Sunday, July 02, 2006

buySAFE Protects it's Customers from Fraud on eBay

Fraud on eBay has become a growing concern - and because their internal programs have not satisfied their customers - a new "service" has come into vogue. I recently spoke to Rob Caskey (Senior Director of Marketing, BuySAFE), which is a service that certifies and guarantees purchases on the auction giant; about how they protect purchases on eBay. Rob provided me with a lot of information, including press releases and independent articles, which show how their program works.

A recent press release from BuySAFE said:

(, the leading online trust and safety company for e-commerce transactions, today launched the first service that enables Retail Websites to display a meaningful trust signal (the buySAFE Seal) backed with a broad guarantee. Merchants who qualify to use the buySAFE Seal have passed the buySAFE Business Inspection, which ensures the merchant is trustworthy, reliable and committed to delivering on the terms of the sale. These retailers can then display the buySAFE Seal on item listings, which tells consumers the transaction is guaranteed with a surety bond of up to $25,000. Additionally, all buySAFE Bonded Sellers agree to allow buySAFE to continuously monitor their performance. This ensures a virtually risk-free shopping experience.

For the full press release link, here.

In a follow-up press release, buySAFE did an impact study:

The study analyzed 1.6 million item listings from 188 Internet retailers.
  • the visitor-to-buyer conversion rate of Bonded Items was 2.1 percent higher than that of non-Bonded items
  • Bonded Items received 4.7 percent higher prices than non-Bonded items
  • Overall, using buySAFE increased revenues by 6.8 percent
  • buySAFE impacted both high and low-end product sales. For example, in the high-end jewelry category, Bonded Items saw the average sales price increase 40 percent. In the lower-end camera and photography accessory category, Bonded Items saw an increase in the average sales price of nine percent.

This study would indicate to me that the greatest increase in sales corresponds with the types of merchandise that are considered "desirable" to criminals, or items that are easily sold, elsewhere.

These are some pretty impressive statistics and when I spoke with Rob Caskey, I asked him for proof that buySAFE actually made good on their claims. The reason I did this is that - eBay claims to provide protection - and I've read a lot of "horror" stories of how frustrating it can be to file a claim.

Rob (Caskey) directed me to a recent story in by Rob Hoff. In his own words, he said:

That said, I'm pretty satisfied now, because I just got a check from buySAFE, the company that offers bonding to online merchants--including Glacier Bay. Essentially, it's a reimbursement for what I paid. Although eBay's feedback system has worked amazingly well, at least for me, clearly it didn't work in this particular case, and I'm sure others like it. I had never paid much attention to that buySAFE seal, but you can bet I will on future auctions.

AuctionBytes (Ina Steiner), also did a story on this.

I've written about the individual (human) frustration of victims on eBay and often commented that they needed to get their act together. Now market forces are beginning to fill the "niche" that they have failed to provide.

Here are some previous posts, I've written about fraud on eBay:

California Issues Alert on Emerging eBay Fraud Trend

Package Deals to Commit eBay Fraud

BBB Worker Takes Job Processing Fraudulent eBay Transactions

Diary of an Identity Theft Victim

How Much Fraud Can e-Bay's Customers Endure

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