Reply from Watchdog

You might have seen BBC Watchdog this week. It was the usual sanctimonious, rabble-rousing nonsense this time having a pop at eBay PowerSellers selling fakes.

Exploring the sale of fakes on eBay is, of course, quite legitimate. The angle that the show took focussed on PowerSellers and certainly was not balanced in its reporting. Why was no PowerSeller given the right to reply?

The simple fact is that this report will be damaging to PowerSellers, who are, by and large, a group of honest, hard-working people just trying to make a living.

I complained about the show via the BBC website (I urge you to do the same if you agree, find out more here:

It may not do any good, but if you agree that it was a misleading and unbalanced report that sought to tar all PowerSellers it has to be worth five minutes of your time.

Here’s the reply I received from Watchdog:

Thank you for your email.

We are sorry if you felt Watchdog’s eBay investigation tarred all PowerSellers with the same brush, but in fact the programme made clear that most PowerSellers are honest. The ones selling counterfeits are clearly not the norm, but as there are plenty of them it was perfectly legitimate for the programme to question whether eBay is doing enough to stop them.

We can see no reason why traders selling authentic goods would suffer as a result of Watchdog exposing the rogues and in fact the narrative said that eBay was a good place to find a bargain, especially in the run-up to Christmas. However, when it appears to be so easy for unscrupulous traders to cheat the system it’s important to look at whether the current safeguards are sufficient – and Watchdog’s evidence suggests they are not.

The programme made it very clear that feedback should be carefully examined for any negative comments about authenticity and demonstrated how to do that, so we are confident that legitimate traders with consistently positive feedback have nothing to fear from the story.

Thank you, once more, for taking the time to contact the BBC.


BBC Information

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