Selling on ebay.de - ODR link required?

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United Kingdom United Kingdom
info375
Kudos: 26
Joined: Jan 9, 2018
Selling on ebay.de - ODR link required?
9 Jan 2018
We are a UK seller but also sell on all EU ebay sites, listed and translated by Ebay. We recently had a letter threatening legal action from a german solicitor demanding money. Our items do not breach copyright but they say we do not have the correct legal info on our items and abide by german law so our competitors can sue us for breaching anti-competitive law. There is some info on the german ebay pages, but most UK sellers are unaware of it, and actually I dont know if we have to comply as Uk sellers or not. Its various stuff about Distance Selling regs and ODR-Regulations.
Does anyone know anything about this or had experience of this also?

Ebay arent being much help, we cant find a german business lawyer and the company keep sending letters giving deadlines for paying $1400.

[Last edited by moderator: Added more detail to title — 9 Jan 2018]
Herts, England - Not specified -
Andy
Kudos: 12,564
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Selling on ebay.de - ODR link required?
9 Jan 2018
Technically there is a requirement to include the link:

Blog post about it: webinterpret.com/uk/blog/ebay-...online-dispute-resolution-odr/

English translation of page on eBay.de: translate.google.co.uk/transla...rbliche_vk_23.html&prev=search (note that Google Translate has made a mess of the suggested HTML so if you want that then get it from the original page)

I am not a lawyer but I don't see how not including the link makes you liable to pay a Germany legal firm $1400!

I hope the background is useful, hopefully a seller with more first-hand experience will come by and comment.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom
info375
Kudos: 26
Joined: Jan 9, 2018
Re: Selling on ebay.de - ODR link required?
9 Jan 2018
Thanks for the reply. You wouldn't think we'd be liable to pay would you?! If you look at the bottom of this page it says about costly lawyers letters though translate.googleusercontent.co...rhiVm94R9WOf2umML7By5J7AGTeNQA

But it doesn't say if that's just for German sellers. I can't seem to find any case studies like this or advice at all. It can't just be us this has happened to. I've removed all German listings but they still say we should pay.
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 3,287
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Selling on ebay.de - ODR link required?
10 Jan 2018
@info375

A complete legal minefield that virtually all sellers are in breach of. This does not just apply to Germany but all of your European listings including, believe it or not, UK to UK sales (classed as 'domestic disputes'). The full BS about ADR can be found here

The first thing that you need to do is to include the link 'a href = "http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/"
target = "_ blank" ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/ /a' (ensuring you change http to https and put 'shift comma and shift full stop around the front a and last /a of the link) in the returns / further information section on all the websites or platforms that you sell on. For eBay go to 'Account' - 'Site Preferences' - 'Business Seller Preferences' - 'Business seller information on the View item page' and Edit. Just enter the link in 'Additional legally required contact information' and you are basically covered.

Germany is particularly funny when it comes to legal obligations, and cases like this are not uncommon. I had a seller that had a similar case on eBay because their returns policy was buyer paid for 'change of mind returns' however one item they sold was 90 Euros which was over the German threshold of 40 Euros or whatever it was at the time, that would legally entitle the buyer to free returns. Lawyers letters came in, but the seller got away with it as it stated in their returns policy for the buyer to contact them before returning any item.

Legally you have broken the law by not including the link on your listings. However having encountered these type of companies before, they are the equivalent of 'Ambulance Chasing Lawyers' and you may be able to fight back, at least a bit.

If they persist, you could always lie to them and say that you have already been contacted by another firm that you are in the process of settling with. Obviously you can not divulge the name due to privacy laws etc. Blag it and you may get away with it. Alternatively ask them to justify their claim and then fight it to get a lower settlement.

No matter what you do, consider legal advice, either from a solicitor, the CAB or even Trading Standards.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
United Kingdom United Kingdom
info375
Kudos: 26
Joined: Jan 9, 2018
Re: Selling on ebay.de - ODR link required?
10 Jan 2018
Thank you @Bigian13 . It certainly is a minefield and one that Ebay seem oblivious to. Ive had message conversations with Ebay legal, Ebay germany and Ebay Uk and they all say theres no problem with my listings, they haven't been approached by this company and if there was a problem then the company should have contacted them.

if this is the law then ebay should pick up on listings with these issues just like they do with copyright, html, images etc or at least message sellers when they go international.

Im desperately trying to get legal advice but UK lawyers say its german law so cant help and I've had either no response or saying they cant help from german lawyers. WebInterpret seem to be taking it seriously but even they seem a bit unaware, but are getting back to me.

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