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eBay & why we're suing them TabletopXtra

eBay & why we're suing them

7th Jan, 2022, at the time of writing 4 months ago, I quit my job. I quit my job to start this business as I was sick of giving my best to employers, just to be consistently shit on.

It seems though, that can happen anywhere even when you 'work for yourself.

My name is Scott and I am the 1 man operation (with occasional help from the GF) that is, Tabletop Xtra. I picked up 3D Printing as a hobby during the 2020 lockdown and frankly loved it. I did a lot of customising GW models and felt I learned the ropes of the hobby pretty quickly, so when It came time to look for a new job, starting this company was high on the list of options.

Seeing the huge growth of independent miniature designers exploding online, I wanted to be a part of that, so as you can tell, I took the chance and started building this business on the side in late 2021 and things were going, very well. I managed to replace my income in full, hand in my notice and go full time with this gig.

We have this website, we push our items to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Google, a bit of Etsy, maybe soon Amazon, and dare I say, ebay.

Now, don't get me wrong, we use eBay for a few reasons. They are a huge market place, with decent integrations to our catalogue, so it was very easy to get items listed on ebay. So easy that eBay was accounting for 95%+ of our business each month and doing wonders for growth.

Until, we started getting hit with "Counterfeit Item" claims.

Now, we are slowing adding the details to all of our listings to show it, but all of the items we sell, are licensed fully, by each of our providers via Patreon or MMF Tribes. It costs just short of £450 each month for all the merchant licenses we pay for, but apparently, that doesn't matter to eBay.

So far, we've been hit with several bans, including a 7 and 10 day ban (the later of which is currently in effect). We have repeatedly tried to clarify this with eBay via their customer services, but unfortunately, they are nothing but glorified script readers.

Anyone, at any time, can claim any of our listings as counterfeit. After which, eBay simply go "Ok", take the listings down, and give us as the seller a strike. With no means of recourse, appeal, nothing.

From what we can tell, it's either a competitor who isn't happy we're selling the same items as them on ebay, or more likely, we think it is Games Workshop, as the listings targeted seem to be specifically, those that could be compatible with any of their game systems. For us, it's mostly the designer Ghamak, who's items are coincidentally getting harder and harder to find on eBay.

That said though, this is speculation as all we know is, eBay takes the listings down, slap us with a sanction, and there's nothing we can do about it, putting this business at risk.

Now, counterfeiting is obviously a big problem online, but...

"Counterfeit: made in exact imitation of something valuable with the intention to deceive or defraud"

Which, is why we're suing eBay. We carefully select our providers who, whilst some designs may be inspired by, or compatible with, other game systems, this is not a site for counterfeits. We follow all of their terms and conditions, all of their policies, and all of the requirements for selling.

Yet. eBay has cost us revenue, reputational damage during a time where we're trying to build a brand, and your access to the things you want, with no avenues for us to dispute any claims.

So, long story short, if you see issues with our eBay store at any time, now you know why. If you're ever interested in buying anything from us, we'd obviously recommend our site over a 3rd party service.

We will keep you updated as things develop, but either way, thank you to everyone who has supported us so far, and everyone who's reading this and thinking they might.

Scott M

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