eBay, Inc. Informative - WHOLESALE LISTS on eBay
I am writing about a practice that takes place daily on eBay, a practice which eBay allows and which scams hundreds of people out of money.
I'm at a loss about how to alert the public whom I see being deceived everyday.
Every single day there are hundreds of "wholesale list" auctions on eBay. That means the seller is selling only a LIST of wholesale contacts (names/addresses) but NOT any actual merchandise. The auctions include, however, a photo of a specific item, along with a title such as: BRAND NEW PLASMA TV WHOLESALE LIST. It's clear that bidders don't understand what they're bidding on -- typically they're new to eBay (you can tell by their "feedback numbers") and most often the sellers are people who change their user name frequently to avoid the negative feedback that would expose them.
The auctions include phrases like "free shipping" (they email their lists) and "only 2 available" (obviously they have an endless supply) to further indicate they're actual items.
eBay's position is that as long as the auction is in the "correct category" and that there isn't a trade name violation (even though photos w/ trade names appear), the auction is legitimate. One would think eBay would want to protect its customer base, but I suppose they make large amounts of money on those lists also.