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 Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern

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GCook

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Age : 62
Location : Sunset coast of Michigan
Registration date : 2011-01-03

PostSubject: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:48 pm

Admit it, we've been having a party below the radar. Who among us has not benefited by selling or buying? But a recent trend of offering items truly available in shops (yes, they DO sell sealed packaging) is bothering me because of its potential to poop the tub.

My concern is that eBay is going to notice current store stock being offered, close our little loophole and then we're hosed. It is an unambiguous violation of their policy to sell currently available tobacco. It is all too easy for an eBay smoke nazi administrator to just blanket-style forbid ANY sealed containers in the name of "liability" or "state laws". They don't make that much money on our sales to offset a potential headache for them. Cigars got whomped, pipe tobacco "containers" are next. Sh/t, it is even illegal to use the post office to mail them, if they ever wanted to enforce it.

Itchy language in here:
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/tobacco.html

Is it time to reel it in a bit?
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RealtorFrank

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Age : 33
Location : Nashville, TN
Registration date : 2010-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:36 pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly, I think the argument to it though is...what is available in one area, may not be available in another. Ex. I have about 5 B&M's that I go to in the Nashville area. No one ever has SG products. Can you find it online? Yes, but most online retailers are out of stock. Does this then make this more of a collectible hard to find item???
I can see both sides of it, but agree that when eBay catches up to it, it will ultimately be negative for us!
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:39 pm

I actually reported about 300 auctions one weekend last year trying to get the current stock Hookah / Rool Your Own / Pipe tobacco OFF the bay..
But as usual the greedy intercourses will intercourse the rest of us and go find their next group to prey off of.
Theres no way to stop it.. and you can't blame them.. When they see a $10 tin go for $80 just because some Forum douche decided it was "out of production" because SP.com/P&C, or Joes happens to not have it in stock at the moment they jump like sharks in a swimming pool..

I quit paying premium for aged, I don't charge premium for aged, and "out of production" quit meaning shiite to me.. I'm off that wagon and don't miss a thing. I have about a grand (ebay pricing) of said tobacco.. I wouldn't cry one tear if I traded it all for something I like..but I won't because some douche will ebay it in a NY minute.

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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:45 pm

puros_bran wrote:
I actually reported about 300 auctions one weekend last year trying to get the current stock Hookah / Rool Your Own / Pipe tobacco OFF the bay..
But as usual the greedy intercourses will intercourse the rest of us and go find their next group to prey off of.
Theres no way to stop it.. and you can't blame them.. When they see a $10 tin go for $80 just because some Forum douche decided it was "out of production" because SP.com/P&C, or Joes happens to not have it in stock at the moment they jump like sharks in a swimming pool..

I quit paying premium for aged, I don't charge premium for aged, and "out of production" quit meaning shiite to me.. I'm off that wagon and don't miss a thing. I have about a grand (ebay pricing) of said tobacco.. I wouldn't cry one tear if I traded it all for something I like..but I won't because some douche will ebay it in a NY minute.

cheers cheers cheers

I agree...
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Bahnzo

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Location : Colorado
Registration date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:48 pm

GCook wrote:

Is it time to reel it in a bit?

I don't understand why it's time to reel it in? I do get what you are saying...it's against Ebay's policies (which they seem to blame on US laws and not their own doing). But it won't be "reeled in"...it's not like if we do it only a little bit that ebay will ignore it and allow it to continue. They will catch on eventually and begin removing those auctions.

And those who do it, will continue to do it until Ebay stops it. There is obviously profit to be made so it will be exploited. So asking a few people to "reel it in" really isn't going to work. If anything, get it while the getting's good. If you are small time ebay-er who can make some profit off some tobacco you have in your cellar...do it now if you want.
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CLRV

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Age : 33
Location : Tulsa, Oklahoma
Registration date : 2010-12-29

PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:36 pm

The lawyer in me gets a very minor kick out of folks so blatantly using this wink and nod loophole.

The smoker in me gets super irritated because it's *precisely* things like the ebay loophole that will fuel the fire for the internet super tax on pipe tobacco. Not only is it circumventing a current law, but it is also, quite literally, proving that pipe smokers will pay much more for their tobacco than we're currently charged. Helps to defeat one of our strongest arguments against the potential tax; namely that it would be a defacto destruction of the American pipe tobacco industry, and in turn demolish the long term (reasonable) tax potential of letting the industry continue. Essentially don't kill the goose. But if people are paying 50, 60, 80, 100+ dollars (instead of the 10-20 for a 100g tin in retail) then it just shows that there is a lot more gouge room. Of course, the nuance of the "aged" argument will be lost on the legislature and I'm not really sure its a nuance that's terribly valid anyway.

But, then again, this is the US where the actions of a few can, and do, ruin it for the majority all the time.

Ah well. As with most things, it's best just to smile and nod, enjoy the pricing we have now for as long as we can and deal with the potential problems when they arise, not in speculation.
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GCook

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Age : 62
Location : Sunset coast of Michigan
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:35 pm

Shush. Outdated tobacco is worthless for smoking. If any lawyer or congressman doubts it, send him some crispy old Mixture 79. Especially to a lawyer.

