Friday, July 05, 2013

'Vigilante' eBay buyer thwarts sales of Aaron Hernandez memorabilia

It is not unknown for eBay sellers to attempt to take advantage of a tragedy, and the Aaron Hernandez murder case is no different. However, by Wednesday, at least one "eBay vigilante" was seen attempting attempting to thwart sellers' profits.

Hernandez has been charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, with bail denied, but that has not prevented prices on sales of his collectibles on the online auction site to spike. Prices have been seen as high as $3,050 for a jersey. The reason for increased interest on Hernandez collectibles comes from the fact that both the NFL and the team have halted sales of Hernandez jerseys.

However, those trends may have been fueled by an eBay member with an agenda. He or she has repeatedly placed winning bids on Hernandez jerseys only to refuse to pay. One such auction saw a winning bid of $305 for a Hernandez jersey and a signed mini-helmet, but the seller received no money, only a hostile message from the buyer.
I don't think that I will be getting paid. The person emailed me stating I should "burn the jersey and stop seeking money for that morons (sic) actions." Looks like the person has some kind of social agenda.
That same buyer has been seen as the winning bidder in at least 15 other eBay auctions " totaling $3,806, meaning they averaged just over $250 a jersey.

While eBay's Terms of Service state that the site does not "collect payment, or force a member to complete a transaction," it may take other action, including banning a user from the site. Naturally -- and this has been seen in the past, as well, with rogue sellers -- the buyer could simply open another account.

One thing of note is that eBay's currently policy allows negative feedback from sellers toward buyers, so it might be difficult for sellers to learn which buyers are faux. On the other hand, buyers are free to leave negative feedback for sellers. At least one case ended up with a lawsuit being filed.

There are, of course, community pages where rogue buyer info "might" be found.

Los Angeles attorney Christopher W. Blaylock said:
The most likely remedy for the unfortunate seller might be to seek punitive damages in the civil courts. They would need to prove intentional interference with a prospective economic relationship. Given the situation here, there is certainly a possibility that criteria would be met.
Meanwhile, there is still plenty of Aaron Hernandez merchandise being bought and sold on eBay.

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