• Report: #410925

Complaint Review: OnlineAuction.com - OLA

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  • Submitted: Mon, January 12, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, March 19, 2009

  • Reported By:Southern California
OnlineAuction.com - OLA
120 SW 'J' Street Grants Pass, Oregon U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-900-2828
  • Web:
  • Category: Internet

OnlineAuction.com - OLA is a SCAM! Save your $8/month, your sanity, and your valuable time! Grants Pass Oregon

*Consumer Comment: I spoke too soon!!O.L.A. tried to charge me 2 more times!!!

*Consumer Comment: OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

*Consumer Comment: OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

*Consumer Comment: OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

*Consumer Comment: OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

*Consumer Comment: Try to CANCEL your OLA Online-Good Luck

*Author of original report: "OLA is not eBay"

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Rolling Eyes has stated their opinion, nothing reported I'd consider fraudulent!

*Author of original report: You are talking in circles.

*Author of original report: You are talking in circles.

*Author of original report: You are talking in circles.

*Author of original report: And that is where you are wrong, friend.

*Consumer Comment: I beleive Rolling Eyes is an Ebay troll expressing only 1 opinion, no facts!

*Consumer Comment: I think this is a hoax

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Mainly angry eBayers desperate for an auction site that is inexpensive to use and treats members fairly have been referred to OLA via eBay's own chat boards. If you Google-search "online auction alternative" or even "online auction site", which the average Joe may type in, you will not find Onlineauction.com. OLA is specifically found ONLY if "Online Auction" is typed, which is a very poor SEO practice--but, I suspect, done completely on purpose. Read on to see what I mean.

The OLA site itself is barely functional and user-friendly, and the owner, Chris Fain, refuses to add Google feeds so OLA is easily recognized on the 'net. The home page is updated many times more than the numerous site 'glitches' get resolved. For the money you pay ($8/month), not only do you merely buy a cobweb-laden storage area for your items with no lookers/buyers, but you have to perform heavy--HEAVY-- marketing, advertising, and manually adding your items to Google---for OLA, not for your OWN items, like it may seem. Widely suggested advertising measures include handing out flyers at your local mall, displaying a banner should you sell your wares at a local flea market, donating $10 toward advertising in an unknown antique collector-driven publication (this suggestion has failed to come to fruition numerous times), putting an ugly sticker on your car, and mailing out postcards. (This method is unclear: to whom are these postcards sent? Anyway, I digress.)

Yes, you pay $8 a month for no fees at all--that's true. It's what is LEFT OUT of the policy that is very deceptive.

The 196.00 'Founding Membership' allows you a 'store' and a hundred or so dollars in useless bonus features to get your items recognized (ie, credits used to advertise your items in a rotation on the home page which isn't recognized by Google anyway).

Message board Moderators are OLA "cheerleaders" who are quick to ban anyone--even members who paid for the 'Founding Membership'-- and kick them off the site--for telling the truth for exposing what OLA is: a SCAM. However, cheerleaders have a different name for the truth: 'negativity'. Say anything that the mods construe as 'negativity', and you're gone. Really helpful tips on getting Google recognition have been provided by members who ended up being ousted from the site for no known reason, and all their informative chats were removed. By constantly scrubbing the boards, OLA always provides a "clean slate" for new, unsuspecting victims visiting the chats.

There's a particularly well-known cheerleader on the chat boards who is extremely overbearing, condescending, and argumentative toward members who have legitimate concerns regarding low or no sales, lame advertising, and the dwindling hope of site improvements ever taking place at OLA. It does not take long to figure out who it is. Once you get on her bad side, your reputation is forever tainted.

Fain wants OLA to stay the way it is: unknown. Why shouldn't he? After all, he pushes members to recruit new affiliates, and the recruiters in turn receive a 36.00 cut in the process (see the obvious ploy clearly displayed on their home page at www.onlineauction.com), while the remaining 100.00 or so (after paying for possible office space as well as the highly incompetent staff) is pocketed by Fain, or used to make exorbitant purchases on things such as a huge, gas-guzzling bus for his family outings (Fain calls it "advertising" because OnlineAuction.com is emblazoned on each side of the vehicle).

The cheerleaders are constantly on the lookout for someone new who enters the chat with questions on how to get buyers on OLA since sales are very poor. Then the cheerleaders swoop in. It is a hideous thing to witness. They will urge you to play "games" several days a week to "get your items recognized" by others. Fact is, people who sign up for the games actually feel OBLIGATED to buy from another seller who has signed up. Also, buyers (who are other OLA sellers) will haggle over shipping charges, get something for nothing, then resell the item on eBay for a profit. But hey, somebody made a 'sale' on OLA, right? Even if you practically gave your widget away.