The elephant in the room was just getting bigger and I wanted to see what other people thought. We can't do much about people evading laws if there is money involved, but I think we need to keep our noses as clean as we can and be proactively defensive. Hell, make up some crap if you want to sell tins there you didn't like. Autograph the (incidental) tobacco tin with your (famous!) signature or one of your choosing. Gosh, people collect the darndest things! I think we can do better to confuse and befuddle the nannies instead of obviously presenting our behinds to kick.







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CLRV

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Location : Tulsa, Oklahoma
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:47 pm

I agree GCook. If one is going to play in the grey zone of the law, go in loaded for bear and hope to just see bunnies. Certainly don't make it obvious you're skirting the rules.

And, of course, the weakness in my initial statement is that many people who want to tax the hell out of our tobacco want to do so not from a long term revenue goal or closing off loopholes, but rather to quite literally tax the habit to death.

In that sense, the whole ebay discussion is irrelevant.
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shootist51



Location : Indianapolis, Indiana
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:58 pm

I, frankly, don't see the problem. I don't personally buy tobacco on ebay, but certainly don't fault those who do or those who sell using a "loophole".
I personally feel that the banning of any product constitutes restraint of trade and should be anethema to any American.
It really is simple, if you choose not to participate that is your right. It is not your right to prevent others who choose to do so.
It wreaks of "Nannyism".
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Bahnzo

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Location : Colorado
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:00 pm

I don't think it proves that we are willing to pay more for tobacco. It proves that we will pay more for something that's scarce.....just like anything else.
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:03 pm

Good stuff gentlemen! This is why I really like this forum; an interesting exchange of ideas.
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Thomas Tkach

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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:14 pm

I am also against nannyism.
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MartinH

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Age : 46
Location : The South
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:40 am

I know I'm chiming in late here, but I'm actually more concerned about legislatures imposing a morality or health tax, because to them tobacco is dirty and wrong. Maybe these thoughts have no place here, since this discussion is about ebay. However, since tobacco and alcohol are already highly taxed in my state, I wonder how long it will be until they want to control these types of purchases so that you can't ship across state lines.

There are already some alcohol products I can't purchase online because the illegality of it. I hope that it will never get to this point with tobacco.
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CLRV

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Age : 33
Location : Tulsa, Oklahoma
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:58 am

I think it's safe to say that most of us here are against nannyism. At least I know I am. But I do also recognize that there is very little, at all, that can be done to fight the system so to speak. The wheels of the legislature are far too powerful for even the 2-3million of us to fight against. Less than 1% of the population spread out over the whole country can't swing elections one way or the other. Of course, that can be read as fatalistic or rational, depending on ones perspective. The factors which drive a body to create a law are so deeply embedded in the way we perceive legislation in this country that it would take essentially an overhaul of the entire system before any real change to the nannyism factor would be evident. Most americans, most of the time, don't mind the paternalistic state. Rather, they feel safer with it. I draw this inference from the plain fact that if it weren't the case we would see a very different form of politics and laws. To steal a concept, the thing speaks for itself. As much as we blame the politicians, the American public are the ones who put them in office.

Further, while I agree that banning a product does seem... unAmerican, it's actually fully within the realm of the Congress. Our own Constitution gives them the power to regulate for the health and safety of the citizens.

That being said, I really don't foresee a complete ban on tobacco. The lobby, while focused on cigarettes, is extremely powerful. Realize this is the same industry which defrauded the American public for decades, induced millions to smoke and stay smoking, and they got a relative slap on the wrist (see what happens when a fellow kills even 2 or 3 people, down here in the belt it's time for a very short injection. In comparison, the many millions killed by big tobacco and the fines seem... inconsequential). I am speaking not of our wonderful pipe tobacco blenders, but rather the big companies like RJR or PM. I am not trying to attack big tobacco, merely evidencing the power of the tobacco lobby.

The health tax on the state level is the most likely possibility, at least from my perspective. I'd be surprised if we see a full on federal regulation actually attempt to control the flow of a legal product over state lines; the policing aspects are mind boggling, especially with so many other issues plaguing the feds (drugs, firearms, etc). Plus there are some pretty good constitutional arguments to be made if that goes down. Likewise, a total restraint of legal products crossing state boundaries raises a number of constitutional issues; partial restraint is allowable (see MartinH's reference to alcohol). They've tried to do a total ban in other sectors (milk, lumber, etc) and have been swatted down by the Supreme Court. Short of a federal ban, we'll still be able to get our tobacco, just at a ridiculous price. And, of course, the feds can decide to tax it too.

Which returns us to Ebay and the original concern; the use of the loophole and it's potential negative impact on all pipe smokers, not just the ones who choose to utilize the service. Of course they have the right to do this; it's none of my business what folks do. I think the point is less in the advocacy of restriction by externalities (IE, us) and more of a self restriction for the greater good. The more fuel we give the anti-smokers the more likely it becomes that we'll be restricted. To me it's like a kettle set to boil; it'll boil regardless, all we can control is how fast.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:34 am

I'm for Nannyism.. I've been trying to convince the old hag we need one for the kids.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
20ish.. Latino.. Speaks very little English.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:51 am

puros_bran wrote:
I'm for Nannyism.. I've been trying to convince the old hag we need one for the kids.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
20ish.. Latino.. Speaks very little English.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

cheers cheers
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CLRV

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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:20 am

puros_bran wrote:
I'm for Nannyism.. I've been trying to convince the old hag we need one for the kids.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
20ish.. Latino.. Speaks very little English.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

Epic. Laughing jocolor lol!
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MartinH

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Location : The South
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:31 pm

puros_bran wrote:
I'm for Nannyism.. I've been trying to convince the old hag we need one for the kids.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
20ish.. Latino.. Speaks very little English.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

HA!

But this brings me to another thought, that CLRV made the think of. Does anyone else have health insurance where you have to list if you smoke or not? If you smoke, even rarely as I do, you have to pay a hefty upcharge, almost double of the normal monthly premium.

I think this is ridiculous. The health insurance companies have basically criminalized smoking, even as an occasional past time. Last night I enjoyed the last of my favorite burley, and it made me think that technically what I'm doing will get me in trouble with my health care provider. WTH?

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Thanks,
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shootist51



Location : Indianapolis, Indiana
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:03 pm

MartinH wrote:
puros_bran wrote:
I'm for Nannyism.. I've been trying to convince the old hag we need one for the kids.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
20ish.. Latino.. Speaks very little English.. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

HA!

But this brings me to another thought, that CLRV made the think of. Does anyone else have health insurance where you have to list if you smoke or not? If you smoke, even rarely as I do, you have to pay a hefty upcharge, almost double of the normal monthly premium.

I think this is ridiculous. The health insurance companies have basically criminalized smoking, even as an occasional past time. Last night I enjoyed the last of my favorite burley, and it made me think that technically what I'm doing will get me in trouble with my health care provider. WTH?

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Thanks,

As wrong as this is, it is part of the price we pay to enjoy our past time.

I find it strange that they don't ask how often you visit McDonald's, Burger King, Hardee's, etc.
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CLRV

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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:05 pm

I have a feeling that will be coming soon shootist.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:54 pm

Don't mark the question.. If they ask just tell them that you do not smoke cigerettes.. done.
A side note.. Even in the stoutest of pipe blends there isn't enough nicotene to show up in one of those 'nicotene test' thingys..
You're not going to get Small Cell lung cancer (short of sitting in a small unventilated room and smoking like a mofo) from pipe smoking.. The mouth cancer attributed to Pipe can be caused by other issues.. Not telling you to be dishonest or anything, just sayin.

A serious note on Ebay Policy though.. They had choosen to disallow tobacco before the hubbub over mail order tobacco...
Same with Firearms.. If you have a FFL lisc, or a dealer, it is perfectly legal to purchase firearms and have them shipped... Ebays policy has nothing to do with Government Regulations in this case either.. I can't prove it but I bet it's the Lawyers not the Laws that are the deciding factor in their policy.

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CLRV

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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:35 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Ebays policy has nothing to do with Government Regulations in this case either.. I can't prove it but I bet it's the Lawyers not the Laws that are the deciding factor in their policy.

I can almost guarantee you are correct. This has lawyer... "protecting the client" all over it.

"Because selling tobacco is highly regulated, most tobacco items can't be sold on eBay. Be sure to follow all applicable laws, regulations, and our policies."

I would write something almost identical to protect my client. It's vague, overbroad, and 'evidences' that ebay is trying to do the right thing... "Your honor, we can't be held responisble for the actions of the few who violate our own policies. As you can see, my client has been and is just as concerned as the Federal Government over the misuse and abuse of sales."

Look at napster, limewire, etc. It wasn't their fault people were using the program the wrong way. Rolling Eyes

That being said, lawyers don't tend to get scared of lawsuits or crackdowns without a fairly reasonable potential for danger. Who knows.

I guess I could actually look up the laws, but then that would require more than my Nostradamusian predictions of the future based on the legal double speak of some very overpaid members of my profession. Laughing
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innovador

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Location : Ecuador
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:19 pm

Interesting comments and information. Ebay is a good source for almost everything. If I can remember well, you were actually able to buy cigars at ebay a few years back. Now, nobody is selling cigars at ebay.
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Rad Davis

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Location : Foley, Alabama, USA
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:18 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Don't mark the question.. If they ask just tell them that you do not smoke cigerettes.. done.

They don't ask if you smoke cigarettes any more. They ask if you "use tobacco in any way at all".

Back in the 80s, I was asked (for a life insurance policy) if I smoked cigarettes, and I said no. They asked nothing else.

They drew blood, etc, and a couple of weeks later they called and said that their tests showed that I was smoking the equivalent of a couple of cigarettes a day. I told them I smoked a pipe.

They said, "OK, we just need to know what's going on......." I can't remember for sure, but I don't think my rates increased.

Rad
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PostSubject: Re: Ebay "sealed container" loophole concern   Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:46 pm

It's a pretext for them to pad their bottom lines. They know we're not going to stop, so they can jack the rates up without fear of untoward consequences.

What a Face
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