- Selling a unauthorized copies or reproductions of your own products, creations, or work
- Selling unauthorized copies or reproductions of products that you also sell, but because yours are genuine and theirs are not, they can undercut you by a significant margin
- Selling legitimate products but is using your business name, logo, or other identifying marks in their listings, implying that you endorse their products or are affiliated with them when this is not the case
- Posting item listings in which they have copied text or photos that you created for your own auction listings, without first asking your permission
All of these acts are against eBay rules and if eBay finds out about them and can verify that an offense has indeed taken place, measures will be taken to have the offending listings removed and the seller(s) in question warned or even suspended.
eBay’s program for dealing with rights violations of these kinds is called the Verified Rights Online (VeRO) program. VeRO has been around for many years now, but many eBay sellers aren’t aware of it and/or don’t realize that eBay will take action in these kinds of cases.
Reporting Infringement/ViolationsIn order to report infringement or violations having to do with products being sold, you will need to print and complete an affidavit form stating that you are an owner or creator whose rights have been infringed upon. You can then either fax or mail the form to the address on the form, which can be downloaded at the Reporting an Infringement page.
To report infringement or violations in listing text or pictures (i.e. that someone has taken your parts of your listing without your permission), visit the Item Description and Picture Theft page, where you’ll find a link at which you can report the violation in question.
Participating in the VeRO ProgramIf you are a creator or product owner, you can ensure that you are on record from the beginning as the owner of the product(s) or trademark(s) in question by participating in the VeRO program. To do so, create an About Me page giving information about your company and products and stating that they are your intellectual property and that you pursue violators. Some examples of VeRO-friendly About Me pages can be found in eBay’s list of VeRO participant About Me pages.
After creating your About Me page, contact eBay’s VeRO staff at email@example.com and notify them that you’d like to participate in the VeRO program and have created an About Me page asserting your rights and ownership over your intellectual property and trademarks.
Monitoring for OffensesIf you’re worried about ongoing violations and would like to monitor eBay listings for unauthorized use or sale of your product(s) or trademark(s), you can do it in three different ways:
- Periodically visit eBay and search for potential violations manually.
- Save and automatically run a set of such searches to continually monitor eBay’s listings for infringement.
- Contact a professional monitoring agency who will help to police eBay for infringement violations on your behalf.