- As part of eBay’s longstanding commitment to consumer safety, the online marketplace has built a new online portal which empowers selected, trusted authorities from around the globe to efficiently report listings for illegal or unsafe items for swift removal.
- Those already onboarded include Westminster City Council Trading Standards, Ofcom, and the Office for Product Safety and Standards, with expansion to other partners on the horizon.
- The platform is in its beta phase, with further functionalities including seller communication to follow in the coming months.
- This is in addition to eBay’s own extensive reporting system and proactive efforts to prevent the listing of prohibited items.
Online marketplace eBay has announced the successful pilot of its Regulatory Portal, as part of its longstanding commitment to consumer safety. The online portal allows participating authorities to flag and take down a listing, outside of the existing consumer reporting facility on site.
This facility is in addition to eBay’s own extensive reporting system and proactive efforts to remove prohibited items and enforce its existing policies.
With Westminster City Council Trading Standards, Ofcom, the Office for Product and Safety Standards (OPSS), and over 50 other authorities around the world already onboarded, the platform has entered its beta phase.
eBay is inviting selected trusted authorities from around the globe to join the taskforce, as part of the essential cooperation needed between governments, authorities, and online marketplaces to ensure consumers can stay safe shopping online.
As the first online marketplace, and one of the world’s largest, eBay has long-standing policies in place by which it governs its site, and a global team of experts working across multiple continents to take down any listings which breach these policies.
eBay’s policies have always been informed and developed by consulting and cooperating with agencies and authorities in various fields.
Now the marketplace is going one step further, as it gives selected trusted authorities the ability to take down any listings from the marketplace themselves, where they have evidence of a risk to consumer safety, without needing approval from eBay.
Eliminating the need for a second level of approval streamlines the process, making product removal more efficient and reducing the risk of harmful products being purchased.
Further functionalities, including the ability to communicate with buyers and sellers through the platform, are to be developed over the coming months.
Wolfgang Weber, eBay’s Global Head of Regulatory, said: “This is an exciting step forward for eBay, globally.
“We are immensely proud of our longstanding and trusted relationship with many Governments, authorities, and NGOs around the world, and this year we are taking the cooperation further, to up the ante with our consumer protection measures.
“There are many challenges which come with policing a marketplace, and while this has always been a priority for us, teamwork between the government, authorities, and marketplaces is needed to ensure consumers can stay safe shopping online”.
Murray Lambell, General Manager, eBay UK said: “The last year has seen an acceleration towards an increasingly digital age, and with online shopping becoming an even greater part of everyone’s lives, we’re pleased to announce this worldwide collaboration where all parties can work towards a common goal of keeping our valued community safe.
“Marketplaces should be taking their responsibility for consumer safety seriously, but collaboration with authorities is vital, and we are proud to be beginning the year with a focus on this. We hope that other players in the industry will follow suit and we can tackle the issue as an industry”.
Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities & Regeneration: “With covid-19 driving much of our shopping online this past year, our role as a local authority in protecting our residents from scams and fraud has had to make a similar switch to the digital world.
By working collaboratively with some of the biggest online shopping sources like eBay UK, our Trading Standards teams have been able to expedite our processes and ensure that our local communities can continue to be safe and have peace of mind when browsing marketplaces and ordering products online.”
NOTES TO EDS
eBay was the first online marketplace. Today, it’s a household name. A regular feature in lists of best loved brands, it connects millions of buyers and sellers, helping customers to find the item they’re looking for from its 1.3 billion listings. With 182 million buyers in 190 markets, trade is fast. The UK website sells a car part every second, and last year the online marketplace saw must-have items like LEGO Harry Potter flying off the virtual shelves every ten seconds.
This incredible interest directly benefits the small businesses who trade on eBay, giving them access to an audience once unthinkable for a small shop on the high street. Throughout its history, eBay has helped many thousands of small businesses to succeed. Small British firms regularly rank in the top five grossing sellers on eBay.co.uk’s biggest trading days like Black Friday, and over one thousand British sellers who started with a shop on eBay are now running million pound businesses, providing jobs to people in their communities.
By partnering with sellers in this way, eBay.co.uk has helped hundreds of thousands of British entrepreneurs over its 24-year history. As a hub of retail in the UK, the marketplace also continues to welcome top brands to the site – including Currys, Halfords, GoPro, Canon and more.
eBay also makes it easy for customers to give to charitable organisations. Using eBay for Charity, sellers can donate a portion of their sales and buyers can shop while supporting their favourite causes – adding to the funds that eBay.co.uk has raised for UK charities to date.
eBay has 182 million active buyers around the world. In the UK, eBay serves 27m Brits a month.
Ofcom’s Use of the Portal
Ofcom is the UK’s independent communications regulator. Part of its role is to protect and manage the UK’s spectrum – the invisible airwaves that support all wireless devices. There are regulations covering the making available of certain types of wireless equipment to ensure they do not interfere with other wireless communications. Ofcom will use the portal as part of its work to tackle the sale and use of equipment that does not meet the regulatory standards and therefore cannot be sold in the UK.