Search Manipulation
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:49 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
morgansurname wrote:Below I have cut and pasted the latest letter I received from Ebay and my responses. I th ought the conversation might be interesting and entertaining. :wink:

FROM ME:

Message: Hello, I received multiple notices that my auction were in
> violation of Ebay policy. Evidently, my search modifiers constitute
> "search manipulation". Also, a link that I provide to a website with
> picutures and a description of individual items was mentioned as a
> violation of another sort. I have been reselling on Ebay for over three
> years off and on. I was a Powerseller until recently when my health
> took a turn for the worse. I was unaware of these violations. My
> concern includes the following questions which I would like answered:
> 1. Why was I not given a warning and an opportunity to edit the
> listings as this was my first warning? 2. Who reported these
> violations? 3. Who makes the decision to cancel auctions in such
> cases? 4. Will I be reimbursed for the listing fees? 5. I would
> request that the auctions be reinstated and that I be able to edit them
> to remove all and any infringements. I would do so asap. I have
> attempted to be as best of an exa!
> mple of a Ebay community member as possible. I will continue to do so.
> However, I feel that this sudden and permanent decision to be a bit
> extreme for a first warning....



I got hit a few years ago, although I considered my violation to be less serious and I was allowed to keep the 80 or so items up that were to be cancelled by arguing my case (I was lucky in that they actually PHONED me at home and I just happened to answer!) although I did have to remove the "offending" material. The Ebay agent like yours I'll grant was very polite but I think the problem was simple ignorance rather than strict application of the rules. He objected to the statement of rulesbooks being used with "any of the Dungeons & Dragons game worlds including Greyhawk, Ravenloft, Forgotten Realms, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, etc". I contended that the rules supplements and rulebooks indicated COULD be used with ANY D&D gameworld and that the problem was simply ignorance on the part of the Ebay spotter. I didnt' have the statements on all of my items, only the items that could legitimately fall under that category. I pretty much have discovered by now that ANY listing on Ebay can fall under the Keyword Listing or Search Manipulation guidelines depending on how hard or strictly you want to apply the rules.
Evidence of this was a recent notice that is forcing me to change my tagline...It goes like this " If you're interested in sf or fantasy RPGs and paperbacks, check out my Ebay store and other auctions...thanks!" Apparantly, common words like "fantasy", "paperbacks" and "sf" when not applied DIRECTLY to an item being sold are considered Search Manipulation. Next, words like "store", "auction" and "interested" will start making the list!!! Now I know this is crap but you get no where by arguing with EBay so reluctantly I'm having to remove the "offending" passage from my listings, but I did rationally discuss it with a Ebay employee and he basically admitted than whenever a Search Manipulation violation is reported they pretty much have to take action, no matter what the circumstance!!!!! Oh well that's the price of doing business on Ebay. It doesn't help when everyday I see much more blatant violations go uncheckec...

Mike B.
I am sorry...but this is just pure b.s. Like I said above, you can do whatever you want in your listings, as long as you pay for it by using Ebays little extras.  Even more ignorant is the fact that most of our listings fit into the Ebay category:
Home > All Categories > Toys & Hobbies > Games > Role Playing > Fantasy > !!!!! :roll: There is also:  All Categories > Toys & Hobbies > Games > Role Playing > Science Fiction.

Might as well just list the pic and the title....a$$holes....


May Eru's light shine upon you always.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:32 am 
 

Mike B.[/quote]I am sorry...but this is just pure b.s. Like I said above, you can do whatever you want in your listings, as long as you pay for it by using Ebays little extras. Even more ignorant is the fact that most of our listings fit into the Ebay category:
Home > All Categories > Toys & Hobbies > Games > Role Playing > Fantasy > !!!!! :roll: There is also: All Categories > Toys & Hobbies > Games > Role Playing > Science Fiction.

Might as well just list the pic and the title....a$$holes....[/quote]

Oh I've complained to Ebay before about what I consider unfair application of Keyword/Search manipulation. For example if I really wanted to shoehorn the words "paperback" and "fantasy" and "RPG" into my listings it would be a relatively easy task, a fact of which Ebay reps has AGREED with me on occasions. AS LONG AS IT IS WITHIN THE ITEM DESCRIPTION.  So, it ends up as long as you can manipulate the system by the rules, you can basically bend the rules to your advantage. Remember, perception is reality to them...unfortunately, knowing you are right doesn't help you if they decide you are wrong because they are the final arbiters.  The phrase I had was just a simple one at the end of my listings and not meant to manipulate anything, but I'll remove it if it makes them happy mostly because there is no other choice.  
  This doesn't even begin to cover the fact that you are allowed to quote from the dust jacket/back cover of items, which may contain tons of keywords (just use quote marks to indicate this).  But this is ok within the letter of the law as long as it is only a certain size (I forget how big it can be).  So just fabricate a long, lenghty quote from the back of a D&D book that mentions lots of interesting RPG info!!!!

Mike B.

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