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eBay’s woes continue beyond kidneys

eBay may have deleted the posts offering human kidneys for sale (although a search still lists several, not to mention savvy sellers who include “not a human kidney” in their headers to attract curious searchers), but the beleaguered Internet auction house still has to deal with other tasteless sales. Adding to the list of human organs, babies, cocaine and firearms, a current auction at press time offered a 14-year-old male sex/work slave, although the starting bid of US$5 hopefully indicates a hoax. eBay has recently had to ban auctions of alcohol and tobacco because of legal issues in some states. Furthermore, imprisoned serial killer and cannibal Arthur Shawcross was stopped by New York prison authorities from auctioning his autographs and artwork under that state’s “Son of Sam” law preventing inmates from receiving money for goods or services.

Maybe they need more kidneys

According to Forrester Research Inc., European on-line retailers are failing to give users a satisfactory shopping experience. When asked to name the top European Web sites, respondents instead named US-based companies such as Amazon.com and Dell Computer Corp. Of the top six, only two were European: Bertelsmann AG’s series of book-selling sites known as BOL and Lufthansa. Barriers to good e-commerce sites were noted as: lack of skilled personnel; conflicts with those who perceive the Web as a threat; and lack of co-ordination within a company’s departments.

Otherwise known as ‘bagels on-line’

Bell ActiMedia, Transcontinental Group, Communications Voir and Soci