Sellers Who Copy Your Item Description
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52 posts

Hey All,

I don't sell a lot on eBay, but when I do I take the time to write a detailed item description that I think helps distinguish my items from similar listings.  I include a bit of salesmanship to highlight positive aspects, interesting history of the book, etc.

Recently, I listed a higher-valued book to me ($350), and a few days later another seller listed one in the same grade.  The problem is that he literally copy/pasted my item description into his listing!

So my questions are: Do you see description plagiarism as a common issue you encounter?  Do others consider this to be poor form as I do?  And lastly, do you think I should call him out on it?

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Most of your questions are covered by Ebay's policy called VErO. A seller is not supposed to use another sellers pictures or text.  If someone has used your text Ebay suggests you contact them about it to see if they will remove it and write their own text.

 If a seller still insists on using your text you may report him  via the Verified Rights Owner program.

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1 minute ago, frozentundraguy said:

Most of your questions are covered by Ebay's policy called VErO. A seller is not supposed to use another sellers pictures or text.  If someone has used your text Ebay suggests you contact them about it to see if they will remove it and write their own text.

 If a seller still insists on using your text you may report him  via the Verified Rights Owner program.

Thanks, I didn't know about that.  I'll try contacting eBay and see how that goes.

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16 minutes ago, MadripoorNights said:

I'll try contacting eBay and see how that goes.

(thumbsu

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3 hours ago, rat chew said:

(thumbsu

I will occasionally copy a description from a seller if his item has sold, why not? I never take one from someone whose item ended in no sale.

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Item descriptions have largely become a waste of time since mobile users don't read them.

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21 minutes ago, nochips said:

I will occasionally copy a description from a seller if his item has sold, why not? I never take one from someone whose item ended in no sale.

I would have less of an issue with it if mine was already sold, but both listings are currently active.  I think it detracts from both listings and makes it seem like we're working together.

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1 minute ago, MadripoorNights said:

I would have less of an issue with it if mine was already sold, but both listings are currently active.  I think it detracts from both listings and makes it seem like we're working together.

Ah. That could be a problem.

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3 minutes ago, MadripoorNights said:

I would have less of an issue with it if mine was already sold, but both listings are currently active.  I think it detracts from both listings and makes it seem like we're working together.

Or it makes it seem you have multiple accounts.... yikes

What did eBay say?

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Honestly take it as a compliment and move on. If this is your biggest problem with EBay listings then you are lucky. This isn't something I would lose sleep over. 

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What do they say about imitation again?

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20 hours ago, MadripoorNights said:

Hey All,

I don't sell a lot on eBay, but when I do I take the time to write a detailed item description that I think helps distinguish my items from similar listings.  I include a bit of salesmanship to highlight positive aspects, interesting history of the book, etc.

Recently, I listed a higher-valued book to me ($350), and a few days later another seller listed one in the same grade.  The problem is that he literally copy/pasted my item description into his listing!

So my questions are: Do you see description plagiarism as a common issue you encounter?  Do others consider this to be poor form as I do?  And lastly, do you think I should call him out on it?

I think it's bad form. Send a message and ask them to change it.

Also, did they price the book the same as well? If I copied someone's listing word for word, I'd price mine slightly lower.

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Guilty. (Somewhat)

Whenever I want to see something that I have any question of I go through the sold listings and see which version of the title for the listing sold.  This is common on Star Wars figures.  So if I see that VC-44 Luke Skywalker Dagobah Encounter sells more often than Luke in Dagobah Costume... it's a straight cut and paste.

I ignore the plagiarism rule from eBay when it comes to manufacturers descriptions since eBay itself ignores that rule.  (Punch in the UPC code for an item) So therefore manufactures' descriptions of an item must be exempt from people plagiarism.  So for instance, when I sold off my sideshow figures I simply went back and cut and pasted the entire product description into the listing.  

As far as pictures?  I think I take better pics than others.  However, there have been times when I cannot seem to get the glare out of a scan of a slabbed comic.  If I bought it on CLink, Heritage or somewhere else, I will take the image.

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3 hours ago, DeadOne said:

I think it's bad form. Send a message and ask them to change it.

Also, did they price the book the same as well? If I copied someone's listing word for word, I'd price mine slightly lower.

They priced theirs the same price, but without best offer that mine has. Their shipping is also higher. So that’s a positive aspect that mine is slightly cheaper by comparison, but also shows that they were totally copying my listing. 

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2 hours ago, Buzzetta said:

I ignore the plagiarism rule from eBay when it comes to manufacturers descriptions

Sure, I have no issue with manufacturer descriptions, I’m just referring to what I wrote myself. And I’ve had sellers copy my sold listings before, but this is the first time for an active one. 

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I've had people copy my descriptions and title word for word.  I've even had people steal my images and post those as well.  However, for the really lazy sellers, I've had the last laugh a couple times...

Once I had a seller even use an image from my own personal hosting.  Therefore, he was also taking up my bandwidth anytime someone visited his auction page.  What he failed to realize is that I had full control of the image and the location of the image.  After a quick change, my wolverine.jpg file no longer showed our favorite Canadian superhero... instead visitors to his auction page now got a nice, big, floppy, NSFW... well, you get the idea.

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Just an update on contacting eBay about the VeRO program to have the other seller remove my item description.  Their response is below, but basically I have to submit another form to claim infringement including an email for the other seller, which is then investigated and the other seller has the ability to file a counter claim.  Seems like a big hassle and I doubt I'll pursue it.  I may just change my description, or if I get really annoyed I'll contact the seller directly and try to guilt him into changing his.

 

The Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program provides Intellectual Property rights owners with a way to report allegedly infringing content on our site.  This helps us to create a safer eBay community.

In order to report a listing that you believe is infringing, you must submit the Image and Text Theft Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI). 

To fill out an NOCI, please go to the following link:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/image-text.html

You can submit a copy of the signed and completed form to us by email to vero@ebay.com.

The VeRO program doesn't process reports concerning the unauthorized use of factual text, such as technical specifications of an item or listing title.  Also, eBay sellers who are reported for copyright infringement (such as the unauthorized use of image or text) may file a counter notice in response to your report pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512. Please note that VeRO reporters are required to provide an email address for reported sellers to be able to contact them about the report. 

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