eBay calls for end to grey import laws
One bid to rule them all
eBay is calling on the European Union to change trading laws which it describes as being "digital protectionism".
Although it might be facing criticism from some quarters for protecting compulsory use of PayPal , eBay is asking European regulators to update online trading laws to give customers more choice of where they buy from.
It wants changes to copyright laws and distribution rules which allow companies to charge different prices in different terroritories, as well as an end to restrictions on selling between European countries.
eBay claims that punters in France, Germany and the UK could save up to 17 per cent on twelve categories of goods, but that these savings could be even higher if manufacturers were forced to stop restricting the market. Restrictive practices can include banning online sales entirely or stopping parallel, or grey, importing from one territory to another.
The company has already won the support of Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy and four members of the European Parliament.
European Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said last week that there is no place for geographic restrictions within Europe's single market.
Apart from ending grey importing restrictions - where manufacturers specify which countries products can be sold in - eBay also wants a universal set of consumer protection laws, clarification of laws which ban online sales and full implementation of the EU Services Directive.
The lobby campaign launches with a cocktail party this evening in Brussels. ®
You can kinda cheat already
It's a real pain when the pound is so strong against the dollar and most US sites won't ship internationally... You can kinda cheat though, just sign up for a postal forwarding service (Google it and you'll find loads). They give you a US postal address which you use to send the goods to, and then they'll give you a range of options for sending the goods on. Some even allow you to group packages, so you only ship one big box instead of lots of smaller ones, and save some extra money that way.
I use mine to get my subscription of Playboy, hehe. A year only costs the Yanks about $20 (about a tenner), compared to £5 odd an issue over here! It's great for clothes, PS3 games, blu-ray discs and electrical goods too!
Paris as she loves Playboy too!
I'd vote for a levy on goods from countries with poor human rights, corruption and working conditions legislation and enforcement. Said levy to be earmarked for investing in countries that improve their working and political environment.
I hear a storm brewing in Redmond
So Charlie 'software patents' McCreevy is going to let UK Vista users upgrade to XP at US or Chinese prices? Wait until his boss hears about that!