An eBay® disclaimer is a statement made either by eBay® or any seller on the website that states the various terms and conditions regarding the auctions that take place there. This can range from something very simple, like a seller stating that he will not ship to certain geographical locations, to a complex set of statements that were prepared by an attorney. Most businesses have an established set of rules set forth for any consumers wishing to use their products or services that state various ground rules; for example, many storefronts display a sign within their windows that state a patron must be wearing shoes and a shirt to enter. The official eBay® disclaimer posted by the corporation is absolutely no different, and users that violate those rules could be suspended or removed from the website permanently.
While an eBay® disclaimer may seem limiting or unnecessary, it is actually designed to benefit both the buyer and the seller. For example, if a person were shopping for a common household item, but could not receive deliveries through the regular postal service or one of the other shipping companies, it would be important for him to verify that alternate delivery methods were available. Another example would dictate that if a seller had stated that he would ship an item through priority mail within 24 hours, but the buyer never receives it, then legal recourse can be taken. The seller would benefit from an eBay® disclaimer when the overall quality or sales price of an item came into question because the set of rules listed on the auction page generally serves as a binding contract for both parties to follow. If either party violates the terms of the agreement, eBay® is authorized to step in and solve the problem.
Unfortunately, eBay® disclaimers can also sometimes be very misleading. When an auction item is marked “as-is” and there is not enough dialogue to properly describe the item’s condition, it is often a seller being less than honest who is trying to use the eBay® disclaimer laws deceptively. If a thorough description of a seller’s product or service is not clearly identified, it is up to the consumer to understand the inherent risk and place bids accordingly. Sometimes when an eBay® disclaimer is not included, the auction turns out to be a fabulous bargain, but often it does not.
There are also numerous eBay® disclaimers made by the company itself, and these are basically a set of guidelines as to what buyers and sellers are allowed to do while logged into the eBay® system. These governing statements include everything from the policies behind retracting bids to negotiating a trade outside of eBay® and what will happen if any of these guidelines are ignored. Overall, each eBay® disclaimer is in place to protect everyone involved on the website, and both buyers and sellers should pay close attention to them in order to protect their commodities.