Thursday, June 21, 2007

eBay scams

A problem eBay may face when it embarks on its full-scale assault on the travel market is one of trust.

Nothing to do with the online auction giant itself, of course, but on the BBC website today is an interesting story of a 45 year old woman's conviction for theft, by selling a string of fake package holidays to the tune of £42,000.

One unfortunate chap lost £9,000!

Julie Flood admitted the 27 offences, which took place between November 2004 and March 2005, and will be sentenced in August.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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Alex said...

Would that be a flood of offences?

I think the main problem will be that all "simple" online payment providers don't enable travel sales (for example Paypal (owned by Ebay), Google Checkout etc) - so the transaction will take place away from ebay - making it harder for ebay to deal with fraud etc.


Travolution Blogger said...

Alex: Very true. One of the main areas of interest with the whole Ebay-Travel story is how it will "protect consumers", when it goes down the dynamic packaging route.

Our information is that Ebay WILL apply for an ATOL licence, which it needs in the UK.

So far the mainstream holiday providers have remained tight-lipped about the Ebay story - for obvious reasons. If Ebay pulls it off this will indeed increase pressure on a very flat market.

Alex said...

I can't believe you wrote that - with your interest in the long tail!

Ebay is about the long tail - not about the head - hence it doesn't matter what mainstream holiday providers think about ebay - it is about smaller companies (who struggle to get their banks to take online payments)


Travolution Blogger said...

Alex: you are right, of course. but mainstream providers will still be concerned when they see their accommodation providers building a business through a niche channels.

Alex said...

Actually I am wrong! (yeah yeah yeah)

On further investigation looks like PayPal now accept merchants who are travel companies. I am sure when I looked a few months ago this was not the case.

Google Checkout still don't though.