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Sat Apr 16 2016 13:47:35

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

By: Ina Steiner

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Should marketplaces make seller location more prominent so that shoppers are aware of possible delivery delays when buying items located outside of their country?

That's the topic of discussion on the Amazon boards. A reader sent me a link, writing, "Sellers are starting to make noise on the Amazon Seller forums about the unfair advantage foreign sellers have against American Sellers."

The sellers weren't bashing international sellers, but rather, pointing out that there were cases where a seller with a much longer delivery time could win the Buy Box for being just a few pennies cheaper than a domestic seller with much quicker delivery.

The original poster did suggest Amazon segregate offers where the products were located outside the country: "My solution to this would be group international sellers under a different box similar to the "other sellers" on the page. If buyers really want the best price and can wait, they can buy from them."

Some sellers related stories of how relatives had ordered items located outside the country without realizing they would have to wait several weeks to receive the item. 

For some sellers, it wasn't just about longer delivery time. The original poster wrote, "many international sellers do not obey the same US mandatory rules we have like paying a import tariff, a minimum salary and offer benefits," which made it very difficult for US sellers to compete on price."

One seller went so far as to suggest, "Buyers should know exactly where the seller is based and this should include FBA sales," though some other sellers said it wasn't important where the seller was based, but rather, where the product was based.

Interestingly Etsy is moving to a system where it favors local merchants in search results, but that's not popular with many sellers. It rolled out the change in the UK and Australia in the fall, and last week expanded the practice to France and Germany.

Should Amazon segregate foreign sellers in the Buy Box? Should all marketplaces prominently label internationally-based products as such?




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 16 14:06:11 2016

Yes, they should. Matter of fact for china they should bot allow sales from them at all. Because itscall fakes and knock offs.

The distributors and manufacturers can get product from china. By allowing china to sidestep our proxess, they compete with the manufacturers and distributors themselves.

How would yoy like to buy a product from chiba, at say 46 cents a piece..then see same company selling on amazon and ebay for 13 cents a piece?

We need to.nip.china in the bud right now and stop catering to their criminal activity.

The sad part is, we arw forced to subsidize chiba in many ways including giving them dirt cheap shipping with tracking.

Ill never source from china, they are all criminals and scammers.

I despise my postman because he doesnt care that hevworks for an evil traitorous conpany usps.

I despise america for selling out its own people

I despise americans for allowing it to happen

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 16 14:07:46 2016

We should not mix economies where one can live off 15 cents a day. China will win everytine, UNLESS THEY ARE FORCED TO PLAY BY THE SAME RULES

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 16 19:15:14 2016

How about being able to search/sort/filter by delivery estimate? When I buy from the China junk sellers, I look for ePacket which is actually pretty fast.

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Apr 16 21:25:47 2016

Last night I was looking for an item on Amazon, because all the ones on eBay were from China, and the couple I was considering had delivery dates between late May and early June. I don't know where these sellers were located, but I assume they reside in Asia as I doubt Amazon would allow a U.S. seller to have a delivery window that far into the future.  

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 17 01:55:06 2016

"I despise my postman"
I once worked at a UPS distribution hub. It ran 24/7 w/ 108 bay doors which receive one huge truckload of merchandise after another. All of it was Made In China and was on it's way to U.S. retailers.  

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 17 09:30:33 2016

Another reason not to sell on Amazon.  

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Writings on the Wall This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 17 10:39:31 2016

My thoughts:
1) the e-packet subsidy for China sellers needs to stop. Grossly unfair, subsidized by US taxpayers.
2) Etsy needs to dump it's tagline "Buy from individual people around the world" as it is now going to localized searches. Really? Seriously? Localized searches on an international selling site? And I know why they are doing it. UK has exorbitant VAT taxes, etc. Not to mention currency conversion fluctuations, and the horrible shipping charges for international sales. With Etsy making their money on "seller services," they are trying to grow in Europe and other places--which means adding sellers and trying to give them preference in searches in their own countries.
3) And Amazon--I avoid that site like the plague. Long history of avoiding US taxes, using their monetary strength to enter markets and put others out of business (then raise their prices when they've gotten rid of the competition).
4) International selling is fraught with an uneven playing field. To name a few: VAT and customs charges, currency fluctuations, overseas sweat shops with very poor wages and working conditions, and exorbitant shipping charges. Increasingly. sellers are limiting their shipping to US only.

