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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 103 - September 21, 2003 - ISSN 1528-6703     2 of 9

Survey Says Fraud is a Problem on eBay and Other Sites


By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com

September 21, 2003
 



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The majority (98%) of AuctionBytes readers who took a survey this month believe fraud is a problem on eBay, and 95.7% believe eBay is not the only site where online fraud takes place.

In the last issue (September 7), we asked readers to complete a survey about eBay fraud. While 98% of respondents think fraud is a problem on eBay, most (65.8%) characterized it as a minor problem. However, 95.7% do not believe that eBay is the only site where online fraud takes place.

What can eBay do to help prevent fraud on its site? 79.5% said eBay should respond to user complaints about fraudsters. 62.4% of respondents said eBay should require stricter verification when registering an account. Respondents would also like to see eBay improve its feedback system (47.9%).

We asked a question about how the media (newspapers, TV, etc.) report about fraud; 47.9% think the media don't report enough about fraud, 26.5% think they are too negative; while 20.5% feel they do a balanced job.

What kinds of stories would respondents like to see the media report? 65% said stories about the challenges of selling on eBay, and almost half would like to see stories about great shopping opportunities. 42.7% would like to see the media report on stories about successful sellers.

Results of eBay-Fraud Survey of AuctionBytes-Update Readers, September 2003

Is fraud a problem on eBay?

  • 65.8% Minor Problem
  • 32.5% Major Problem
  • 1.7% Other
  • 0% Not a problem

Other:
I believe it to be major in some items
Screen sellers, then not a problem
It is a SIGNIFICANT problem

What could eBay do to help prevent fraud on its site?

  • 79.5% Respond to user complaints about fraudsters
  • 63.2% Keep known fraudsters off the site
  • 62.4% Require stricter verification when registering an account
  • 47.9% Improve feedback system
  • 35% Work more closely with law enforcement
  • 10.3% Other
  • 2.6% Nothing, eBay does a fine job of preventing fraud on its site

Comments:
Post known fraudsters on public board
Require eBay ID verify on all newbies
Buyers won't buy if not comfortable
Accounts are hijacked
Scandalous non-egalitarian system exists
Let buyers know seller has been suspended
Do you think they REALLY care???

Other:
Provide complete protection for buyers
Screen User IDs for problems
All of the above
Stop denying the problems exist!
Allow phone #s to contact
Add seller option to block foreign bidders
Need experience identifying hijacked
Stop chargebacks on non-American sellers
Make sure that NARUs cannot re-register
eliminate "private" auctions
Keep eBay users better informed
Stricter for high ticket items

In reporting about eBay fraud, do you think the media (newspapers, TV, etc.):

  • 47.9% Don't report enough about fraud
  • 26.5% Are too negative
  • 20.5% Do a balanced job
  • 5.1% Other

Comments:
They also give a lot of bogus advice
Squeaky wheel gets grease syndrome!
Only bad news makes for good television!

Other:
Are generally badly misinformed
No opinion about media.
Not sure
No opinion
Not current on what the media is doing

What kinds of eBay-related news stories would you like to see the media report?

  • 65% Stories about the challenges of selling on eBay
  • 49.6% Stories about great shopping opportunities
  • 42.7% Stories of successful sellers
  • 36.8% Stories about eBay's unfair treatment of its users
  • 30.8% Stories about eBay's positive treatment of its users
  • 8.5% Other

Other:
Fraud
How to avoid bad buyers and sellers
No opinion about media
All of the above
What eBay is doing to prevent fraud
No opinion
Feedback policy problems & deadbeats
All of the above
I don't think eBay stories are newsworthy
Impossibility of contacting eBay
Fraudulent sellers/buyers prosecuted

Is eBay the only site where online fraud takes place?

  • 95.7% No
  • 4.3% Yes

Comment:
More so because of its popularity!
eBay is just the largest/best known.
It's a very lucrative target, however.
Yahoo sales rarely completed without trouble!
More rampant on eBay because it is bigger

Other:
Don't use other sites - no opinions
I am sure not.
Have not tried other sites
Don't know
It's the only one that's newsworthy.

Do you buy or sell on eBay?

  • 89.7% Sell
  • 88.9% Buy
  • 4.3% Other
About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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