Internet auctioneer eBay Germany, which claims to be the current “undisputed
market leader”, has reacted to recent security problems and user complaints
by improving its existing security features.
The first step is the introduction of a new type of certificate called an
“eBay tested member guarantee”, with which each auction user can be
positively identified at any time, having deposited an attested copy of his
personal identification card with the company. At present, online
registration is possible without any real proof of identification.
eBay also moved to give the buyer more control over the sale. Now, for
example, before the amount is actually credited to the seller, the buyer is
first able to view the goods he wishes to buy.
A major, but as yet unnamed bank,
has set up a “trustees account” for this purpose, and delivery and
collection will occur through a logistics company.
As a third new measure, the existing “transaction guarantee sum” has been
increased to DEM1,000 ($518), which will have to be paid in cases of
Nevertheless, eBay co-founder Marc Samwer believes that due to the sheer
number of auctions which take place simultaneously on the site, “it may
prove unavoidable that the occasional black sheep will creep its way onto
The auction provider currently earns a 3 percent commission
for the first 1,000 Marks in successful auctions.