Many of enjoy reading the E-bay guides and there are many great ones that cover a variety of topics. The main purpose of these great guides are to help others make a decision or become more aware of a topic.
However, there are some that see guides as a means to make themselves see more attactive to potentional buyers. The more you write, the more you know... or so the feeling goes. The problems is that many of these people cannot write an original guide. The often restor to copying text (word for word) from other sources on the Internet and claim it as their own.
So, how can we determine if a Guide has been copied? First off, let's look for indications that this "cut and paste" activity is going on.
Warning Signs Of "Copied" Guides
(1) A User Posts Multiple Guides In A Relatively Short Time: When I write a guide, I tend to write it in a word processing program and then post it later when I am happy. I don't tend to wait until I've written five or six of them and then post them as a bunch. If you see a sudden bulk posting of guides from one user under the Recently Added Member Guides section, it's a good time to start looking.
(2) The Guide Uses Text Or Grammar That Is Not The Same As Other Guides/Reviews Written By The User: We all have our style of writing and some of us write well. However, one does not go from average to world class in a matter of days. If you're reading a well-written guide, check out the other guides/reviews the user has written. If the tone/text/grammar is different, chances are it has been copied.
(3) Gut Check: Sometimes, you just have a gut instinct that something is not right.
So know that you think you have found a "cut and paste" job, how can you check? Well, here is what I do:
Searching For Copied Text
(1) Take the first five or six words from the Guide/Review.
(2) Launch Google.
(3) In the Search box, put the five or six words taken from the guide/review and place quotes around it. (e.g. "<text>")
(4) Hit <Enter> and check the results.
When you're checking the results, be sure to be through. There is always the possibility that the guide/review poster is the original owner. However, 90% of the time, they are note. Here are some recent examples of Guide/Review fraud I have found on E-Bay.
Case #1: Multiple Thefts From Ezinearticles
I notice a sudden burst in Guide postings from a particular user. I took the first five words from two of the guides ("Many people have jumped on the eBay" and "Millions of eBay auctions are ignored") and punched them into Google. Both results lead me to Ezinearticles, where each of the guides had been copied word-for-word. I checked all 8 guides and found they all were taken from that website, word-for-word. Now, there was the possibility that the poster wrote all 8 articles for Ezinearticles... but considering each one was written by a different person and by both sexes, I decided this was not the case.
Case #2: Stolen From Wikipedia
Using the same technique with another user, I found the three guides that had posted in rapid succession were taken word-for-word from Wikipedia.org. The subjects of the guides were not even similiar, so I would guessed that the poster has reposted them without person.
Now, what can you do to stop this type of practice? Well, here is what I do.
(1) Report The Guide To E-bay: Use the link at the bottom of the guide and chose the Unauthorized Use of Text And Images option along with Unauthorized Use Of Images and Text.
Together, we can clean up this mess and stop rewarding those that would violate E-Bay Policies