eBay to highlight consumer rightsMove follows pressure from trade watchdog

15 November 2007

 

A laptop

Auction site eBay and several other similar sites are to include more information for consumers about their .

The internet auction giant -  together with eBid, CQout, QXL and Tazbar - will now include advice and links to inform consumers of their rights under the Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs).

Under these rules, online retailers must offer clear information about goods and services before you buy.

They should also provide written confirmation of your purchase after you buy and offer a 'cooling off' period during which time you can cancel an order for any reason and receive a full refund.

Distance selling

You're also entitled to a full refund if goods don't arrive by the date you agreed (if no date was agreed, you're entitled to a refund if goods don't arrive within 30 days), and sites should give a postal and email address you can write to should things go wrong.

The auction sites made the move following talks with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The OFT says shoppers who buy from a business using the 'buy now' option on an auction site have the right to return items under the DSRs for many products, adding that 40% of shoppers who visit auction sites use the 'buy now' option.

Steve Lisseter, Head of Internet Shopping Study Team at the OFT, said: 'We welcome the efforts made by these online auction sites to raise awareness of consumers' rights, and we are also very encouraged by the work they are doing to ensure that businesses using their sites are fully aware of their legal obligations.'