Watchdog endorse eBay, slam Amazon

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What a change a year makes, last year on December 5th BBC Watchdog ran a story on eBay focusing on counterfeit goods. One year on and Watchdog have today praised the steps eBay have taken to combat counterfeits and fraud.

Watchdog have for several years run ecommerce stories in the run up to the Christmas season. It’s no surprise that today’s program, which falls on the busiest shopping day of the year, again looked at online selling. This year however it’s Amazon that’s under the spotlight while the squeaky clean eBay is held up as a shining example of a safe online marketplace.

Amazon were introduced as “one of the most trusted names in shopping”, but using Amazon Markeplace (where individuals can sell new and used items alongside those sold by Amazon) was compared to “clicking away from Amazon’s highstreet, and into it’s backstreet”.

Many of the problems that have burdened eBay in the past and now trouble Amazon were raised – off site fraudulent emails requesting payment via moneygram and sales of illegal offensive weapons shipped from abroad were both highlighted.

“The systems that Amazon has in place at the moment to stop counterfeit goods on their site are woefully inadequate. Compared with eBay, Amazon doesn’t seem to have any system in place that could quickly remove counterfeit goods from its sites”.
– Max Vetter from the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau

Brian McBride, MD of Amazon UK appeared on the program and insisted that they “Don’t tolerate, don’t condone, don’t support” illegal or counterfeit products. He explained that they check the site every day and as of midday today there were no illegal products for sale.

The program did explain that items sold by Amazon are totally safe, and even from Amazon marketplace paying with Amazon payments will cover buyers for up to 90 days.

In a lighthearted moment Nicky Campbell handed Brian some information on how eBay keep predators at bay. This year eBay can breathe a sigh of relief that it’s not them in the firing line but for Amazon being told their site “isn’t so much as a marketplace as a jungle” has got to hurt.

20 Responses

  1. In my opinion eBay has made great strides in removing fake goods from their site. Some fake seller I used to monitor have gone from the site.

    Its damm difficult to get an Amazon Pro account – so business sellers people should not be concerned with. Maybe the casual seller – there are issues…dont know. One thing for sure Watchdog are not the all seeing and all knowing. Glad to see some + publicity for ebay – they deserve it….lots of hard work behind the scenes ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. So what. Someone bunged N.Campbell a couple of strippers and a free villa. It’s car crash TV at best.

    List and hope is the only way forward ๐Ÿ˜†

  3. Considering that eBay is now stressing how cheap they are for brand new goods and the way they are stressing their sellers to make good on that promise, I can’t see that helping the counterfeit situation much.

  4. Unfortunately, Watchdog’s interest in the www is limited to aspects of trading which make great telly for ummm…..Watchdog.

    Never fear, they’ll be back for the traditional whipping boy come New Year.

    I actually thought the guy from Amazon gave a good account of himself compared to previous representations from you know who…..

  5. Yeah, praising Ebay’s efforts for reducing counterfeiting done only because they got their arses handed to them in lawsuits and they knew it could be the end of the site if all the companies started suing them.

    Unfortunately, Ebay does a lousy job with everything else they do besides counterfeits.

  6. #6 am I the only person who thinks ebay is a good?! ebay started their trust and safety way before the lawsuits – its been a natural progression, keeping infront of the scammers. Development work takes time. I think ebay is a very safe place.

    eBay has changed my life – and allowed me to make a living doing something I love and not working for some dumb ass who thinks they know it all, and actually know nothing!

  7. Perhaps watchdog could do a storey “I was shopping in Marks & Spencer’s and some one nicked my Oyster Card”. The MD of M&S + Boris Johnson should be held accountable!

  8. #8 Hah! You’re not far wrong!

    I have to admit I found it amusing that they’d hit Amazon sellers instead of eBay this year though, but they acquitted themselves well. It’s the age old problem that as soon as a naive buyer breaks the rules and trades off the site that the biggest problems start, and that’s something that eBay have addressed well by removing emails at least until a transaction has taken place. Amazon have traditionally had all comms through their site so it’s a bit of a surprise that it’s so easy to take a trade off-Amazon for a money transfer scam ๐Ÿ™

  9. Not that I wish any ill upon Amazon or its traders, but its nice to see eBay out of the firing line for once and that the spotlight is on alternative sites. Their PR team should take some pride in being recognised for their efforts in countering fraud.

