(no subject)

Rasheed Baqai (rasheed@ucf.ICS.uci.edu)
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 14:29:30 -0800 (PST)

The buzz about online auctions and the companies who provide the action
has never convinced me that it would be something I would be interested
in using. I've always known the reason - buying something from someone I
didn't talk to in person. So, I've been curious how these companies make
sure that the auctions are legit...well, perhaps here's a peak of what's
to come.

(Btw: With companies like Yahoo doing the auctions for free, how can eBay
be worth *any* money?)

Sunday December 13 2:48 PM ET

eBay Drops User Targeted In Fraud Probe, Newsweek Says
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online auction company eBay Inc., which sells
everything from Elvis memorabilia to Beanie Babies on the Internet, has
suspended a user who is under investigation for cheating customers out of
as much as $100,000, Newsweek reported in its latest edition.

But the high-flying San Jose, Calif., Internet company has refused to give
refunds to the duped customers, the news magazine reported in its Dec. 21

The Newsweek report suggested this may be an example of eBay's inability
to protect its customers from fraud.

The Oklahoma regional postal inspector's office is currently investigating
suspended eBay user Sonny Stemple for allegedly conning eBay customers out
of at least $30,000 by getting them to send money orders for prime auction
items he claimed he had, then never delivered, Newsweek reported.

``We feel badly for (the victims) but (they) really do need to take it up
with local law enforcement,'' eBay chief Meg Whitman told the magazine.

The online auction house, among the fastest growing online commerce sites,
has seen prices for its shares rise from an initial public offering price
of $18 in September to $192 last week, off its November high of $234.125.