Friday, 16 July 2010

Return, Return, Return seems to be the new competitive attack

Been talking to several sellers in the highly competitive unique goods/collectible  markets that still stupidly sell on ebay and they all seem to confirm the current form of attack from their competitors seems to be the return hit. Also the obvious DSR attack
Even though they are still getting the occasional irrational negative feedback, and all the other rubbish ebay have set up for the scum but now the increase of direct to ebay return requests seems to have risen to the extreme for most, if not all of them. These could be down to a change in customer but it does seem to correlate to a drop in the older attack methods and they all seem to go along the same lines, as if a format were being used.

What I have been told is that these hits seem more preferred due to the long term damage, as even if the account of the attacker gets closed down the damage of the return request is still effective and often greater than a negative feedback. Also unlike with negative feedback, there is no stain on the account, so you can use it to attack more sellers.
Now the way this system is supposed to work is that it is supposed to be the last port of call for the buyer that feels the seller is taking liberties. But as always with ebay there is nothing to stop the buyer going direct to the return request without contacting the buyer. Too many of these and the odd negative feedback and the smaller accounts will be limited and then eventually closed down with continued attack.for none performance.

The return demand can also be used instead of the NPB when you are selling the same item and the sellers is obviously going to get more money than you, as they are better than you. Instantly hike up the bid with two accounts, removing the got to have it buyers that tend to start bidding at a lower price.

These returns also have the added benefit of hiding your own feedback cleaning and over bids on your shills, as they also have to relist it after a sale and are often too afraid to mention what the problems were with the sale. So relisted goods become common place on ebay and make it easier for you to hide your own activities.

If they are stupid enough to mention your involvement in the previous sale, then use the other "ebay tool" (I'm not talking about Donahoe) and say to ebay that the item is counterfeit. It does not matter that it is real ebay will remove it without looking.


There is also a clever little scam using, "seller=bad", "buyer=good" ebay idiot mentality, the ebay return what you like system and the ebay combined purchase system.
Where the buyer buys more than one item, then goes direct to ebay to demand return, and no matter what the seller has in their terms of sale you can use any reason you want for return. I don't assume ebay would mind if you wrote "competitive attack on another seller" but more likely you will say "changed my mind." But what you do here is put the claim in for both items.

The buyer will have no choice but to refund you and will more often than not use the combined payment as the return on paypal for both items. Now this will clear one of the items but not the second. So once you have been  paid the full amount for both items you demand payment for the second item.
The seller will refuse, and try to explain to ebay that they have paid due to the combined payment for both items, which the ebay employee will obviously have no understanding of what the seller is talking about, using the ebay ethos "seller always bad", "buyer always good" and will hit the pay button for the second item. So ebay  pay back the buyer for the second item and then demand that money from the seller. This demand, as always is final so you keep the money and the seller looses their money, which most buyers on ebay seem happy about, obviously if ebay is aiding the theft of the money, why wouldn't they. This is not some small company, this is the "massive ebay" that look after them, so this must be the right thing to do.

The defense, other than moving your sales to and saving yourself the stress of selling on ebay, is to pay back the items individually as partial refunds. There is no defense against the return I am afraid other than sell more, so that it does not damage you.

This really should show you how little you are thought of by ebay, as this is not a complex thing to see happening, or to fix but I assume they really do think that a buyer can't be bad. But you could also be correct in thinking what do they care, as it is not their money they are giving away and even a bad buyer that is only out to scam the seller is better than none at all. They will definitely tell all their friends about it who will also come to use the ebay system. Isn't that great?????

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

So you wake up that morning to find Mote is dead

Were you surprised?
I was watching it on the news when it happened, and just knew what the wife would say "agh its sad."
I don't know this man came out of prison and went to win back his girlfriend, not with a bunch of flowers but with a shotgun. Now that is sad.
I suppose what is also sad is that so many people will be relieved, even if they say it is sad, they will be so relieved this is over.
The Police for one and their accountant, as they try to sort out the cost of this manhunt, as they go back to try and balance the books.
The people of Rothbury that can now get back to normality.
Even his ex girlfriend will now be able to get on with her life without fear of his return and that freedom has to bring some relief.

I would say it would be a relief to Chris Browns parents that someone remembered that he was involved and killed trying to defend his girlfriend.

The fact there are so many people like Raoul Mote around, either pushed to the limits with steroids or pushed to the edge with life. Not all of them will go this far though. But is that due to conscience or having no access to firearms? 

And now the story goes on and it looks like the Police fired a Tazer or two at him while he was holding a shotgun to his head. Seems a bright thing to do, or maybe I'm the only one that thinks sending 50,000 volts through someones body will make them squeeze a trigger.

But this whole thing is puzzling, as the questions seem to either have no answers or the wrong answers, which either do not make sense or should not make sense.

Raoul Mote comes out of prison making threats, which are handed on to the police. The police either choose to ignore them, due to hearing it all before or have no power to do anything until he actually does something.
The problem with that is how could you change that and how could you know the difference between some numpty mouthing it off, to someone that is over the edge and really is a threat? Their past crimes, Mote was not really a Mr Big by any standards, but if the reports of the reason he had been in prison were true and that he had been imprisoned for beating his child then maybe that should have been an indicator, unless there are circumstances in that case, which make it sound worse than it is.