There are only several "game players"--the same small clique (somewhere between 6-10 members) you see on the chat boards day after day, week after week, month after month. The "super-friendly and helpful cheerleaders". The ones who basically jockey for the 36.00 they receive when the unsuspecting victim pays that hefty 196.00 fee.

The cheerleaders act excited at the weekly 'OLA radio show' where the host, Dave White, is not only absolutely grating to the ears, but no legitimate member issues are addressed directly--ESPECIALLY when Fain himself is the 'guest speaker'. Expect a whole lotta nothing except the host's constant stammering, pushing you to sell Founding Memberships, and more of the same broken promises for an hour or two. (Warning: Prolonged exposure will induce severe retching and extreme nausea.)

The latest 'OLA radio news', 1/9/09: Data feeds will be added. Fain has supposedly been in charge of OLA for about 5 years, and feeds STILL are not in place? We have to hear this BS yet AGAIN?

When you are constantly told, month after month, to wait for the same old promises to be fulfilled for site improvements/recognition, next thing you know another year comes and 96.00 is taken out of your bank account, each year thereafter. Once you sign up as a Founding Member for 196.00, you have only FIVE DAYS to change your mindclearly not enough time to list your widgets and test drive your store. If a sale is made in that ridiculously unreasonable time frame, it's more than likely from a "nice, welcoming cheerleader"--or Fain himself. Then you're sucked in for the year.

In addition, the countless people canceling their membership in hopes of getting their money back will not only not see one shiny dime, but will continue to have OLA fees automatically charged. Members are then forced to call their credit card issuers to haggle OLA, sometimes repeatedly, for a refund. Several members have had to resort to canceling their credit card altogether to avoid being charged.

STAY FAR, FAR AWAY FROM OLA! Get fewer headaches and more sales by sticking with eBay, no matter how much you hate the idea. After all, 8.00 a month for nothing is still nothing.

Rolling eyes
Southern, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2009 04:27 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/OnlineAuctioncom-OLA/Grants-Pass-Oregon-97526/OnlineAuctioncom-OLA-is-a-SCAM-Save-your-8month-your-sanity-and-your-valuable-time-410925. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

I spoke too soon!!O.L.A. tried to charge me 2 more times!!!

AUTHOR: Justthefacts - (U.S.A.)

Today my credit card company called me to inform me about some fraudulent activity on my credit.Guess what,O.L.A. tried to charge TWO Years membership on my card, after sending me e-mail stating they had closed my account.WOW!It's a good thing that I read the Ripoff Reports on this company.As soon as I received a refund in February,I called my credit card company and had them issue a new card. O.L.A.'S underhanded business practices are incredible! Stay away from O.L.A. Far Far Away!!TOO BAD O.L.A. You tried to rob me,but I was forewarned about your business practices at this forum!! Thank you Ripoff Report!!!
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#2 Consumer Comment

OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

AUTHOR: Justthefacts - (U.S.A.)

To be fair,I'm writing this follow-up concerning my O.L.A. account.I contacted O.L.A.every day, after being told that there was no way I could get a refund for a credit card charge I did not want.I do not know the employee's name who told me that I would just have to live with this charge,but I was issued a full refund.The O.L.A. auction site did not work out well for my business.It may,however work out well for a different type of business.I do recommend trying their site on a month to month basis at first.If things work out to your satisfaction,then you may want to consider signing up as a founding member.I could not,in good conscience,not amend my complaint,to include a follow-up report.Good luck O.L.A.I wish you success and hope you can resolve future problems as well as you did this one!!
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#3 Consumer Comment

OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

AUTHOR: Justthefacts - (U.S.A.)

To be fair,I'm writing this follow-up concerning my O.L.A. account.I contacted O.L.A.every day, after being told that there was no way I could get a refund for a credit card charge I did not want.I do not know the employee's name who told me that I would just have to live with this charge,but I was issued a full refund.The O.L.A. auction site did not work out well for my business.It may,however work out well for a different type of business.I do recommend trying their site on a month to month basis at first.If things work out to your satisfaction,then you may want to consider signing up as a founding member.I could not,in good conscience,not amend my complaint,to include a follow-up report.Good luck O.L.A.I wish you success and hope you can resolve future problems as well as you did this one!!
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#4 Consumer Comment

OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

AUTHOR: Justthefacts - (U.S.A.)

