Millions of Germans buy and sell things on eBay. One of the largest online marketplaces in the world is almost unparalleled in this country. eBay used to be more of an auction house than it is today, with many merchants now selling new products at a fixed price as they do in other online stores. However, if you choose the right filter, there are used things that can sometimes be bought at bargain prices. But if you want to sell something, you shouldn’t make any mistake that could land you in jail.
Many know this trouble on eBay
Everyone who bids for an item on eBay knows something like this. At the beginning of the show, the article is usually advertised for 1 euro. However, at the end of the auction, the price rises significantly. But things don’t always go according to plan here. Because: Some people who list a product on eBay and are not satisfied with the price before the end of the auction pay it with a second account. Or ask a friend to bid. So it happens time and time again that you have bid, but the auction ends in favor of another bidder. But after a few hours or days, the seller offers the item again.
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Such a case ended in court. In his opinion, the bidder who bid on a used car on eBay should have had it for around €2,600. Since the seller did not agree to the price, he bid on his own car and drove it to more than 8000 euros. The court agreed with the bidder. The seller had to pay the bidder a compensation of about 7,500 euros. The court was certain: the seller had made false fictitious bids either himself or through a friend in order to raise the price or to prevent the sale at a price he considered insufficient.
Those are the penalties
Raising the price of an individual’s items on eBay with fake offers – often referred to as “chill bidding” – is illegal. According to legal experts at Stiftung Warentest, “Anyone who is caught must pay damages to bidders who have paid more due to fictitious bidding.”
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Anyone who bids on their own bid on eBay or encourages friends to submit fake bids risks serious problems with eBay, the attorney general, and the bidders. According to experts at Stiftung Warentest, “Schill bidders and clients face at least a hefty fine – or even imprisonment”. “The maximum penalty for fraud is five years in prison. If the action appears to be commercial, it is even possible to sentence you to up to ten years in prison.”
Stiftung Warentest advice
Experts also advise: “eBay users should not rely solely on eBay-mediated dispute resolutions, but also take care to enforce their rights themselves.” Because eBay likes to organize its affairs and does not involve the courts or law enforcement agencies in its agreement. In addition, the company cannot force already fraudulent service providers to pay compensation.