Then there is the point he is cornered and sitting with a shotgun to his head with a number of G36 Assault Rifles pointed at his head and the police for what ever reason use a Tazer on him. As I say above that does not make a lot of sense.
Firstly he was out in the daytime, meaning he was likely in need of something, and in his circumstances, he had to be pretty desperate.
He was totally outgunned and no place to go once he was cornered and the people were being kept at a safe distance.
The rain that night poured, as if the heavens had opened so here was this man trapped, demoralized and soaked to the skin totally cut off from his own world. So what reason would the Police have to fire anything at him? Maybe his mood changed and he became aggressive? But that would have been heard, as was the shouting from the police after the Tazers were fired. Also if he turned the gun on the police they would have cut him down with bullet fire.
Maybe his state of mind had shifted to the point of actually pulling the trigger on himself and this was a last ditch attempt to save his life? That is possible but even if the police say it is so, who will believe them?

Hopefully it was not due to pressure from above for the police, as I said above this manhunt must have cost a lot of money and there was probably some bean counter clocking up the meter every minute this went on. But hopefully that was not an issue, as the state he was in and the rain just adding that extra kick in the teeth, in all likely hood he would have given up before the sun set, one way or another. His option was prison or death and he had just got out of prison and it looks as if he did not handle it well. So who knows what fear a twenty to life stretch would have had for him?

And now we have the public and press bandwagons picking sides of Hero, Villain or Victim which I can only say is stupid on all parts, as most sensible people know that if the right buttons are pushed through a persons life or the right situation arises and a person can become any of the three in the blink of an eye.

This is a sad event for the Hero's, Villains, and Victims and it would take a better person than me to work out which was which. Then again, maybe it no longer matters, as there is only two people left with the excuse that they will not be able to learn from any mistakes  made. So as long as all those involved can do that then those two lives and all the pain of the others involved directly or otherwise will not have been in vain.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

eBay seller fined in court for bidding against himself to rig online auctions

A CROOKED eBay seller who rigged his own auctions has been fined £3500 and given 250 hours community service.
Paul Barrett is the first person in Britain to land in court for putting goods on eBay then bidding on them himself to drive up their prices. He was also hit with a costs bill of nearly £1500.
Judge Peter Benson told the fraudster: "It is an obviously dishonest practice, whichever way one looks at it."
He added that Barrett's lack of a record for dishonesty had saved him from going to jail.
Married dad-of-one Barrett, 39, used eBay to sell lots including two Mercedes vehicles, a Land Rover, a pie and pasty warmer, three mobile phones and a digital camera.
Bradford Crown Court heard he had two eBay user names - "paulthebusman" and "shanconpaul". He would set up auctions using one name and bid in them using the other. If he ended up making the winning bid, he would leave feedback on the site praising himself. Harvey Murray, prosecuting, told the court that the pie and pasty warmer had been set to sell on eBay for £74. But Barrett placed five bids himself just before the sale closed and it eventually sold for £127.
Trading Standards began investigating Barrett after an eBay customer complained he had been sold a "clocked" minibus. The bus had been advertised with a mileage of 55,000 but had actually done 132,000.
Officers looked into Barrett's eBay deals and discovered the "shill" bidding. Both his user names were traced to the same computer.

The full story here

My Opinion
I just love this story, as you can see ebay has no involvement in catching the offender, who was ripping off those poor customers. The customers concerned did not even know that they had been ripped off, as ebay had done so much to hide the fact, possibly because it would interfere with what equates to a protection racket, where sellers have to buy their own goods using alias accounts to clean up their feedback as they struggle to live up to the unrealistic expectations of ebays feedback system. Which all means more money for ebay.

The ebay response
An eBay spokeswoman said the site used the latest technology to track down "shill" bidders. She added: "We are extremely pleased with Paul Barrett's sentence."
So no mention of why they did not catch this one then?and he was not using any of the things that others have said you need to get past ebays "brilliant security" LOL.

Shill bidding is a common part of ebay, along with other dubious practices  like attacking anyone that dares to compete or to use alias accounts to clean up the feedback. All ebay have ever done to stop it was to make it easier and to offer more encouragement to those sellers that are willing to pay the extra fees.

Take some advice and no matter if you are buyer or seller move to and tell those that you buy from or sell to to do the same. Eventually ebay will get the message and go away to the tax collector in the sky.

Always wanting to end on a happy note. I know of several sellers that are using aliases to clean up their accounts attack other sellers and more than likely shill bid their customers and before there was nothing you could do about it, as we all know ebay did nothing about it when you did. But now you can hand that information over to Trading Standards and let them deal with it.

I know you may feel you don't care about this, as you have moved on from ebay but you are wrong, as this is going to damage all online auction sales where ever you go, as looking at some of the responses on forums and other places over this matter, then people seemed to accept it as the norm, as if it were something we all knew was happening and accepted it. What happens to online sales if that spills outside of ebay and the buyers feel that is the norm?

One last point I thought was funny is that auctions on ebay were based on the same system as auctions in the UK with the buyer beware system, so that if you bought it then it was yours with no returns. Ebay removed that system and destroyed their auction business in doing so and now added the "buyer beware" term to the general use  of ebay. Beware of those sellers second accounts.