To be fair,I'm writing this follow-up concerning my O.L.A. account.I contacted O.L.A.every day, after being told that there was no way I could get a refund for a credit card charge I did not want.I do not know the employee's name who told me that I would just have to live with this charge,but I was issued a full refund.The O.L.A. auction site did not work out well for my business.It may,however work out well for a different type of business.I do recommend trying their site on a month to month basis at first.If things work out to your satisfaction,then you may want to consider signing up as a founding member.I could not,in good conscience,not amend my complaint,to include a follow-up report.Good luck O.L.A.I wish you success and hope you can resolve future problems as well as you did this one!!
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#5 Consumer Comment

OLA responded to my complaint and issued a full refund!

AUTHOR: Justthefacts - (U.S.A.)

To be fair,I'm writing this follow-up concerning my O.L.A. account.I contacted O.L.A.every day, after being told that there was no way I could get a refund for a credit card charge I did not want.I do not know the employee's name who told me that I would just have to live with this charge,but I was issued a full refund.The O.L.A. auction site did not work out well for my business.It may,however work out well for a different type of business.I do recommend trying their site on a month to month basis at first.If things work out to your satisfaction,then you may want to consider signing up as a founding member.I could not,in good conscience,not amend my complaint,to include a follow-up report.Good luck O.L.A.I wish you success and hope you can resolve future problems as well as you did this one!!
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#6 Consumer Comment

Try to CANCEL your OLA Online-Good Luck

AUTHOR: Justthefacts - (U.S.A.)

I,like many others,went on strike last February.I did not buy or sell during the set time.I did not close my other accounts because I was,and still am a powerseller(over $1000.00 in sales a month),with 100% positive and 5 star DSR'S in all catagories.Even though I have never given, or received, negative feedback,I hate the fact that I am not allowed to do so when it is justified. I am in the process of clearing out all of my stock.I do not intend to play childish games with people who really don't want to be in the auction business anymore.
I spoke to,and joined OLA.com in February of last year.They told me all about their upcomming major T.V. advertising campaign,the wonderful stores that were being swamped with buyers,and all the advantages of becomming a founding member.I became a founding member.I wasn't expecting much because all I was looking for was a company with scruples.
The average sale at OLA,as of today was about nine dollars and change.My actual shipping cost are 2 to 3 three times that amount.I would type in the exact title of one of my auction,and their search would display "item not found".The EXACT title! Their early assurances were empty promises!I even listed $2000.00 items,with a starting price of 25 cent and didn't get even a quarter bid in eight months.I paid the extra $10.00 per listing,to make 3 of these 25 cent auctions featured.Nothing=no buyers!!
Three days ago,I received an invoice for $98.00 from O.L.A..I called them and told them that I wasn't happy with the promised improvements that never took place and wasn't planning on renewing my membership,and I would like them to cancel their charge.They explained that I had not informed them far enough in advance,as per their user agreement,to cancel my membership.I did sign,so I said "fine,take a month fee's and cancel my membership.I was told that they already charge my card for a year,and couldn't issue any refunds.They seem to be confused by definitions of the words,CAN'T and WON'T.Of course they can,but they won't.They are trying to steal my money.
If your happy with O.L.A.,by all means,play their games,and trade among each other.If they have your credit card number or checking account number and routing number,be advised,they can do the same thing to you.Thanks to pay=pal,I have learned all about chargebacks and have my credit card company on my side.
If you decide to leave OLA,you can not close your account online.You must call them and they will give you a hard time.Unfortunately,I talked a number of friends around, the country, into joining O.L.A.,and had to apologies to a few for giving them bad advise.I will never recommend O.L.A. again!!!!!!
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#7 Author of original report

"OLA is not eBay"

AUTHOR: Rolling Eyes - (U.S.A.)

Why does everyone keep saying this?!

OLA is not eBay. No kidding. It never, ever will be. Not even close.

"It sounds like Rolling Eyes in Southern California is someone who is disgruntled with their lack of sales. Maybe, they should spend their time more constructively reevaluating their own product they offer, and what they can do to generate better sales for themselves." - Another tired diatribe. You don't have to worry about me, I'm doing just fine. I've been selling online for years. The only major business mistake I have made was to sign up with OLA.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Rolling Eyes has stated their opinion, nothing reported I'd consider fraudulent!

AUTHOR: Summer - (U.S.A.)

