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eBay Wipes Out Tobacco Sellers?

(50 posts)
  • Started 2 weeks ago by sablebrush52
  • Latest reply from kola
  1. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    eBay has been a popular place for both sellers and buyers of hard-to-find, extinct, or obsessed over, tobaccos, despite eBay's policy that bans sales of tobacco, a policy that eBay has largely ignored enforcing.

    SOMETHING happened recently. I haven't looked at eBay's tobacco listings for a couple of months and when I went to check it out there were hardly any listings. Instead of the usual 300+ listings of McClelland, there were a total of 11, none of whom were the usual scalpers.

    Anyone here have a light to shed on this?

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  2. pepesdad1

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    You stepped into a 3rd dimension?

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  3. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  4. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    You stepped into a 3rd dimension?

    Okay, so now it's up to 13

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  5. hoosierpipeguy

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    Perhaps they simply cracked down on what was already a long standing policy.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  6. mikethompson

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    Could it be they started to actually enforce their own policies?

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  7. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Perhaps they simply cracked down on what was already a long standing policy.

    Evidently. I don't much care, except for having a casual interest in what tobaccos are going for on the secondary market.

    Could it be they started to actually enforce their own policies?

    And miss making all that money? eBay sells all sorts of illegal stuff, such as pirated DVD's and various items of intellectual property theft. Who woulda thunk they would develop any ethics!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  8. morgansteele

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    SOMETHING happened recently.

    Agreed. I noticed the change about a week ago. I was waiting to learn if someone received a negative eBay or PayPal hit. I stopped selling in May because there was some scuttlebutt about PayPal cancelling accounts and I decided that I didn't want the potential headache. It will be interesting to know if any negative ramifcations follow these cancelled listings.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  9. georged

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    And miss making all that money? eBay sells all sorts of illegal stuff, such as pirated DVD's and various items of intellectual property theft. Who woulda thunk they would develop any ethics!

    Ethics, schmethics... some risk assessment accountant political-wind-sensitive snowflake manager at corporate HQ realized they could LOSE more money than they could MAKE if a bunch of whiner activists ever came after them with pearls a-clutch and cell phones a-recording for NOT THINKING OF THE CHILDREN!!!! because... [all together now!] E-V-I-L T-O-B-A-C-C-O was involved.

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  10. cossackjack

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    And miss making all that money? eBay sells all sorts of illegal stuff, such as pirated DVD's and various items of intellectual property theft. Who woulda thunk they would develop any ethics!

    I agree, but eBay has done this in the not-too-distant past, at least for awhile.
    If PayPal is involved, then it may be a longer moratorium or a permanent cessation of these sales.

    Perhaps Steve pipestud will opine. His eBay store is also devoid of collectable vintage tobacco tins.

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
    Specialization is for insects!" - Robert Heinlein
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  11. alan73

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    I was am actively buying and selling McClelland and Dunhill . A few weeks ago, it started with fake bidders running up auctions and not paying. Then many auctions started to get cancelled by eBay . I received two warning from eBay about not selling collectible tobacco , then having account cancelled ... more or less all auctions are getting cancelled. This too shall pass .

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  12. alan73

    alan73

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    Pipestuds business may be getting more valuable by the day .

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
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    logs

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    I've bought/sold tobacco on eBay a handful of times in the last couple months. Sold a bag of Penzance a few weeks back for crazy money. When I tried to sell another bag of Esoterica, Ebay took it down and sent me a warning.

    I still see McLelland and GLP tins on eBay all the time that sell without problem. My theory is they fall into the category of "vintage" tins, whether the tins be empty or still sealed. Anything sold in a bag or a jar is likely to get removed. Enforcement seems to be pretty loose. If you have a hot item and it sells fast you have a better chance of eBay ignoring it than if you have something that lingers on the site for several weeks.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  14. burleyboy

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    I don‘t know if this helps, but here on the German eBay, auctions for tobacco are forbidden. Tobacco offers here must be “buy now”. It is kind of ridiculous...

    Kind regards
    Julius
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Perhaps Steve pipestud will opine. His eBay store is also devoid of collectable vintage tobacco tins.

