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eBay following through on promise to clean up old identities

Posted Sunday, June 3, 2012, at 12:47 PM

Several of my students are running into problems trying to get the name they want for their account and a big frustration was when they found it registered but never used in years. eBay promised a while back to start policing those dormant accounts and apparently they are doing just that.

A student from many years back sent me an e-mail she just received. She had apparently registered several names after my class and when she finally settled on one, she forgot about the others. This is understandable but frustrating to others.

Dear our-county-trading-post (steve@bedfordtradingpost.com)

We noticed that you haven't signed in to your eBay account for quite some time, and we'd like to invite you back to buy and sell again. eBay's a great place to buy what you want, and sell what you have.

Unfortunately, since you haven't used your eBay account for a while, it will be deleted if you don't sign in within 30 days from the day this email was sent.

If you are not the account owner or the email address is no longer associated with this eBay account you do not need to contact us. We will delete this account in 30 days.

Great news for all those who are starting or would like to change their eBay i.d. to something else.


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This news, along with all the others that took place on June 1st will be discussed in an upcoming class on the basics of selling on eBay. If you are curious about that, contact me :-)

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 3, 2012, at 12:48 PM

What! Clean out all those shill bidding accounts? Not likely ...

Rampant Shill Bidding Wire Fraud on eBay Auctions

Who would have believed it?

eBay is supposed to be a technology company. If I can manually produce a report (spreadsheet/notes at link below) that demonstrates--beyond any doubt to a reasonable person--that a seller is shill bidding, then eBay could quite easily do the same, programmatically. eBay deliberately chooses not to do so because to be "finding" the rampant shill bidding "wire fraud" that exists on probably the majority of eBay "professional" nominal-start auctions and then actually doing something about it, would negatively affect eBay's bottom line--it could well halve their FVF revenue from such auctions--if there were indeed any scrupulous professional auction sellers at all left standing.

eBay claims to have "sophisticated" and "proactive" systems in place to control shill bidding. Of course, that claim is either a lie or they ignore what they find. To all intents and purposes, they have no such systems in place, and such a claim is therefore a "false representation" and that is, effectively, a criminal fraud on eBay users, a deliberate and outrageous deception on the great many na*ve eBay users, leading those users to believe that their warm woolly coats are safe on their backs when, in fact, they are being led, by eBay, to the shearers.

Regardless, eBay's Van Wagoner's contribution of a patently false certificate in the current eDropOff matter makes it clear that eBay is apparently prepared to give false testimony in an attempt to protect its valuable sources of revenue; although I would wonder if Von Wagoner ever expected that his faux certificate would be presented to a court of law.

The unprincipled will say, oh well, the buyer has paid no more than they were prepared to pay. Well, try yourself reselling at auction that item you bought (without the aid of shill bidding) and see what it its "market value" really is.

The fact is, auction shill bidding is a deception for the purpose of obtaining a gain and that is fraud, criminal fraud; on eBay it is "wire fraud", a US Federal crime punishable by large compensatory fines and up to twenty yeas in prison. eBay's patently obvious and knowing facilitation of such "wire fraud" activity is likewise a Federal crime.

In the final analysis, this current eDropOff matter should not be simply about this one particular rampant shill bidding eBay seller--eBay is literally awash with them. This matter should now be about eBay (aka "the eBafia"), the greatest and most outrageous criminal "wire fraud" facilitator on the planet.

The Mafia of old would be proud of eBay's business model ...

The facts of the matter are in the Excel spreadsheet at: http://bit.ly/MJlM6b

"Reality TV Star Accused of eBay Shill Bidding Sues Her Accuser"

http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y12/...

"eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding"

http://blog.ecommercebytes.com/cgi-bin/b...

Where it all started on the Purse Forum:

http://forum.purseblog.com/ebay-forum/ed...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

-- Posted by PhilipCohen on Sun, Jun 3, 2012, at 7:14 PM

Wow. Great C&P job.

Steve, I googled his statement above and found it completely at:

*forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/Paypal/Goodbye-Paypal.../5200086057

*forum.purseblog.com/ebay.../edropoff-consignment-731216-18.html

*forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/Clothing-Shoes...Ina/5100073303

*www.narumessenger.com/forum/ebay/reality-tv...her.../page-3/

*http://www.powersellersunite.com/post-341701.html

On the last site, Mr. Cohen claims to be from Australia.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Sun, Jun 3, 2012, at 8:11 PM

Yeh, he has a HUGE bone to pick with eBay and I have yet to find out the real story why. I can usually expect to see his post any time I use the word eBay in it. I just wish he would return to have a dialog.

I keep meaning to make a post just to address him, her or whoever it is, but hate to waste effort since I doubt the response will be on subject except for the first line or two.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 3, 2012, at 8:30 PM

Why do I do it? eBay is the greatest knowing facilitator of wire fraud on this planet. An ideal opportunity for some young up and comming states' attorney made a name for him/herself; I can see the headline now:

"eBay Guilty of Facilitating Rampant Wire Fraud

"Found to be the greatest facilitator of massive wire fraud on consumers the world over.

"The penalty phase is to follow; penalties are expected to be in the billions of dollars.

CA could use that sort of money I hear ...

-- Posted by PhilipCohen on Wed, Jun 6, 2012, at 1:03 PM

Thanks for coming back with a direct response.

The claim you make is pretty broad and obviously, there is not enough room in this blog to substantiate it, but are you an attorney, or has eBay done something to you specifically?

In the many discussion groups in which I participate, we occasionally get someone who is continuously upset at eBay. They usually either calm down or move on, but you have been doing this for some time. Care to share why?

The next question is probably more practical than curiosity driven. What site do you know that can supply as many people (or even half) with a sales venue to provide either full or part-time income? Even though I have extended involvement with eBay, I am open to other options.

In fact, I have tried about 5 different one to date and not found anything that compares. If you know one, I am sure many of us would like to look at it.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 6, 2012, at 2:18 PM

I'm not an attorney, just a simple eBay user who has long recognised that the eBafia is the greatest knowing criminal fascilitator of wire fraud on consumers on the planet. The facts of this latest matter in which the eBafia has stupidly allowed itself to become embroiled can be found via a Google search:

ebay + edropoff + "shill bidding"

Who knows, if there are any justice for consumer in the US, eBay will be prosecuted and its criminal facilitation activities audited by a court appointed special master.

"Reality TV Star Accused of eBay Shill Bidding Sues Her Accuser"

http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y12/...

"eBay Account Rep Defends Reality TV Star Accused of Shill Bidding"

http://blog.ecommercebytes.com/cgi-bin/b...

Do NOT dismiss TV host's frivolous lawsuit, EFF urges court

http://www.networkworld.com/community/no...

A spreadsheet analysis of a sampling of this merchant's recently completed auctions; draw your own conclusion as to whether or not, on the balance of probability, or even beyond any doubt, this merchant is shill bidding and whether eBay is complicit in such criminal activity ...

http://bit.ly/MJlM6b

Some of my earlier criticisms:

eBay introduces absolute anonymity for (shill) bidders

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin...

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #1

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin...

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #2

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin...

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #3

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin...

eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #4

http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

-- Posted by PhilipCohen on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 10:16 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.