E-Bay Collects 750,000 Signatures

eBay campaign
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The petition is presented at 8am

I am very pleased to be part of E-Bay’s drive for greater fairness in on-line selling.  Having gained three quarters of a million signatures on their petition, E-Bay held a breakfast meeting with me as the main speaker this morning to launch their campaign to reduce over-pricing by designer branded goods.  

This morning’s meeting organised by myself and E-Bay looked at getting fairer prices for everyone buying the everyday products they need. The way things stand at present just makes everyone poorer. It hurts consumers. It costs jobs and damages businesses.

High prices harm everyone. This is not just about expensive handbags and luxury products – it is about things bought by millions of consumers all over Europe. It’s also about new goods not just second-hand; parents getting sporting goods, shoes, school bags and other equipment for their children and general consumers buying cycling helmets, ski equipment, mp3 players, computers and household appliances like washing machines.  A particular problem is prams and baby goods where suppliers make on-line selling practically impossible by refusing to let on-line sellers have access to their products.

Research has shown that prices of new products in online stores are on average 17% lower than those in high-street stores. The average price saving on Telecoms for French, British and German customers is 48%.  The average saving on clothes and accessories is 31%. For computers it is 32%. For books it is 25%.  Figures like these cannot be overlooked.

I’m not going to name and shame individual companies who seek to keep the price of their goods artificially high and prevent on-line selling.  However, I assure you that it reads like a directory of some of the biggest names that we are all familiar with.  

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I was pleased to meet with John Pemberton, a UK seller who has suffered because of "selective selling."

The internet redistributes power to the consumer in ways we could not have envisaged only a few years ago.  The presentation of this unprecedented petition should be a wake up call to the Commission to think again about its review of these regulations. They are ten years out of date now and need to be made fit for the 21st century.  The manufacturers and traditional retailers will be lobbying the Commission, working hard to protect themselves from having to compete with on a fair basis with internet businesses.  Those of us who want a fair deal for consumers must lobby just as hard, and today we made a racing start.

It was very good to see three sellers at the breakfast today. Thank you for speaking up and for your bravery.  I know it isn’t easy or without risk to your business.  Many on-line sellers are small and medium sized enterprises who deserve our support.  On-line selling also allows women to run businesses from home and thereby spend more time with their families.

One of the reasons, albeit not the most important one, I am so keen to support E-Bay and on-line selling is my own personal experience.  E-Bay saved my bacon when I needed a fancy hat for a wedding.  Not being prepared to spend lots of money on an item I would more than likely only wear once, I turned to E-Bay where I found the very thing which was subsequently delivered the next day.  In fact, I liked the hat so much that it’s now had more than the expected one outing.

The E-Bay campaign has only just begun.  We now need to lobby the European Commission to change the rules.  I will continue to blog as the story unfolds.


campaign, Competition, europe, Free Trade

If you are an eBay user, you may already have received the following e-mail.  If you have, as a believer that everyone should be able to buy and sell on the internet, I would urge you to sign the eBay petition.  If you have not seen the e-mail before, it would be great if you would join eBay and sign their petition. (You never know you may also find some bargains to snap up!)   EBay has pioneered the concept on freedom on the internet and I believe they deserve our support.  I can assure you that in my MEP capacity I will be doing all I can to stop the unfair trade practices outlined in the email.    


EBay was built on a simple idea – that we could empower people by building a global trading platform where practically anyone could buy or sell practically anything. But that idea is now under threat from certain brand owners and manufacturers who are trying to turn back the clock and block the sale of their products on online marketplaces and other websites across the EU.

Ultimately, what is at stake is the right of sellers to compete fairly in the wider online marketplace, and the right of buyers to be able to access the best possible deals from the widest possible selection of goods.

Some of these brand owners argue that their objective is to prevent the sale of counterfeits on eBay.  But thanks to our work with 31,000 other rights owners, only 0.15% of listings last year were detected or
reported as potentially counterfeit. The real aim of these brands is to block the sale of all their products on our site – regardless of whether such items are new or second-hand, genuine or fake. It’s not just luxury items that are affected, but also everyday items like children’s toys, electronic equipment, lawnmowers and pushchairs. And if we want to prevent other brand owners from following suit, we need to act now.

We are therefore calling on European policymakers to amend EU competition law to stop these unfair trade practices. But we need your help to persuade them to take action. If you would like to join our
campaign against online trade barriers, please sign our petition.

Your eBay Team


Women's Rights

Good to see Keith Vaz MP calling for Rapelay to be banned following my previous posting. I qtotally agree as it still seems that it is being sold on Ebay. There are a lot of very offensive comments and opinions on this site which advises people how to buy from Ebay, so be aware when you click here.  I will be looking into how I can raise this issue at the European Parliament. Eurogamer should not be helping people play out such sick thoughts.