eBay jewelry seller faces big fine

June 11, 2007

I’ve often wondered how some seemingly large-volume jewelry sellers on eBay are able to sustain their businesses by offering high-value items with 99 cent or $1.99 starting bids. Well, at least one seller apparently was doing just fine with low starting bids because they simply logged in as different users and inflated those bids by bidding on their own items

If you’re pretty familiar with eBay, you’ve probably heard about this illegal trick before.  But this is the first time I’ve heard of a seller being fined $400,000 as a penalty – and being banned from participating in online auctions for a number of years.

The fine is actually part of a settlement agreement between the seller and the New York Attorney General’s office.  (According to reports, eBay itself reported the seller’s activities to the Attorney General.)

For those of us who play by the rules selling on eBay, it’s nice to see at least one of these problems addressed by the criminal justice system. 

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