Is legal to do this in Ebay?


I have tracked an Ebay item of Ebay seller coburlin and suddenly it changed to "HP USB Optical Scroll Mouse Brand New" !? Seeing his items for sale, it shows that all items near to finish are all "HP USB Optical Scroll Mouse Brand New". Can a seller change completely the product when the auction has not finished yet?


Please have a look at the following thread:
It is quite instructive about your question, and features a reply by Coburlin himself!
Hope this helps.
Cheers. Giancarlo


I think he is trying to avoid paying high insertion fees if he sees that his item will not sell. The insertion fees are based on the buy-it-now value. The highest the value, the highest the insertion fees. By swapping his auction before it ends with an item of a low value, he might get an insertion fees refund from ebay. This seems strange, as I thought that insertion fees were charged at insertion time and were not refundable.
The only way to be sure is to report this to ebay and to see their reaction...


What is the item number? This is required to send a complaint to eBay. I suppose it's not legal to change a fixed price listing to an auction-style listing.


Just do an advanced search / items by seller and type coburlin as seller's user ID.


If no one has made any bid on an item, I believe the auction rules allow the seller to make any changes they please. I suspect coburlin is exploiting this ebay policy. This is probably a legal requirement of auctions, ie it is supposed to be for the auction an extra incentive to entice a bidder, once a bid is placed, the transaction item is now frozen, but prior to a bid, in an auction, the seller usually is at liberty to toss in more goodies or make a better description. That coburlin is using it to switch before a bid (no one has entered a bid, so no contract is imminent) he is entitled to do so. That he is downgrading his auction is unusual (and may even be not ethical) but it is allowed. If he were to switch after a bid is place is probably not possible (ebay freezes the ability to change an auction after a bid is placed, I believe.).

Myself, I despise ebay, not because it has lead to the sky high prices of our collectables, but because of how it is administered. It is very biased towards the seller. I would like the format changed just a little to somewhat level the playing field. As it presently is, you are arm twisted to leave positive feedback for normal service. Normal feedback is taken as an insult. Red is war!

I would like the seller to have to leave feed back when he recieves payment or at least be unable to leave feedback once the buyer leaves feedback. It is the buyer who risks his payment for an item. He is the one at risk. If he is satisfied, he will leave a glowing response. I admit this may sound somewhat Polyanna, but if I were selling, I would hope that I would take care of the buyer in a way to earn a positive response instead of the current trend of extorting a positive from the buyers that is so prevalent on ebay today.

As it is, much feedback is not worth looking at. I carefully bid only on the best feedback, realizing most sellers on ebay require feedback before they leave feedback. I have abstained from their auctions and only bother to leave feedback after it is left for me. Fortunately I have always been very lucky (until recently).

Until ebay modifies this, I won't use ebay extensively (and I am thinking to just quit). But ebay is not paid for by the buyers, but from the sellers. And ebay doesn't want to drive away this customer. All seems swell from their perspective, so no need to rock the boat.


Hi Ron,

You are absolutely correct aboout the feedback issue being skewed. I have had sellers tell me "I will leave feedback after you do" to which I reply to them, "why? I paid you, yes? What else do you want?!" If they do not leave me feedback, then they don't get any.

Coversely, when I sell, I leave positive feedback to the buyer when I receive bona-fide payment. I do not see why I should do anything else. It is so clear--buyer puts out money--if the money clears, then that is all there is to it.

Also some sellers have inflated positive feedback which they have earned through bogus "feedback auctions". These are auctions for extremely cheap items--usually things like "happygrams" which you can do scores of, and then you have positive feedback--either as seller or buyer! Once those transactions "age" it is impossible to look at them in the history, and so there is no way to tell, unless it was carried out recently.



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