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Thursday, 10 April 2008

ezBay.me.uk - or how NOT to start an online business

Sometimes, people make mistakes with their online marketing. Newbies can accidentally buy a "millions of email addresses CD" with a load of scraped email addresses and spam away. Sometimes they are not aware of trademark laws. But sometimes they are just plain stupid in so many ways that there is no excuse for not ripping into them.

Mistake One - Trademark Violation
In this case, the budding entrepreneur has gone for the name ezBay.me.uk - confusingly similar to a well-known auction company called eBay. Sure, there are other users of the "ezbay" name, but the closeness of the name and even the "camel case" capitalisation are asking for trouble, possibly some years down the line.. but trouble nonetheless.

Mistake Two - Choose a stupid domain name.
Not only does "ezbay.me.uk" possibly violate trademarks, but it uses the ".me.uk" namespace which is designed for personal use only. That could well lead to the name being revoked by the registrar. Worse, the name doesn't make sense in British English - "Ee Zed Bay"? In American English it's "Easy Bay" which *does* makes sense.. but not in conjunction with a .me.uk domain name.

Mistake Three - Spam
There's no excuse for sending out unsolicited bulk email to scraped email address, but ezBay.me.uk have done exactly that. That tends to lead to a very short life expectancy for the new auction site that you have just created.

24/7 online Auction Site

This is our new 24/7 on line auction please feel free to take a look if you like what you find please register and we will give you £20.00 sellers fee completely free there is no listing fee for items that you may want to sell so what are you waiting for sign up to day for your £20.00 and start selling at www.ezbay.me.uk feel free to take a look around at all the bargins
we have many less than 50% cheaper than the high street price so come on see
how easy it is with ezbay happy shopping


Car DVD player starting bid 50p buy now price £139.00

MP4 player with 1.3m pixels digital camera 2.5in TFT screen starting bid 50p buy now price £32.90

12mp digital video camera with MP3/MP4 starting bid 50p buy now price £76.00

1.1 inch screen clip MP3 player starting bid 50p buy now price £8.50

12.1-inch with 4:3 display roof mount TFT-LCD monitor Starting bid 50p buy now price £62.50

MP3 player sunglasses with FM super-plastic frame and build-in 1 GB flash
memory starting bid 50p buy now price

best regards

mr a m dick
ezbay world

Mistake Four - Be offensive
Signing off an email with a name of "Mr A M Dick" is always likely to annoy people (unless that is the person's name in which case.. oh dear).

Mistake Five - Read Receipts
Not only is this spam, but it also sent out with a read receipt in a clumsy way to confirm the recipient's email address. Not only will the muppet sending out the spam be overwhelmed with receipts, but many people regard them as invasive of privacy.

The forensics..
The headers indicate that the mail comes from which is also the IP address of www.ezbay.me.uk, so that's pretty much a smoking gun.

The domain name is registered to:

     Domain name:


Registrant type:
UK Individual

Registrant's address:
8 Calle Las Encines
Fuenta De Piedra
295 30

Last time I checked, Malaga wasn't in the UK. This address is connected with an Alibaba operation called Murrays Discount.

There's no evidence that this is a scam, but it is almost a textbook example of how to kill a business before it starts. It is notable that despite the spam run, the only person actually selling is "Murray" himself.

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