There was an interesting discussion on one of the eBay boards recently about whether the "Item Location" on a listing was misleading, because it showed as "US," but the item, a cell phone case, actually shipped from China.
“My daughter bought a cell phone case that was listed as ‘Item Location: US’ but turns out it's actually in Hong Kong,” said the poster, “wroberts69.” “One of the big China sellers,” she added. She said she was checking on the item on behalf of her daughter, because it hadn't arrived yet.
She said she checked the seller's other listings and half of them or more showed a US location; the rest showed the true location. “I emailed the seller and he did provide tracking info for the item, and it did indeed ship via China Post. No apology…no explanation for his misleading listing practices. Just the tracking info.”
The eBayer said she reported "a whole slew of the seller’s auctions that had the location listed as US," but none of them had been removed yet.
The seller felt this was misleading and wrote, “Obviously, if you click on the seller’s ID, it shows his location, but I would imagine most people are not going to do that, therefore buying a product advertised as located in the US but, in fact, not. This really irks me to no end, and it doubly irks me that eBay is not removing these listing.”
Another eBayer chimed in saying he also felt he had gotten the old bait-and-switch. “I bought some Majic the Gathering cards that were supposedly from California but when I went to pay I got hit with $30 shipping from Hong Kong! I will NOT pay that much for shipping especially when the item was only $4!!” He said he filed a dispute and was waiting to see what happens.
Others on the board pointed out that the seller could be registered/living in the US but drop-shipping items from China, “so my item location would say China and that would be accurate, but looking at my registered address, how does eBay know that?”
Another speculated, “(Or) - maybe your Chinese seller is drop-shipping from a USA-based company?”
They added, “I'm not sure how eBay would go about verifying whether items are located where they say or not. Clearly from the tracking you were provided this specific listing was listed as being in the US and shipped from China, but how do you know the other listings that are listed in the US aren't in fact shipping from a supplier in the US?”
Another poster to the board, who also bought things on eBay, said she had drilled down to USA only in her search for a base-shaper for her new LV (Louis Vuitton), and “I can't tell you how many Chinese sellers still popped up. I was really irritated about that as well,” she wrote.
The conversation grew to involve more problems with Chinese sellers. “The Chinese are in a massive copying production phase of anything sold in USA. It will get to the point within next few years that only way you can authenticate something will be to buy it from the store yourself,” said one poster.
This poster said he thought it was “bad news for eBay” and it would get too risky to buy online. He added that “they are heavy into [the] cosmetic area also now - they buy one MAC product from [a] reputable store in America - then make 10 MAC products from that one they purchased by adding all kinds of ingredients (some harmful) to make each MAC look full. Then resell it on eBay. It’s a shame but there is no way to control it as [the] Chinese government is looking to gain financial prominence.”
eBay’s own stated policy indicates that the item location needs to indicate where the item is being shipped from. Under the “not allowed” (red circle) icon on eBay's policy pages
, it states, “Giving an incorrect item location. For example, indicating that the item is in the U.S. when it is actually being shipped from China.” It also cites that the location in the item description, if stated, needs to match the item location field.
Of course, not everyone is upset with having Chinese sellers on eBay. I know some eBayers who can only find certain types of goods they need or want from China.
What do you think? Have you run into this problem before, and if so and you reported it, was anything done? Have you had other problems with Chinese sellers? Post a comment.