eBay announces "Proactive Fraud Reduction" program

April 10, 2007 § Leave a comment

eBay announced yesterday a “Proactive Fraud Reduction” program. Very interesting timing with their pending court date with Tiffany’s where they are being sued by the jewelry manufacturer for trademark infringement. The announcement is extremely vague, but it seems that “items most favored by fraudsters” will not be viewable for several hours after listing. No details are given about what will happen during the lag time. I’m guessing eBay will work with manufacturers like Tiffany’s and let them approve listings before they are publicly viewable on the site. A solution like this will keep the ball in Tiffany’s court to determine whether an item is real, but will give them more control over listings than they currently have. It will be interesting to see how this works out. I’m guessing Tiffany’s will want stronger features that will put eBay on the hook for review, a result that would be a huge blow to eBay’s current model. I love the superfluous “Proactive” in the name of the program – perfect for lawyers and PR.

Proactive Fraud Reduction

Today I want to let buyers and sellers know about another security measure we’re taking. For safety reasons, items reportedly most favored by fraudsters may not be viewable for several hours before the listings are indexed into Search results. These new listings are still viewable on the site through My eBay or if you search for the specific item number; however, they are not immediately visible through a keyword search or Browse.

To maximize exposure for these listings and ensure that buyers who browse by category see these items, we’ve made an important change. Any listings impacted by this review process will appear in the “Newly Listed” sort based on when they are made visible in Search (as opposed to when they are listed.) This ensures they will appear at the top of default Browse results – as well as within the “Newly Listed” sort option for Search – where they belong.

What kinds of listings will be impacted?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible for us to give you criteria, because that information could be used by scammers to work around our Trust and Safety efforts. Overall, however, we expect this security measure to impact only a fraction of listings.

Strangely, it still seems that no one else is writing on this case. I found out about the eBay announcement because I got a spike in traffic from an eBay message board post that links to my previous posts on the Tiffany’s case. I guess I’m becoming the authority. Next step…profit!

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