Crooks Scammers Conmen Don't Want You to Read This
We publish a number of eBay guides
Some are simply informative and factual expert guides, such as our first:
Gold Sovereigns - History Information & Specifications
Krugerrand - One Ounce Investment Gold Coin
We also publish a number warning about misleading descriptions used by eBay and other dealers.
The Crooks Don't Like It
In each case, we try to explain exactly why the offers are misleading, and to present an unbiased guide to why you should be reluctant or careful when dealing with the vendors. There are laws about libel and defamation, so we do need to be careful to to publish only material which is accurate and in the public interest.
Of course, the individuals or dealers involved do not like it, as it threatens their business and income. They do what any self-respecting Mafia member or gangster would do, they try to take whatever action they can to discourage the whistle-blower, and at the same time conceal the revelations from any potential reader and buyer.
Crooks Register Negative Votes Against Our Guides
Most scammers or crooks use multiple eBay accounts, and they use these to register negative "unhelpful" votes on our guides. They do not just restrict themselves to voting against the particular guide which names (as far as eBay allow) and shames them, they also vote against ALL of our guides. As we have now written over 200, this means that a single eBay member with one account could place over 200 "not helpful" votes against our guides. With two accounts, he could register over 400 negatives.
Some scammers probably have 50 or more dormant accounts awaiting activation, so could place 10,000 negatives, although this would entail many man hours, unless they managed to automate the procedure.
What Can You Do?
As a normal eBay member, you can try to make your voice and vote felt by voting "Yes" for all guides which contained anything of interest or use. If you think the scammers are despicable, you could try to redress and repair the balance by voting "Yes" on a number of our guides (all 200+ if you wanted), although we do not expect anybody to expend this amount of time or energy on our behalf.
You could also try to send a comment or suggestion to eBay to change the voting system. If occurs to us that there is little if any need for a "No" vote on guides, and removing it would improve the reliability of the system in that it would remove the opportunity for crooks to interfere with the voting.
Why Should You Worry?
We do not expect you to feel sorry for us, or to worry on our behalf, but the scammers are making it more difficult for you and other normal respectable members to find guides which warn about scammers, simply because every "No" vote makes it harder for you to find the relevant guides. Guides are displayed in a priority order. Ones written by eBay appear first, followed by others in order of nett positive votes, just like feedback.
You can fight back by voting for all guides which you consider to be helpful. If all eBayers followed this philosophy, then the guides written by the good guys would not get shouted and voted down by the bad guys.
How Do We Know?
How do we know that our guides are the target of "interference" or nuisance voting? About 6 months or so after we published our first guide, we started making an occasional log using Excel listing the date, number of guides, "Yes" votes, "No" votes, and "Reviewer Rank". I think we started the log when we noticed a "Top 200 Reviewer" icon on the "Member Information" bar of our listings. We wondered how long it would take us to reach "Top 100 Reviewer", and "Top 25 Reviewer" status.
We had suspected that there may be a small element of spoiling voting going on, but it was not until shortly after we had published this guide:...
Investors in Time Rip Off
...that we noticed a sudden and large spike in the number of negative votes.
Naturally, we have our suspicions about who is rigging the voting. We have reported this to eBay, who advise us that they can examine their record of the IP addresses of the voters, but they appear to have taken no action yet (could it be because the negative voting is not costing eBay anything in lost fees?).
You can see that our most popular guides each only have about 8 "No" votes, our guess is that about half of these are genuine, the other half malicious. Our most recent guides have only about 4 "No" votes, sometimes when they have only been viewed about 10 times. This far exceeds the normal voting level patterns for eBay guides.
There are a few exceptions, our
Sniping - Is it Good Strategy for Winning Auctions?
guide seems to attract quite a lot of "No" votes on its own merits. We guess that in addition to people who sell sniping solutions, there are many devoted and dedicated snipers out there who vote "No" because it contradicts their own beliefs.
Are We Afraid?
No, although we realise this negative voting will negatively affect the prominence of our guides, we have, if anything, added more guides about misleading titles and descriptions. Obviously, this is likely to goad even more scammers into registering multiple negative votes against all our guides.
Perhaps we should consider it to be a badge of pride that our guides attract so much attention, even if much of it is negative?
Source, Author & Copyright.
Written by Lawrence Chard of Chard Coins. Any images and text are copyright and remain our intellectual property.
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