If the seller states 'The winning bidder has the option to replace the brand new frames and foundation with older ones that are bee populated at no extra costs - please confirm your choice after the auction' would this not work?
It strikes me he has not sold much, if anything before so that is why he has a 0 rating - no feedback yet.
He is not auctioning bees so it is not a loophole, it is just a hive. He says if you want bees then to contact him after, so one presumes he then has them at a set price. Now whether that is OK with Ebay is up to them.
People do sell bees on auction sites, not necessarily as an auction but as a set price and they don't have to be dodgey. I bought a queen on one such site recently and the seller is well regarded by some people on this forum. So far I am very satisfied with the queen and the way she was delivered.
The good thing about the forum is most members who sell bee's can offer to give out usernames of other members who have purchased bees from them in the past so customers can get feedback,good or bad.
Trouble with Ebay is you could end up with one of those special Nuc's we have been reading about all year on the forum,3 frames of foundation with one frame of brood and one of stores and not a queen in sight.
I visited a member a few months back who had purchased a Nuc like I described as her first bee's,how do you politely say "You have been ripped off" when its a new beeks first bee's? I would like to think its just some old timers ignorance but sometimes I am not so sure.
When i bought my queen I contacted the seller and managed to get an address in case I could collect. As he was forthcoming with that and some other information I felt a bit more secure. I don't buy on the Internet unless I have contact details.
I forgot to add the price of the frames, they were selling at £27 for 50, so £5.94 for the 11 with the hive, the foundation was about £7.50 for 10 sheets, it wasn't in the sale, this is the second hive this person has has sold on ebay that I am aware of.