|Thu May 14 2009 22:15:57|
eBay Revises Fakes Policy: Return, not Destroy
By: Ina Steiner
eBay has revised a controversial new policy that required buyers to destroy items they believed were non-authentic. As reported in AuctionBytes Newsflash on Wednesday, the new eBay Purchase Protection Policy stated that: "When buyers file a claim alleging that the item is not authentic, we require the buyer to destroy the item. Once a buyer confirms destruction of the item, we will reimburse the buyer or provide an eBay coupon."
Late today, eBay came out with an announcement that it is now requiring that sellers give assurances to buyers concerned about authenticity, and, if they are still not satisfied, buyers must return the items to the sellers. However, the seller may not relist that item on any eBay site, and it appears the seller may also get a strike on their record. And there are still some circumstances in which eBay would require the buyer to destroy an item.
eBay has been researching answers to my questions about the Purchase Protection Policy I sent early this week, including whether the original provision applied to all sellers, and whether there were cases where eBay would instruct a buyer to destroy an item without having it authenticated.
This evening, after eBay announced the revisions on the Announcement Board, eBay spokesperson John Pluhowski told me, "Ina, you raised questions, and we looked at them very seriously, and realized, I think, after examining the policy very closely, that revisions were in order to ensure that the policy was, in effect, providing an equitable solution to protecting our sellers - to protecting sellers and buyers."
I'm waiting to hear back on several follow-up questions, including under what circumstances eBay would request the destruction of the item by an authorized third party, and who that third party is;
And whether a dispute over authentication would mean the seller gets a strike - In the Announcement Board post, it says, "Covered claims that meet the conditions and are not excluded will count as a violation by the seller of our prohibited and infringing items policy."
Why did eBay come out with the original policy in the first place? I heard from sellers there was "quite a stink" raised after our article exposed the policy, particularly by those selling on consignment who could ill afford to have authentic items that did not belong to them destroyed! I think eBay heard loud and clear that the "destroy policy" was untenable and would force some sellers off the site.
I will be publishing more on this policy as information becomes available.
Revised User Agreement
eBay's New Policy Instructs Buyers to Destroy Fakes - AuctionBytes Newsflash, May 13, 2009