I didn't even know it was possible to make a webpage with C or C++! That's crazy, and I've known some C and C++ for 3 years now, even though I suck at them! I haven't even learnt how to build a real windows application yet, just dos ones. Is it faster in its new C++ form?-TAz69x 16:15, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's hardly new -- the C++ version rolled out in early 1998 or maybe late 1997. And yes, it was way way faster. Thousands of times faster. And sure, you can make a web page with any language -- all a web page is is a stream of text in a particular format. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:41, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Neutral/negative feedback

I've bought several items from eBay that have taken over two months to arrive. But I still almost always leave positive feedback because I don't want to bother risking getting into feedback disputes. The only time I've left neutral feedback was when I found out that the item had only been sent over a month after I had paid for it. JIP | Talk 17:22, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I think his (or her) point is merely the impetus on eBay [i]not[/i] to leave negative feedback for others, lest one receive a response in kind. This, as has been said, can work against eBay's system of "points," as the scores people have are likely not to reflect their actual reliability as sellers or buyers.


  • That's certainly the case; however, how would we work this into the article, keeping WP:NOR in mind? Finding a reliable source that points out this deficiency in the feedback system would be helpful. It used to be way worse; originally you could give feedback just as a member of the community -- without having been involved in a transaction with the recipient -- and sometimes feedback wars would erupt, or people would puff each others' feedback, or vandals would just deposit random crap into feedback. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:36, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Unusual sale items

I know someone once sold nothing on eBay for about 11$, but sadly, I either can't find the link, or eBay has taken it down. It had quite a funny description. But with no source, it would be useless adding :( 12:11, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I heard someone sold a potato chip that looked like Jay Leno, but I don't have a source either. -- ~PinkDeoxys~ 16:05, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Supressing Ebay Critics

Its funny how various websites critical of ebay are quickly erase.

See WP:EL; Wikipedia is not a collection of external links. --ZimZalaBim (talk) 19:33, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia are full of links in other topics.

Ebay is also externally linked. (See the main topic page under "External Links".)

  • Yeah, but look at what you actually posted. The first one is a single, essentially illiterate report of a person suspended for apparently not paying their (disputed) bill; the second one is a page full of mostly dead links. Now, if you want to add material rather than links, it would be welcome if it the result comes from verifiable reliable sources and as a neutral point of view. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:28, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Big and expensive

I'm inclined to remove entirely the "Some expensive items" and "Large items" section from the article, as they have almost no sources whatsoever, and the lack of sources encourages people to add more unsourced stuff. Thoughts? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:29, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

That's a good idea :) Mushroom (Talk) 14:33, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Sources for unusual items

I propose that any item listed under "Unusual items" must have a citation from a reliable source documenting its notability. A link to the listing itself at Ebay is not sufficient, as individual editors cannot be the judge of unusualness per WP:NOR. --ZimZalaBim (talk) 21:56, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I believe in, follow, and enforce (in the course of editing) WP:NOR and other WP policies. However, to characterize a statement that something is "unusual," where most anyone would agree and where no special expertise is required to make that judgment, is carrying the concept of original research an unreasonable extreme. Finell (Talk) 23:45, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary allows lowercase titles and Wikipedia doesn't

Why is it that Wiktionary allows lowercases titles and Wikipedia still doesn't. Is there a reason that Wikipedia is technologically farther behind than Wiktionary despite the fact that Wikipedia is actually older? Voortle 01:22, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Link on WP for script: Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts/Edit Top 13:32, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Getting out of control

I just did a lot of copyedit on the changes by Jimgrupe (new user). A lot of non-NPOV was chopped out, added a few cite tags, and copyedited the few items that fit the page. This page is going everywhere, especially the Controversy section with slams on selllers, slams on buyers, and slams on eBay itself. It's getting hard to find the facts. I'm going to go back and tag it for clean-up. --- Jagged 02:45, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and I wonder if maybe the Controversy section should be split into a new article, given its length. I also would consider splitting the "unusual" list too, since its not essential to what EBay is, which is the purpose of an encyclopedia article. --ZimZalaBim (talk) 10:41, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
How about, perhaps, a split between eBay-the-company and eBay-the-website? Sure, there's some overlap, but things like history of the site and its most important features doesn't need to be in the corporate article. That's where the lists can go. (I just noticed there's almost nothing in the article about the often-utterly-nasty but often-utterly-wonderful discussion boards.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:56, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with splitting into separate articles for the company and the Web site. There is too little material that would be germane to one and not the other, so there would be substantial repetition if each proposed article is to adequately cover its subject. I don't think that these are two are meaningful divisible subjects from an encyclopedic viewpoint. Also, it would inconvenience the avarage reader to have to look at 2 articles when the reader seeks information about "eBay." Finell (Talk) 23:56, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Look at how Google treats it. That's what I have in mind; not much of an inconvenience to click a link on the top of the page to dispatch to the other one. I'm not sure there would need to be any repetition at all, other than the summary paragraph. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:37, 2 October 2006 (UTC)



Ebay fraud types (circular feedback-scratching?)

I saw mention of this particular problem in some old versions, but it never stayed. I am working a well-worded addition as I speak (with references). This is that annoying situation where various feedback 'Vendors' sell $.01 JPEGs to inflate the feedback of 0-feedback 'Grafter' buyers.

Then, once the grafter reaches a feedback of 15 or so, they post a very expensive item for sale, then defraud the poor buyer that falls for it. Vendors can purchase more freedback from other Vendors, and have near-perfect feedback in the tens of thousands as a result.

This is a very major problem, but as I said, all mention of it has been repeatedly deleted. Have those same people been monitoring Wikipedia and deleting the references to protect themselves? How do you stop that?

Some Random Bloke, 07:06, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

...and I've removed it again (though I don't recall seeing this particular "scam" described before). No evidence is given that this is a real problem, much less a "very major" one, and the only thing being fraudulently acquired is positive feedback, which is a pretty trivial commodity. Also the description was very long and convoluted. There are essentially infinite ways in which someone could use eBay to do something unethical. The article can't describe all of them. KarlBunker 12:58, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
And like everything else on Wikipedia, it should be easy to find verifiable reliable sources describing this scam and how it is a "very major problem". --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:07, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you want me to document it with a verifiable source, here is one. It documents exactly what I am talking about, too.
I believe that this problem is important enough to warrant mentioning. If someone is researching Ebay and they come here, I am certain this is the type of thing they would want to know about as well. Maybe even a subpage just about types of Ebay Fraud would be nice for people to be better informed.
If you feel it is poorly worded, I strongly encourage you to make whatever clarifications you feel are worth it and use the link above to reintroduce it. I am more interested in bettering public access of the information than anything else.
Some Random Bloke, 23:39, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Here is another reference: Link Goes Here. It mentions that random-name generation thing I wrote into my original version. --Some Random Bloke
OK, good, you have a reliable source that it's possible. That makes it interesting. That source doesn't indicate it's a "major problem", just that it happens (or even that it can happen; I can't find anything on the mentioned Fortinet site about the matter, though I didn't look too hard.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:51, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

It's near the bottom of the Fortinet site, so I thought referencing a cleaner written article would be wiser. Plus, the articles I linked are static, versus Fortinet which probably gets updated. As for it being a major problem, that comes from firsthand research into Ebay's forums. There were quite a few posts about people having this happen to them, but there are very many links to cite. Should I just link to the largest thread on the topic? You can see the dilemma with that. --SRB

"Firsthand research"? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:51, 5 October 2006 (UTC)