    And has been for many years. He sells tins on his website, not eBay.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  16. cshubhra

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    It is bittersweet

    1. Bitter because it will be hard to find a blend, which someone really wants to try, in the secondary market
    2. sweet because without a secondary market like eBay .., it might discourage hoarders to do a price arbritrage, taking tobacco away from real smokers

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  17. ashdigger

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    it might discourage hoarders to do a price arbritrage, taking tobacco away from real smokers

    This discussion drives me nuts. I'm a real tobacco smoker who stocked up when the getting was good. I've also sold tobacco.

    I do not think anyone is a scalper.

    I think that people are suckers in fear of missing out so they get upset when someone sells something out of their comfort range.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  18. cshubhra

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    @ashdigger I know you are not a scalper. I bought tobacco from members of this forum as well as eBay. I always bought them when it’s a win-win

    The same cannot be said for all the people in eBay.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  19. alan73

    alan73

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    What’s nice about eBay is it’s theoretically a free market. If someone values Dunhill emp or 965 far above what it’s worth to me, my auction is doing no harm and one could say a service to people in general.
    And if someone wants to sell me aged Christmas Cheer for a price I find reasonable who is to say they are a scalper or bad person?? Willing participants on both ends .

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  20. cshubhra

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    There is nothing wrong - I recently bought a tin of Dunhill London Mixture from someone in eBay. I paid 20$ shipped ... which is a fair price to me since, if I visited any of the BMs in NJ, I would score a tin at about the same price. So I saved time, effort gas and got the tin at home.

    There is theoretically nothing wrong with scalping as well - but you can ask a neuroscientist - It is psychological and violates many people’s sense of fairness. If Smoking Pipes sold Penzance at 75$ then a lot of people would not bat an eyelid to pay 75$. But if it is sold at 15$, someone hoards it at 15$ and then sells it next day at 75$, it will violate many people’s psychological belief.

    Tobacco is a discretionary purchase - so there is nothing morally wrong in scalping. However there have been historical incidents where scalpers have hoarded non-discretionary items like baby food, medicines - which I would argue is a moral slippery slope.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  21. jpmcwjr

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    That's price gouging, and illegal in many states.

    It's usually when there's a natural or man-made large scale disaster, and stores jack up prices on the above items.

    Joe Blow, buying ten tins of Rare Stuff for $15 and then offering them for $50 is perhaps reprehensible but not immoral nor illegal.

    I thought scalping was for tickets to upcoming events, but may be wrong as to usage in other parts of the world.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  22. alan73

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    I hoarded regular incandescent light bulbs for .69 cents a pack, I’m good for life

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
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    logs

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    I always bought them when it’s a win-win

    Buying anything else on ebay is a win/win, provided the seller gets his money and the buyer receives the item he purchased. The price has to be agreed upon buy the two of them for the transaction to even take place. So that's a win/win.

    Tobacco on ebay is akin to a black market. It's not technically permitted and legally it's a gray area. The prices are higher than any B&M or online retailer, but then so are the costs and risks to the seller. Both Ebay and Paypal take a hefty percentage of the proceeds, plus you risk having your account frozen. On top of that, the transaction is between two strangers and the chances of being tricked or cheated are always at the forefront of people's minds. If you don't think that accounts for higher prices then you're not thinking about it very clearly.

    If you want a bargain on tobacco, then buy from Smoking Pipes. If you want access to old and hard to find tobacco at a reasonable price, then build a relationship in your local pipe community including your nearest B&M, so you can trade and get special discounts for being a good customer.

    Ebay is for the lazy-bones buyer who wants rare tobacco RIGHT NOW and is willing to take the risks involved and doesn't mind paying a premium for it.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  24. cshubhra

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    @logs
    Agreed. I don’t think I said anything different.

    I will give another example of a win-win. I bought a ton of tobacco from a eBay seller at about 20% premium to
    Market price. He was trying to get rid of excess tobacco he cannot smoke so he was happy to get a premium. I was planning to buy them anyway, and that 20% premium gave me a 7+ years of age. It included a tin of 7+ Age Penzance, so that was also good.

