|Tue Feb 7 2006 21:39:29|
Fraud: What's an auction site to do?
By: Ina Steiner
I've given this a lot of thought over the years, and member verification seems like a really good place to start. uBid contacted me to fill me in on their anti-counterfeit initiatives, and it sparked an idea for an article: what are other marketplaces doing to prevent fraud and counterfeits on their sites?
uBid President Bob Tomlinson told me today that its Certified Merchants must go through a rigorous approval process that includes reference and credit checks. All sellers must provide a Federal ID number or social security number. (Btw, uBid also collects payments from buyers and forward the money to sellers, like Amazon does. Some Amazon sellers like this.)
If eBay tightened up the requirements for selling on the site, it would mean a radical change in eBay's offerings. The fact that anyone can sell almost anything increases the risk of fraud, but it also makes eBay a diverse, fun marketplace. While I'm don't think eBay should go as far as uBid in its seller requirements, I do think eBay could do more to make its marketplace safer and to educate consumers about the risks involved.
So if you have thoughts on what, if anything, eBay and other sites should do, let me know. And I'll contact Bid4Assets, PropertyRoom and other sites that have stricter seller requirements to explore the issue further.