eBay asks sellers about fraud, privacy and security


eBay conducted a survey to ask sellers about their concerns about privacy and security and ask them to share stories about negative experiences they had where they felt their privacy or security was compromised by out-of-line communication. the eBay platform.

eBay also asked what threat sellers thought big box retailers posed, and asked what the impact would be on their sales if the USPS raised prices more than their normal range.

EBay’s government relations department (“eBay Main Street”) conducted the survey to determine how the policy issues discussed by elected officials could impact online sellers.

eBay told interviewees that the survey would help identify online sellers willing to talk to elected officials about the proposed policies and said, “Your responses will help guide eBay’s future e-commerce policy plans.”

One reader told us about his opinion on the survey:

“My response to the latest eBay Sellers Survey answers the question” Am I opposed to seller information being included in listings “with YES.

“As eBay pushes more and more to distance sellers from buyers, what would derail this the most? Buyers can contact sellers outside of eBay.

“Then when they asked what the government could do, I replied that they could investigate eBay’s cash payment blocking policies and their act of charging a fee if a seller tries to dispute. a fraudulent return. We know that all disputes are on the buyer’s side regardless of the evidence. I would suggest others follow suit.

In May, eBay posted an article on the eBay Main Street blog in which it claimed big box retailers were behind state and federal efforts to pass the INFORM Consumer Law, which it claims it, “would require the public disclosure of commercial information about every product that a seller lists on a marketplace.” The legislation also imposes onerous and discriminatory information collection requirements that harm small businesses and legitimate entrepreneurs selling in online marketplaces.

Here are the questions included in eBay’s Main Street survey:

How many employees do you currently have?

How many annual sales do you make on eBay?

How many annual transactions (number of sales) do you have on eBay?

As you may be aware, Congress and some state legislatures are considering new laws that would require online sellers to disclose their full name, email address, phone number, and physical address next to each product list. Would you oppose any law that would require you to disclose this information online?
(Yes, No, I don’t know / I prefer not to answer)

Which of the following concerns would you have about the proposed new laws described in the previous question? Please select all that apply:

  • Breach of privacy
  • Concern about SPAM or other solicitations
  • Fear for personal safety if contact details are publicly available
  • I have no worries
  • Other

If these proposals were adopted, would you stop selling online?
(Yes, No, I don’t know / I prefer not to answer)

Have you ever seen a seller or buyer in an online marketplace attempt to fraudulently take advantage of you during the transaction process through off-platform communications (phone or email)?
(Yes, No, I don’t know / I prefer not to answer)

If you answered yes to the previous question and feel comfortable sharing, please describe any negative experiences you had when you felt your privacy or security was compromised by off-platform communication (phone or e-mail).

When it comes to your sales / business, what is the biggest problem that the federal government or your state government could face? Please select all that apply:

  • Funding (grants, loans)
  • Training / Workforce Development
  • Health care costs
  • Tax matters
  • Not applicable
  • Other

What do you think are the main challenges for your sales / business over the next six to twelve months? Please select all that apply:

  • Consumer or market demand for my products or services
  • Increased costs of doing business, including taxes
  • Shipping delays
  • Availability of private financing (e.g. through a bank) to help my business survive or grow
  • Availability of government support (loans, grants, etc.) to help my business survive the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Availability and access to labor
  • Health care costs
  • Not applicable
  • Other

Please describe any actions you think federal or state officials should take in 2021 and 2022 to help your sales / business recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are selling online, do you think large big box retailers are a threat to your sales / business?

  • No
  • Yeah, a bit of a threat
  • Yes, a very serious threat
  • I prefer not to answer / Not applicable

Which of the following shipping services do you use the MOST frequently?

  • US Postal Service
  • Private carrier (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.)
  • Other
  • I prefer not to answer / Not applicable

The US Postal Service regularly increases parcel delivery rates. If the US Postal Service were to increase rates more than their normal range, what would be the negative impact on your sales? *

  • Not at all
  • Slightly
  • Moderately
  • Very
  • Extremely
  • N / A

Thank you for patiently answering the survey questions. Can we contact you if we want more information about your survey responses?
(Yes No)

Let us know what you think of the investigation and the issues it raises.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and editor-in-chief of EcommerceBytes and has worked in e-commerce since 1999. She is a widely cited authority on market selling and is the author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw -Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send topical tips to [email protected]

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