Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Auction Sites Trafficking Stolen Goods Online

- by Jim Edwards

© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved

Ah yes, eBay! The online auction giant that makes all your
dreams come true for finding that special something you
can't find anywhere else.

It's like a giant garage sale in the sky.

Unfortunately, eBay's size makes it easy for people to sell
stolen or unauthorized merchandise and not get caught.

To their credit, I think eBay does as much as humanly
possible to police their site and shut down any offenders

However, I recently discovered that plenty of mischief still
occurs, especially with downloadable products.

When checking my email yesterday, I found two messages that
disturbed me.

The first was an automated message from eBay telling me
about an auction selling an ebook about writing ebooks.

Another email came in from a good customer who sent me a
link to another auction on eBay that, to them, "looked

I clicked on the links for both auctions and found identical
postings by two different sellers.

Though they did not mention my ebook, "How To Write and
Publish Your Own eBook... in as little as 7 Days," the
blatant similarity between the wording on the auctions and
my www.7DayEbook.com website aroused my curiosity.

Since they didn't reference the ebook they were selling by
title, I decided to go ahead and buy from both sellers to
see what they sent me.

Imagine my horror when they both delivered my own ebook,
which they were selling illegally.

I immediately got the auctions shut down, but the damage was
already done.

Plenty of stolen merchandise gets sold via online auction

People call it "bootlegged" or "unauthorized copies" to
soften the wording for what they really know is "stolen

Of the two sellers mentioned above, I believe one knew he
was illegally selling my ebook and didn't care, while the
other person was just ignorant and thought she could sell it
because she'd bought it from someone else. Regardless of
their true intentions, their actions were illegal.

Now, let's discuss how you protect yourself and your
intellectual property against illegal sales and
"bootlegging" on eBay and other online auction sites.

First, set up automated searches on the major online auction

Set them up to automatically notify you whenever an auction
gets posted that includes your name or the name of your

You can also set them up to email you whenever an auction
gets listed with certain keywords in it, in my case "write

Second, if you find someone has stolen your intellectual
property (sales copy, ebooks, photos, graphics, software,
etc.) you should first contact the seller and politely, but
firmly, ask them to remove it.

If they don't, or if they take more than a few hours to
respond, you should contact the auction site directly to
request an immediate takedown of the offending auction.

eBay's "Vero" program, for example, enables you to simply
fax in a form or send an email to get an auction removed.

You should also go back and check periodically to make sure
that an offending seller doesn't start selling your product
again once they think the uproar has died down.

Third, pay attention to emails from customers and prospects
for signs of anything strange.

Watch for comments like "I saw your ebook for sale on eBay,"
or "I saw it cheaper on eBay."

Also, make sure to compare customer service inquiries to
your customer database.

Anyone who asks specific questions about a product and
appears to possess it, but never bought it from you, should
immediately raise a red flag.

Always try to find out where they bought the product and get
them to send you a copy of their email receipt, because all
roads to the thief usually lead back through the credit card

Finally, trust the never-failing boomerang of karma to come
full circle and ultimately whack any thief in the head!


Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-
author of an incredible new ebook that will teach you how to
write and publish your own highly profitable ebook in a week
or less... even if you failed high school English class!

Why are some people getting rich selling their ebooks?
Jim Edwards and Joe Vitale have created the *ultimate* guide
"How to Write and Publish your own Outrageously
Profitable eBook... in as little as 7 Days!"
FREE Details: ==> http://www.7dayebook.com


Post a Comment

Link love this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

View My Stats