It amazes me that someone would expend so much time and effort in making a complaint, whining about the suggestions of being proactive about ones business. OLA is not eBay, and it would be wrong to assume that they have the same level of buyer traffic. As far as I have read there's nothing in OLA policies that indicate they are responsible for a Sellers sales. See, this is the sort of freedom OLA offers, allowing you to conduct your business the way you see fit. Condemning them for marketing suggestions, that even the most successful sellers offer is plain silly.

The complaints about these so called cheerleaders in the chat room are ridiculous, and only the opinion of someone that couldn't sway certain individuals to hop on the negative bandwagon of a few forum trolls. It is a chat room much like the many of chat rooms that are offered in alternative auction venues. All of which have policies and general guidelines all must abide by. Why are those that are successful and happy to be selling on OLA, being condemned for stating their opinions and experience? Because they are positive, they are being viewed as cheerleaders?

This is not a democracy, but rather an online auction venue that allows you to sell your wares at a very reasonable monthly or annual price, and only asked to respect each other and the minimal amount of rules and guidelines using the site.

The user complains about Featured Auctions that are products viewable on the homepage. Seriously? The user is going to condemn a site that is providing a feature that allows more exposure to a sellers items, and generates more buyer traffic?

Another complaint by the user is the lack of Google feeds. However, what the user neglects to add is, OLA did in fact, on numerous occasions create the feeds and they were rejected by Google. Is OLA to be condemned for not restructuring their entire business around another companies policies? There's alternatives for Google feeds, but maybe the user needs less one dimensional thinking, and be open to the alternatives.

It sounds like Rolling Eyes in Southern California is someone who is disgruntled with their lack of sales. Maybe, they should spend their time more constructively reevaluating their own product they offer, and what they can do to generate better sales for themselves.
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#9 Author of original report

You are talking in circles.

AUTHOR: Rolling Eyes - (U.S.A.)

1 - Re: "Freedom of Speech" The First Amendment does not apply to private organizations or individuals. Besides, there is no freedom to express yourself on the OLA chats anyway--they get deleted. Some freedom.
2 - "if you cant take the heat, stay out f the kitchen" - ? - useless cliche that doesn't apply here
3 - "if you don't like whats being said, you always have the right not to read it" - Huh?
4 - Let me reiterate, since you obviously missed it the first time: It's what is LEFT OUT of the policy that is very deceptive. This is a FACT.
5 - "It also has to be said that is company is NOT a publicly traded company, therefore it DOES NOT have to answer to anyone but the site owners, who by the way own other businesses as well including a car dealership(which may explain the vehicles used to attend different shows/events with OLA advertising on them)" - LOL! Please explain how this statement even applies to what is being spoken of here.
6 - "an Ebay troll expressing only 1 opinion, no facts!" - Your usage of the word "troll" is incorrect. A troll is a bully who tries to control your behavior, get a reaction out of you, discredit your image with others on the board or in general just act disruptively to get attention. A troll would type my complaint on the OLA chats. The Rip-off-Report is a soundboard for the public to complain about companies that rip people off, and not just OLA. Also, an "eBay troll" would troll eBay. Further, why the immature name-calling?
7 - "paid to slander an alternative auction website" - Completely laughable. And a worn-out diatribe consistently used at OLA.
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#10 Author of original report

You are talking in circles.

AUTHOR: Rolling Eyes - (U.S.A.)

1 - Re: "Freedom of Speech" The First Amendment does not apply to private organizations or individuals. Besides, there is no freedom to express yourself on the OLA chats anyway--they get deleted. Some freedom.
2 - "if you cant take the heat, stay out f the kitchen" - ? - useless cliche that doesn't apply here
3 - "if you don't like whats being said, you always have the right not to read it" - Huh?
4 - Let me reiterate, since you obviously missed it the first time: It's what is LEFT OUT of the policy that is very deceptive. This is a FACT.
5 - "It also has to be said that is company is NOT a publicly traded company, therefore it DOES NOT have to answer to anyone but the site owners, who by the way own other businesses as well including a car dealership(which may explain the vehicles used to attend different shows/events with OLA advertising on them)" - LOL! Please explain how this statement even applies to what is being spoken of here.
6 - "an Ebay troll expressing only 1 opinion, no facts!" - Your usage of the word "troll" is incorrect. A troll is a bully who tries to control your behavior, get a reaction out of you, discredit your image with others on the board or in general just act disruptively to get attention. A troll would type my complaint on the OLA chats. The Rip-off-Report is a soundboard for the public to complain about companies that rip people off, and not just OLA. Also, an "eBay troll" would troll eBay. Further, why the immature name-calling?
7 - "paid to slander an alternative auction website" - Completely laughable. And a worn-out diatribe consistently used at OLA.
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#11 Author of original report

You are talking in circles.

