Thursday, February 22, 2018

Watch out for bait and switch which is very common on eBay

You're looking for a product on eBay but what can make it harder, is the old bait and switch technique. For example if you search for "earbud bluetooth" and then sort by "Price + postage - lowest first", you'll see quite a few low priced items.

Let's take the following item.

As you can see, there's a price range of $1.00 to $9.49. The $1.00 is to get you to see the listing by getting their item listed higher in the list. The $9.49 is for the black or white coloured bluetooth earbud. The $1.00 it is a set of cheaper wired earphones. Nothing to do with bluetooth at all. A fudge to get the listing higher in the list if the list is sorted by price.

I'm a bit surprised that eBay tolerates this bait and switch tactic of sellers. It really is annoying and such a time waster. Since eBay is unlikely to do anything about these types of ads (they're often included in their suggestions section as well) then I suppose it really is up to buyers to choose a  different supplier that doesn't use the bait and switch tactic. The good thing is it's easy to do. Just use the heading information to do another search query. There's usually quite a few sellers selling the same product.

Of course at some point I suspect the ACCC should get involved as this isn't the type of behaviour we expect from retailers in Australia.

Kelvin Eldridge

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