More Feedback on eBay VeRO

My current newsletter had an article, Is The eBay VeRO Program Out of Whack?.  That article posited that the eBay VeRO – Verified Rights Owners Program is seriously flawed and highly detrimental to eBay sellers –especially small sellers.

That article prompted more email than anything I have written in the past year.  I though I would share some of these stories with you.  I have removed the seller’s names and user IDs to protect their privacy.

Hi Skip,

I just want to comment on the VeRO Policy.  A couple of months ago I listed a Chi Curling Iron that I listed straight from Doba (one of eBay’s approved drop shippers, might I add) and within a couple of days the listing was removed and I now have a medium compliance record.  I emailed the company that owns Chi and explained to them where the iron was actually from and they simply said “Thank you”.  I then contacted eBay and they said it was out of their hands.  I contacted Doba and they said they would look into it and I have still not heard back, despite two further emails requesting information.

Surely eBay can see that there was no intention on my part considering the item is listed on Doba.  It seems to me that everything on eBay is a little too “black and white” in their policies.

Anyways, that’s my input.

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Hi Skip,
You did a great job with our sad story.  Zen Design has asked eBay to remove any strikes from our account but who know if and when that will take place.
One thing you didn’t mention that to me makes eBay’s position even more ridiculous, in this kind of situation, is their position  that when we signed up to sell on eBay, we automatically agreed that we would never violate anyone’s patents, etc. and that means we shouldn’t ever list anything until we first check to see if we will cause a problem like this with any one of the 35,000 members of their VeRO program.

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message: Is The eBay VeRO Program Out of Whack?

This is just one more example of why I quit selling on eBay years ago.  I find it amusing that you and others continue to put up with eBay’s abuse.  There’s hardly an issue of eBay’s Sellers News that you don’t highlight some outrageous policy, or conduct perpetrated by eBay on its sellers.  As long as you and others continue to put up with it, what incentive do they have to change. They’ve got you by the balls and they know it.

Rather than complain about their abuse, why don’t you do something about it, stop selling on eBay.

My philosophy is that you don’t complain about something unless you have a solution, otherwise you’re just bitching and I don’t have time to listen to you bitch.

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Skip:

I read your article Is the VeRO out of whack? with great interest. My personal answer:  YES and it has been for more than 10 years. It was at least that many years ago that I got a killer deal on a large wholesale lot of Belkin branded screen protectors for Palm branded PDAs. Retail price was around $10 and I bought them for about $1.25/pk. I figured I had an easy 4X markup….

But alas it was not to be, my carefully crafted auctions were all closed by Vero.  Why??? Well this guy had registered a patent with vero and asserted he was due royalties on ANY screen protector …. hmmmmmmm.

I contacted the guy and asked him the deal he wanted HUGE amount of money to become a licensed user of his patent far more than I could possibly pay based on my sales volumes. He didn’t care.

I hold several patents myself, and got a copy of his patent … I know patents well enough to know taht his patent did NOT apply to PDA screen protectors. I called Belkin and talked to one of their patent attys. He laughed and said they had been contacted by this person several years ago and been told they needed to license his patent. Belkin had told him to talk a hike. He had threatened to sue, and Belkin’s response was see ya in court. They heard no more from him….

Anyway … Long story short When I passed this on to Vero they couldn’t have cared less. You could by the same product unencumbered in any number of retail outlets, but … on eBay … too bad…

Thanks for letting me vent…
Jim

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Name: Alan

Subj:  UV pen in article

message: By the way, ‘Zen Design Group’ came after me in 2008 for selling a UV pen with a light.

They are very careless, and tried stopping me selling a pen without a light.

The pen that DID have a light in it, I got from a wholesaler that got them from Zen.  Go figure. They forced the removal of that listing. And, of course, complaining about the logic of this to ebay made zero difference.

I also talked on the phone with someone that did business with them, they think these people are irrational, and the ‘patent’ is suspect.

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As you can see, a lot of these sellers simply reacted by quitting eBay.  I don’t recommend that.  Even with all of its problems, we still make money on eBay.  My hope is that someday eBay will wake up and realize how valuable a resource they have in the seller community and work with them instead of against them to make the platform better and more profitable for the entire community including the eBay stockholders.  All you have to do is look at Amazon.  They value their sellers and the Amazon seller community is growing rather than shrinking.

When I attend an Amazon event,  everyone is so mellow and upbeat it almost feels like Woodstock.  But the last eBay event I attended the executives were walking around with bodyguards.

7 Comments

  1. Ebay is a wreck,Vero,DSR,Best Match,Forced Paypal,Donahoe………Ebay has crashed so many small sellers dreams and hard work.Ebay has bit the hand that built them?

  2. Hi Skip

    Really very shocking to read all the mail you have got. I would like to second the first comment. Ebay has bit the hand that built them? May be in future we will get some improvement.

  3. I had a problem with VeRO on eBay 2 years ago and since they would not support me I started selling the items on Amazon where they were already in their catalog.

    I can only thank eBay for forcing me into the opportunity to sell on Amazon for the past two years with no hassle while making more profit.

    Look at the Amazon increase in sales and customers over the last quarter. EBay needs to wake up.

  4. I to was a victum of VeRO. My listing was closed down. I already had the same item listed and a bid on it. I bought a number of these Power Joy tv Games at an auction. with the intent of selling on ebay. I thought because I had one on ebay that 2 was to many. So when that listing ended I put it back on, only to have it removed again. Now, why would one go through and the second and third attempt be shut down. I now have dozen of this game and no place to peddle them. Ebay sucks,

  5. Skip,

    I have a VeRO story to top all the others. I buy and resell used T-Shirts on ebay. Over the last 5 years, I’ve sold 55,000 and have another 15,000 online right now. Of those 70,000 shirts, 13 have been “confirmed fakes.” That is .0002% of my listings. Now my account is on 30 day restriction and in grave danger of a suspension. A suspension would cost me 20k minimum to recover from and could sink my business. The VeRO department at ebay has let it be known that they do not care. I can’t get any straight answers from them or any reasonable communication at all. They won’t even tell me (or anyone) what the specific rules of their system are.

    I have 5 employees and this is how I feed my family. It is so clear by any analysis that my business is legitimate. However, not even a savant could be perfect at keeping out 100% of all fakes at the volume of used product that we sell. Basically I am being forced to shut my business down because of their outdated yet unwavering, one size fits all rules. All I am asking them to do is work with me so they don’t lose the 50k a year I give them. The message from them is loud and clear:

    We don’t care.

  6. I am an eBay seller, but don’t sell branded items at all as I sell only plants. Is there anything that I need to fear from VERO?

    This sounds like a program made to destroy a lot of small business owners, and I want to make sure it never becomes an issue for me. Can somebody own a patent on a certain species of plant?

    1. Author

      If you are not selling branded merchandise then its no problem. Just be careful about using pictures that are copyrighted.
      skip

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