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Seller Files Suit Against eBay

Complaint says Featured Plus! service was 'nonfunctional.'

eBay is facing a class action lawsuit that claims the marketplace’s Featured Plus! service failed to give sellers who purchased the service higher placement in search results, as the feature is meant to do.

In the suit, which was filed on Monday, lead plaintiff Custom LED claims Featured Plus!, which cost the seller up to $39.95 per listing, did not help listings that used the feature get higher rankings in search results. The company says products were only given a boost when shoppers began their searches for items that had this feature on eBay Motors.

Featured Plus! is meant to show items in the Featured Items section “at the top of search result pages for Motors site searches,” according to an eBay seller information page.

eBay did not respond to inquiries by press time.

Custom LED also notes in the suit that the service was “nonfunctional” for the last six months of 2011 and that eBay continued charging for the service, though officials knew of a bug that prevented listings from appearing higher in search results.

Custom LED is seeking damages for breach of contract, unfair business practices, false advertising and fraud, according to the suit.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • floggedbyebay

    Every seller should sue ebay. I can’t wait for class action over that joke they call feedback .

    • thecod

      Concur with your narration although I think every buyer should stop buying, this will force EBay to control their way of thinking..

      • ebay vicitm

        why should buyer stop buying they are being aloud to loot by eBay they will take every advantage they get No sellers should stop selling on eBay when there are no sellers then eBay will have to shut down it would happen automatically and let me tell you it is buyer’s biggest loss

    • Clsakry

      With ebay their is only buyers that get feed back NOT sellers. It is one sided. Buyer don’t always tell the truth. If they want it cheaper or decided they don’t want it they give negative feed back .
      Seller don’t have a chance on eBay.

      • ebay vicitm

        they blackmail sellers with this stupid system of negative feedback. Because eBay alows it simply stop selling on eBay. I wish someone would start their website keeping sellers in mind and if there is one please let me know

        • I’ve actually gone out and done just that after having problems with ebay. I’ve created a site, that not only allows feedback on both buyer and seller, but also has no listing fee, very small percentage only after an item sells.

  • Jay

    I’m surprised more people don’t sue eBay. It has become a cesspool. You can’t even contact them anymore. They just take your money and that’s it! No customer support whatsoever. I gave up selling on eBay ages ago. It wasn’t worth the effort!

  • Philip Cohen

    “Seller Files Suit Against eBay”

    Oh, no, I can’t believe it; how ungrateful is this person? Surely, they did not actually expect eBay to supply a product of merchantable quality? How naïve can you be? “Featured Plus” was never meant to serve any purpose other than to squeeze a few more pennies out of the already long-abused eBay users. …

    “When Do We Start Calling eBay A Payments Company?”

    A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say. This linked “Business Insider” article contains a graph of eBay revenues since 2003. It shows, quite starkly, how eBay’s Marketplace revenue has stagnated since 2008, about the time that the headless turkey from Bain & Co, John Donahoe, got hold of the tiller and started his “destructive renovations”, and eBay’s share price has moved little in the same period; ergo the eBay Marketplace has effectively been in decline since 2008.

    It should be obvious, even to the simplest of analysts, that as time passes, the Amazon River flows ever more strongly, whereas the eBay Marketplace now consists of little more than a chain of stagnant ponds covered in slimy green algae—and isn’t that a couple of rusting Chinese-made shopping trolleys that I can see dumped therein?

    The graph also shows the eBay-underpinning increases in revenue eBay has received from PreyPal during the same period, that is, from roughly when the “eBafia Don” effectively mandated PreyPal’s use on the eBay Marketplace. Some analysts therefore think then that eBay’s future lays in PreyPal.

    Well, if anyone thinks that the retail banks are going to let such a clunky, parasitic, flea-sized, upstart, middleman, “merchant of sorts” such as PreyPal—who after all does no more than ride precariously on the back of those banks’ own payments processing systems—continue to nibble away at one of the banks’ principal areas of business for any length of time, all I can say is, dream on …

    PreyPal is little more than a clumsy, fraud-enabling middleman that also nullifies the statutory protections that, in many countries, would otherwise be available to users paying directly with a real bank’s credit card.

    Then there is PreyPal’s current testing of “mobile payments” at POS in Home Depot stores. Are people actually leaving their funds “on deposit” with this clunky, unlicensed, prudentially unregulated, PayPal “non-bank” that is itself not even licensed to provide credit? Otherwise, how are the funds for such mobile payments being sourced by PreyPal from the payer’s real banking account in a way that the merchant can be sure of ultimately getting paid by PreyPal? Not with the standard non-guarantee of payment that PreyPal serves up to its online merchants, I hope.