    Whilst eBay was Watchdog’s favourite whipping boy the site was making more strides against counterfeits than any other ecommerce platform. It was therefore inevitable that as other sites grew and scammers found it harder to make a success of eBay these criminals would prey on other platforms. For me it was always a case of so what are Amazon, Etsy and the like doing to protect their customers and their clients?

  10. #10 Wonder if it had anything to do with the enormous amount of grief they got from eBay Powersellers emailing them to complain about their coverage last year and especially the year before? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  11. Ebay against counterfits have been good, although some of their VEROs just remove and remove anything. MIcrosoft for one, i had some full retail versions of their products and they removed them, after weeks of me emailing to ask why with no reply they asked me for proof it was genuine, so i duly obliged and sent them up close pics of all the packaging. 2 weeks later i get a standard reply “their counterfit” i cant do anything, i have the right to sell them ( EU law on trade of goods) and if i try to list them again theyll remove them again and i have to fill in the “Ebay education on intelectuall rights tutorial”

    Try listing a lot of “designer goods” and they will get removed, even with full bags, receipts etc.

    The best one from someone i know sold “sky blue paper card” in different size packs etc and SKY removed them because in the title it said SKY and CARD although it was clearly paper and not dodgy sky cards. VEROs can just, “i dont like this listing”, bang its gone

  12. It’s about time Amazon got exposed. I have gotten ripped off there one too many times. Never again. Thankfully eBay is doing a better job of cleaning the site of fraudsters and crooks.

  13. #9, Chris, You don’t sell on Amazon then or you’d know they did it long before eBay did. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The only time in the last year I’ve seen a customer’s email address is on a refund.

  14. #14 The surprise to me is that it appears fairly easy for a fraudster to get a buyer to pay off-Amazon inspite of Amazon controlled communications. I wouldn’t dream of paying on Amazon by anything other than through Amazon and it’s bizarre that buyers are being fooled into doing so

  15. I Just watched the Watchdog program on Iplayer and it all boils down to peoples stupidity in not following the instructions that amazon give you when paying for things.

    I have no sympathy for people who dont follow pretty simple instructions and end up getting ripped off.

  16. the public gets what it deserves
    if your determined to be stupid there is many others out there that will do their best to help you,
    it does not matter what or where the market place is

    watchdog is just a tv tabloid, a red top, looking for headlines and viewing figures,

  17. Watchdog researchers used the Amazon website to purchase CS gas and pepper spray – both of which are illegal to buy, sell or carry in the UK.

    if this is so why did they do so ?
    have they some sort of immunity from the law? are they exempt?

  18. Well my partner wanted to buy a ยฃ400 guitar, it’s a Fender so the price is going up because of the poor exchange rates, and the only one he could find at a reasonable price in the colour he wanted was on Amazon market place, but he said he didn’t want to buy it after watching that program. I explained to him that it was fine as long as you paid through Amazon with a credit card, but he said no, after seeing the program he didn’t want to buy anything from Amazon Marketplace. The result was he bought his second choice colour from a b&m shop. So that program lost Amazon at least one ยฃ400 sale.

  19. I bought a fake memory card through Amazon marketplace. I told Amazon and within a very short period of time I had a refund. So I don’t see any big problem with amazon. On the other hand I bought a dodgy memory card from Ebay, which suddenly packed up with pictures of my little ones first Christmas and birthday, and had no recourse to a refund. From others I also understand it takes ages to get issues resolved through PayPal. As one of the others mentioned there are many things that Ebay does that are not above aboard. I was recently a victim of making a purchase trying to use a voucher code they gave me, only to find it didn’t work. I wasted money on phone calls and they confirmed I was eligible, but did not resolve the issue. I will NEVER trust eBay as a company again.


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