|Thu Oct 13 2011 22:05:00|
Sellers Say eBay Australia Is Flooded with Overseas Goods
By: Ina Steiner
Australian sellers are reporting that eBay Australia has been flooded with goods from the U.S. and UK since eBay made changes to international site visibility. Sellers in the U.S. would be wise to pay attention, as they could be facing a similar scenario in the future.
"Many Australian sellers are now stating that their markets have risen from 20 000+ to over 150 000+ listings in their categories," one seller wrote to EcommerceBytes. "I know of many sellers who with extensive stock holdings will now be looking for ways to dump thousands of items in an effort to jump ship. These are good and valued long time high rating sellers. The market is in absolute disarray in Australia."
eBay Australia announced the decision to open the Australian marketplace to listings from U.S. and UK sellers in May, explaining that Australian ecommerce sellers did not offer full product ranges online to enable shoppers to find what they are looking for locally, and shoppers were turning to overseas websites as a result. It provided tips to sellers on this page.
"Displaying relevant listings from the UK and US will increase the likelihood shoppers will find what they are looking for on eBay.com.au, and continue to shop and buy from eBay.com.au sellers," eBay wrote on the eBay Australia announcement board.
But sellers say buyers are frustrated when they try to search for items that are located in Australia. "There is no easy way for buyers to trawl through and find those in Australia as a good many of the big sellers list it as being in Australia but the fine print actually says it is not in stock in the Australian warehouses," according to a seller, who said she and her colleagues have brought the issue to the attention of eBay.
"Many of us have reported Item Location Misrepresentation and it is ignored. They, these big sellers, are also listing anything from 100 000 to over 1 million listings each."
eBay's announcement stated that Australian sellers who offer international purchase and shipping could themselves benefit from exposure on sites outside Australia such as eBay.com or eBay.co.uk.
But a seller said U.S. and UK sellers have an advantage over Australia sellers - wholesale costs of products and postage costs are both a lot cheaper. "I have a number of Miniature items that sell between $8-$15 - the minimum post cost of these items to the USA is $10.50!!!" she wrote.
Yet another seller said Australian sellers also face competition from an influx of the Chinese/Asian sellers that occurred several years ago. She said the latest changes to international site visibility have further hurt her sales - her unit sales in September were down 52% compared to July, and she said only 9% of the listings in the glass category in which she once regularly sold were listed by Australian sellers. "In a nutshell, when browsing through most categories, the listings have ballooned in comparison to how they once were," she said.
These sellers said they believe eBay's Best Match algorithm contributes to the problem and buries long time sellers in search results. One believes eBay Australia's Best Match algorithm may even be giving overseas sellers top priority in search results.
Sellers in the U.S. could soon face a similar problem - eBay said it would be opening a fulfillment service for China based sellers who wish to sell in the U.S.