Since eBay began running ads in search results, we’ve heard of a few eyebrow-raising things advertised there. There were the weed seeds. There are not-infrequently pirate music CDs, DVDs, knock-off designer clothing and handbags. This week, for just £4 each being sold by a Chinese website; he may just be right that these are dodgy.
And he got a response from James, eBay UK’s community manager, who said:
I presume then that after you posted here you reported the link you saw so that we can have it removed? I’m not sure if you’ve seen the previous posts on this (there have been a few though) that set out that we don’t actually provide the links that appear there and when we become aware of links that are unsuitable, we work to get them removed and make sure they don’t reappear.
That’s right: the responsibility for policing eBay’s third party ads for illegal content is not eBay’s, nor that of the company who supply the ads, but that of site users. Even by eBay’s standards, this is astonishingly crass.