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eBay Says Making It Liable for Defective Products Would Harm Sellers

eBay
eBay Says Making It Liable for Defective Products Would Harm Sellers

eBay said California’s Product Liability bill AB 3262 would cripple small businesses and harm both sellers and buyers.

eBay wrote about the bill on its government relations eBay Main Street blog on Thursday. It took a different approach than Etsy, whose CEO on Tuesday slammed Amazon for supporting the bill. Josh Silverman wrote on the Etsy corporate blog, “Amazon is taking bold steps to wipe out its competitors by promoting complex, hard-to-comply-with legislation that only they can afford to absorb.”

eBay said its commitment to consumer safety was long-standing and a central value. “While AB 3262 has the well-intended goal of protecting consumers from defective products, the bill would do little to achieve that goal. AB 3262 would instead raise costs and limit choices for California consumers and small businesses that use third-party marketplaces to reach millions of buyers around the world.”

eBay only mentioned Amazon obliquely, writing, “The bill would also have the seemingly unintended consequence of further cementing dominant ecommerce retailers who can absorb these costs.”

The California Legislature has until August 31 to pass the bill, eBay said. “We will continue to keep Main Street Members updated.”

You can find the full post on the eBayMainStreet.com website.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.

7 thoughts on “eBay Says Making It Liable for Defective Products Would Harm Sellers”

  1. It’s about time…

    Given the past issues with hover-boards, lithium ion batteries, and recalled products, California’s Product Liability bill AB 3262 makes sense.

    Venues will now have an incentive to police their site’s for dangerous and/or recalled items.

  2. “While a California court recently found that Amazon could be held liable for sales of products on its marketplace, AB 3262 goes far beyond the court’s decision and applies the same standard to dozens of pure third-party marketplaces that simply enable small businesses to reach customers. This is a one-size-fits-all solution that, during a critical time, would only disadvantage California small and micro businesses who depend on ecommerce to thrive.”

    This is great for California consumers and US Sellers overall as this means that Ebay will now be responsible for the items their Chinese partners sell to their customers. Ebay has never held Chinese sellers accountable for anything, even bad Sellers because of the contract they signed with China and all of the subsequent partnerships they have gotten into with them. If this law passes, Ebay will finally have to do something about their partners and the dangerous products they unload over here. Ebay shifted from being more than just a venue a long time ago and now maybe things are starting to catch up with them.

    Imagine the irony I read when Ebay stated that this one size fits all solution will not be good for their smaller sellers. This while for the past 12+ years that is all Ebay has shoved down Sellers throats, changes that are only good for a few as well as Ebay because they are always “One Size Fits All” with no options for those that it hurts. Welcome to another small but welcome change to the Ebay playing field that they don’t like having to be responsible for!!!

  3. This only applies to California sales; right? And not other states. Because I think it goes too far when it includes both the seller and site. That means you can sue BOTH AMZ and the seller. So which one is responsible? But AMZ should be better at monitoring its site and “new” products esp. like toys.

  4. eBay’s support of eBay sales to US customers of counterfeit goods from large Chinese sellers has been total. I have some pretty funny messages back from eBay on the photos and documentation I provided to eBay about the counterfeit goods I purchased. Several pages of eBay gobbledegook ended in the usual “our investigation will proceed but we can’t tell you if anything happened” while the auctions for those fake goods continued to rack up huge volumes. Basically, eBay holds the position that Chinese sellers are immune to US laws about copyright and fraud. And eBay has no liability for its role in the middle.

    You can typically get a return as a buyer, but the goods are clever enough fakes so that very few returns happen. So the sellers, and eBay, just continue.

    What was most striking was how much volume those sellers logged in a month. Tens of thousands of transactions, millions of dollars. All new manufactured fake versions of US technology products.

    I quickly saw that I was an “ant” complaining about a “whale” to eBay, and all I was likely to do by continuing the dialogue was to get my account banned for some invented reason.

    Over 20 years here on eBay, and some decades of experience in the computer industry, combined to make it clear to me how it worked. But the average consumer would just think that the shiny product seemed slow. The tech behind the fakes was good enough so that most consumers never suspected that the brand name, model, logos, specs, etc. were all completely false.

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