eBay Sellers Taking Advantage of People

I was checking for something on eBay yesterday and I saw this eBay ad:


For those that don’t know, OpenOffice is a suite of software designed to compete with Microsoft Office – the big difference is that it’s FREE. This makes someone selling it on eBay highly dubious. Looking at the note the seller put in the listing, you can tell he’s had problems getting his auctions pulled:

“Note to eBay Staff: We are authorized to distribute this software by the copyright holder under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). A copy of the license has been already presented and can be provided again upon such a request. Please ask us for it before taking action.”

Looking at this guy’s eBay history, you can see the process unfolding. First he bought one of those “make money selling eBooks on eBay” eBooks back in January. I bet he read it and thought “Hmm – I can do run the same scam, only with free software!” Over the next couple of months, he bought an ink cartridge to print on all those printer labels. He bought bubble envelopes to stuff the CDs in. And now he’s selling all sorts of software that’s free to download online, including GIMP (a photo editor), Nvu (an HTML editor), and a PDF maker.

He might not be doing anything illegal, but he’s sure as hell not adding any value to eBay – they should punt this idiot.

  • Hi Jason,
    A man after my own heart. I agree with what you said about this guy/seller. It is 100% wrong because there will be new people on eBay who won’t relaize that they can get this for free.

    I recently pointed out a real dodgy eBay item to the readers of my blog. In fact, the seller pretty much shot himself in the foot. If I may, I’d like to share the link to the blog post I wrote about it so your blog readers can share in it. I guess apart from being funny it also serves as a warning when shopping on eBay.

    Anyway, here is the link http://www.michaelsherriff.com/blog/2007/another-dodgy-item-on-ebay/

    I look forward to hearing what you think. Please feel free to post your comments on the blog.

    Michael Sherriff

  • Interesting story Michael – eBay sure does seem to be lacking in quality control lately…? It’s still the best place in the world do buy and sell used items though.