EBay has always been a boon to shoplifters – an easy way to offload stolen goods. But many criminals have been doing it on an industrial scale, and now the company’s teamed up with the National Retail Federation to tackle organised retail crime.
“NRF has done a great job of shining a spotlight on the issue of organised retail crime, but retailers cannot fight this problem alone,” said Paul Jones, eBay’s global director of asset protection.
“Through this partnership, NRF and eBay are putting criminals on notice that they will no longer be able to steal from retailers and abuse the online marketplace for profit.”
The plan is mainly about information sharing. Bods from the NFR and eBay will meet regularly to discuss how to prevent organised retail crime, and there’s to be formal collaboration with the FBI to help identify large-scale crime rings.
NFR and eBay will also work together to examine how federal law should be changed to eliminate the problem.
On the tech side, the organisations are aiming to improve and extend NRF’s LERPnet program and eBay’s Proact which identify and track retail crime rings.
The NRF says that organised retail crime – as opposed to common-or-garden shoplifting – is on the rise. In a survey last year, it says 92 percent of retailers said they’d been victims, and three-quarters reckoned the problem was increasing.