German Court Messes With Ebay

by on November 19, 2004 · 4 comments

Those readers who know me could tell you I’m a calm, gentle sort. I’m fond of gardening, meditation, and fish tanks. But this one has got me mad. I speak of the German court ruling that professional ebay sellers must allow returns. Pile taxes on my phone bills or regulate television programming or some other old-school tech if you absolutely cannot help yourselves, but don’t mess with my bargain hunting! Ebay is the triumphant, splendid return of caveat emptor and for all the occasional disappointment (fabric interfacing that smelled!) has saved me hundreds of dollars (my most recent triumph being waterproof Teva hiking shoes). When I’m having a bad day, I sometimes just go and read my feedback to cheer up.

  • Richard Morrison

    Solveig’s right – she is a gentle soul. And she’s right about eBay’s special place in the modern economy. Aren’t opponents of the free market always bemoaning corporate consolidation and the alleged demise of independent bookstores and small, idiosyncratic shops? Along comes a technology that enables millions of new small businesses to flourish by virtually abolishing the kind of overhead that make such ventures a risky investment, and what response do we get? Surprise: more regulation.

  • Richard Morrison

    Solveig’s right – she is a gentle soul. And she’s right about eBay’s special place in the modern economy. Aren’t opponents of the free market always bemoaning corporate consolidation and the alleged demise of independent bookstores and small, idiosyncratic shops? Along comes a technology that enables millions of new small businesses to flourish by virtually abolishing the kind of overhead that make such ventures a risky investment, and what response do we get? Surprise: more regulation.

  • http://enigma-foundry.blogspot.com/ enigma_foundry

    No, let’s let others try different regulations–of course this is stupid, but sometimes, the only way people learning is by making mistakes.

    Now, for example, that software patents appear not to have passed in Europe, we’ll see how long America hold on to this utterly ridiculous idea that software should be protected by patent, not copyright.

    It should be really interesting, having totally different types of IP protection for a major item of the world economy. Exciting.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    No, let’s let others try different regulations–of course this is stupid, but sometimes, the only way people learning is by making mistakes.

    Now, for example, that software patents appear not to have passed in Europe, we’ll see how long America hold on to this utterly ridiculous idea that software should be protected by patent, not copyright.

    It should be really interesting, having totally different types of IP protection for a major item of the world economy. Exciting.

Previous post:

Next post: