Jon Goodman's ebay business down the drain

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by sandermarijn, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I was looking for Jon Goodman's light sealing material the other day and found that he has nothing in store on ebay ('interslice'). So I sent him an ebay message asking to buy some more of the stuff I once ordered from him. The following reply came in:

    Hello Sander,
    Thank you very much for the message. Three years ago I was forced to start selling only pre-cut kits. Another seller on eBay was buying the general kits, cutting them into pre-cut kits and selling the instructions I'd written with my name removed. When I refused to sell him any more kits, I learned he had assembled a network of shill buyers to get the kits for him. Sadly eBay was of limited to no help as they've now geared the predominant part of their protection efforts away from sellers and toward buyers. So, no eBay protection means they no longer get the considerable monthly income I was giving them. Sorry for the bad news, but for the future I'll only be selling pre-cut kits. If you'd like to discuss those, please contact me directly at jgood21967(at)aol(dot)com
    Hope all is well with you.
    Best regards,
    Jon

    Ebay sucks! (And yet I continue using the system- for some items and if you're a buyer then all of a sudden it sucks a whole lot less. Sort of sad, perhaps of me as well.)

    Jon has offered to send some of the 2-mm strips that I've run out of, but he no longer sells the general kits (those not for one particular type of camera), only the pre-cut camera-dedicated kits.

    Just thought that others may like to know what happened to Jon's ebay business and where to contact him now.

    Sorry if this has been reported before.

    Sander
     
  2. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Yeah, evilpay sucks. I stopped using them several years ago.

    Jon sells excellent kits. I just got one from him a few weeks ago.

    - Leigh
     
  3. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    That's a damn shame! I've bought several from Jon, who is a really terrific guy, and is my first and only choice for superb products.
     
  4. kerne

    kerne Member

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    I've been ordering kits from Jon almost monthly. It's actually been easier not having to go through the 'bay. A while ago he did mention that he would like to start his own website, but that idea seems to have fallen by the wayside.
     
  5. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    I think, as a society, we've lost so much civility in the digital age that this sort of behavior has become commonplace. I recall a wedding photographer whose carefully set up and arranged group shot was captured "over the shoulder" by an Uncle Bob wannabe, and the results ended up published in a bridal magazine.

    I mean, there have always been low-lifes who'll steal and copy another's work, but it just seems now, with the internet and digital, there's more of them.
     
  6. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Just ordered some 2mm light seals directly from Jon. Who needs ebay?

    Jon told me he'd be wanting to set up a website but that he's been short of time for a while now.

    He's a great guy to deal with and I have no doubt whatsoever that once something takes off it will be successful.
     
  7. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    Could those of you who fault eBay please explain what you think the company should have done in this situation?
     
  8. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I do not know enough about law to answer that question. However, ebay's failure to act feels wrong, both morally and business wise.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    It's a bit like buying an unreliable car from an advertisement in a newspaper then blaming the paper for allowing it.


    Steve.
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Ebay doesn't suck. Ebay had NOTHING to do with it.

    Greedy scum-sucking liars and cheats suck.

    A long time ago I had a similar situation happen. My business was so small that we invested in lawyers to put the greedy scum-sicking liar and cheat out of business... but then we went under too. The cost of the legal action broke our back.

    Please get it straight and stop accusing the innocent (in this situation) of sucking.
     
  11. kerne

    kerne Member

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    eBay may not have been able to do much for Jon's situation, but their policies and fees for sellers have progressively worsened over the years. I personally would rather sell an item here, through Craigslist or put a classified ad in the local paper than use them.
     
  12. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    You don't think people did this in the film age? Copying has been around as long as people had the means to do it.

    I had clients that brought relatives to shoot my wedding setups, family setups and even had a moron think he could shoot behind me in my studio. All circa 1980
     
  13. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I do not agree. Jon's copycat went as far as copying and selling his instructions with the exact same kit. That must certainly be a breach of some kind of right (copyright probably, but again, I'm not familiar enough with matters of law to get this kind of reference exactly correct). Ebay refused to help Jon rid the copycats. To me that sucks.

    On top of the above comes the issue of business ethics. Business is not without ethics. Ebay surely perfectly understands that refusing help to a long standing good member (17,479 feedbacks, 100% score) is not right. Being a large company is no excuse for not caring about individual customers. The same ethics that apply to any human being doing business with another human being apply to ebay as well.

    In my personal opinion (everybody has the right to have a different opinion) ebay was professionally and ethically lacking in Jon's case.
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Oh yeah, been there, had gramma (and others) telling me to move so they could get a shot.

    It has become A huge problem for the older business modles.
     
  16. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    I am someone who has occasionally bought from Ebay and very infrequently sold via Ebay.

    My understanding is that over the past two to three years they have changed most of their policies to greatly favor the buyer. While they do need tools to remove unscrupulous sellers, they have gone much too far in the opposite direction. It has now become a "Seller beware" organization. Any disputes are almost always, and pretty much automatically decided in favor of the buyer, and the unscrupulous have figured this out and are taking advantage.

    Since it is the sellers who are paying the exorbitant and multiple fees to Ebay, they should be able to expect some support, but it is not there very often.
     
  17. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Does Hermes sell the leather and hardware for Birkin bags alongside the finished product? If it did, would it have any grounds for complaint against resellers of finished bags made from Hermes materials?
     
  18. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    I don't see where Jon stated that the other guy was selling the kits on eBay. And even if he is, he'd have to display the stolen instructions on his auction page in order to have eBay act on any complaint by Jon. eBay can't remove listings just because it "feels" wrong. They need proof, and they can and do act on copyright violations. BTW, buying the general kits and doing a pre-cut sale is, I believe, perfectly legal, as long as the seller doesn't make any attempt to infer any connection to Jon. Obviously, doctoring the instructions is not legal.

    So if I, as a long standing good member of eBay, asked them to take out a competitor, they should do it because of "ethics", even if I can't prove the other guy is doing anything wrong? Wow. Glad I don't live in that world.

    So the arguments so far are:

    1) eBay should remove the copycat even if they can't see that he's a copycat.

    2) eBay should remove the copycat because Jon is a good guy and a long standing good customer.

    3) eBay should remove the copycat because their fees and policies toward sellers have gotten worse (a total non-sequitur argument).

    4) eBay should remove the copycat because not doing so feels wrong ethically.

    Fail.
     
  19. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Hi Folks,
    Thanks for all the nice and complimentary words first off! I feel like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn watching their own funeral. You folks are all terrific friends, and I value friendships greatly. As for the kits, I am still selling them...although only directly at this point. You've already been furnished my email address, and while I receive on the average 100+ email messages each day on light seal or camera repair questions, I'll always answer. If you don't hear from me in a day or two, please re-send the message or contact me via the message function of APUG. Some messages do go to my spam folder for reasons unknown.

    As for plans about the website, demands on my time have meant I am a bit hesitant. More to follow when things become a bit less hectic.

    As for changes in the way the kits are sold, rest assured all decisions were considered carefully based on facts, fundamental changes, risks and realities. Everyone involved in the evaluation process all walked with feet of lead.

    There are plenty of positives. I expect the light seal project to continue for decades to come. As always even if I don't have a kit, I'm happy to help anyone get their camera back on "the dark side." Additionally I do still sell leather & leatherette covers made in Germany for some camera models and I do still make & sell the "tri-dot" battery adapter (which converts a common hearing aid battery into a clone of the PX-13/PX-625 mercury cell).

    Most importantly, please feel free to contact me. I'm very happy to hear from all of you.

    Jon
     
  20. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Jon, don't know you, or your product BUT seriously not having time to make a website is like a photographer not having time to check his camera.

    There are many companies that can set you up with an inexpensive website, easy to use, easy to change whatever, that can have you up and running in a couple of days.

    Seriously, if you have a product, you have to have a website.

    Take the time.
     
  21. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Thanks Blansky,
    I realize I need to go forward with it. Actually 2 sites have been set up, and hopefully soon at least one of them will be operational. It isn't so much that I don't want to activate it, but I have a few personal things requiring a large bit of my time and I'd rather not do a sloppy job of it. Thanks again for the suggestion.
    Best regards,
    Jon
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Yes it does... but the issue is between Jon, his copycat, and the law. Ebay is not in that chain. Jon needs to sue his copycat for copyright infringement, etc., if he wants remedy.

    That is what I had to do... sue my copycat. The magazine we both advertized in held no responsibility for the other parties actions, not any allegience was owed to us despite us having advertized with them many years more than the copycat.

    You have to look a this issue legally, not just emotionally.
     
  23. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I understand and agree with your point, Socrates... but maybe you need to "dumb it down" a bit. :smile:
     
  24. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Just another recommendation for Jon. I used one of his kits for one of my RB67Pro S cameras and it was great!
     
  25. mark

    mark Member

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    I really freaking hate it when I stumble on words of wisdom when I am looking for peace in a bit of wasted time. It is only made worse when that wisdom comes from Blansky.:blink::smile:
     
  26. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    After PM with Jon I would like to amend this to read:

    Yes it does... but the issue is between Jon, his copycat, and the law. Ebay is not THE ONLY LEGAL MECHANISM in that chain. Jon needs to sue his copycat for copyright infringement, etc., if he wants remedy.