Sunday, February 22, 2009

eBay Gives Out Personal Information

I don't know if you realize it, but eBay can and WILL divulge your personal info to anyone that you have had dealings with on eBay. And I am not just stating that it is someone who has actually bought from you or you have bought is also anyone you have had placed a bid with or has bidded on your item. Win or Lose, they can get your information simply by asking.
Now this happened to me this past week, and it is still not resolved to my satisfaction, but I feel compelled to let people know what is going on. I will try not to be too long winded about this, so I will just state what happened.
Received email from eBay Customer Support stating the following:
This message is an automated reply to a request made by
This contact information may be used only for resolving matters related to eBay. Any other use is strictly prohibited.
The information contained herein has not been checked for accuracy; users are responsible for entering their own contact information accurately. If you receive information which you believe to be erroneous, please let eBay know. "
It included the following for myself AND XXX, the eBay user who requested my info. ( yes I was given him name, etc but we will just call him XXX.)

Phone: "

Now, I don't know about you, but I get a little upset when someone gives out my information to someone , (at this point) I have know clue who it is.

I called eBay at approx 4pm that day. Before calling I reviewed AGAIN their privacy policy and checked my Paypal account to be sure I did not know this one. The phone call lasted FOUR Hours, and I am waiting now to hear back from eBay.
Now, during the call they referred me to their privacy policy, stating it was their right to do this. The main page of the Privacy Policy states:

Our Disclosure of Your Information
We may disclose personal information to respond to legal requirements, enforce our policies, respond to claims that a listing or other content violates the rights of others, or protect anyone's rights, property, or safety. Such information will be disclosed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations

After asking them many times to explain, what the reason was that they gave XXX the information, they stated that "Obviously" I must of had XXX buy something from me, or placed a bid on one of my items and didn't win the item. I asked .." in other words, I could place an opening bid on an item, knowing full well that item will be selling for much more, and if I get mad because it did sell for more than my bid, I can contact you and you will give me the sellers PERSONAL info?"
" Well, Ya" was the reply.
I asked WHICH item it was that connected me and XXX. After another LONG argument, they finally told me that they had to go and see if they could find it, and if I would hold.
Well they found the was one that I did sell, and XXX was the winning bidder. NOW, this buyer never paid me, and after two weeks, I filed a non pay against him...or at least tried to. it came back that he was no longer an eBay member, and I got my credit for the listing fee. That was in January.
Now, here it is February and this Non paying, no longer an ebay member, who only had a feedback rating of 3, contacts eBay and gets my PERSONAL information! When asked WHY he was no longer with eBay, they stated that they could not reveal that, due to confidentiality and for the BUYERS protection! After another long argument, I did find out he was suspended for suspicious activity.
OK...Let's summarize this. A NON paying member, with feedback of 3, who is suspended for suspicious activity, contacts eBay for my information, and you GIVE it to him? WHY?
Well it turns out my strike is part of the reason for the suspension, and he contacted eBay to get back in. (At least that's how the story goes) Now, in order for him to be reinstated, he must pay for the item, and they give out the information so that he can "make arrangements" to pay. Since eBay only allows Paypal, WHY would they want him to call me to make arrangements to pay?
Like I stated...this call lasted approx FOUR hours, and during that time, I talked to four different people. I am INSISTING on getting my contact information kept private. And this is something they are not sure can be done. They are looking into it now, and are SUPPOSE to call me in the next day or two.
Through this ordeal, I have discovered, Yes, it IS in their policy, BUT it is NOT on their main Privacy Policy page. ONLY during a deep search of eBay, did I find it. It reads:

Our core privacy principles eBay's core privacy principles remain the same worldwide.

We will not sell or rent your personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes and will only disclose your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy and/or with your explicit consent.

Third parties are not permitted to sell the information we provide to them, to market directly to you, or to disclose it in any other way without your explicit consent.

We share your personal information with Internal Service Providers for our operations only to facilitate or outsource an eBay service or operation when absolutely necessary and under confidential restrictions.

We share your personal information with other eBay members in accordance with our Privacy Policy to help facilitate transaction and to allow members to contact you.

We disclose limited personal contact information to verified requests by law enforcement and government officials who conduct criminal investigations, and require a subpoena for additional personal information, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

We give you choices about how you wish to be contacted in the Preferences section of My eBay.

We will provide you with notice if our privacy policy changes and an opportunity to reject such changes.
We let you change your personal information so that you can keep it up to date.

Other eBay companies that have access to your personal information in accordance with the policy are required to protect your personal information at least as strictly as we do.

We use safe, secure technology and other privacy protection programs to keep your personal information secure on eBay.

Now, I KNOW I Do NOT have my preferences checked to say Call Me!
So in MY opinion, eBay was wrong in disclosing my name town and phone number.

The one point I stressed to eBay, and will stress here, is that there are scammers, hackers, and indentity thieves running rampart on line, and with the information eBay gives, that is all one needs to do major harm. Am I being paranoid? eBay thinks so. I think not. As I said, this is not over yet.......

PS....eBay was surprised to find out that XXX has not called me yet...they told me to try the phone number for XXX and see if it was the correct one! (I kid you not!)

(I did NOT link to anything eBay or eBay policy page on purpose, feel free to go and see just how buried this "Core Policy" is on the site!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Is Your MOST Important Asset Online?

