ebay & Co • 20.06.2017

"Support in the fight against fraudulent shoppers"

Interview with Attorney Yvonne Bachmann about the German Händlerbund eBay Study 2017

Selling products on portals like Ebay or Amazon seems to be easy at first glance. However, retailers should consider some things to be legally on the safe side. We talk with Yvonne Bachmann about pitfalls and best practice.

Yvonne Bachmann has been assisting members of the Händlerbund since 2013...
Yvonne Bachmann has been assisting members of the Händlerbund since 2013
Source: Händlerbund

In the recently published eBay study by Händlerbund (English: Retail Federation), retailers criticized the lack of seller protection on eBay. What does this refer to and how could this problem be solved?

We surveyed more than 1,000 eBay sellers about their experiences with the online marketplace in our Händlerbund eBay Study 2017. While the high profile and scope of eBay are listed as great advantages, sellers state that they frequently would welcome more support from eBay. Seller protection comes into play when there are issues pertaining to unfair ratings, non-paying buyers or damaged return items. Yet while the legislator offers extensive protection for consumers and grants them many rights, online retailers barely have any recourse against the aforementioned risks. The eBay study participants primarily want more support from the marketplace in the fight against rude or fraudulent buyers. According to statements by the surveyed eBay sellers, disputes are often resolved in favor of buyers and only rarely in the interest of sellers.

What are common stumbling blocks for retailers who want to sell their merchandise on eBay?

As a retail federation (Händlerbund), we support online retailers in legal matters but also when it comes to online marketing or customer service. The most common mistakes made in the legal realm pertain to copyrights and competition law and can result in major consequences. Ebay retailers are subject to extensive reporting requirements, which along with legal information and right of withdrawal and transaction cancellation, also necessitate general terms and conditions. Legislative texts should be tailored to the offered product portfolio. For example, there are special provisions pertaining to the right of withdrawal when it comes to certain products such as food or custom-made items.

One touchy subject is product images. What is important to note in this case?

Online retailers should not be careless, especially when it comes to copyrighted images. Anyone using images from the internet without permission is infringing on copyrights and can be reprimanded with a written warning. The only alternative is member-created product images or lawfully obtained images. Brand name manufacturers, in particular, pay close attention and only let authorized retailers use their brand name and respective images. Violations are quickly punished with 4 figure fines.

To me, it is very important to view an extensive, detailed description of the items I consider purchasing online. How do retailers ensure they provide relevant information rather than create an “illusion“?

There are three reasons why it is crucial to provide a relevant and applicable product description: if product descriptions are untrue and incomplete, the legislator acts on the assumption that this is consumer deception and fraud. Item descriptions must not include anything that is not actually being sold – this also applies to product photos. In addition, detailed descriptions increase product search hit quotes and maximize the visibility of items. At the end of the day, customers are obviously pleased if they get detailed information and can be sure to have found the right item when they place their order.

How do I as a retailer make buyers feel good and safe when they shop?

A good feeling plays a big role, especially in online retail. We recommend seller seals that identify the store as legally compliant and certified and instantly communicate security to consumers. Customer reviews are ideally suited to build trust. Many customers solely rely on the ratings of other buyers when they make a purchase.  That’s why many positive reviews are a great asset and advertisement for someone‘s online store.

Are entries actually being checked? Or does eBay only act in the event of any misconduct? What happens if the retailer does not conform to the required aspects?

If sellers violate policies – even unintentionally – eBay is aware of it because certain algorithms automatically identify the mistakes plus other competitors strictly monitor their rivals and look out for and report infringements. Online retailers frequently seek our legal advice if violations have been committed and consequences are looming. More specifically, this might be the suspension of the eBay account or a warning is being issued by eBay. At any rate, this involves a lot of aggravation and costs.

Can you briefly sum up the aspects and rules retailers should best comply with when they advertise their products?

My recommendation is to get informed and communicate and to accept help. When you launch your online store, you should start with substantive legislative texts and get informed about eBay’s selling basics and policies. The Händlerbund provides an information portal, seminars and a forum that address a variety of topics – for instance, returns. Our retailers get initial recommendations and subsequently compare notes with like-minded people at info events. After all, selling should –above all- be fun and result in success.

Does eBay itself offer thorough consultation services that address the specific topics we just discussed?

