January 21st, 2004, 11:13 AM
Ebay lets sellers make up their own positive feedback
A bug in the Ebay web pages allows sellers to make up their own seller information, according to claims in PC-WELT, the German computer magazine.
Ebay, the leading auction site in the Internet, provides bidders with information about the seller whose products they are bidding for. As a virtual auction house, Ebay never sees the products that are auctioned off on their site and so they have no direct way to control the honesty of buyers and sellers. Instead, the 'seller information' tells potential bidders in the Ebay auctions how long the seller has been registered, how large a percentage of the seller's feedback (provided by other users) is positive and whether the seller is an Ebay 'Power Seller'. The information is the lynchpin of Ebay's reputation-based system, designed to assure buyers that they are not dealing with an online cyberfraudster.