    And, unfortunately for eBay’s chief headless turkey, Visa’s professional online offering “”, when it is up and running later this year, will undoubtedly put paid to whatever success that the clunky PreyPal has had with professional online merchants outside of its mandated use on the eBay Marketplace—and soon thereafter both these unscrupulous and clunky entities should commence/continue their long-deserved journeys down the gurgler.

    Scott Thompson saw the writing on the wall; John Donahoe remains delusional, that fact confirmed by the many reported sightings of him waving his mobile phone about and mumbling about UFO sightings over San Jose.

    “How secure is PayPal for sellers?”—UK “Guardian”

    And an interesting follow up to this UK “Guardian” article at:

    “Vendor Claims eBay Plays Dirty” (Who could have believed it?)

    Scott Thompson abandons the struggling eBay for the struggling Yahoo

    PayPal claims PayPal not a debit card or payment network!

    eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

    • Anonymous

       Thanks for the Guardian links. Interesting.

  • john dillinger

    this lawsuit will go nowhere

    99% of all ebay sellers have no problems.

    any seller that complains about ebay’s polices are a failure

    don’t blame ebay because you don’t understand how it works

    take your junk and go back to the flea market and let the real sellers make money

    • Skidoo440le

      Hey john, you’re way off [deleted].  I just won bid on a camper, left a $1,000. deposit, drove over 1,000 miles to pick up the RV and noticed severe water damage on the interior of the RV. Seller wrote in description “NO LEAKS OR WATER DAMAGE, NO BAD SPOTS IN WALLS OR FLOOR.  This seller [deleted] is trying to keep my $1,000. and ebay won’t do ANYTHING  about it. They won’t even let me file a claim!  They’re allowing people to falsely advertise and scam people!!  SO YOU BETTER CHECK AGAIN john [deleted]…  I’ve been a buyer and seller on ebay for over 10 yrs and NEVER THOUGHT EBAY WOULD OPERATE THIS WAY.  I’m doing all I can to file lawsuit against them.

      • CSN

        Ebay has Seller Protection and Buyer Protection.  Did you contact their Customer Service Department by Telephone.  I’m a seller on Ebay and if I contact them they usually work it out for me.  You can file a Claim with Paypal, if you paid through Paypal that is!  You better do it quickly, because the longer you wait the more problems you’ll encounter with getting your money back.  They can reverse the charges back to the seller if they find you’re in the right.  You’re obviously not trying hard enough.

        • I wholly agree wth CSN for the comment regarding Seller Protection and Buyer Protection.  eBay does work hard to resolve problems that incur from buyer/seller transactions.   I have been an eBayer for more than 10 years and eBay and Paypal have supported my claims in my favor earnestly and without any repercussions.   They were courteous and very understanding when spoken to a eBay representative on the chat phone.  In some cases, you may win some and lose some but eBay does give you the option to resolve a dispute with your party.

          • ebay vicitm

            ebay is a big fraud they always favor buyers and discriminate sellers thisis their policy to cheat and loot sellers

    • ebay vicitm

      It seems you are in ebay team and majority of sellers cant be wrong

  • Cy Stapleton

    To claim that 99% of eBay users have no problem with eBay is ridiculous. I started on eBay in early 1996. In the early 2000s I started teaching eBay classes-private lessons, for our Parks & Recreation Department, at our local community college, and through seminars in several Texas cities. I have had very few students who did not have major problems with eBay.

    As far as suits against eBay, there have been many and most of the ones I am aware of were lost by eBay. The problem is that the ones I am familiar with have all been class action suits. And, the problem with a class action suit is that the winner is the legal firm. I have been a party in two class action suits against eBay. The first one my part was $.04. The most recent one my check was for $.10. On the second one, of the over $35 million reward, the attorneys received $7.5 million plus $160,000 “expenses,” plus they were authorized to keep all funds from checks that were not cashed within 30 days of being issued (Yingling v. eBay). I feel almost certain that individuals filing suit against eBay would be as successful, but few have the financial resources to retain a highly competent law firm and the damages an individual might seek would rarely be enough to entice a competent attorney to work on a contingency basis.

    There are numerous other similar sites popping up. To date none of these have caught on and eBay is still the giant. But, eBay’s direction is self-destructive and I believe that at sometime in the not too distant future enough buyers and sellers will move to one or more of these sites and drive eBay into an unrecovable dive. Buyers are already finding better deals on some of these other sites because of the lack of buyer competition. That will certainly bring more sellers.

