Answered by: Maulana Maruf Ahmed
As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Hazrat, I am sure you know what eBay is, right?
It’s the biggest auction website on the Internet. Millions of users including Muslims use it to sell their goods/products in the form of an auction, or to offer it for a fixed price.
For each item you sell, eBay will charge you 10% of the price the item sold for.
Personally, when I find a potential buyer, I cancel the eBay auction, and conduct my own personal transaction to avoid the fees. I am pretty certain this is against eBay’s terms, and conditions. They have an internal audit system that monitors internal messages being exchanged back-and-forth between the buyer/seller to pick upon any traces of this happening. Culturally, many sellers who do this who’re not active sellers. The active sellers who pretty much make their living on eBay actively pay the fees otherwise their accounts will be made inactive.
My question is, if we’re successful at doing this by avoiding the eBay fees – are we guilty as Muslims for deception, and should pay eBay 10% of every transaction we auctioned initially, but then sold it outside the channels of eBay.
I sold my PC recently for £1700, and I refuse to pay eBay £170 of that.
If paying a fee was part of the terms and conditions, to which you agreed, then it is not befitting for a Muslim to avoid such a payment, as the agreement you made is considered an ‘ahd (commitment).
Allah Ta’ala says: “And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned.” (Surah al-Isra, verse 35).
And only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Maruf Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham