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  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
Edmund Burke

eBay Snitch Program
Hall Of Shame Member
Added May 22, 2009

We realize that having the eBay Snitch Program as a separate member of Tabberone's Trademark & Copyright Abusers' Hall Of Shame may seem a bit redundant but sometimes one must repeat ones self, again. When you are presented with a multitude of stupid acts then it becomes necessary to isolate these stupid acts in order to properly ridicule them for what they really are: pathetic.

The eBay Snitch Program, also called "SniP" (often confused with "ShiT") is another example of the eBay asylum inmates running amok and much like the Keystone Cops, running into one another. While amusing to the casual observer, this slapstick rendition by eBay is no comedy. It harms far too many innocent sellers. And the eBay Gods do not care. Mere mortals are beneath their fantasy status.

Super Snitch
And, a fact not on the eBay web site, is that they have what is called by eBay as their Trusted Reporter Program. This program appears to be one in which eBay asks certain eBayers to participate. So, we ask, who are these "Trusted Reporters", or TRs as eBay calls them, how are they selected and what are their qualifications? eBay won't tell anyone anything because TRs are non-persons, like in 1984. They do not officially exist. They are simply ghostly beings that float through the eBay ether, gloaming onto bad listings. Their word is law because they have been anointed by eBay. This makes them Super Snitches which gives them credibility over and above your common, run of the mill snitch. They also get to wear little "SS" insignia on their collars while the troll eBay for infractions.
Collar Insignia

The eBay Snitch Program is openly promoted on the eBay web site. Under "Why eBay May Remove Your Listing" is:

Reporting a listing If you see a listing that you feel may be prohibited by eBay, contact us . eBay will investigate it. However, due to privacy concerns we will not be able to tell you about any actions we may take. The actions taken on an account are confidential and between eBay and the seller.
(copied May 22, 2009)

Through this, eBay invites anyone to become a common, run of the mill snitch and to tattle on anyone else's listing basically for whatever reason they may want. The qualifying word "feel" leaves a lot to be desired. It is not objective but rather open to the interpretation, or desire, of any competitor or whack job who wants to stir things up. Of course, eBay flatly rejects the notion that anyone would misuse such an honest and fair reporting system for their own nefarious goals. However, while eBay tells the world, and its users, how infrequently abuses do occur, eBay will not disclose any statistics concerning takedowns and any perceived or possible abuses. This information is proprietary mainly because eBay doesn't want the world, and its users, to find out what a big, fat liar eBay really is.

To this end, it appears Google is willing to be honest and open about takedowns. In March 2009, Google filed a statement with the parliamentary authorities in New Zealand stating that 57% of takedowns under the DMCA are from competitors and 37% of takedown notices under the DCMA are invalid copyright claims.

Whoa, there Nellie! Let us repeat that statistic.

57% of takedowns under the DMCA are from competitors and 37% of takedown notices under the DCMA are invalid copyright claims

And that is without inviting apple-brained moron TRs and competitors to get involved in the process! While those numbers are only for copyright infringement claims through Google, you have to know the numbers for alleged trademark infringement are as high, if not higher, on eBay because of eBay's CYA approach to any notice of claimed infringement ("NOCI". Google at least makes a cursory examination of takedowns to determine validity while eBay does not because eBay does not care.

We'll show why we can say eBay does not care.

"Susie" sells luxury fabric on eBay. Some whack job TR keeps reporting her listings, and eBay terminates them, for misrepresenting an item. Except she isn't. And the fabric manufacturer keeps emailing eBay to tell them the fabric isn't being misrepresented. And she keeps getting reinstated, only to have the very same auctions reported by a whack job TR and have the very same auction terminated, again, by eBay. eBay is a ship of fools adrift in a sea of ignorance.

"Susie", like all other eBay sellers, isn't told in the dreaded eBay "Why Ended" email any specific reason for the termination. She has to call eBay and talk to some eBay staffer for the privilege of being lied to in person. Think about that for a moment. So some TR, according to the eBay Power Support staffer, reports her listing for a violation that eBay records. eBay then sends an email to the seller telling the seller in wildly generic and deliberately non-specific terms that the sellers has been bad. Why not give a specific reason? Is that beyond the mental capabilities of eBay employees? Does it involve being able to walk and think at the same time?

eBay will only disclose the reason when you call them, and only PS support will give you a definitive answer. So you lowly non-Power Sellers, suffer! The regular help line will not tell you because "it's their policy not to tip off policy abusers so they don't learn how to circumvent it". The most asinine explanation yet from an impossible collection clowns. One PS staffer told "Susie" that the reason her listing was being removed, according to the mysterious TR, was that the fabric pattern was discontinued but the listing implied that it was new season. Huh? It appears the TR stalking "Susie" is recovering from a frontal lobotomy. That is not a reason to terminate a seller's listing and to put a strike against her record. Is anyone monitoring these TRs? It certainly appears no one is monitoring the inmates.

Not to denied, "Susie" added to her listing a disclaimer that read: "Disclaimer: this is NOT a new pattern, but the fabric is new and unused and in mint condition. This is New Old Stock". Those listings still got reported, terminated, and the reason she was given was the disclaimer was "ambiguous". Give us a break. This TR is a competitor shutting down these listings under the color of authority.

This is why the eBay Snitch Program has its own entry in Tabberone's Trademark & Copyright Abusers' Hall Of Shame.