AUTHOR: Rolling Eyes - (U.S.A.)

1 - Re: "Freedom of Speech" The First Amendment does not apply to private organizations or individuals. Besides, there is no freedom to express yourself on the OLA chats anyway--they get deleted. Some freedom.
2 - "if you cant take the heat, stay out f the kitchen" - ? - useless cliche that doesn't apply here
3 - "if you don't like whats being said, you always have the right not to read it" - Huh?
4 - Let me reiterate, since you obviously missed it the first time: It's what is LEFT OUT of the policy that is very deceptive. This is a FACT.
5 - "It also has to be said that is company is NOT a publicly traded company, therefore it DOES NOT have to answer to anyone but the site owners, who by the way own other businesses as well including a car dealership(which may explain the vehicles used to attend different shows/events with OLA advertising on them)" - LOL! Please explain how this statement even applies to what is being spoken of here.
6 - "an Ebay troll expressing only 1 opinion, no facts!" - Your usage of the word "troll" is incorrect. A troll is a bully who tries to control your behavior, get a reaction out of you, discredit your image with others on the board or in general just act disruptively to get attention. A troll would type my complaint on the OLA chats. The Rip-off-Report is a soundboard for the public to complain about companies that rip people off, and not just OLA. Also, an "eBay troll" would troll eBay. Further, why the immature name-calling?
7 - "paid to slander an alternative auction website" - Completely laughable. And a worn-out diatribe consistently used at OLA.
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#12 Author of original report

And that is where you are wrong, friend.

AUTHOR: Rolling Eyes - (U.S.A.)

I've had *hundreds* of listings and a store. Took 3 months to make 40.00. At eBay, I make that in 3 days. OLA is nothing more than a pyramid scheme, and a huge waste of time and money.

I am willing to bet you:

1 - Sold (exchanged, rather) your items to cheerleaders during the weekly games as your main sales, or
2 - Are primarily a buyer, or
3 - Were not informed prior to joining that you will have to manually add your items to feeds; and you just happen to have all the time in the world to do it because you do not sell elsewhere, or
4 - Are an OLA employee or close to the Fains, or
5 - Are not exactly understanding what SEO entails, or
6 - Will not tell us why you have had to speak to OLA staff 'on *many* occasions', or
7 - Are there to make friends more than to sell anything, or
8 - Are not bothered by the fact that promises to upgrade and fix site problems don't come to fruition, or
9 - Are not willing to show us your numbers

Can you prove me wrong?
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#13 Consumer Comment

I beleive Rolling Eyes is an Ebay troll expressing only 1 opinion, no facts!

AUTHOR: Crystal Clear Vision - (U.S.A.)

I believe this so called report is only the OPINION, nothing more, of a person or persons paid to slander an alternative auction website.

If any intelligent person really reads the 'report' they can obviously see and understand that not one shred of evidence has been submitted as to this person being 'ripped off'. Only one persons colored version of the truth.

I for one, use the site and have had great success in selling my wares. Customer service has been nothing less than fantastic anytime I have a question or can't figure out how to accomplish something.

It also has to be said that is company is NOT a publicly traded company, therefore it DOES NOT have to answer to anyone but the site owners, who by the way own other businesses as well including a car dealership(which may explain the vehicles used to attend different shows/events with OLA advertising on them)

Every site has some form of Affiliate Program, ebay itself just recently discontinued it's affiliate program. Most every alternative site has an affiliate program in one form or another. One only needs to read the terms of service on any site to confirm this.

As for this persons take of the chat boards, what can I say...FREEDOM of SPEECH is an inalienable right in the USA. Besides, if you cant take the heat, stay out f the kitchen. Or in other words, if you don't like whats being said, you always have the right not to read it.

Personally, I have never joined a site without going over the terms of service first and thoroughly understanding them. It sounds as if the original poster of this opinion did not perform their due diligence and now is trying to blame everyone but themselves for their ignorance, shame on you.
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#14 Consumer Comment

I think this is a hoax

AUTHOR: Garth - (U.S.A.)

I believe this report is untrue.
I sell on onlineauction.com successfully and have no bad, or poor experiences with
them.
The site conducts it's own s****. /> SEO as well. After all we create our listings not onlineauction.com.

I have also spoken with their staff onmany occasions and recieved only professional
service.

By the nature of the report that I am responding to I am very inclined to believe
this individual wasn't willing to be responsible for his/her own lack of success and
performance.
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