eBay Challenges EU Trading Laws

Consumers not getting best deal

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eBay is lobbying the European Parliament over trading laws it calls "last century" that are preventing its customers from potential savings.

The online auction company said that traditional manufacturers  are using outdated regulatory laws to restrict the impact of online trading.

"Entrenched manufacturers want to continue making money as they did in the 1950s, but the business models have to adapt for the new economy," eBay’s head of EU liaison Paloma Castro told the BBC.

She said changing the rules would help its customers. "Currently it is estimated that online shopping puts 17% of savings in the average household basket. Looking at these rules could make those savings even better," said Castro.

eBay has the interest of two parliamentary commissioners, Meglena Kuneva, who is in charge of consumer affairs and the internal market, and services commissioner Charlie McCreevy. It also has the backing from representatives from the four main political groups in the European parliament.

eBay’s Call for Action paper will be released on Tuesday June 24, and requests the EU examine regulatory framework for distribution agreements, trademark rules and service and consumer provision.

It wants to end the practice of charging different prices in different regions and replace it with a single worldwide prices for items.

"With the weak dollar, loads of people are looking to buy goods online from the US but, in most cases, you can’t do it," said Castro.

eBay says that a review of the rules surrounding online trade will be examined by the European Parliament, but knows that revising the rules that limit cross-border and international trading will take longer to change.

The company plans to create a coalition of online traders by the end of the year.

"At this stage we just want to raise awareness with consumers that they aren’t getting the best deal," said Castro.

eBay Challenges EU Trading Laws
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  • http://www.yummyfood.net Guido

    15% to 20% VAT (value added tax) plus 3% to 8% custom fees,  craziness of shipping costs, and the risk of the box being lost, makes any purchase from the US to EU unappealing.
    Moreover, European distributors will be not happy at all, because their prices are generally 30% 40%  higher and they would loose a huge amount of business.
    I guess Ebay is not gonna get anything from the EU burocrats.


  • http://www.2bjewelled.com Bjewelled

    Just as a matter of interest but, what exactly do eBay trade that is being restricted by the EU?

    As for single, world wide, pricing they should perhaps try putting their own house in order first!  (e.g. make Paypal fees the same for US and UK  account holders.)

    The whole idea is nonsensical, anyway, since, assuming it is highly unlikely that we would see world wide harmonization of import duties and fees, etc., it would, presumably require traders themselves to be responsible for all such charges and result in higher prices for everybody.

    @ Guido,

    I cannot imagine US manufacturers or distributors being too happy either – what would, say, General Motors reaction be if they were told they had to sell their vehicles at the same price in the EU as thay do in the US?



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