Ebay Stalking Scandal

Jan 30, 2024 10:27 AM

One of the things in the news that struck my attention is the eBay stalking and harassment scandal. Some of the final details of it broke a few weeks ago but it saw a resurgence among Youtube creators after being buried in the news sites’ algorithms.

The TLDR of the story is that a blogging couple criticized eBay over a lawsuit which they brought up against Amazon. In response instead of clarifying their reasons why, their employees decided to take it upon themselves to harass, stalk, and terrify the couple, allegedly (gotta cover my own a–); doing things like sending them bloody pig masks, live cockroaches, and also attempting to place a tracker on their car.

News story on Gizmodo here

eBay’s company policy

When I heard about this case/story, it really didn’t surprise me. There’s a reason why I don’t sell on eBay even though doing so might make me fashionably rich, if I can sell the right products at the right time.

It’s the fact that in every dispute that I’ve been involved in on eBay, they seemed to side with the wrong party ethically.

In one case I helped a family member sell an old dog fence they had. It was missing one component and was sold for $15. The full set new was $100+, and we had clearly marked it in the description that the one piece was missing.

Well, the buyer had a problem with it (as well as the fact that they can’t read descriptions) and put it up for dispute. eBay sided with them, despite us having evidence that it was clearly in the description.

In another instance I was the buyer. I ordered something and got no shipping notification. When I contacted the seller they said that they were still trying to obtain the item. So I put it up for dispute. eBay sided with them and let them keep my money, all $140 of it.

Then when I tried to login to pull the transcripts of the dispute they deleted my account, so I couldn’t get the evidence needed to file a lawsuit. I had to go to Amazon to get the laptop input cover I needed.

Why this is becoming commonplace

This type of behavior by bigger entities is becoming common because they’re all becoming monopolies or duopolies in their marketplace. Currently Amazon and eBay have the markets cornered for nationwide marketplaces of used and overstocked goods. Even though Walmart is trying to get into the game now, they seem to be failing some.

So as time goes on and our government’s court systems allow company buyout and merger after merger, with no sign that they will make it slow down, each market will have one or two primary powers nationwide within the next few decades.

These companies know that and are becoming more and more brazen. That’s why we’re seeing incredibly anti-competitive measures in manufacturing, such as making devices less repairable with no other good reason than to increase profits.

And I’m saying that not as someone who makes all of my money on repairs. My side-business doing such is tiny, I’m a one-man operation who does a few house-call computer repairs a year. My main job is essentially being a resource for IT questions and on-standby for urgent repairs for a public university.

It’s just wrong for companies to be this anti-competitive to the point where instead of clarifying their stance and trying to be better, they’re stalking critics and cutting repair shops out of business. It’s downright sickening to me.

Capitalism a cause?

Maybe it is. Who knows? I’m not an expert in geopolitical systems. But it seems like this wouldn’t be an issue if growth was a requirement to keep stockholders. Having this system in place seems to turn consumer goods and services into a game of capture the flag where punching is allowed, and the audience seems to catch most of the blows.

When profit and market caps are at stake, who’s to say that knocking a few consumers’ heads shouldn’t be a part of the game? That’s the sad part of today’s world. Being wrongfully-righteous is more profitable than admitting wrongdoing without trying to be better. Just fire the c-suite involved, while hiring people just like them, and continue to profit.