No, unfortunately not. Ebay rarely provides more than standard information. The site offers a customer service option for eBay retailers, which received a C rating in our study. Recently, the online marketplace also publishes video tutorials, designed to assist retailers/sellers with the technical aspects of their eBay accounts. Further assistance for online retailers is primarily available at information portals such as onlinehaendler-news.de, at workshops or in Facebook groups. The Händlerbund, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) or corporate consultants are also great points of contact.

Interview: Natascha Mörs, iXtenso

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: No-checkout store of the future: Successful retail projects...
06.08.2018   #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk #payment systems

No-checkout store of the future: Successful retail projects

Fine-tuning of the major rollouts has also started in Germany

Robots as sales consultants, REWE’s self-checkout at the neighborhood store or digital price tags. Slowly but surely, customers get used to and increasingly accept these innovative supermarket concepts. But are customers ready to take the next ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Payment solutions in the self-service market...
13.09.2018   #payment systems #self-checkout systems

Payment solutions in the self-service market

CCV and PAX are forming a joint venture

CCV, one of the largest payment service providers and suppliers of payment solutions in Europe, and PAX Technology Limited, subsidiary of PAX Global Technology Limited (“PAX Global”) (Stock Code: 00327.HK), one of the leading electronic ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Bygg-Ole in Sweden streamlines stores with electronic shelf labels...
12.10.2018   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #electronic shelf labelling

Bygg-Ole in Sweden streamlines stores with electronic shelf labels

For more efficiency and free up time for more promotional activities

With the goal of saving time and money, the DIY retailer Bygg-Ole in Stockholm has implemented the solution Breece electronic shelf labels, which will help the DIY retailer to increase efficiency and free up time for more promotional ...

Thumbnail-Photo: App-based self-checkout
23.08.2018   #mobile payment #self-checkout systems

App-based self-checkout

Edeka offers mobile self-scanning with snabble

Snabble introduces its technology to the stores of Edeka Rhein-Ruhr. Customers will be able to scan items with their smartphone while shopping and pay at payment-terminals at the exit. First store launched will be Edeka Paschmann in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Top-Toy strengthens stores with digital initiatives...
02.10.2018   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

Top-Toy strengthens stores with digital initiatives

Digital initiatives to boost the stores and ensure competitiveness

A highly competitive market with frequent campaigns such as Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas puts great demands on retailers. This is also the case with Top-Toy, the leading Nordic toy group, which operates the Toys "r" ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Mobile payment service
20.08.2018   #mobile payment #customer satisfaction

Mobile payment service

Mall of America® welcomes chinese consumers

CITCON, the leading cross-border mobile payment and marketing company announced today its partnership with Mall of America®, the nation's largest entertainment and retail complex. The CITCON cross-border mobile payment solution will be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Marketing automation: The USP of the online world...
25.09.2018   #online trading #customer satisfaction

Marketing automation: The USP of the online world

How to successfully develop a personalized sales approach almost automatically

Every day, marketers grapple with a mixture of database, web analytics, communication, workflows, and CRM synchronization. Processes today can be summarized, analyzed and optimized with the help of marketing automation - for a personalized sales ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Toshiba is the leader in EPOS technology
18.10.2018   #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk #self service terminals

Toshiba is the leader in EPOS technology

Nearly 50 percent growth in self checkout market share

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (TGCS), the global market share leader in installed retail point of sale (EPOS) technology, has rapidly-grown its worldwide self-checkout (SCO) market share by 46 percent, according to research and consulting ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Kaufland relies on state-of-the-art technology...
07.11.2018   #pos systems #retail

Kaufland relies on state-of-the-art technology

With an innovative POS system by AURES Technologies

Kaufland offers a completely new shopping experience with ist new store concept. The markets convince with their new, noble and highquality appearance. Modern colors combined with light wood and a new lighting concept create a pleasant atmosphere. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New cash management solutions for the convenience sector...
08.11.2018   #cash management #cash handling systeme

New cash management solutions for the convenience sector

APG Cash Drawer partners with MSP Systems

APG Cash Drawer, a fast-growing global manufacturer of cash management solutions, announced today its new partnership with MSP Systems, a leading EPOS technology provider for the convenience sector in the UK.  MSP is now offering the SMARTtill ...

Supplier

Verifone (UK) Limited
7 Cowley Business Park, High Street
UB8 2AD Cowley, Uxbridge
Superdata EDV-Vertrieb GmbH
Superdata EDV-Vertrieb GmbH
Ruhrstr. 90
22761 Hamburg
AURES Technologies GmbH
AURES Technologies GmbH
Maisacherstr. 118
82256 Fürstenfeldbruck
CCV Deutschland GmbH
CCV Deutschland GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen