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December 19, 2013 / Scott Tillett

eBay Seeks Dismissal of “Buy It Now” Class Action

Luis Rosado filed a class action lawsuit against eBay, Inc. in California federal court on July 30, 2012, alleging that eBay engages in unfair and deceptive business practices by prematurely delisting items when a buyer clicks the “Buy It Now” button but does not pay for the item. Rosado argues that by delisting items before the fixed listing period has expired because a potential buyer clicks the “Buy It Now” but does not pay, he and other eBay sellers do not receive the benefit of the bargain they paid for.

Rosado acknowledges he was aware that eBay listing fees are nonrefundable, even when items do not sell, but argues that consumers “have no reason to suspect their item may be delisted prematurely by a prospective buyer clicking the ‘Buy It Now’ button but not paying.” The complaint alleges that a potential buyer clicked the “Buy It Now” button on the 7th day of a 21 day listing he had placed to sell his car, causing eBay to delist the vehicle, thus preventing other persons from buying it. Instead of paying for the item using PayPal or a credit card, the potential buyer offered to pay with a cashier’s check that exceeded the purchase price and asked Rosado to refund the difference in cash. Suspecting fraud, eBay requested Rosado not complete the transaction. Rosado asked eBay to refund the $36 listing fee he had paid or credit him the remaining 14 days, allowing the listing to run for the entire 21 day period he had contracted for, but eBay refused, refunding only $4.25. The complaint alleges that “reasonable person[s] would expect that in order to ‘Buy It Now’ and cause the item to be delisted, one would have to complete the transaction by purchasing the item.”

Rosado has alleged false advertising, violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, breach of quasi-contract, and declaratory relief, and seeks compensatory damages, restitutionary and equitable relief, and attorneys’ fees, among other relief, on behalf of all United States residents who paid eBay listing fees and had their items delisted prematurely after a buyer had clicked the “Buy It Now” button but then failed to pay during the last 4 years. Currently before the court is eBay’s motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it acted in accordance with its policies and that Rosado failed to purchase a service requiring immediate payment for “Buy It Now” listings.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of fraud, you may be entitled to relief. Please call Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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