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 17 10:43:48 2016

This is really 3 different topics

1) eBay allowing overseas sellers to us United States, United States as an item location - bypassing eBays "rules" on item location. This also pushes US sellers lower in search results

2) eBay not enforcing THE RIGHT KIND of item specifics. If "you cant see that the toaster is black from the picture" then you have a problem that even eBay nutjobs cant solve. COLOR for most things in item specifics is useless - ITS ABOUT US VS EU warranty. Alot of people buy GREY MARKET ITEMS and dont know it until they break.

3) The above mentioned topics of counterfiets and fakes. Its obvious - but since VERO is on the take (as always) and the Chinese are already "giving their VIG" to eBay (like when JD told the Chinese to create INSPIRED items), the fakes all but get ignored. eBay with its 5 billion $ parked offshore is too cheap to hire experts or people to view items for sale. Reporting them is like trying to empty the Atlantic with a Dixie Cup.

The worst part of this all is that it ALL ends up hurting the very people they SWEAR they want to protect - the BUYERS - the "coddled ones".

Thats how you know - as Philip says (so correctly) that everything they tell you is just one big LIE. Rules on eBay arent created to help ANYONE except eBay. Sellers are just the "dopes" that the issues get hung on.

eBay - the WORST business partner you could ever have.

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 17 11:27:01 2016

Yes, and they should have a high import duty on any that is direct retailed to the American consumer. And shipping should not be subsidized it should be expensive. Its a travesty that our government doesn't take some action again these unfair practices as its no different than moving jobs from the US to other countries.

And its not just on the marketplaces! These foreigners have tons of stand-alone web sites and are advertising (yes paid advertising) all over facebook and other social media sites selling counterfeit stuff. The Tshirts, and all sorts of apparel, mugs, phone cases, shoes, etc that have all the trademarked superheroes and characters, sports teams, auto manufacturers, Disney, country singers, TV shows, and countless other items is rampant completely out of control. You can't sign onto facebook withour being peppered with trademark infringing tshirts for everything imaginable.. And a lot of these people are in Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Russia, Morrocco, and a lot of other questionable locations (to be direct retailing to the American Consumer) and that is the ultimate travesty is the foreigners selling American Veterans and US Military apparel and items. This all started on Teespring and now there are 100s of these people violating trademarks and selling things that are questionable that they should be selling. Do you like the idea that some punk in Vietnam is selling Vietnam shirts to American Vietnam veterans. Its just absolutely ridiculous and infuriates me and something needs to be done about it and FAST!

Oh, and what really blows me away is the number of gullible Americans that will give their credit card or debit card # on these websites. No wonder identity theft is so rampant, as these people can easily set up a web site, advertise on facebook and get 10,000s of gullible people to put their credit card and EVEN debit card info in and they have no idea if its going to a secure bank or into the hands of some foreign criminal element... Its time for the government to either put strict controls on foreign selling on the internet, charge high import duties on everything entering the US, and eliminating the shipping subsidies, otherwise American Small Business will all but be destroyed! Let's wake up people this is our jobs, our economy and our livelyhood and we are letting it slip away! No US taxes are collected on these foreign sales even thought in many cases US companies are fulfilling the product (like apparel printing).. Homeland Security should be ALL over this, especially the counterfeiting of American products! Its just way way out of control and you can hear the big sucking noise as money is being taken out of our once great country....

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Writings on the Wall This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 17 12:51:21 2016

Great post, Frank! people need to remember these issues at election time.

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 17 14:45:32 2016

Thanks. And you wanna know what is really scary about this. A LOT of these foreigners selling on ebay and other platforms are in the U.S. illegally. They came here on education or travel visa and just never left and the Obama administration does nothing about it.. He's even fighting in the Supreme Court to let them all stay and to give them benefits like a US citizen.. Everyone thinks that illegal immigrants are all Mexicans, but the big problem is all these from N.Africa, the Middle East, India, and Russia.. They sell and made tons of money counterfeiting our brands and use addresses and banks outside the U.S., so they pay no U.S. taxes and are shielded in case the brand owners take action.

