Auction sites urged to come clean on customers rights

The Office of Fair trade has convinced a number of auction sites like Ebay and Ebid to provide clearer indications of consumers and businesses rights and obligations under the UK consumer statutory laws.

These aforementioned websites will now display advice and links to inform consumers about their rights under the Distance Selling Regulations or DSRs.

Many items on Ebay for example do not carry enough information regarding the actual state of items being sold and most do not have a cooling off period when the customer can decide to cancel an order for any reason and receive a full refund.

Things however take an ugly turn many items sold on Auction sites are second hand items and by their very nature, it is quite difficult to determine whether a product is faulty or has reached the end of its usable life.

In many cases, unscrupulous businesses on Ebay charge a high percentage stocking fee as well as asking the buyer to ship the item at his/her own cost.

According to consumer website Which, "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 with 40% of shoppers who visit auction sites use the 'buy now' option."