    I paid the 20% premium for age.

    Also patience- Being patient has landed me most of the tobacco which I wanted but hard to obtain. I now have a 3 years worth of cellar.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  25. eggrollpiper

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    I was selling tins on ebay very resonably mostly along with my ussual tobaciana. I had all the tins canceled and lost seller privalges for a day about two months ago. At the time the others seemed unaffected. I thought maybe I was targeted for some reason but maybe I was just the first up. All things considered not such a terrible fate.
    Meanwhile I was stocking an excessive amount of tins so now I'm just more prepared for the tobacco apocalypse.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  26. User has not uploaded an avatar

    logs

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    @cshubra, got it. Sorry if I misunderstood your original point.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  27. folanator

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    This has happened a half dozen times over the past 5 years. EBAY seems to ebb and flow regarding their enforcement of their own rules. They will lose interest in a month and it will be business as usual.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  28. jpmcwjr

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    There is theoretically nothing wrong with scalping as well - but you can ask a neuroscientist - It is psychological and violates many people’s sense of fairness. If Smoking Pipes sold Penzance at 75$ then a lot of people would not bat an eyelid to pay 75$ solution surendettement. This was a link to a spam site. But if it is sold at 15$, someone hoards it at 15$ and then sells it next day at 75$, it will violate many people’s psychological belief.

    Me anyway, I'm not against the fact that people smoke a pipe, but they do not do in public places. As for the price, I find it quite profitable.

    How good of you, you clever little shit, using a quote to insert your spam link. Sod off.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  29. jpmcwjr

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    Me anyway, I'm not against the fact that people smoke a pipe, but they do not do in public places....

    That is so gracious of you, spammer-fucktard. I am against public hangings.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  30. cigrmaster

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    It will be interesting to see how the flippers react to this new reality. Can tobacco be sold on social media like Facebook or Instagram? If not their options are limited.

    Harris
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  31. donjgiles

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    I believe there was just recently, a crack down on Facebook banning obvious tobacco sales. Seems folks are finding their way around it... as folks do.

    DOn

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  32. litup

    litup

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    Yeah, my suspicion was that eBay was following the lead of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram who have all stepped up their crusades against selling tobacco on their platforms recently.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  33. jpberg

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    eBay has had policies against selling tobacco for years. Will everybody talk shit about this and other forums when big brother catches up with them?

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  34. hoosierpipeguy

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    It will be interesting to see how the flippers react to this new reality. Can tobacco be sold on social media like Facebook or Instagram? If not their options are limited.

    Not on Facebook these days.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
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    logs

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    I've seen Facebook pipe groups allow posts about selling/trading provided no one lists any prices or talks about the cash value. Everything has to be done via PM. Not sure if that complies with FB policy but that's what I've seen happening.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  36. User has not uploaded an avatar

    logs

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    To follow up on the FB question, there's a guy selling Christmas Cheer right now on the FB group Gentlemen’s Pipe Smoking Society.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  37. 3rdguy

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    There is a lot on FB. Gentlemen’s is one, there is also for tobacco only sales, can’t remember the name offhand. The sale groups are mostly going by initials now. Prices are frequently drawn on the pictures themselves.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  38. greeneyes

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    In answer to your question "what happened?" it's clear to me that the 20% - 10% of the members of our community who are a little overactive and zealous in their "policing activities" and created an insurmountable headache of reported eBay listings over the course of this last year's McClelland and Esoterica waves. The "do-gooders" who ruined our chances at being able to afford a rare tobacco at auction for reasonable prices, rather than having it all channeled to expert re-sellers who know just how hard they can squeeze your wallet.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  39. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    The whole eBay tobacco thing is really odd. On the one hand, they've had a no tobacco selling rule for years. On the other hand, they have listing categories for sealed tins, unopened tins, specific blenders, etc. Seems more than a little contradictory.
    If they really wanted to stop the sale of tobacco on their sites they could do so at any time by not offering the category at all. So I guess this is another their occasional attempts to pretend to be enforcing their rules.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  40. folanator

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    Sabes, this has happened several times. Maybe 4-5 years ago they took down every can. It lasted about 45 days and then it will start to trickle back.

