How eBay encourages the sale of counterfeit goods, fails buyers, and supports fake business sellers

eBay Money Back Guarantee ensures buyers receive the item they ordered or get their money back.

You’d like to think that buying off eBay with a Moneyback guarantee would be a safe shopping experience, right? Well it turns out that it’s not if the seller is fake and item is counterfeit. Let’s break this down to understand how eBay refused to help buyers or even bothered to listen to customers concerns.

We placed an order on eBay UK this month for a pair of Authentic Nike Air Max 90’s Premiums. They turned out to be counterfeit and you can view the full story and view the evidence by clicking here.


The fake seller details included on the product description page: The name is false as doesn’t match the Paypal account we paid. 119 Stone Lane doesn’t exist. The email address isn’t valid and mail bounces back. The VAT Number doesn’t come up with any records.

The Fake eBay Seller

To cut a long story short we purchased fake trainers from a seller that was registered as a UK business. On the listing page they had business details listed as required by law. It turns out none of these details are legitimate but more on that later.

The trainers arrived from the seller without a return address and started to raise some suspicion. Upon inspection we could clearly see the trainers were fake. They were of poor quality and damaged.

We called eBay customer services to report our findings with them. Despite eBay’s policy on fake sellers and counterfeit goods it turns out they never even bothered to check if this seller was a legitimate business. They left us, as the customer, to do our own investigations to prove we’ve been scammed.

U-Tun on their own policy

eBay’s website specifically states that counterfeit goods should not be sent back to the seller and that they should be destroyed. The buyer must work with eBay to make sure they don’t end up being re sold on their site as the paragraph below (taken from their own policies page) explains.

Paragraph regrading counterfeit goods as seen on eBay’s money back guarantee page.

Despite every effort to warn eBay that not only was the seller a fake trader but they were also selling counterfeit goods they just didn’t want to listen, or act on their own guidelines to make sure that fake products were destroyed and not sent back to the seller knowing they would be re-sold on their platform. They allowed the fraudster to keep selling counterfeit goods.

The evidence we gave to eBay was much more than a ‘strong indication’ that the trainers were counterfeit. Sadly, this was the disappointing reply we received from eBay after presenting them with our evidence.

Return to seller so they can re-sell?

After hours of telephone calls to eBay that spread over a couple of days we got the feeling they really wasn’t interested or wanted to take action on this fake seller. Was this because they were making too much money from the sale of these fake goods?

A service representative against our wishes turned down a part refund for the counterfeit trainers and escalated the claim so that the fake seller agreed to accept a return. At no time did we have any involvement in the claim below.

Fake return address label

The seller authorized a return but the problem we face is the address we have been provided with does not exist, just like their registered business information so we are unable to send back these counterfeit trainers even if we wanted to.

We sent a number of messages to the seller asking them to provide us with a genuine return address but the responses we’ve receive back are one liners like ‘We don’t reply to silly emails’ and ‘stupid’. What is silly, or stupid about asking for a genuine address?

If the seller was genuine and the trainers were authentic then they wouldn’t have a problem providing a correct return address. This is done deliberately by scammers to avoid the parcel being returned in the time frame required This means eBay will not refund a buyer under the money back guarantee as the tracking information will never show the parcel as being delivered.

No more support from eBay!

So now eBay was forcing us to return the trainers and ignoring their own policy on counterfeit goods. It was at this point they refused to get involved anymore, the fake seller was free to keep selling the counterfeit trainers on eBay for another 8 days until we could ask eBay to step in.

For this reason we went ahead and left the seller negative feedback early to hopefully warn others as it was pretty clear eBay didn’t care about their members.

Still turning a blind eye

Following the 8 days waiting period we was finally able to ask eBay to step in. Sadly, despite all the evidence provided to them they actually went ahead and put the case on hold for a further 8 days from the 2nd of December until the 8th December.

The reason for this was so they could further investigate the situation and so they could email the seller requesting them to arrange the collect the trainers duke to the fake address on the return label. We was told by eBay customer services that if they didn’t comply in that time frame they would close the case and honor their money back guarantee. During this time the seller was still allowed to sell counterfeit trainers and wasn’t asked to update their fake business information on their listings.

On the 7th of December, we finally received this response from eBay, but instead on closing the claim they put the case on hold for a further 5 days. The seller is still allowed to sell on their knockoffs on the eBay platform with IP theft reaching nearly £9,000

The map of deception

We have put together a map showing how this fake eBay account is trying to hide there location and stop themselves being identified. We have identified the fake business location, the post office the goods were sent from, the building for the return and an address linked to the sellers PayPal Account. Zoom into the Manchester area to see the Post office and building where we was meant to return the trainers.

Stone Ln, Peterborough PE1 3BN – The official business information provided on the eBay listing is Sarah Likat, 119 stone lane, Peterborough,, Lincolnshire PE6 0FH. PE6 0FH is in fact the post code for North Bank, Peterborough where there is only 6 Addresses. The correct Postcode for Stone Lane, Peterborough is PE1 3BN and only has 59 properties. 119 is fake address for this road but it does appear to be a positive match with the sellers registered Paypal email address.  Postcodes can be checked and verified by using the official address finder – postoffice.co.uk/postcode-finder

Still no support from eBay!

14 days later and eBay have done nothing regarding this fake seller. Their account is still active, still selling, and still displaying false business information. In this time more people have been tricked into buying counterfeit goods and other people are starting to leave negative feedback mentioning the goods are fake. If eBay wanted a safe platform why did they not take action when we first reported the seller?

eBay supports Fraud & removes Feedback.

We received an email from the seller saying they would have our negative feedback removed. They clearly know how to play the system as the screenshots below show eBay have removed negative feedback despite it not breaking their feedback guidelines.

Email sent from the seller promising they would remove our negative feedback

A buyer with 1 rating left Negative similar to ours. Days later eBay removed it

A screenshot of the sellers negative feedback shown below taken on the 7th Decmber 2017. eBay have actually removed the feedback that the buyer with a 1 rating left, but another buyer has also left negative feedback since. How many more negatives have eBay secretly removed?

”Thanks after all things I done for you’ – We guess that the buyer was also given a £10 reduction bribe like us because the trainers were counterfeit

Reminded to buy Fake Goods

To add injury to insult eBay are now emailing us about these counterfeit trainers… “Only nine pairs left don’t miss out” This is actually eBay aiding and abetting, and promoting, the sale of counterfeit goods. We expect that anyone that has viewed these, or added to their watch-list has also received this email.

It makes us wonder how much of eBay’s revenue comes from the sale of counterfeit goods. This is a new seller on eBay and so for they have feedback for 73 pairs of Nikes. These trainers retail on Nike’s website for £109.95 a pair so that is £8026.35 worth of lost revenue and theft of Nike’s Intellectual property from this one fake seller alone.

When eBay finally stepped in

We will update this section when eBay finally steps up and does something about this fake seller and we will also let you know if they actually honor their money back guarantee. So far all we have received from them is a customer satisfaction survey and an email with a voucher code for £10 off an order of £20 for receiving an item not as described. We’d rather the kept the discount code and made their platform safe by taking customers concerns seriously.

Published on the 24/11/2017