Thu, Nov. 04, 2004

eBay Users to Provide Right of Return

WO - Boston. The Federal Supreme Court of Germany, Bundesgerichtshof ruled in the matter VIII ZR 375/03 on November 3, 2004, that purchasers of goods on the eBay website have the right to return goods purchased on the site during the statutory 14 day period after the sale. The court ruled that a purchase made from a business via the internet is similar in nature to a Fernabsatzvertrag, a contract for goods sold from a distance. In its decision, the court found that goods sold on eBay were not sold by means of a true auction where the final purchaser is determined by the gavel of an auctioneer, but rather by offer and acceptance, just like a typical agreement for the sale of goods.

Since goods are sold via the eBay site by means of an offer and acceptance, the court determined that the laws governing the sale of goods apply. According to those laws, a purchaser has a 14 day right of return. In the event that the purchaser of goods is advised of his right of return after the sale has been concluded, the right of return is extended to 30 days.

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