eBay Feedback Destroys Businesses

When Kiel Sturm, an online stone retailer, sold a piece of smoky quartz over eBay for $2.33, it turned out to be a business destroying transaction. “F MINUS MINUS MINUS MINUS! WOULD NOT DO BUSINESS AGAIN!” was the gyst of the feedback left.

Sturm disputed the feedback, but it was already too late. A profitable eBay stone selling business, previously so juicy because most stones are undervalued, went down in flames. An emerald appraised at thousands of dollars ended up selling for 8 bucks.

eBay stone buyers, apparently, are extremely afraid of counterfeits. That one mark against his reputation destroyed his business. Worse yet, Sturm has been powerless to get eBay to remove the apparently baseless accusation, even after a year of legal wrangling.

You can’t get urine out of the electron swimming pool, even if it’s spraying out of every pore and orifice of one of your disgruntled customers.

EBay lawsuit reveals foibles of site feedback [Mercury News] (Thanks, Nick!)