Ebay tackles voucher fraud

Ebay has agreed to change its policy regarding the online sale of manufacturers’ coupons and vouchers after discussions with coupon services provider Valassis and the Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP).

Ebay.co.uk and eBay.ie will adopt a new policy from 30 June to help reduce fraudulent coupon and voucher-related transactions.

The policy has changed following an initiative led by Valassis and the ISP after requests for help from customers and members. Online marketplaces have seen abuse in the past with the sale of invalid coupons and vouchers that consumers have then tried to redeem in-store.

Valassis and the ISP approached eBay last year about creating the new policy. The new rules state that electronically scanned coupons will not be permitted.

All coupons and vouchers sold through eBay must be physically delivered to the buyer and not sent by electronic means for home printing. Ebay will also ask sellers not to place clear, unaltered scans of coupons and vouchers in their listings that could be copied, printed and redeemed.

Bulk coupon and voucher sales will also be disallowed. Such listings are defined as those offering more than 20 coupons or vouchers for the same item or more than 100 in total. Coupon and voucher inserts taken from newspapers will be limited to five per listing.

Annie Swift, chief executive of the ISP, says: “The mis-use of vouchers is a major problem for marketers who would otherwise make far greater use of what is an effective promotions tactic.”

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