I’m a little disappointed in eBay these days.
A few months ago, I decided to act on my desire to learn Spanish, since it appears the 2 years I took in high school haven’t exactly stuck with me. So, I bought into the hype of the commercials and decided Rosetta Stone was the way to go. Ever check out the price on that stuff?
This is why eBay was invented. In much the same way I go to Barnes and Noble, or Borders, so I can see what’s new in books before I go to Amazon.com and pay less money, I decide what things I’d like to have if I don’t have to pay full price, then go to eBay and see if I can get it there. When I saw someone selling the latest edition of RS Spanish Volumes 1-3 for just $150, I took a look at the sellers 100% positive feedback and BAM! Snapped it right up.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
After making the required immediate PayPal payment, I looked closer. The feedback was all fake. I’ll explain fake feedback later, if you want. Suffice it to say, the listing was bogus. Oh, I still got my software: A single, generic DVD in a paper envelope. An illegal copy (if in fact it was a copy; even I am not stupid enough to put ill-gotten discs into my computer), sent through the mail illegally (that’s mail fraud, kids) and I’m out $150.
Well, no. That’s one of the best things about eBay. I got a full refund because I bought my item on the up-and-up. No shifty “second-chance” offers, no “psst, hey buddy” back alley deals. So, why am I upset with eBay?
Because in the few months since my adventure, I have reported the same seller using 22 different ID’s to sell the same illegal fake Rosetta Stone software! How can Ebay not get rid of this guy? Is there no way to do an IP ban? Can I get Chris Hansen to go to Brooklyn with me so we can bust him? Has to be something we can do. People?
July 5 @09:30 A quick scan of newly listed Rosetta Stone auctions, and my buddy is nowhere to be seen. He generally keeps the same ID active for a week or so, then switches to a new one. I believe he uses some kind of “auto-refresh” program; each time one of his auctions is removed, it is almost immediately replaced with another. This has become somewhat of an obsession for me. I have no idea how many suckers he reels in before he has to abandon one ID for another. Remember, even though I got my money back from eBay, he still made $150 from me. His name, address, all contact information is fake, so I am sure Ebay wasn’t able to get anything from him.
Incidentally, there are multiple sellers who appear bogus, trying to sell fake Rosetta Stone. It makes wonder if there are other items that you’re aware of where fraud is the norm for eBay sellers. I would be interested in hearing what they are!
July 6 @ 12:50am One last update on my nemesis. After adding a boatload more fake feedback to offset the fake bidders that gave him negative feedback on his fake listings (too funny), I tagged close to a dozen more bogus listings throughout the evening and night hours. I’m sure he’ll move on to ID #23 in the next day or two, as whoever else he ticked off has really got it out for him! Good job, my fellow stranger in crime fighting!