Thanks to this weekend's long-awaited premiere of Girlboss, the Netflix original comedy loosely based on the life of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, your weekend plans likely consisted of marathoning all thirteen episodes of the semi-biographical show's first season. While the semi-fictional Sophia (played by Britt Robertson) finds success on eBay, her account later gets suspended. So wait, why was Sophia's eBay account suspended on Girlboss?
As it turns out, Amoruso actually did get suspended from eBay in real life, and she even wrote about it in the eighth chapter of her best-selling book #Girlboss. She wrote that she was using an external link on her listings was the actual reason that she was suspended from the website. eBay's rules state that a link may only be used "solely for the purpose of selling the item, and not for general business advertisements," which better explains the site's decision to shut down Sophia's account.
The show may be a "loose" retelling of the events in Amoruso's life (as the opening of each episode tells the audience), but it looks like they got her departure from eBay right. In the TV show, the episode "Vintage Fashion Forum" deals with an online forum that puts Nasty Gal in the hot seat, as Sophia's store is the subject of an internet witch hunt lead by Remembrance Gail.
The sellers in the thread clearly feel threatened by Nasty Gal because of the business they're losing at the hands of Sophia (not to mention the way she alters the vintage clothing they're trying to preserve), so they get together to discuss the store's ethics. Somewhere in the middle of the episode, it's thrown out there that the use of external website links is prohibited on eBay, though all of the sellers seem to use them anyway.
So by the episode's end, the Nasty Gal haters devise a plan to eliminate their use external links so that Sophia ends up being the only one using one. Then they report her, which leaves her suspended from the site indefinitely.
In real life, Amoruso has become the powerful woman we all could only hope to be (with a best-selling book of the same name to show for it) by taking an everyday eBay business selling flipped vintage clothing and turning it into a multi-million dollar business. And that's how the show begins: Sophia visits a thrift store and finds an $8, vintage motorcycle jacket in perfect condition that she later sells on eBay for almost $1,000.
From then on her business plan pretty much writes itself, and she's able to turn Nasty Gal Vintage into a pretty lucrative business — until she's banned from eBay. Getting ousted from the auction website, though, may have been a blessing in disguise when you think of the heights Nasty Gal has reached since then.
It sucked to watch that community turn on her but, seeing as the way things worked out, I'd say it was for the best.