Auction website seeks to change restrictions on sale and resale of products online

eBay petitions EU lawmakers

eBay will submit a petition to the European Union today in an effort to change what its calls “unfair limitations” on online sales and resales.

According to the Financial Times, the petition aims to change the ability of vendors to impose criteria on distributors, such as restricting sales to online distributors that also own ‘bricks and mortar’ retail premises.

The petition has been signed by approximately 750,000 consumers, and was launched by eBay following a lengthy debate with a number of luxury goods companies, such as Chanel and Tiffany, who feel that their brands are devalued by online resale.

“Brand owners should be able to determine within limits how their products are initially sold,” reads the petition. “However, we believe strongly that they (brand owners) should not be allowed to impose blanket bans on internet selling, and any other restrictions on trade must be based on objective and publicly available criteria which are of proven benefit to consumers.”

The brands are also pushing hard. They say that the “sales experience” is essential to maintaining the image of their luxury goods, and that some online retailers are “free riding” on their marketing investments.

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