Web

‘Professional authenticators’ will rid its site of fake goods, eBay says

ebay paypal adyen hq
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock
Following Amazon’s recent decision to ramp up efforts to rid its online store of counterfeit goods, eBay has this week announced similar plans.

The initiative involves a so-called “authentication program” aimed at boosting consumer confidence when it comes to shopping on the site and hitting the buy button.

Initially focusing on high-end products such as branded handbags and other fashion-related items, the system will be powered by a network of professional authenticators charged with checking whether an item is the real deal or a cheap knock-off.

Sellers handling pricey products can sign up to the authentication service, though they’ll have to pay a fee, the amount of which is currently undecided. Once they enroll, a note will be attached to each of the seller’s products on eBay informing the shopper that if they purchase an item, it’ll be examined by an official authenticator prior to shipping. Of course, if the item is found to be fake, the transaction will be canceled and the shopper reimbursed.

If the seller doesn’t want to enroll in the program, the buyer can request an inspection, though the fee will be charged to them instead.

Finally, if a shopper receives a product following inspection and it’s found to be fake, eBay promises to refund the buyer twice the amount of the original purchase price.

Discussing the new system, Laura Chambers, VP of eBay Consumer Selling, said, “For buyers, the service adds another layer of trust to allow them to shop confidently. And for sellers, the service will be most beneficial for those who are looking to part ways with their high-value items, but don’t necessarily have a long-established selling history on eBay.”

Chambers added, “For our more established sellers, the service may not be as meaningful given they’ve likely established a trusted reputation, but it will certainly be available to all sellers.”

The new authentication system will be tested out over the coming months, with eBay aiming to make it broadly available toward the end of 2017. If it helps to boost sales of high-end items, everyone’s a winner, including eBay, which takes a cut of every sale.

Amazon revealed in November that it, too, is stepping up efforts to rid its own site of fake goods, calling on brand owners to register their products with the Seattle-based company. Once an item is in its registry, any seller who lists the product for sale has to prove to Amazon that they have a legal right to sell it online.

The effectiveness of these initiatives remains to be seen, but the two ecommerce giants clearly feel compelled to find new ways to banish counterfeit goods from their online stores in a bid to maintain and boost confidence among its users while reassuring brand owners and sellers of genuine goods that they’re looking out for them, too.

Mobile

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for April 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for April 2019.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Computing

Skype doubles its group video chat limit to 50 participants

Skype now allows for up to 50 people in video and audio chats, double that of before. And instead of ringing everyone as a way to get a group call started, you can now send unobtrusive notifications to get everyone’s attention.
Web

From pranksters to pop stars, these are the 10 biggest YouTube channels

For better or worse, YouTube celebrities have had a profound impact on popular culture. From comedy channels, to gaming let's plays, and musicians, they all garner tens of millions of subscribers. These are the most popular.
Health & Fitness

Microsoft says it’s closing its HealthVault patient records service

Microsoft has announced it is closing its HealthVault service, which offered a way for individuals to store and share their health records with medical professionals. Users are advised to act soon if they want to save their data.
Social Media

How a two-year-old Facebook post may lead to jail time for a visitor to Dubai

If you enjoy sounding off on social media, you might want to check through your posts prior to any trip to Dubai after a British woman was arrested there for comments made on Facebook two years ago.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the NCAA championship game online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Photography

Back off, photo thieves: Flickr alerts photographers to image theft with Pixsy

Worried about someone swiping your photo off Flickr? The image sharing platform can now integrate with Pixsy accounts to alert photographers when a photo is used without permission by using artificial intelligence to scour the web.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Computing

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Web

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.