Microsoft, Louis Vuitton, Dior Coutre and Tiffany’s have ample resources to battle fraud and fakes on eBay, but what about smaller merchants, who are having their hard work copied and sold on the site?

Michel Leah Keck – an original artist – who sells her work on eBay wrote an interesting post about how eBay merchants are victimized by fakes and copycats.

Apparently, despite numerous complaints about her work being copied and sold, eBay has done little to nothing to rectify her situation. One seller (colorartzone) relisted her work after eBay allegedly received 50 complaints for copyright violations and trademark infringement.

From her blog post, here are eBay’s responses to her complaints:

Each time this happens we ask eBay ‘why is this seller allowed to remain an eBay seller?” — their reply “we can’t answer that question for you.” When asked, how many times is this seller going to be allowed to infringe on our copyrights and IP rights, ebay’s response, “we can not share that information with you.” It is just eBay victimizing the victim but not assisting us by taking stiffer penalities against these fraudulent sellers.

Sadly enough, Michel says this has cost her business a 50 percent reduction in revenue.

Link to Michel’s post, here.

She provides an interesting link to the copycat’s listings, which seems to drive her point home.

Michel sums it up rather well, when she says:

The fact of the matter is eBay doesn’t want to lose sellers, no matter what type of fraudulent activity they are participating in. It appears eBay is more concerned with raking in the listing fees, than controlling the crime that takes place daily on their servers. We realize eBay can not control people… there are going to be thieves in this world.. they have no control over that. However allowing these sellers to remain on their site for repeated cases of infringement is, to me, just as illegal.

After dealing with this serious situation over and over again we are beginning to rethink just who the con artist really is in this situation.
Stories, such as this, will do little do bolster “consumer trust,” which is what made eBay successful.

On a side-note, Michel’s work is rather interesting and there are some of us, who would rather have the “real thing.” If you are an art-lover, I recommend taking a look at her work. There’s a great slide show of it on her post.

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