German Ebay Buyers Can Return Wares | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.11.2004
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German Ebay Buyers Can Return Wares

A German court has made it official: a person who buys something from a commercial seller on the Internet auction site eBay has two weeks to change his mind and return the purchase -- or even longer if the seller fails to provide proper instructions on consumer rights. Ebay reacted casually to the decision, saying it didn't believe the stronger consumer protections would prevent people from selling their items on its service. A right to return goods is by no means a new concept for eBay. It was already in place for commercial sellers who offered their goods at a fixed price -- which applied to about a third of all eBay sales, the company said. Many sellers also voluntarily accepted returned goods. But the decision about who actually qualifies as a commercial seller still remains to be decided. "That is extremely disputed in the courts," Berlin lawyer Sören Siebert told DPA press service. The Karlsruhe court left the issue open because, in the case that it decided on Wednesday, the dispute was clearly with a professional jewelry dealer.