Boosting Consumer Trust

At a Glance

eBay protects users and the platform’s integrity by taking significant measures to prevent illegal items from being sold on eBay.

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Being a trusted marketplace used by hundreds of millions of people across the world requires robust measures against illegal and prohibited items. eBay has hence developed strong internal processes and technologies as well as close partnerships with law enforcement and other relevant stakeholders to prevent illegal goods from being sold on our marketplace.

Intellectual Property Rights

eBay is founding member of the Stakeholder Memorandum on the Sale of Counterfeit Goods over the internet, which was signed in 2011 and facilitated by the European Commission. The MoU has significantly increased cooperation between the signatories and established a functioning forum for best practices.

Aggregated results of Key Performance Indicators used in the context of the MoU show that online marketplaces have built successful tools to prevent counterfeit items from being offered for sale on their platforms. In fact, the latest public MoU figures indicate that – out of all infringing listing removals – marketplaces take down 97,4% proactively, based on their own tools and investigations. Only 2,6% of takedowns follow a notification from a third party (such as brand, users, or government authority).

We also work with IP rights owners to protect the intellectual property rights of third parties and to provide our members with a safe place to buy and sell. We created the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program so that intellectual property owners can easily report listings that infringe their rights.

In addition to receiving reports from eBay members, government agencies and other third-party experts, we proactively monitor listings for illegal items. We use a rules-based filtering system combined with manual review where necessary by Customer Service teams. 

Unsafe Products and Other Prohibited Items

For any prohibited items, we have a ‘Report Item’ link on each eBay listing whereby any eBay member can report an item and select the relevant policy they think it violates. These items are placed for review and action by our Customer Service team. 

In 2018, eBay (together with Alibaba/AliExpress, Amazon and Rakuten-France) also signed a Product Safety Pledge with the European Commission for faster removal of dangerous products sold on their online marketplaces.

As part of this pledge, we committed to the following measures:

  • React within two working days to authorities' notices made to the companies' contact points to remove listings offering unsafe products.
  • Provide a clear way for customers to notify dangerous product listings.
  • Consult information on recalled/dangerous products available on the EU Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products.
  • Provide specific single contact points for EU Member State authorities for the notifications on dangerous products and for the facilitation of communication on product safety issues.
  • Take measures aimed at preventing the reappearance of dangerous product listings already removed.
  • Provide information/training to sellers on compliance with EU product safety legislation, require sellers to comply with the law, and provide sellers with the link to the list of EU product safety legislation.

In addition, all four online marketplaces committed to working with the European Commission to assess the progress made on the commitments every six months.

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