Have you spotted fraudulent listings on eBay? You might find this information interesting and useful. Especially if you are an artist whose work is being copied and the seller is using your name or hallmark to describe and sell the item, you need to read this.
It has been frequently brought to our attention that sellers on eBay have used our copyrighted photos or information from our website to fraudulently list items for sale.
At first I just contacted the seller, giving him or her the benefit of the doubt, figuring some people just don’t KNOW what they are doing.
Well, I’d say in about 10% of the cases, the seller, somewhat embarrassed at being caught in the act, apologized profusely, removed our copyrighted items and changed their listing.
Another 10% wrote back with rude remarks and denial and didn’t change anything.
The other 80% just didn’t reply at all.
So then my MO changed to using the Report Item link which is located on the eBay item page way over to the right above Item Description.
Although that made me feel like I was doing something official, that process usually yielded no result in my personal experience. Maybe one or two instances over the years resulted in a removal of the item.
Then I discovered the Verified Rights Owner Program on eBay.
Basically this program is designed to eliminate these infringements:
A trademark is a unique sign (such as a name, word, phrase, logo, or symbol) that a company uses to identify its products or services. For example, eBay is the name of our company, but it’s also a trademark used on our site and on various eBay products. Trademark laws are primarily designed to protect consumers from confusing one company’s goods or services with those of another.
Replica and counterfeit
It’s illegal to sell counterfeits, fakes, or replicas of brand-name items. We don’t allow these items to be sold on eBay.
- Items that weren’t made by the manufacturer but the items are labeled with the brand, like a purse that has a Burberry label on it but wasn’t made by Burberry.
Brand name misuse
You may not use brand names in your listing if the product isn’t manufactured by or compatible with that brand. You may use “compatible with,” “fits,” or “for” before a brand name if the item you are describing is specifically designed to be compatible with the products of that brand.
- A generic case made for an iPhone uses the brand name “Apple”.
- Listing an adidas shoe and adding the brand name “Nike”.
If you include logos in your listing descriptions, make sure you’re authorized to use them. Using someone’s logo without permission is a violation of trademark laws and can be misleading for buyers. Creating a logo that’s similar to someone else’s can also be a trademark infringement.
- Listing a branded item and including logos in your description or images without authorization.
Every time I have used the VRO Program to report an item, not only is the item removed but the seller has been removed in some cases as well.
This is an effective tool to get fraudulent items and sellers removed from eBay. I haven’t heard much talk about it on Facebook or groups, so I wanted to be sure that artists and eBay watchers are aware of it.