Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/22/ebay_asa_ruling/
eBay officially not cheaper than High Street
Except possibly for telescopic hats and spares for WWII landing craft
eBay has been told not to republish adverts claiming its prices are 25 per cent cheaper than the High Street.
The Advertising Standards Authority found in favour of a complaint that the claim was misleading.
eBay based their advert on third party research and not all the evidence was available. But the online tat bazaar explained that the claim was based on looking at 288 products and finding an average price. This was compared to an average High Street price - the ASA noted that this meant it was possible that one store was regularly cheaper than eBay.
eBay said that using a value weighted average and a volume weighted average gave savings across the product group of 28 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.
The ASA upheld the complaint. It found that items including desktop computers, toys, games and garden furniture were not included but that consumers might expect them to be included.
The regulator said: "The small print was of insufficient size to avoid being overlooked, and because it contradicted the main message of the headline, we considered that the ad was likely to mislead.".
eBay was told it must have robust evidence for such comparative claims in future.
The ASA's full official statement can be read here. ®