    To me, there is a difference in selling tins that are discontinued. Then, they are in fact collectors items and should be OK to sell on EBAY. Just re-selling stuff because it may be hard to get, isn't in the spirit or rules of the platform.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  41. pipestud

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    I started my website in 2006 because eBay had just instituted a policy that only collectible pipe tobacco (no matter whether sealed or unsealed), that was no longer available at retail would not be allowed. They shut down more than 20 of my auctions that were for Murray's era Dunhill tobaccos. Murray's had shut down the year before. So, I was selling tobacco that was no longer sold at retail. BUT, even after talking to an eBay supervisor back then, I was told it was still Dunhill tobacco and that eBay was not responsible for differentiating between the two different manufacturers. And, he also admitted that with millions of auctions each day, eBay relies on members reporting violations to them and someone had reported me. And that system of "whistle blowing" is still relied upon today. And once someone is caught, they are red flagged forever and further violations lead to suspensions or worse.

    PayPal is even stricter if one is caught selling tobacco and using PayPal as a conduit for payments. In order to use PayPal to accept such payments, you have to provide PayPal with a third party Attorney's opinion, pay a $500 MasterCard registration fee, and be licensed to sell tobacco. If caught doing otherwise, PayPal simply tells you to either provide the Attorney's opinion, pay the $500 registration fee and show proof of your tobacco seller's license or your account will be closed if you accept any more payments for tobacco products. And like eBay, if you are caught your account is monitored thereafter.

    Our hobby is absolutely at war with the tobacco Nazi's of the world. We're holding our own, but no telling what tomorrow will bring.

    Pipestud
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  42. jpmcwjr

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    I'm just glad you can hang in there, Steve. Thanks for the info.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  43. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    no tobacco selling rule for years. On the other hand, they have listing categories for sealed tins, unopened tins, specific blenders, etc. Seems

    I'm with Jesse on it. It's almost been as though they have two different offices, one for pure-white stuff, & one for grayish-if-you-do-it-we-don't-rewally-want-to-know.... I haven't bought any sealed tins off the 'bay recently, so I didn't notice a landscape change. I might have to hop in & throw my line it to see what I find just for the heck of it.

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  44. bnichols23

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    It's weird. I popped in for a quick/dirty, & it was odd all over the place. Some few FMs at scalp prices, a few oddball things that apparently were low-profile enough to escape notice (for now), etc.

    One really kooky one I ran across was a tin of "Edgeworth Tabacco Tin Unopened With Seal, that was advertised as both new *&* used in the same listing, "tin still has unopened , tax seal not torn or opened with Tabasco in it... excellent condition." No, I didn't. -laugh- But I'm wondering if people could start listing with deliberate misspellings to fly under the censor radars but that the cognoscenti would still see... }:)

    B

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  45. jpmcwjr

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    Ah, misspelings to get around the sensore. I bet that's it. Tabasco with your bowl!!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  46. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    And as far as Germany goes those few who are listing tobacco products out there are licensed independent tobacconists,whereas on eBay England unsealed tobacco tins are a rare event, French and other European sites even more so, its time to face the truth,
    Today Tobacco Is Evil in any form be it collectible or not

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  47. pinchoftobacco

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    I had a couple listings removed recently and got a warning from eBay

    Posted 1 week ago #
  48. paulie66scandinavian

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    @Pinchoftobacco, That how the cookies crumble today'

    Posted 1 week ago #
  49. User has not uploaded an avatar

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    I bought a few tins of HH Syrian from two different ebay sellers. The transaction went fine and I got what I paid for; however, I tried to leave them positive feedback and found both of their accounts had been disabled.

    Now I've lost my sources, (they had good prices too). And if the seller(s) were anyone who happens to read this forum... thanks for the tins. Sorry about your accounts! PM me, I'm potentially interested in more.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  50. kola

    kola

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    Tobacco Forums may be next.

    I treat people the way they treat me. It's that simple.
    Posted 1 week ago #

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