    • Huelinh45

      I have a check sent from yingling vs. Ebay. I did not cash it. I thought it’s faked. It’s expired already 🙁

      • Meganoo

        I did cash the check of $.31 and that cost me 12.00  because the accompte was close . what a deal you think

    • Janjems

      WHAT SITES ARE Ebay sellers going to? If we all consintrate on the most popuar sites to go to, we can take Ebays power away. Lets post the best sites to go to. As small long time senior seller of vintage costume jewelry and small items, Im confused. I need to keep my little income coming to maintain general expenses. Whats out therre for me?

  • CSN

    I would never pay $39.99 to get my items up higher from anybody.  Go to Google and get your items into their Search Results.  If your search words are adequate, anyone can find your items.  Ebay just gave us 20+ more characters to list items and it should help increase your sales.  Why is it that people think spending money is going to make them more money.  It can, but I’d have searched the results first to see if it worked on a couple items, and if it didn’t I’d call Ebay and tell them about it.  Call more than once if you don’t like the person you’ve contacted or the answers they’ve given you.  Bug them!

    • MyGr8Parts

      I found out that when I call in, they know it’s me. So, when I’ve called in, in the past they would act ignorant, put me on hold for ever, only to say they needed to transfer me, just to purposely disconnect.  For a while there, they were all acting soooo non-professional, I couldn’t believe it. When someone from the State calls in to audit, and they don’t know who it is, by giving them a known sellers name, but it’s actually to follow up on our accusations, I’d love to be a fly on the wall of the one’s “in charge”!
      It’s coming……But your right, it needs to known from all that are getting ripped off and screwed by them. Not any ONE CATAGORY, ALL!
      Put yourself in my shoes…….A female selling Quality, Used OEM AutoParts in a predominate Male Arena.  Reason  why I have to know my products and Cars, and stand my ground that much more!  Nobody in Sacramento will believe their “resolutions” and how they sided, in many cases. Some, I’m guilty of not uploading shipping, leaving out minor detail, but nothing Major, and I accept it. It’s when the buyer clearly was stupid enough to buy the wrong part, cry wolf without giving me a chance only to get to keep it and get refunded. This happens ALL THE TIME!!  tHEY SAY THEY HAVE SAFETY MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN TRIED AND TESTED…WHEN? ON WHO? WHAT FOR?
      Thanks for letting me vent, but it’s more than that.
      Till next time,
      Sell, Sell, Sell …..elsewhere!

  • Jude

    We wre part of the Paypal suit way back when and WE WON! WHY?  Because the litigators and initial complainants were of one voice and that voice was LOUD


    I agree totally. Ebay does nothing but abuse and allow abuse to the sellers on a continual basis. Ebay manipulates the search for everyone who sells based on the way they force you to list your items. If you follow certain criteria they will put you higher in the search or if you pay a fee, they will put you higher in the search. If you don’t do it Ebays way, they will lower you  in the search, and you will just be wasting your money with the listing that you thought you paid them for to get your items sold. Search manipulation is just another example of Ebay greed. Not only do they want you to pay for listings, but they want you to pay extra and/or make your listings features their way or you won’t sell your items. The “NEW” top rated seller requirements is a great example of this rip off of the sellers once again. Now Ebay has not only dropped the powerseller discounts, but they are dropping the latest top rated seller discounts now by forcing the sellers to change their listings once again, or we won’t get any discounts at all. Ebay is finding less and less ways for a great seller to not get any discounts at all. What is so wrong with a 99.5% rating and well over 90% in DSR scores? I will tell you what, its the buyers constant abuse and ignorance of the DSR system that Ebay puts into place that promotes, encourages, and allows the buyers to abuse a great seller such as myself. The old power seller system had way more rewards and therefore Ebay had to find a way to eliminate it and make it sound like they were moving along with progress. Just to take more money out of a sellers pockets! The biggest rip off now is that they demand you give refunds or else they will drop you in the search like a rock! This is out of pure greed on Ebay. Most sellers do not even realize that pay pal keeps their FEE you pay them when you give refunds. So, this NEW rule to give refunds or else, is just another way to make Ebay even more money. (Ebay owns Pay Pal if you don’t already know this).UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES ? Definately yes, Ebay should be getting sued with a class action suit from far more sellers with they way they treat us sellers for constantly changing their rules to make it more and more difficult to sell on Ebay and for allowing and promoting the buyers to abuse us so we do not get our discounts. (See the Ebay buyer protection policy in your face on each and every page you go to on Ebay). Ebay does all this in the name of progress! I just call is what it is: A RIP OFF.

