How to Report Selling Abuses on eBay - dummies

By Marsha Collier

If you’re on eBay long enough, you’re bound to find an abuse of the service. It may happen on an auction you’re bidding on, or it may be one of the sellers who compete with your auctions. eBay staffers look at complaints on a case-by-case basis sent to the Trust & Safety (SafeHarbor) question and answer boards, in the order they receive them.

Be a good community member and be on the lookout for the following:

  • Shill bidding: A seller uses multiple user IDs to bid, or has accomplices place bids to boost the price of items. Investigators look for six signs: a single bidder putting in a really high bid, a bidder with really low feedback but a really high number of bids on items, a fairly long-term eBay member with low feedback who’s never won an auction, or excessive bids between two users.

  • Auction interception: An unscrupulous user, pretending to be the actual seller, contacts the winner to set up terms of payment and shipping in an effort to make off with the buyer’s payment. This violation can be easily avoided by paying with PayPal directly through the eBay site.

  • Fee avoidance: A user reports a lower-than-actual final price or illegally submits a Final Value Fee credit.

  • Bid manipulation: A user, with the help of accomplices, enters dozens of phony bids to make the auction appear to have a lot of bidding action. Let the experts at eBay decide on this one; but you may wonder if loads of bids come in rapid succession but the price moves very little.

To report issues with individual eBay listings, look for the Report Item link on the far right of the Description and Shipping and Payments tabs on the item page.