eBay to offer Product Warranties

eBay announced this week that it has joined with New Customer Services Companies to offer warranty protection for new and used electronics products that are purchased on eBay. The warranty will reportedly begin 30 days after a product has been purchased on eBay, and will cover parts and labor costs, and offer product replacement for products that require multiple repairs. Since its recent merger with PayPal, eBay has sought additional sources of revenue from target markets in electronics and computer market products: eBay has begun offering refurbished and used products on its site from IBM, Sun Microsystems and Motorola. The New warranty will be offered for electronics products, new and used, that are valued up to $4,000 US. New's warranty will be valid for one year, and will cost buyers from $9.99 to $299.99 US, based on the price paid for their purchase.

In the past, some sellers have offered products for sale on eBay they did not have or did not intend to sell, illegally disappearing with thousands of dollars from unsuspecting eBay buyers. But the new warranty program will not cover fraudulent transactions. "We expect the program to help give buyers more assurance when buying on eBay," said Danny Hourigan, the President of New's Service Plan Division. "A warranty is intended to provide coverage and protection for a product that is in full working order," according to eBay's Frequently Asked Questions section. "If you experience seller misrepresentation or fraud, please consult the eBay Rules & Safety section on how to resolve your issue." A New representative declined to comment further on the New warranty program.

eBay already reimburses its buyers up to $175. of their loss in cases of confirmed fraud under its regular bidders' insurance, while PayPal (now owned by eBay) offers an additional $200 of coverage for items that were purchased through PayPal. eBay has also now begun incentizing its sellers to offer warranties with their listings by refunding up to ½ of the seller's closing fees.

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