  • Janjems

    Ebay has stacked it against the small sellers. Experienced sellers who have small incomes and work hard to get the product they sell. This is especially applied to vintage sellers. Delicate items that Ebay wants you to wait for long terms and then the buyer can get refunds. This is sick. Ebay is playing games with the small vintage sellers. The product I sell is mine…not Ebays. They are playing big brother. I need my small extra income. Need to find another place for my listings. Ebay has gone too far!

    • Try or a new site I discovered is

      • ebay vicitm is doing nothing to promote their website and their listing tools sucks besides in 8 monts I just sold 2 items. I love bonanza but they are not using the right tools to promote so usless the other i have not tried but I will definitely right now.

    • guest

      I agree with you completely I do not want ebay allowing people to borrow my stuff…. wear it for an event and returning it to me.

      I love what you said about my products are mine… not ebays!

      Vintage items are just that vintage and valuable. So can unhonest Abe go and test market reselling my stuff then …send it back to me?

      They are creating an US (small seller) VS them ( EBAY AND BIGGER SELLER)
      struggle or mentality.

      Then there are the “Popular KIDS” … the powersellers…..Nothing personal but they are the kids that get picked first to play dodgeball. I so happen not to be one of those kids.

      Responding to janjems post


    • ebay vicitm

      Yes please stop selling and spread the word ebay will die it’s natural death

  • Jeff

    geez – what a moron sueing eBay – simply get your money back!! somebody call the Waaaaaaaambulance!

  • Iconcoclash

    Wow, and I thought I was just imaging things. Has anyone happened to also notice that eBay runs their company using the exact social engineering that they give lip-service to condemning? 

    Or how PayEnemy withheld rent from a 78-year old seller for two months, even though there were no latches, just because they technically could. I told the fellow to call the police; he was afraid of being ridiculed.And to hell with both Amazon and eBay for mindlessly lobbying against the field-levelling internet tax that would let established stores compete fairly. As if they actually care about Main  street!

    What creates a ‘litigious society’ are teams of lawyers telling eBay-type clients that if they aren’t pushing the limits they aren’t doing their job.

    Like Toyota, you can only hide these conspiracies for so long until the someone leaks the smoking gun memo.

  • Skalait on ebay

    the little guy built ebay to what it is today and they are been pushed out in support of the mega big sellers, because thats where the profit is. what they dont see is that the little guy adds variety that buyers cant find with the big sellers, and once the little guy gets tired of been screwed in every way possible then they will leave and then lets eee what ebay will do to get its market back when the sellers get tired of the same old same old of the big sellers and leave in droves…..

  • Geralidne

    Has anyone had problems with Paypal freezing assets in the quest for determining if you are a business and trying to dip out on paying your taxes?? My account which has over $1500 in it has been frozen for over 6 weeks while Paypal determine if my partnership which has been running since Nov 1999 is cheating on our taxes. Well I have had to kick and scream and still they take their time to determine if the paperwork I have sent them is all legit.
    They don’t care if you can’t pay your suppliers for items already sent – you have to they are paid for. I have put in a complaint with the banking ombudsman and Paypal have 45 days to respond.I will let everyone know the outcome.

  • Frank King99


    • ebay vicitm

      I feel bad for you now you know what sellers go through when they are being cheated by both eBay and buyers. I hope more buyers have humanity to feel the way you are.

  • Scottlittle60

    2 to 4 week return policy ! Why in the world should it take a buyer 14 to 30 days to decide if they wish to return an item ?? So if gold or silver crashes they can return their jewelry, coins or bullion to avoid a major loss. I don’t understand the reasoning for it. You return it right away if its not what u want. We are new to ebay (approx 6 months) and have done well and always try to follow their rules, but it seems like the buyers have all the power.  The scam artists have another advantage now with the new return increase.

  • donedeal

    Ebay is nothing but a dictator company.  I think what good sellers should do is go in together and form a company that is not only slanted to the consumer, but to the seller as well.  Ebay continues to reep the benefits of their sellers whether powerseller or not and continually disrespect them.  They impliment these ridiculous policy changes without “Properly” informing the seller and when the implimentation is complete penalize the seller for not following the “new” procedure they did not “properly” advise on.

    Ebay wants their sellers to abide by rules they themselves are not willing to abide by.  I am looking for business minded individuals who are saavy, honest and business minded enough to get together with and stop the madness.  I believe we can create a fair market for both the buyer and seller, not just the buyer.

    Ebay doesn’t care about any of their sellers.  Doesn’t matter whether you pay $150,000 a year in fees or $500.  You mean nothing to ebay.

  • Kayakingkarl

    eBay also does not allow you as a seller to leave negative feedback for buyers. I found this out the hard way when after over 500 transactions with positive feedback a newbie left negative feedback for slow delivery by the post office. Where are the checks and balances of feedback? eBay needs to get off it’s kick of making life hard on the seller in favor of the buyer. Sellers are the ones that pay eBay’s bills not a penny comes from buyers.


