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I am being falsely accused of "item not as described" following an eBay sale and the buyer opened a case against me. eBay's terms with 'buyers protection' force the seller to refund the buyer.

I am fighting with eBay and might be taking them to small claims court, and will need the eBay page for evidence. The eBay page is only online for 30 days. I am already 10 days in and the return will be another week, so I will need to save the page. This would need to be through secure means.

I can't simply print the page as claims of tampering could be made. Is there another solution for this?

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closed as off-topic by Dave, Ramhound, Tog, Raystafarian, Kevin Panko Feb 28 '14 at 14:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about computer hardware or software, within the scope defined in the help center." – Dave, Ramhound, Tog, Raystafarian, Kevin Panko
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Print the screen should be good enough. Store it in a couple different locations and you should be good. –  Matthew Williams Feb 27 '14 at 10:33
@MatthewWilliams The problem would be proving the page or image was not tampered with - you'd need a third party of some sort (and this is a legal issue that may be outside the scope of this site, and depends a lot on which jurisdiction you are in). Another issue (completely out of scope of the site and not part of the question, but I'll mention it) would be whether "no refunds" is even valid, especially since the claim is 'not as described' (at least in Australia, you cannot simply make a claim to remove that warranty, though maybe second-hand is different. Also depends on Ebay ToS). –  Bob Feb 27 '14 at 10:37
This is way out of this websites scope. I suggest you contact eBay and either request a copy of the page or, better still, request the page be archived for legal reasons. –  Matthew Williams Feb 27 '14 at 10:41
Yes, I'm sorry, Matthew is right - we can provide ways to copy the page etc, but, it's digital, so it's editable (by downloading and changing the code or via Photoshop)... –  Dave Feb 27 '14 at 10:45
I am well aware that the page can be edited to look different. I actually know how to do that very well. And since I know this, and ebay can see I have bought/sold several xboxes, ipods, computer parts, etc and fixed them shows I am technically savvy. So I need this to be secure. I will start with Matthew's excellent advice. NOTE: This scam has me so stressed it is 5AM and I haven't slept. –  GeekyDewd Feb 27 '14 at 12:49

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would take a video recording of your screen - Camtasia or some like program. If you start out on your account and video moving around the site and to your page that would be almost impossible to reproduce. Saving a picture or pdf is easy to fake.

I see an issue with archive.org too. First you are relying on a 3rd party for evidence when they could have an issue with the page or lose pictures to make the page unusable or even more likely - the non-tech judge or whoever will be like "Well that's not ebay that's some other site."

A small example of this is: 4 years ago bought a laptop online. It had a buy one laptop get a free mini (worth $400). I felt like the checkout was odd since it didn't mention the mini on a couple of the steps. So I video'ed screen - and a few other sites to get day/time info. 3 weeks later got laptop, surprise no mini. So I email them and they basically tell me to f' off. So I email them the youtube link to video... Within 15 mins of emailing, got confirmation that mini was shipped and an apology and a gift card to take video down.

Video is much more powerful than any other form of medium to handle disputes. Would it work in a million dollar lawsuit... maybe, maybe not. But for anything practical it is more than enough.

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You could still have simply used a proxy that fakes this one site you want to prove being what it is –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 28 '14 at 9:30
@TobiasKienzler - I would have a proxy mimic ebay's database and login process? I don't even understand what you are talking about. –  blankip Feb 28 '14 at 15:12
That would be overkill - just pass through everything from ebay except for the to-be-faked site, and there provide the replacement instead –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 28 '14 at 17:07
@TobiasKienzler - I am giving advice based on what lawyers at my company ask. For instance we have very large contracts for SaaS vendors. If they have a bug they haven't fixed we simply record the issue through video. I am the one that has got stuck doing this more than a few times. I would simply hit a site like msn.com or yahoo.com and click on a few things to verify date/time and then I move onto the site - and I usually log on as 2 different users. –  blankip Feb 28 '14 at 22:00
I didn't mean to downplay your answer, since as you mention faking a video requires more effort than faking one screenshot/printout, and if your company lawyers state this suffices there's no reason for you to put surplus effort into something that probably is already distracting enough. I am however saying that if you asked the folks over at security.stackexchange.com I'm sure they could name various ways of faking even that... –  Tobias Kienzler Mar 1 '14 at 9:38

Well i'm no lawyer but i could recommend you 3 solutions which in combination should do the job

  1. Save the Page as PDF

  2. Make Screenshots

  3. "Archive" the page using a public service, like http://archive.org/web/ (look for the "Save Page Now" on the right side)

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+1 for the archive.org/web hint –  Reeno Feb 27 '14 at 14:25
1. and 2. are useless. JavaScript and developer tools let you modify a page at will. 3. is a very good suggestion. –  Dennis Feb 27 '14 at 16:33
but your javascript will most likely not be able to change your PDF or JPEG ;) –  weberik Feb 27 '14 at 16:37
@weberik: irrelevant. You could already have manipulated the page before saving it as PDF or taking a screenshot. The third option is the only one that would make sense, and that only if archive.org is considered impartial and reliable enough. –  Martijn Feb 27 '14 at 18:41

You can also SAVE the page as a file, additional to saving/printing it as PDF as weberik suggests, or to take screenshots.

Just today i found a firefox extension that lets you save pages as a single file, including layout, images and even audio and video (supported formats).

There is another more known format, called "MHT" which Internet Explorer can use, but this extension also allows you to save and open such files.

the extension is "Mozilla Archive Format"

and you can find the addon, and more information here:



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Since you want a legally binding copy, you won't have much a choice but find suitable witnesses that the sites state is (will have been) what it is (will have been). Your best bet will be asking a notary for doing so, but of course that may cost more money than the article's worth...

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