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eBay Sues Amazon Employees and Managers for poaching eBay sellers

By Chris Dawson August 5, 2019 - 10:00 am

In October 2018, after sending Amazon a Cease and Desist letter, eBay sued Amazon for poaching eBay sellers. This was no casual attempt to attract eBay sellers to sell on Amazon through regular marketing channels, but according to eBay,and confirmed by Tamebay readers, a multi-year ongoing abuse of eBay’s messaging system to contact eBay sellers and convince them to switch part or all of the sales to Amazon.

Now in another case in California eBay sues Amazon again, this time naming three Amazon managers in the lawsuit accusing them of running an illegal conspiracy poaching eBay sellers. eBay assert that these three managers directed dozens of Amazon employees in their seller acquisition team to use eBay messages to contact eBay sellers. The three named include Amazon’s ‘Head of Global Seller Recruitment & Success’.

In the complaint, eBay quote their User Agreement which the three managers knowingly directed employees to break:

“Members can send messages to each other through eBay. We encourage open communication between our members but we don’t allow our members to use these options to send spam, offers to buy or sell off eBay, threats, profanity, or hate speech. We also don’t allow members to offer, reference, or request email addresses, phone numbers or other contact information, physical addresses, web addresses, or links within eBay messaging systems (Best Offer, My Messages etc.). eBay may monitor messages sent through eBay and between users for fraud, abuse, spam, and other violations of eBay’s policies.

Spam is defined as “an email (or part of an email) that is both unsolicited and commercial in nature.””
– eBay User Agreement

eBay detail numerous instances of eBay accounts being opened, performing no legitimate activity such as buying, placing a bid, listing an item for sale etc, but were purely used to send messages to attractive prospects for Amazon. eBay also assert that Amazon employees were well aware that poaching eBay sellers in this manner was illegal due to their use of obfuscated contact details such as AMZ instead of Amazon and “206 phone 555 number 5555 (read between the words) since eBay doesn’t allow phone numbers in these messages.”

eBay are asking the court to ban Amazon and their employees from abusing their messaging system, damages, any and all revenue derived from sellers Amazon may have illegally recruited, treble damages, legal costs, interest and any other amounts that the court deem just.

  • Julia
    3 months ago

    If eBay treated sellers better then ebay would have nothing to worry about. I can’t believe it’s cheaper in legal fees to fight amazon than it is to support sellers who are victims of fraudulent buyers through eBay. Or even spend the money making site improvements.

  • Mark
    3 months ago

    Ha what a joke Amazon have long order numbers and now so do ebay for absolutely no reason other than to copy so why don’t they ask all the sellers poached by amazon to just stay in touch and give a regular update on what Amazon change every day . Oh that woud be very few messages as Amazon rarely change any fundamental things it s actually ebay that just constantly tinker and achieve nothing.

    After many years of selling on ebay they still cannot have you individually price items to Northern ireland and scottish highlands without it changing all your listings i have been talked through it over and over again by them only to be told after about an hour on the phone “oh sorry it cannot be done”

    What a joke i can add any item to amazon and select any postage to anywhere without it affecting any other listing. So i did not need poaching.

  • Toby
    3 months ago

    Nobody jumps from a seaworthy ship! If sellers were happy with ebay they wouldn’t go. So my advice to ebay is to find out what is amazon doing better first. Then ask your sellers what made them move. Oh and finally…. actually act on what you find out, rather than from these mysterious focus groups that keep telling you complete trash.

  • BFT
    3 months ago

    I’m moving to Amazon without an invitation.
    I’ve been selling on eBay for 16 years – it has never been so bad.
    It is expensive, falling sales, subsidised unfair Chinese competition, poor CS, etc., etc.
    The final straw is that I see they are actively recruiting MORE sellers. Perhaps if they got more buyers, I would stay – but all the buyers are moving to Amazon anyway. A real shame that the management have destroyed such a thriving business.

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