AW: [meteorite-list] ebay question]

From: dean bessey <>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:47:10 2004
Message-ID: <>

Norbert, your Germany posting is quite interesting. Ebay (And also Yahoo
auctions) has spent a lot of time in court in Europe and the US on various
topics. You all know the "We are only a venue" case that ebay won in the US
(California I think, but I might be wrong on the state). That is probably
the biggest reason ebay wont take down auctions of fake or grossly
misdescribed items (A topic which of course gets a lot of discussion on this
- and other, discussion groups). Once they start doing that, a bidder then
has a case that he suspected that ebay policed their site. There is a very
fuzzy line between accurate and misleading descriptions sometimes (A line
that lawyers dream about when they think about a very luxerous retirement).
You will find that ebay and yahoo has had much better success in court in
the United states than in Germany and France (I dont know about other places
in Europe). With German bidders if you try to do a list of their auctions
that they have bid on you get a message saying "Due to german privacy laws
you cannot view this bidders past auctions that they bid on" (Or something
close that says that anyway). This also seems true for austrian bidders but
it might only be some since austria is not mentioned on ebays message.
No matter what the law is though you can bet that ebay will fight it all the
way and will likely appeal the German ruling that you are refering to if
they can and doing so is of benefit to them - even delaying implementing
something is a benefit as court cases are not known for being quick two week
events - not in the US anyway.
As a result dont expect to much change in the very near future on how the
on-line auction business operates. You are always seeing slow changes though
and there are a lot of other problems that ebay could fix becides scummy
listing practices. Remember, Ebay has a big budget to contribute to a
lawyers retirement. And anything that remotely strays from the "We are only
a venue" idea will be very agressively fought by ebay (Not all for bad
reasons of course - think about the extra cost that ebay would have to
charge for listing auctions if they were responsible for the authtenticity
and accuracy of all auctions.
Nobody guarantees that in the shopping Malls (You ever buy any jewellery in
a jewellery Mall).
Of course, that is not a reason to not complain to ebay (Or the media) when
obviously misrepresented items appear up for auction. Ebay will act when
enough pressure gets on them. Just dont expect to much.

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
Received on Sat 10 Nov 2001 11:16:31 PM PST

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb