Can I sue an ebay buyer for libel for leaving negative feedback stating that my items are fake if I have proof of authenticity?

Asked about 1 year ago - Southfield, MI

I sell designer clothing on ebay. My sales are over $1M annually and most of it is from designer clothing. For obvious reasons my buyers want to be sure that they are getting authentic merchandise. Recently a buyer left me negative feedback (without contacting me first) stating that the item they purchased was counterfeit. I offered to send them my invoices as proof that the item is authentic but they don't want to change the feedback. I only received one such feedback (claiming counterfeit) and it was a few years back. At this point, I'm worried this one will scare away buyers.
Do I have a case for libel? If so, how do I go about it?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Marc John Randazza

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Defamation is a false statement of fact about another that causes damages (loosely speaking, anyhow). Here, your facts seem rare in that they are posted on Avvo, and there's actually a potential defamation claim there. If someone falsely accuses you of selling counterfeit goods, this could be defamation per se.

  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Best is to call buyer and try to work something out to make him happy, so it will get removed. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish with 1m in sales.

  3. Kyle J Bristow

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . You should contact an attorney who can contact the buyer on your behalf. This would likely result in the buyer giving in to your demand to remove the content.

    Information about Internet defamation can be read at http://michiganinternetlawyer.blogspot.com/

    Good luck!

    No attorney-client relationship is established via AVVO.com. The material posted by Kyle J. Bristow, Esq., is for... more
  4. George Costas Andriotis

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Try to work it out with the buyer. You're better off in the end.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.
  5. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Have you determined the buyer's basis for the claim of counterfeit? That is, in my view, a critical next step. It may be that e-B can be enlisted to assist with determining that critical bit of info.

    You may have a claim here, but read up on the Streisand effect before you go much further. If you have lots of good feedback, it can be a serious strategic error to shine a spotlight on one bad feedback, especially in a community like e-B.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more

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