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Mild Bill (Asshole #27)
StephG (Asshole#108)

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eBay Ads and r.m.h

This is another one of those topics that ignite a lot of controversy. Not so much because people can't agree in principle, but because it becomes mired in what a rule should be and exceptions to the rule. And while eBay is largely singled out, any commercial auction site is pretty much the same to the r.m.h regulars.

Here's the quick rule of thumb for those unfamiliar with the group r.m.h policy on advertising eBay and other auctions on r.m.h. The r.m.h community don't like it. If you are looking at this FAQ and are unfamiliar with r.m.h, that's your answer.

And if it ticks off the wrong resourceful person with a little time on their hands, they'll get your auction cancelled and might even persuade your Internet Service Provider to dump you.

The eBay policy on posting ads to Usenet groups seems clear enough:

"eBay users may not post on Usenet groups (Internet newsgroups) to advertise eBay or an eBay listing that is inappropriate or violates the Usenet board policy. If Usenet abuse is reported to eBay, we may among other remedies) remove the listing, issue a warning, temporarily suspend or indefinitely suspend the offender's eBay account."

DP wrote a good rule of thumb for eBay ads and other would be sellers on r.m.h:

"I think a post that is an item for sale, and is the only post the person ever intends to make, that is an abuse of the patrons. Regulars who contribute often and also have an occasional ebay ad are less so - but should prolly offer it here first, or cut a deal via the EKIII auction.

A regular who regularly posts ebay ads is a no-trademark asshole and I don't think it's happened. If I post an ad from ebay another party has listed and I have no interest in the sale but feel others may find it of interest, then that would likely pass as useful info. To summarize - To would be ebay sellers: if you're using us, go fuck yourself and be prepared for lots of negative feedback and complaints to Ebay. If you're educating us, you takes your chances."

The general policy of r.m.h is that if you are an individual who is already a member of the r.m.h community (that is, you've showed up for real life meetings or events), it's OK to post an ad for parts or fairly priced bikes. So why are eBay ads considered different? Because the seller doesn't respect the r.m.h community enough to introduce themselves as a member of the community, participate in the community, and offer the part or bike to the community before placing the ad on eBay. eBay has millions of people scanning it and searching for items of interest, and that group of "subscribers" should be adequate. Particularly since they are presumably browsing the auctions with the intent of buying something. There are sometimes tens of thousands of Harley related items for sale on eBay at any given time, and if even a small fraction of those sellers decided to inundate r.m.h with ads, it would overwhelm the posts that are the core of the r.m.h community.