Teenagers whose fake IDs fail to convince law-abiding liquor store owners are turning to eBay to order alcohol.
While millions of bargain enthusiasts use the online auctioneer to find rare collectibles and recycled goods, children as young as 13 have found that they are able to sidestep the law by finding alcohol vendors who do not ask for proof of age on purchase.
While eBay claims it does not allow the sale of alcohol on its site, limited edition bottles of vodka and whiskey among other tipples, are permitted and these bottles, though rare and sometimes expensive, are often sealed and full.
Though one vendor refused to sell him his product if Xander didn’t send a copy of his ID, he was able to complete his transaction with two other sellers.
With money given to him by the producers of 20/20, Xander explained: ‘All I had to do was type in vodka on the search bar, click one button and it can send it to my house.’
Within five weeks, ABC reported, the five bottles of vodka had arrived on Xander’s doorstep.
A MailOnline reporter buying a bottle of sealed, unopened limited edition Absolut ‘Rio’ had no problem getting to the payment page after hitting the ‘Buy it Now’ option.
But eBay told MailOnline: ‘Sellers are required to take all appropriate steps to ensure that the buyer is of lawful age. We prohibit the general sale of alcohol and we have zero tolerance for anyone who violates our policies. When violations occur, we take appropriate action as we have done in this case.’
According to the company, they have action against the vendors who sold the alcohol to Xander.
However, on reading the terms of sale on some vendors pages, it seems evident that some vendors simply claim to follow guidelines without perhaps actually doing so.
During a search for whiskey, a MailOnline reporter found a collectible bottle of Michter’s 10 Year bourbon for $110 whose vendors stated simply that ‘By bidding on this item you are certifying that you are 21 years of age or older,’ thus handing the responsibility to the buyer.
Rebecca Williams, a research associate at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was part of a team that released a report in May showing how underage study participants successfully placed orders online 45 times from sites including eBay.