Friday, July 22, 2016

An eBay Scam I Only Just Noticed ...

... although it's probably been going on for quite awhile:

  • You search for an item (the example I am going to go with here is "compression shirt," because that's one of the items I noticed on which the scam is played);
  • You select "Buy It Now" and "Price + Shipping: Lowest First" (this is the way I  usually shop on eBay -- I may not end up buying the absolute cheapest product based on perception of quality, seller rating, etc., but I certainly start shopping from the bottom up on price);
  • You are presented with a whole bunch of listings with price ranges ("$1.87 to $10.45," "$2.93 to $9.99," "$1.99 to $7.49," etc.); and
  • Once you click on an item and start picking options (color, size, sleeve length, what have you), you discover that there are no items available at the lowest listed price (for the above-listed items, the lowest actual prices are, respectively, $6.67, $9.78 [note: There is a $2.93 item on this one, it's just not a shirt -- they threw some briefs into the same listing to get that lower price in the shirt listings], and $5.49).
How many listings of this type do you go through before finding an item actually sold for the price advertised? In this example, the 28th item is listed for (and actually sells for) $3.88 including, after 27 listings showing prices starting at $2.84 + 99 cents shipping or less on the search results, but without any items in those listings actually available at that listed lowest price.

It's a cheap scammy trick that sellers use to fraudulently move their items up to the top of the search listings, and eBay should crack down hard on it.

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