eBay said it was fine with sellers who use the Amazon marketplace as a drop-shipper, and Amazon seems pretty laissez-faire about the concept as well, with no known reports of the company cracking down on the practice.
During last week's eBay chat session, a moderator called the practice a valid form of order fulfillment.
The topic came up when a buyer described an issue they were having with an eBay seller and asked, "Why are seller's shipping via Amazon when an item is bought on eBay?"
"Am I missing something," they asked, saying it had happened to the twice in as many months.
The moderator replied, "Our sellers source their products from a variety of different reputable locations and some of these may be other retailers. While I certainly understand the frustration of not receiving what you ordered and we are happy to ensure you are refunded in these instances through our eBay Money Back Guarantee, this form of dropshipping is considered a valid form of order fulfillment." They referred the buyer to eBay's Product Sourcing policy
The fact that an eBay moderator officially condoned the practice was surprising to us. We sent an inquiry to eBay for confirmation, but did not receive a response. Amazon declined to comment, pointing to its own policy on drop shipping
, which included the following provisions:
Examples of drop shipping that is not permitted:
Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers; or
Shipping orders with packing slips, invoices, or other information indicating a seller name or contact information other than your own.
Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the suspension or removal of your selling privileges.
Shoppers may get confused about marketplace branding on shipping boxes, but unless they complain to marketplaces, it seems likely the practice of cross-marketplace drop-shipping will continue.
What it says about eBay and Amazon is another story - we'd love to hear your opinions.