There’s this great looking, and really cheap Kodi box on eBay for $50. Fully Loaded. Jailbroken! What could go wrong?
I love eBay. Well, at least I used to. I’ve got somewhere close to 2000 feedback over the last fifteen years, or so. During that time I’ve met some great sellers, but I’ve also met some real sleazebags.
The trouble is that when you buy computer equipment on eBay, or Craigslist, or even from a yard-sale down the street, you never know what you’re getting.
I’ve heard a lot of horror stories like these:
I ordered an M8S, fully loaded from eBay and I’m having some trouble upgrading it. I get a pop up saying I am running an old version Kodi (14.2) and Genesis add on says I am running an old version and I should use SALT instead, and further more I am not able to add Real Debrid.
Team Kodi pulls eBay listings that confuse buyers
When Team Kodi changed their name from XBMC to Kodi. One of the main ones was so that they could protect their reputation from people and companies who were using the name ‘XBMC’ as part of their company names.
As you can imagine, this caused a lot of confusion.
Back at the end of 2014, Team Kodi contacted eBay to remove listings that it felt were infringing on their trademarks. Dozens of eBay sellers received emails like this:
After reviewing your eBay account, we’ve taken the following action:
– Listings have been removed. A list of items that were removed can be viewed at the bottom of this message.
– We have credited any associated fees to your account.
Your listing was removed after the rights owner notified us that your item violated their copyright. We urge you to contact the rights owner directly for more information about why they requested the removal of your listing and whether you can relist the item.
Please be sure your current and future listings follow these guidelines, keeping in mind that additional violations could result in the suspension of your account.
The rights owner or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the rights owner, XBMC Foundation, notified eBay that this listing violates intellectual property rights. When eBay receives a report of this type of violation, we remove the listing to comply with the law.
We encourage you to contact XBMC Foundation directly if you have any questions.
You can send an email to:
But causing confusion isn’t the only reason that an eBay seller would have their cheap Kodi box listings removed. Officially, those listings were removed for using the Kodi brand as part of advertising a product that violates the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).
Listings can also be pulled for altering the Kodi app without expressed approval from Team Kodi, installing Kodi add-ons that violate the DMCA, or even changing the Kodi logo without consent.
What does a normal “Fully Loaded” Kodi box listing look like? Why is it confusing?
The problem is when the listing promotes Kodi and “Free Movies and Free Sports.”
Team Kodi member Martijn offered a little insight.
“The reasons we started doing these take down request, is the wild growth of eBay (or any other shop) that offer ‘fully loaded XBMC’ products. These gives XBMC a bad name in our view and offer little to no support to the buyers. There is nothing wrong with selling boxes with XBMC or KODi on it. We love that people try to spread these. We just don’t want any one altering it and by that saying ‘Hey this is XBMC which by default gives you a crap load of free movies and TV shows.’”
What are the risks?
People have bought hacked TV boxes that have spyware built in, just waiting for them to enter in their credit card numbers. Other people buy a modded box that mysteriously stops working a few days after they get it. And don’t even get me started on the number of people who tell me they were ripped off after paying 2-3 times what they should for a device that might not even have the hardware specs that it advertises:
How can I tell in advance (before I buy) if I will get an S812 CPU in the device (or a substitution like an 8726)? Is there a list of “trusted” vendors? As I mentioned, so-far it’s been a disaster for me (I haven’t received even ONE box that contains an S812, and have sent them all back)
There are a couple of great places to find Android boxes for sale. If you buy from one of them, you’re getting more for your money. You’re getting support after the sale, including a return policy if it’s defective.
Most importantly, you’re getting piece of mind that your TV box is brand new and spyware-free. No Craigslist seller is going to give you that.
The bottom line is that you may get a great deal on a TV box on eBay or Craigslist.
Or you may get more trouble than you’ve bargained for.
Unless you’re OK with throwing money away, it’s just not worth the risk.