Your Name. The only thing you truly have at the end of your day as an online seller, blogger, is your name. How you present yourself online is embedded deep into the web sphere forever. So one needs to be careful as far as where they go, what they post so people get the right impression about you, your site and your items.
There are several people I have found online that truly have it going on as far as making sure their name equals quality and respect.

First I would like to share is Henrietta of Redinkdiary and Felicitations . She has always been fair and objective in her writings and offers great tips for online sellers. And at her booth on Bonanzle Felicitations she is known for super customer service.

Trent T Trent has a wonderful reputation online. He is quick to respond to any inquiries and has been nothing but helpful to me as well as everyone else who has had contact with him. Check out his website and you will see what I am talking about.

John Lawson. Anyone who has followed colderICE KNOWS that John truly got it going on! Highly respected pod caster that never fails to be Spot on.

Dave White. eBayandbeyond show online is a topnotch show that everyone who sells online needs to tune into. Top guests, lively conversation add up to a great show!

Randy Smythe. Known for his blog My Blog Utopia. Randy has been able to maintain a great following, even since was tapped for the prestigious position of Merchant Evangelist with That is due to his ability to maintain his objectivity.

Pheadra Attheboutique She is one heck of and online force. She takes pride in her work, always professional and soo busy! Making her own products, marketing her products, co hosting on Brainstorming Bonanzle, blogging and never fails to be available for her clients.

Auctionwally What can I say about this guy! Google his name and you will find pages and within the pages you will find comments from people that can testify to the reputation of Walt. Host of Auctionwally show and Brainstorming Bonanzle two great shows that is adding more followers everyday!

Bill Harding And Mark Dorsey. I put the you of them together because of their great join effort at No matter what happens, who slams the site, they both have always handled comments and questions with dignity, respect, and cold hard facts, presented in a manner that is friendly and open.

Now I COULD go into what NOT to do, but I found a great article on Redinkdiary that says it so well, I encourage you to read it to see what I mean. But there is one point I DO want to make is that everything you type is for all to see. And no matter what be respectful! Even if you disagree with some article, that is someones opinion and they are entitled to it. Now if they got the facts wrong, don't hesitate to set the record straight, but you can do it in a respectful way and that will only boost your names standing in the online world.


As a footnote...I have to Thank Auctionwally and Pheadra for the awesome opportunity to help me add value to my name by having me on Episode 14 of Brainstorming Bonanzle. It was directly due to their skillful interviewing and friendliest of the format, did the interview come out as well as it did!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How do YOU Measure Success?

What makes someone a success? And how do you define it? Is it a dollar amount? Recogition? Happiness in doing what you do? Well to me I feel it is a combination of the three.
Being happy about what you are doing and proud of your accomplishments is truly important and my Bonanzle Booth, Renagade's is shaping up in ways I am truly proud of. And I am happiest when I am working on it, promoting my items and Bonanzle as a whole, or helping out someone who has a question about it. And through my work there my dollar amount in sales is picking up, which is what selling is all about.
But the biggest thing is RECOGNITION ...someone saying " are doing great!" is, in all honesty, what everyone strives for....whether is taking care of the home front, an article you have written, work you have done whether its in the real world or online, humans crave that pat on the back. Well, I am amazed at the recognition I have received and going to receive lately.
First it is an thrill to welcome anyone who is reading this due to "The Morning Papers". I was awestruck to find out that this prestigious service has decided to follow this blog. I send out my deepest gratitude to them, and encourage anyone on Twitter to follow them for some of the best "breaking news" online today.
Second, is another shocker of recognition, I have been scheduled to be a guest on the podcast, "Brainstorming Bonanzle" on Monday February 16 at 8pm est (7pm cst) This podcast I have followed from the beginning, and they have had on some amazing "Heavy Hitters" in the world of Eccomerce Such as Mark Dorsey of Bonanzle, Henrietta of Red Ink Diary, Dave White of Ebayandbeyond, John Lawson, aka colderICE of Agents of Revenue to name just a few. And now...ME?!?! I am still trying to absorb this, and I am deeply, deeply honored for this opportunity that Auctionwally and his co-host Pheadra of attheboutique has given me here. I hope everyone will tune in to this show, not because I will be on, but because Walt and Pheadra do such a fantastic job at bring great information that everyone, not just Bonanzlers, can use.

Now, To continue along the "Recognition" line, Last weeks show of Brainstorming Bonanzle was about Discussion/Forum Boards. It was a VERY informative show anyone could use. I could go on and on about it, but Dede aka Brightest Blessings Has written a wonderful blog on it. Check out Brainstorming Bonanzle- Discussion I cant do any better than the way she put it!

Also, I have a group for Bonanzle "Lenses" on squdioo called Bonanzle!...Come Join the Fun! Where Bonanzlers can summit their lenses about their booth, their products and Bonanzle. Well today I came across a lens that is TRULY awesome! Mechelle of EyeCatchingBeauty has written a few lenses, all top notch, but the one entitled Charismatic Bill Harding & The Bonanzle Phenomenon Is over the top great! Please! take the time to read this one! It will answer any and all questions you have about Bonanzle. SUPER job Mechelle!

What makes YOU feel successful? I feel its Sales, Being happy doing your job, and recognition for your hard work...but I think Bill Harding, founder of Bonanzle said it best: when asked: What is your Dream Job? "The job doesn't matter. The people are what matters." Thanks to all of you great people!