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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Doing Battle with eBay Pirates (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

David Thiel
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Inner circle
Western Canada...where all that oil is
3917 Posts

Profile of David Thiel
I am admittedly fairly new to eBay. I recently made a purchase of a Bill Abbott effect from a company in Hong Kong. (Yeah yeah...I can hear you from here. But I didn't KNOW, okay?) It had been marketed with Bill's sales pitch, his logo...even a copy of what he has on his website. I really thought it was authentic.

It turned out to be a copy. I wrote to the merchant and then I wrote to Bill. He told me eBay piracy is something he simply can't do anything about. He's complained to eBay. No response. I complained to the merchant and told him he was stealing from the original creator and that the prop was going into the garbage.

No response.

THEN I wrote to the merchant telling him that I was going to complain to eBay about his theft of someone else's idea.

He wrote back to me in less than five minutes telling me he'd already issued a complete refund. The letter was loaded with apology.

It got me to thinking. These merchants are happily ripping off people who have worked to design effects. They didn't respond to ethical arguments. But the threat of negative feedback did it.

What if a BUNCH of us ordered ripoff items from eBay and then complained to the merchants about them...forcing refunds? That would get their attention. I don't know if they would stop...but it would make their lives a lot more miserable.

Just a thought...

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
www.MidnightMagicAndMentalism.com
MichaelDouglas
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Portland, Oregon
766 Posts

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Same thing happened to me. I had no idea that it was not legit. When the product arrived, it was horribly inferior to the original that I'd seen elsewhere. I complained and the threat of negative feedback got an instant refund. I just stopped purchasing anything on ebay coming from the Far East....poor quality plus defrauding the original creators.
Matthew W
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New York
2456 Posts

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If a bunch of us bought ripoff items, they would take the money and run. With one item, like you ordered, they have a chance to make it right.
-Matt
David Thiel
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Inner circle
Western Canada...where all that oil is
3917 Posts

Profile of David Thiel
I don't want to get "high horse nosebleeds" or anything. But I have to say that as I looked at this sad little piece of cr*p, I felt ripped off. THEN I wondered what I would feel like if I was Bill Abbott -- having my ideas stolen and re-sold. He's the one getting seriously ripped off.

Being a budding mentalist, I can sense there are many of you out there who think I may be trying to make points with effect producers. (Can you sense my index finger pressed in concentration to my forehead?) I'm not. But the more I think about it, the more offensive it gets to me that people within our fraternity -- the people who equip us with much of the cool stuff we use -- are being stolen from like crazy. Would you stand by while some stranger got mugged in the street? How is it any different when an effect creator is getting ripped off?

Set aside the ethical argument for just a second. Think about it from a business perspective. If these guys aren't making money, they have no incentive to share their stuff with the rest of the world...which would be you and me.

In this digital age, it's gotta be SO simple to steal ideas.

There has to be a way to at least curtail the theft going on.

I'd like to hear from some of the people on this board who create effects. Any ideas?

How about the people who use ripped off effects. Seriously...what do YOU guys think? (I double dog dare ya.)

Maybe I'm just stirring a tempest in a wee teapot? Maybe no one cares? Maybe it's too complex a problem?

But a handful of people saying that they will never buy props from questionable sources isn't slowing anything down. Not really.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
www.MidnightMagicAndMentalism.com
Jerry
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Inner circle
Some where in Florida
1170 Posts

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I am certain you could get the same results without having to make an actually purchase.

You can contact the original manufacture and inquire on the item in question. If it discovered that it is infarct a rip you can submit a complaint to EBay.

Just a suggestion.

In general EBay=Rip-off.
Matthew W
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New York
2456 Posts

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EBay does not mean rip offs. I have an ebay store and do NOT sell anything that is a knock off. I also ship same or next day. My prices are the best I can offer.

I have also ordered MANY magic tricks from other ebay sellers and have never been ripped off.

Being a smart shopper always helps. If you don't think something is legit, simply don't buy it.
-Matt
Gordon
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Special user
Chicago
692 Posts

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One thing you could do is spread the word. But this post is too vague to actually do that.
Mike Maturen
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Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
2726 Posts

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I am an e-bay seller. I only distribute magic from two manufacturers (at least one of which is a member here on the magic Café). One of this gent's effects was ripped off. I noticed it because the product I was trying to sell for $49.95 was being sold by others for $13.00 or less. When I looked at the location of these sellers, it was almost always Tapai. All were from the far east.

I contacted my source (the REAL manufacturer) and they contacted e-bay...so far with no results.

Makes it hard for us legitimate folks to sell...plus, if they buy the crappy products, they will automatically assume that I am selling the same crap, but trying to extract higher prices.

It is an evil and vicious road......
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
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