Doesn't anybody have a problem with this scenario?
It's not that people don't have a problem with the scenario. If (1) the seller won't respond, (2) eBay
won't take action, (3) eBay
won't walk back the anonymity of bidders (that is NOT going to change), and (4) ASDA won't take action, then what do you suggest be done that is more effective than walking around with torches and pitchforks shouting at clouds about it?
It's already been suggested that more buyer education resources are a start. If you don't see that as viable, then fine. What are you proposing that is REALISTIC with respect to expectations? Some of the "proposals" I've seen floated here are pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, e.g., " eBay
should hire experts in all the collectibles fields to police all the listings." Not going to happen. Not reasonable to expect a business to do that.
Re: the ASDA. Newsflash: collectors are not their customers. Dealers are. Collectors complaining to them is not going to accomplish anything. An argument can be made that then we should be exerting influence on the dealer members of ASDA and work up to "the leadership", e.g., a letter writing campaign.
Sadly, there's a problem with that as well. Many of the ASDA members are strictly old school, i.e., show dealers only. I know of several that don't even have email addresses, let alone a web site, let alone buy/sell on eBay
. You approach them with this issue and there is ZERO connection or context. They'll wonder what the heck you're talking about.
I don't know that the ASDA tree is likely to bear any fruit.
More and higher profile buyer education resources are the way to go, in my opinion. However, you need to be careful about how they are created, where and by whom. "Outing" bad sellers by name has its legal risks as well. Don has mentioned this in the past. It's not as much a risk for you and I, but more so for the site owner.
Here's an example that just happened to me personally within the last 2 weeks:
I own a music website and forum. Every year or two I'll get a record label, band, or musician, that is unhappy with negative press, reviews or discussion about them. They'll contact me raging and ranting about suing me if I don't take the offending content down. 95% of the time it's bluster from a keyboard commando. I matter of factly tell them that I cannot take action based upon anonymous emails that anyone could have spoofed, and that if they wish to send me a formal request in writing, upon the letterhead of a currently licensed law firm, I will consider the matter.
That usually escalates the threats and ranting, and then it just evaporates and goes away. Well, this last week, apparently the complainant was serious enough about the matter, despite the ranting and raving, to do something about it. I was put in contact with a real law firm who proceeded to issue the takedown request in writing.
I then had to weigh my options. Given that this is now "real", do I stand on principle and allow the content to stand regardless of potential consequences? Since this is a hobby for me and doesn't generate considerable income, do I want the risks involved in not acquiescing?
This scenario is the type of thing that Bobby or any other host of a forum where content/claims/discussion about other parties takes place has to potentially deal with.
It's not always cut and dried.