Doc was the 1st Tampa Bay Florida car dealer to offer vehicles on eBay back in 1999. This was a couple years before eBay Motors was founded. This classic Rolls Royce Silver Spur sold for $23,000 and went to Arizona. This was the beginning of eCommerce as we know it today.
Two months after this Roller sale, eBay launched eBay Motors, that was a partnership between Auto Trader and eBay.
The birth of internet car scams was soon afterward conceived on eBay Motors in it’s early days, and has since spread to other websites and venues.
Fraudsters started hijacking eBay sellers accounts and offering unbelievably good deals on non existent cars. They also registered new accounts, but the preferred method was to hijack a high feedback sellers account to reassure the buyer the deal was legitimate and the buyer could trust the seller.
It would have been easy to email a monthly community newsletter to eBay members alerting them of new threats to the community. Education would have been the key to maintaining that ever so important trust and community values Pierre founded eBay on. Unfortunately that didn't happen as scams ran rampart. At any given time pages and pages of scams could be accessed. Example below.
All this was going on right under eBay execs noses and the fraudulent listings kept coming. This blog post contains a large summary of eBay Motors vehicle fraud observed since 1999.
A fellow by the name of Michael Donahue ran this eCommerce radio show called eAuction Air. He commented about eBay and their problem with scams overcoming the venues community values and trust. He referred to Doc as a vigilante which was not true, even though when they suspended my account i was pretty upset.
It's been 18 years since Doc registered his selling account on eBay. He put eBay Motors Sucks online in 2004. The site has been hacked and cracked so many times, but has been recovered and put back online every time. One attack in particular sticks in my mind.
Back in 2011 unknown to Doc, the FBI was investigating eBay Motors vehicle purchase protection (VPP) brand fraud. Scammers selling non-existent cars would present fake VPP documentation to car buyers. There was so much of this going on flooding the IC3 website with complaints the FBI decided to investigate.
In July 2011 eBayMotorsSucks.com was hit with this nasty DdoS attack from hell. It lasted about 3 weeks keeping the site offline during the FBI vehicle purchase protection fraud investigation. EBMS had been warning consumers about VPP brand fraud a full 3 years ahead of the FBI invest. Doc feels that eBay ordered that attack preventing the FBI from seeing how long VPP fraud had existed without eBay warning the community.
Had EBAY verified their buyers and sellers when fraud started chipping away at Pierre's cornerstone of trust what a difference it would have made today.
Just with eBay Motors alone, verifying the car dealers were licensed, and placing their dealers bond on file in case of a no title situation or out of trust event. Verifying the buyers identity should have been a priority. eBay could have charged the car dealers an annual fee of some sort to cover costs incurred in verification. Had they done this, by now eBay Motors would be the ONLY credible trustworthy venue to trade motor vehicles worldwide!
As i always say.. Just my two cents worth. Want to learn more about eBay in the early days? contact me.