eBay in trouble for "25% cheaper than high street" claim

22 April 2009

eBay are mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. Actually, they're not going to do anything about it whatsoever. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) spotlight has fallen onto the online auction site and deemed recent adverts misleading.

A poster campaign had claimed the site was "25% cheaper than the High Street on brand new items" including the cost of postage and packaging. However, eBay didn't check against all major high street stores or even a majority of them, but a select few - including John Lewis and Debenhams - and excluded any that sold furniture, garden goods, luggage, desktop computers and toys.

The ASA countered that consumers would read the posters and believe eBay to be cheaper than all main High Street stores for all new items - obviously not consumers who'd actually ever used eBay, then.

eBay countered the ASA's countering by pointing out the small print on the posters did explain the basis of the 25% claim. The ASA countered the previous countering of their counter by stating the small print was in fact too small, and besides which was contradicted by the poster's main message.

eBay said screw off and took their ball home. Probably


  • bvrthy
    funny with business sense like this: http://tiny.cc/mPW0g lol
  • bod
    I've lost count of the times that I've picked stuff up on the highstreet and bunged it straight onto ebay for a profit. The place is full of muppets who blindly asume that because it's on ebay it must be cheaper than anywhere else and don't bother to compare prices. Having said that, I don't really bother anymore, as it seems to be more and more of a hassle to list anything on there, not to mention the ever increasing fees, it just isn't worth bothering anymore.
  • rune
    Not to mention the fun scam warnings from people who've bought stuff from primark on there at inflated prices and then found out it was cheaper on the high street and then bitch about it in the related guides pages writing such gems as "PRIMARK/ATMOSPHERE RIP OFF MERCHANTS ALL OVER EBAY!!" on the site. Seriously, what do they expect? That the site is cheaper than the high street because it's an online auction site? Or that people are on there to sell at a profit and will charge what ever they want because they know there will be buyers? Seriously, The only time I tend to make a profit selling my stuff when I clear my wardrobe out is if I've bought the items i put on there from a charity shop. I'm a casual ebayer, using it to clear my stuff out every few months and get rid of books, dvds and clothing when I'm not feeling altruistic to take it to the charity shop or freecycle it. Ebay is becoming too restrictive and expensive to list items anyway. Sellers can't leave negative or even neutral feedback if they're shafted by buyers and the non payment procedures are a joke, but buyer's can shitlist sellers with negative feedback. The latest rules and regulations about specifying a mandatory return policy for each seller and forcing sellers to put a specified postage time and costs is just going to mean casual ebayers are just going to leave in the droves because they're going up against the new policies designed for the businesses and powersellers in mind.
    ebay, its had its day, was good once but got greedy with fees and stupid and alienated all its sellers There are now better ways to sell your bits and bobs

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