Unexpected Problem on eBay

I am still shaken up and confused. Today I got an e-mail from eBay telling me that my selling has been restricted due to trade mark violation. I am so shocked, everything I sell is real and legally obtained. I hold 100% positive feedback.

fantasy stockings on ebay banner 100 positive feedback

I called them and provided a whole bunch of financial documents to prove that I do in fact get this product from a reputable source. Custom clearance, paypal records, invoices, you name it, I have it.

Turns out that what got their attention are words in the titles such as “mock” and “Imitation”. I explained to the woman on the phone that these words refer to the pattern, like let’s say “mock stocking tights” or “hold up imitation” design. It has nothing to do with the authenticity of the brand.

Both parties agreed that I did nothing wrong and that it is simply a misunderstanding. However, they told me that this is an educational experience for me and I am still punished for a week. I’m kind of struggling to wrap my mind around it, as less sales for me means less money in eBay’s pocket too.

I guess I am going to spend a week “educating myself” as eBay put it, without being able to list any new items until Sept 13th.

In case you want to see my eBay, here it is. You can still buy stuff, it’s just that I can’t list anything new for a week, that’s all. http://www.ebay.ca/usr/fantasystockings


12 thoughts on “Unexpected Problem on eBay

  1. This is something I have encountered in the construction world. Having unqualified, inexperienced inspectors determining satisfactory work. I f it doesn’t look exactly like a picture created in ideal circumstances it can’t be good work. Just as not understanding certain terms used in fashion. Who hasn’t heard of a mock turtle neck. But, no crime committed, you still get punished.

    • Yup, one lady I spoke to about this was a complete dumb-dumb, very polite and totally mechanical. The second one was a bit brighter and grasped what was going on, but still said that she can’t do anything. They told me that they have specially trained agents working to catch fakes.

  2. I guess they’re looking to avoid fraud. But after you explained yourself – there was no reason for the one week suspension. Ridiculous

    • I know. I have a lot of other stuff to do besides that, but I may call again.
      Even the manufacturer (Fiore) describes the product like this – “Sexy tights with a hold-up imitation pattern”.

  3. This behavior looks very much alike the one of a computer. It’s like they have a software that automatically bans all the sellers who word their articles this way: “Imitation Cartier watch” or “Fake Vuitton bag”. But in your case, these words “Imitation/Mock/Fake” trigger the reaction of the computer for nothing. It really looks like the algorithm is not astute enough to tell the difference between the examples I mentioned above and pantyhose looking like stockings. The attitude of the female contact persons you talked with is not understandable. It’s to believe that they never wore that kind of hosiery themselves! However, it may be true that they have no power to lift the ban that affects you, but at least they should have referred of your case to a superior to solve this problem. I’m totally with you: it’s completely unfair that the outcome of this story resulted in you being banned for one week. It’s not good for business.

    • Thank you for your kind words and support.

      I tried to call yesterday again and argue my case. It was a female on the line again. She told me they are based in Asia, but not in the Philippines. So I wonder where.

      Me: “The word IMITATION here refers to the print on the garment, not to the brand name. It is a pair of pantyhose with a pattern that looks like stockings and garter belt from afar.”

      Her: “If you say that this is IMITATION, what does the GENUINE version of the item look like?”

      She kept on asking me the same thing over and over about what is a genuine pair of pantyhose. I tried to explain and give examples, but she still said that she can’t lift the restriction.

  4. They don’t understand the meaning of the word “imitation” in the correct context. They confuse this word with counterfeiting. They’re hopeless, and they have no idea of what you’re talking about! There’s a problem of cultural difference, here. I do hope that you’d have a better experience with them if the call center had been in the West rather than in some place in Asia, where it’s probably so hot that women never wear pantyhose. I think it’s useless to keep on chatting with them, given even if you manage once to make them accept to maintain on sale the contested articles, the problem will arise again the next time you’ll submit a new article on Ebay in a near future (again the dialog of deaf with staff members not trained to understand your problem…). An idea that I just have, try to see if comparable articles are submitted on Ebay by competitors and see how their titles and definitions are worded. Try to understand why their articles are accepted, and word the definition of yours similarly. It’s better than to try to discuss with the dumb people of the call center!

    • Mike, for sure, I’ll make a note of it and I will not use those words like “imitation” and “mock” or “faux” in the titles. I learned my lesson. The stupid thing is that they don’t allow me to even modify existing listings for the whole week. Some of those listings still do have those words, so I can’t even go there and change it.

      • My oldest sister taught me how to get satisfaction on disputes like this. If they tell you they can’t do what you need, ask for their supervisor and keep on till you can’t go any higher or get a satisfactory answer.

  5. … I can see how the word imitation could trigger scrutiny from the scam police. I’m thinking that the word simulation might bd less troubling to them. I even think it might even sound more appealing from a buyer’s standpoint. I didn’t read all of the comments. Someone might have suggested this already.

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