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UK Web Auction Sites To Highlight Consumer Rights

Office of Fair Trading (UK)

Internet auction sites agree to highlight consumer rights

Following talks with the OFT, a number of internet auction sites have agreed to include and/or update information for consumers about their rights when buying through their sites.

Online auction sites eBay, eBid, CQout, QXL and Tazbar will now include advice and links on their sites to inform consumers of their rights under the Distant Selling Regulations (DSRs). They have also agreed to inform businesses that use their site as a sales channel of their legal obligations under the E-Commerce Regulations (ECRs).

In June this year the OFT published the findings of its Internet Shopping market study - download a copy here.

The study found that some businesses trading through online auctions were failing to identify themselves as businesses despite 60 per cent of online auction shoppers wanting to know whether they were buying from a business. 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.

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.'


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