eBay Pulls Car Sales Protection Program

LemoneBay likes to make lots of noise about how it offers the best possible consumer protection — that was the entire basis of its failed attempt to make PayPal compulsory — so it's rather odd that it's decided to withdraw the Vehicle Protection Program, which protected buyers of cars on the site in the case of gross misrepresentation.

Picture by aussiegall

According to eBay, the cost of running the program has become prohibitive as the number of claims have decreased, and hence it will cease from November 23. Its advice? Buyers should now rely on their own checks. While we'd never advise buying a car from anyone without getting it inspected, the logic seems shaky to us: if fewer buyers are making claims, that should cost less. And as cars aren't even covered by PayPal's basic guarantees, there's essentially no protection involved.

The simplest response to this would seem to be to buy cars elsewhere. Just as with the failed PayPal scheme, it sounds like making more money is the only goal — and eBay hardly deserves the reward of your business for that, does it?

eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection program to end 23 November 2009 [eBay]


    Here we have a case of contractual violation without the fine print being explained. Anytime a company changes the service it offers it's membership (the ones who agreed to the terms of service when they signed up) the agreement is null and void and a new agreement may actually be in place. Happens all the time with credit card companies when they change your rate of finance charge or institute new fees. The law says these changes should be presented in a manner that the typical person can understand them fully. This is rarely done. What is done is meant to make it so difficult to understand that it is essentially hidden from the typical person. BYW who is so dumb that they would consider buying a large purchase like a car from an online picture ad if there were no protection from fraud (which is so easy in such a situation) How dumb does ebay think people are? Maybe the government should regulate such potentially illegal activities. That is their job (the protection that we pay taxes for just like police)

    I sold my motorbike on eBay a few years ago without any hassles. I personally would never buy a vehicle off eBay. It's too much of a gamble. I'm willing to pay more elsewhere for peace of mind.

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