    I hate ebay with a passion; they started out right and the little guys made their business for them! Now they are trying to control OUR businesses and practices — not right morally, ethically nor legally! BUT…. sadly some feel that ebay is too big to fight. This whole deal should be win/win/win — for the customer/seller/ebay — but it’s not. For 9% of OUR sales they don’t have the right to control our business. And, once they bought Paypal, that just screwed us over with Paypal as well. 

    Is there another place like ebay to sell our goods???? If so, let’s go! Ebay has grown too big for their britches — “pride goeth before the fall” …. time for ebay to fall and remember who keeps their business floating and running … IT’S US THE SELLERS!!!!!

    Class action suit? BRING IT! SIGN ME UP! IT’S TIME!

  • guest

    OMG! I just filed my taxes for the first time after receiving the 1099K tax form from ebay and am Shocked. Paypal paid me $23K from my acct but my net profit after federal taxes, state taxes, Social Security, Penalty fees of $272. for not filing quarterly, chargebacks, overhead costs, ebay fees, paypal fees… profit was just over $6200. for a years worth of work! I’m sick about this!! 

    • Jimbo

      Well, the free ride is over for those of you who thought they could sell items and make an income without paying Uncle Sam a dime. When I started my eBay business 11 years ago, I set it up the right way (by fulfilling my obligation to the US Government, for better or worse). Everyone I know said I was stupid. Wait until the IRS also goes after everyone for income taxes in past years also. WHO’S THE STUPID ONE NOW??

      By the way, all the eBay fees, PayPal fees, shipping supplies, etc., are write-offs for business expenses. Not to mention the fact chargebacks and refunds can be written off your income as well. Did you think of that???

  • WGSmiami

    International Shipping
    Scam tolerated by EBAY BUYER PROTECTION

    Here is how the Scam works

    Seller place item on EBAY

    International Buyer wins
    item and pays for item plus S&H

    You print international
    postage and custom forms from EBAY and get a tracking number starting
    with two letters and followed by numbers

    You Ship item thru USPS


    USPS accepts item

    Item makes it all the way
    to Jamaica NY, 11430 USPS Origin Sort Facility

    NOW USPS Tracking number
    stops here

    Tracking numbers that
    starts with letters do not require scanning or tracking by
    destination Country Postal Service

    Item is now en route to


    Buyer waits a couple of

    Buyer place a claim to
    EBAY RESOLUTION CENTER stating he did not receive item

    even if they did receive
    the item in question

    EBAY Resolution Center
    contact Seller to provide USPS Tracking Number

    Tracking Number shows
    final destination as Jamaica, NJ USPS Origin Sort Facility

    EBAY Resolution Center
    will never receive a tracking confirmation from destination and will
    never receive proof of delivery even if item has arrived to

    Case is closed in FAVOR of
    Buyer because tracking number can not be accounted for after Jamaica,
    NJ , USPS Origin Sort Facility

    Buyer gets back FULL
    amount they paid plus S&H

    Buyer Gets Items for FREE
    and All Money Back

    Seller is out of Item and

    EBAY Resolution Center
    answer to this is that Seller should have had the item insured and

    EBAY Resolution Center do
    not control any part of the shipping process that is “
    conveniently” located on it’s website.

    close claim on BUYERS FAVOR knowing this SCAM is HAPPENING

    USPS do not have any
    mechanism in place for you to file a CLAIM for stuff sold

    Seller is SCREWED

    Creatureunlimited Lost


  • ebay vicitm

    Excellent more and more sellers should sue eBay for their cheat and fraud of a joke they are running in the name of online business. Their business model is full of cheap business structure and prone to fraud they are full of fraud frodulant activites. Feedback is also one side what nonsense you cannot give negative feedback to buyers but sellers get negative feedback they are clearly and blatantly cheating sellers and how in the world governemnts are alowing them to cheat after cheat after cheat and loot the innocent sellers people like eBay have borught bad names to online business they are teaming with buyers to spread black selling deads they are teaching buyers to commit fraud they are the biggest frauds in online business VOTE FOR SUCH GOVERNMENT WHO WILL SHUT DOWN EBAY AND PAYPAL BOTH ARE FRAUDS LOOTERS

  • Nobodys Business

    I listed items on ebay and they were removed they stated my item violated their policy. There were over 700 of the exact same item listed by other sellers that were not removed! They would not tell me why I was singled out. I agree sellers should sue ebay due to there unfair policies.

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