Special Announcements

by Craig Stark

#139, 14 December 2009

If you list books on half.com, you have likely received the following message from them at least once:

Hello [your user ID and email address],

We are writing to inform you that the following item(s) were removed from your Half.com inventory:

[item number and title]

When creating a listing at Half.com, sellers must match the seller comments to the correct quality rating. Your item description did not correctly match the selected quality rating.

Common reasons for which an item might be ended:

- music with opened or cracked cases described as brand new
- books that have been read once described as brand new
- movies that have been viewed once described as brand new

A complete list of quality rating definitions can be reviewed at the following link:


We have already deleted the item from your inventory. If you have any specific questions regarding your recently ended item please reply to this email and include the ended ITEM NUMBER and ITEM TITLE indicated above. We do ask that you find some time to review our list of quality definitions and compare it to the items in your inventory. Please update any incorrectly rated items your inventory. If Half.com is continually ending your items it may escalate into stronger administrative action against your account.


Half.com Trust & Safety

Since November 1, I've received six of these, each referring to signed first editions listed as "like new." I'm guessing that the half.witted bot that flagged my offensive listings did so because I mentioned that the books in question were either signed and/or handled only during the signing process (and thus could not possibly be like new). I've since put my half.com inventory on indefinite vacation because of the last statement in the message: If Half.com is continually ending your items it may escalate into stronger administrative action against your account. (By the way, it's not possible to close an account at half.com without also closing your eBay account(s), so this is presently the only safe option.)

While its laudatory that half.com is monitoring listings for violations - most venues do not - based on my experience and that of many booksellers who have had listings removed for this and a number of other ridiculous reasons, it's obvious they have some kinks to work out, though there's no indication that they are even attempting to fix this. On the contrary, they're suspending sellers who commit too many of these faux violations without warning. And, lest you think that these sellers are worthy of this treatment, I ask you to consider the plight of eBay Powerseller Valerie Jacobsen, who recently had both her half.com and eBay accounts suspended despite having logged 12 years on the venue with 100% positive feedback and sky high DSRs. Nice Christmas present, eh?

Please read Valerie's comments in our first article.

Also appearing today is Pamela Palmer's Top 10 on eBay.

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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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