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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-22-2017
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Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

I have reported a particular seller to eBay time and time again, as they are selling fake German World War II items and claiming that they are real.

 

I've been a collector for a number of years, and I know for certain these items are fake (otherwise known as fantasy items because they are pure fantasy).

 

Not only have I reported individual items, but I have also been in contact with eBay via chat, and they said they would look into these items.

 

And yet, nothing has been done months (years) after these items were reported.

 

Is eBay deliberately ignoring fake items - in contravention of local laws - because they are happy to collect fees on these items?

 

It really annoys me that eBay has done nothing - and it also makes me question whether I want to continue selling and buying items on eBay as a result of these fake items.

Community Member
Posts: 677
Registered: ‎10-22-2012

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

in reply to mcdazz1971

Ebay can't just take anyones word that something is fake without proof. You could just be someone trying to take out a competitor for they know, may not actually know what you are talking abou. They are not going to ruin someones business on that. The people on the computers are extremely unlikley to be experts in your field so will not be able to find out for themselves, even if they had the time and were paid to do that.

 

If the items you are reporting are not trademarked items that have a manufacturer that can take legal avenues about trademark breaches then it is up to buyers to do their own research. Sometimes it comes down to 'buyer beware'.

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Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.
Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-22-2017

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

in reply to maranock

Ebay doesn't have to take my word, as the items involved simply do not even match their description.

 

I'll go into some further detail:

 

1.  The items claim claim to be something that they are not.  In this instance, the items claim to be bayonets - they are not bayonets.  Bayonets are manufactured to be fitted to rifles/weapons. These are crudely manufactured, Eastern European "fantasy" knives, manufactured after World War II.  Other claims provided in the description are also false, for example that these were used by "elite soldiers" in the German Army during World War II. This is a claim that can easily be checked even by non-experts with a quick check.  Do I expect staff at eBay to be experts?  No, but I was told by an eBay representative that they have staff who check these items when alerted.  Certainly, if they can spot and remove fake trademarked items, they can certainly work out that these are fakes (I've worked in the second hand goods market and we received a small amount of training in detecting fake items, including very good faked items).  I even provided them with sources of information from various sites that showed these items were fake.  There are fakes, and then there are obvious fakes.  These fall into that latter category.

 

2.  When I spoke to an eBay representative, I was told that these particular items WERE in violation of eBay policies as they were knives.  I was told they would be removed.  They were not.

 

 

Personally, I've lost a lot of respect for eBay knowing that they just don't give a damn about fakes appearing on their site.

 

I do agree with you that it's "buyer beware" - I just don't like seeing collectors being taken advantage of with obvious fakes.  These items are being sold for hundreds of dollars, so people aren't just losing a few dollars.

 

As far as I'm concerned, this is fraudulent behaviour from the seller, and by allowing this particular seller to continue selling these items, eBay is a party to that crime.

Community Member
Posts: 677
Registered: ‎10-22-2012

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

[ Edited ]
in reply to mcdazz1971

My answer to you still applies. Most people, least of all Ebay employees will not know a bayonet from a 'fantasy' knife, or indeed, a kitchen knife. And, most knives are certainly allowed on Ebay.

I think you give too much credit to the knowledge of Ebay phone operators to think they can tell with a quick check. 

 

Collectors will not be taken in by obvious fakes, and beginner collecters will quickly learn an important lesson after buying one of the items you mention. This is a battle you are not likely to win, so I suggest you take a deep breath and move on. I understand how hard it can be as my business is in one area where Ebay fakes are very common and they do nothing about them either, and I know a huge number of people have complained about them.

 

 

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Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.
Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-22-2017

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

in reply to maranock

There are some restrictions on knives (and the person that I spoke to certainly seemed to be claiming a blanket policy on knives).  I've certainly purchased a number of bayonets on eBay (and viewed various knives at times), so I also had a discussion with this person about those.

 

In regards to the "I think you give too much credit to the knowledge of Ebay phone operators..." - perhaps I am, but the person I spoke to made mention of a specific department that looks into fake items.  Whether that's true or not, I have no idea (she certainly seemed to have been wrong about knives).  I would like to think that they did take fakes seriously, but I guess they really don't have that much of a vested interest - they make just as much - or more - money from the sale of fake items as they do from real items.

 

And yes, you are probably right about me needing to take a deep breath and moving on.  It's very frustrating though (and I imagine you share that frustration based on your business and the fake items that you compete with).

 

I know that even collectors can be taken for a ride, but I guess it really irks me knowing that people are spending more money on *really bad* fake items, when they could actually be spending less money on real items that are actually collectable.

 

I guess the old saying rings true - a fool and his money are easily parted.  :-(

 

Anyway, thanks for the responses - take care.  :-)

Community Member
Posts: 677
Registered: ‎10-22-2012

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

in reply to mcdazz1971

Ahhh. One thing you will learn if you spend some time on the boards is that Ebay staff are not nearly as reliable or knowledgeable about Ebay policy as the experienced posters here, lol   

If you have any problems or need advice don't hesitate to ask here and someone will help you out.

__________________________________________________________
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Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.
Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-22-2017

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

in reply to maranock

Ha ha ha - yeah, I'm just starting to see that (and I guess I really shouldn't be surprised by that either).

 

Thanks for your help and comments - sometimes it's good to have the obvious pointed out.  ;-)

 

Many thanks - and take care.

Community Member
Posts: 936
Registered: ‎05-30-2008

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

in reply to mcdazz1971

Just to follow on from maranock's excellent advice...

 

eBay Customer Service staff are not actually there to solve problems or issues with listed items. They are there to handle customer complaints with the mandate to get rid of the complainant as quickly as possible. Most eBay CS staff don't have the authority to do very much at all, but they have scripted replies to the most frequent eBay member complaints.

 

A standard reply about eBay technical glitches on the site are along these lines: "We value your input, and I have escalated your concern to our technical department" or "We haven't received any complaints about this issue, but rest assured, I have passed this information along to our IT department." These are meaningless responses designed to get the caller saying, "Thank you", to which the CS rep will say, "Is there anything else I can help you with?" and the caller saying, "No thanks," and hanging up, satisfied that something is being done. (However, nothing will be done. The placebo replies are just that - soothing placebos.)

 

A standard reply about listings that breach policy will proceed along similar lines. "I will pass along this information to our Trust & Safety dept" or "Your report has been forwarded to the correct department who will investigate it." (It won't be. eBay don't have a department of experts whose responsibility it is to check authenticity. eBay does have a Replicas, counterfeit items and unauthorised copies policy, but this is so that they have a legal disclaimer. eBay does have bots that search for certain keywords that indicated that a listing is of a fake item, but anything that isn't easily identified in the Replicas policy is almost certainly not going to be personally investigated by costly human resources. The usual responses that it's being investigated comes under, once again, the "placebo reply" heading.)

 

If, however, you are a member of VeRO, you can notify eBay of a copyright infringement and eBay will immediately take action without requiring proof of any kind. The system is automated; bots, keywords, and an automatic process cost far far far less than actual humans actually investigating.

 

By all means make a report about items that are inauthentic - but... don't hold your breath for a positive result.

Community Member
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎03-08-2014

Re: Why does EBay do nothing about fake items?

in reply to mcdazz1971
Its $$$$ for ebay that's why. Remove the fake sellers and income drops.