Ebay has given regulators around the world the power to take down illegal listing without having to inform it first amid a major overhaul of its consumer safety practices.
Regulators including Westminster City Council Trading Standards, Ofcom and the Office for Product and Safety Standards (OPSS) will now have access to a new ‘Regulatory Portal’.
This will allow “trusted authorities” around the world to remove dangerous or illegal items from its platform instantly and by themselves.
Ebay said this will dramatically speed up the process and help reduce the number of potentially harmful or counterfeit items on its extensive marketplace.
It has called on other marketplaces to follow its example so they can “tackle the issue as an industry.”
Ebay UK’s general manager Murray Lambell added: “The last year has seen an acceleration towards an increasingly digital age, and with online shopping becoming an even greater part of everyone’s lives, we’re pleased to announce this worldwide collaboration where all parties can work towards a common goal of keeping our valued community safe.
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“Marketplaces should be taking their responsibility for consumer safety seriously, but collaboration with authorities is vital, and we are proud to be beginning the year with a focus on this.
It comes as marketplaces like Ebay, Amazon and Etsy have come under increasing scrutiny from both regulators and consumer watchdogs to do more to moderate the items for sale on their platforms.
According to a report from Citizens Advice in December, marketplace scams have skyrocketed 160 per cent since the start of the pandemic.
Westminster Council’s cabinet member for communities and regeneration Heather Acton said: “With Covid-19 driving much of our shopping online this past year, our role as a local authority in protecting our residents from scams and fraud has had to make a similar switch to the digital world.
“By working collaboratively with some of the biggest online shopping sources like Ebay UK, our Trading Standards teams have been able to expedite our processes and ensure that our local communities can continue to be safe and have peace of mind when browsing marketplaces and ordering products online.”