Its really a bad situation and its literally billions and billions of dollars in sales that are stolen from American small business.

My suggestion to all is don't buy anything from China and Hong Kpng sellers on the marketplaces, and buy NOTHING from these people advertising all over facebook and on pages/groups. This is so overrun by the Vietnamese, Middle Easterns and Nigerians its ridiculous. If you administrate any groups on facebook, you are well aware of it, as I get 10-20 Vietnamese and Middle Easterns attempting to join my group every day and they have nothing in common with it. They just want an audience to sell their counterfeit wares... Take a look at any of these Tshirt selling groups (Teespring News, Teechip and countless other mastermind groups) and its full of Vietnamese, Middle Easterns, and from places all over the globe, and they have one thing in common - they are all making money from the US consumer and it hurts American jobs, our economy and our livelyhood!

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Apr 18 00:09:52 2016

I would go further and also mandate including where an item was manufactured in the listing. So much merchandise with ''imported'' (retail code for Made in China) in the item description. We need more transparency — where an item is made and where it is being shipped from.  

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Apr 18 00:53:33 2016

I have started to thank all US customers in my shipping notification for buying from a US seller and buying a US product from a US citizen paying US taxes. They know where their product is coming from. I sent something to an APO address and the customer appreciated that note.

What I have found interesting is a few certain sellers on Amazon that are selling the same products as me for 5-7 times what I charge which is around the MSRP. As an example one thing they sell is your usual crayon box for $24. I don't think we have to segregate international products as such, but I think it needs to be very clear where the item is being shipped from and where the actual seller is located. For instance the seller of the $24 crayons I believe is supposedly from here in the states, but as I see them get suspended and then reappear as different sellers, I think they are located out of the country, have no product at all, and if someone is stupid enough to buy from them they have the item drop shipped by another seller that actually owns the product.

@Pace306 - This is not an EBAY problem. It is an on lining selling problem at all venues. I get confused at times why so many readers here make everything about ebay when this is an ecommerce website.

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Apr 18 07:32:22 2016

Yes, they should. Ebay offers the option, so does Etsy. Why not Amazon?

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: topdog This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 18 09:49:52 2016

We've seen two issues come up with these products being brought into our store.
The first is for warranties. As an authorized dealer, people come to us for warranties (even if they bought it online). However, we are unable to warranty products purchased from an overseas vendor, so they're SOL.
Second, we've seen a number of name-brand items which were fakes. To the untrained eye they look like the real thing, but once we open them up, the truth is obvious. Often it's too late by then to get a refund, as months have passed since the purchase. The seller can be reported and NARUed, but they just pop back up under a new name.
The bottom line is that the marketplaces want access to Asian goods, as well as customers, so badly that they don't care about the risks to the buyers. They ABSOLUTELY should make customers aware that they are not buying from a US dealer - even if it's being sent from the US, but they don't want to risk antagonizing their new relationship, which might preclude them from doing so

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 18 09:54:45 2016

eBay should segregate products: "Eligible" for onerous "Buyer Protection At The Seller's Expense" products... and... "Buy At Your Own Risk" {a/k/a China} products.

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Twiganne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 18 12:41:00 2016

This is exactly why we should elect Trump.  He will get to the bottom to how China is scamming us and put an end to it!!

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: FH991586 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 19 11:52:23 2016

It's not easy on Amazon to get the location of the seller and/or the product itself.  I've seen many sellers using CANADA in their business name even though they are not located in Canada...  And when you try to find more about the seller, their own page is not user friendly on the Amazon seller template. :/

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 20 00:26:29 2016

For all of eBay's faults, I love that I always know what country I'm buying an item from. Amazon is totally evasive about sellers' locations even when I called and asked where a certain seller was located. Not everyone wants to wait over a month for merchandise to arrive. And that's the main reason I don't comparison shop using Amazon, it's just too darn frustrating and time consuming.

Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?   Should Marketplaces Segregate Products from Abroad?

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 10:30:48 2016

I can sort my shopping on ebay but can't on Amazon which is the primary factor why I don't buy on Amazon. Call me crazy but I'd rather keep my dollars circulating around in the usa. I know I can get tracking and most Chinese sellers don't/won't provide tracking. If I have a problem with an item I don't have to ship it internationally all the way to china. And there is no language barrier.

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