Buying software online

Every bidorbuy user knows that the very act of registering on the site means accepting our Terms and Conditions. Every bidorbuy seller knows that he or she has accepted and must adhere to the site’s Listing Policy which, among other thing, states that it is strictly prohibited to list pirated or counterfeit goods of any nature, including software, movies, music, clothing, replica watches or any item that would infringe on copyright or trademark laws.

If you buy or sell on bidorbuy, you’d do well to go through the documents mentioned here. In any case, ignorantia juris non excusat: claiming ignorance of the rules will not get you off the hook.

The reason we chose to talk about pirated or counterfeit goods just now is a recent press release issued by Microsoft. It warns of a boom in fake software sold online, often with devastating results for the victims.

bidorbuy.co.za is mentioned in this context as the only site of its kind in South Africa that is proactively trying to protect their customers by collaborating with Microsoft to stop the sale of counterfeit software.

Due to the very nature of its business (an online platform on which independent sellers and buyers trade with each other), bidorbuy is in no position to check all the items listed on the site.

However, we are always ready to react promptly to reports of dubious practices. We also monitor and track some high risk categories, like software.

Our usual course of action is to look at the price of software sold on the site and the location of the seller. If anything seems suspicious, the listing is removed until the seller in question provides authenticity documentation. As for the sellers who cannot prove authenticity, they are blacklisted and their details passed on to Microsoft.

And how can you recognise counterfeit software before you buy it? Microsoft suggests visiting the How to Tell web site, dedicated specifically to this issue.  However, as one Microsoft representative points out, the best give-away is the price: if the deal seems too good to be true, it usually isn’t true.

The entire Microsoft press release is posted on the bidorbuy Forum.