Got any mower Deals of the Day?

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If you were hoping to snap up today’s eBay UK deal of the day, you’re out of luck: it’s been ended early. Perhaps that’s as well, as the listing contained a fairly blatant breach of eBay’s regulations: a fee-avoiding offer for an add-on lawnmower,

“If wishing to go ahead with this purchase simply add the £179.95 to your Paypal checkout total.”

As the listing’s still visible, we might guess that it’s been ended by the seller rather than pulled by eBay (in which case it would disappear altogether).

This is not the first instance of eBay’s Daily Deal breaking eBay’s own policies. Recent weeks have seen multiple instances of both eBay rules and UK consumer law breached in these listings:

  • sellers charging “restocking fees” for returned retail purchases
  • sellers refusing to refund outward postage fees on returned items
  • misleading former prices quoted, where these have not been offered by the same seller in the last 30 days
  • sellers listing without business contact details
  • refurbished items described as “new” in item specifics

Not to mention that eBay’s own stated criteria for inclusion in DotD include “ideally a PowerSeller with min 95% positive feedback”. In order to qualify as a PS, sellers need to have at least 98% positive feedback.

All of which suggests that the problem here is that eBay staff don’t really know what eBay rules are.

“Whatever happened to the level playing field?”

Sellers not included in this major promotion are – quite rightly – asking why DotD listings are not vetted to ensure they’re abiding by the same rules the rest of us have to. Threads on eBay message boards, forums and Twitter have wondered why eBay are so heavily highlighting listings that break both eBay policy and the law: why, if you’re a small seller who breaks eBay policy inadvertantly, you end up with a big red notice on your seller dashboard, but if you’re a big seller with a lot of product to clear, you seem to be able to get away with more?

I’ll admit – I’ve been avoiding blogging on this issue because I don’t want to send the mob after individual sellers. I don’t think this is about the sellers so much as it is about eBay themselves, and the people who are in charge of this promotion not having the knowledge they should have. And if marketing people don’t necessarily know the right bits of the law or of eBay regulations, then they need to bring in people who do. They could hire a seller or two to cast an eye over DotD listings before they go live – we tend to know what eBay regulations are, because our livelihoods depend on it.

10 Responses

  1. It is just another symptom of the fact that ebay is run by people who have never run any kind of business on the site.

    BTW my money is on the DOTD seller being told to take down the listing and I wouldnt be surprised to see a revised ( ie without the inducment to off ebay sales) version very shortly

  2. Well, bit more detail for you, as I am a buyer of that DOTD, and have spoken to the seller earlier.

    Firstly I have received 10 (yes 10) emails from Paypal, all identical, the first at 11.37 the last at 12.36 basically saying “We understand that the listing for the following transaction has been removed by eBay” etc.

    No money has been refunded ( I don’t want it to be) and I have had NO email from ebay ?

    It appears the ad copy was approved by eBay before the listing went live, and the Policy Violation as reported to the seller by eBay is not about the lawnmower, why not give Fred a call, the number is on the listing, he is tearing his hair out poor seller !

    He has 400 units in stock and only sold 64 before the listing was ended

  3. refurbished items described as “new” in item specifics

    (name not disclosed) does that all the time and they are a diamond powerseller and frequently do the deal of the day on .com . In fact I bought such an item from them a few months ago on one of their dailys deals.

  4. eBay “We’ve spoken to the seller in question regarding this and educated them”


  5. The £129 ones have less smaller SSD’s in them 8Gb as opposed to 16Gb

    Bit of a cheek calling them a laptop, when they are netbooks ( and pretty rubbish IMO)



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