Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Nov 1 2018 22:22:21

eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay CEO Devin Wenig did not seem overly concerned with current US-China trade and postal issues when speaking with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday, despite the company's exposure - in 2014, he referred to eBay's "really big China export business to Europe and the United States." During Tuesday's call, he outlined several ways eBay has helped its Chinese sellers importing into the US.

"A majority of our China inventory is now warehoused in the United States," he explained in response to a question about tariffs. "Obviously they're not our warehouses, but we've helped our Chinese sellers with warehousing domestically, so that wouldn't be subject to those quarters."

He said tariffs on Chinese goods had had very little impact thusfar. "Most of the tariffs have been consumer goods, and we haven't seen very much." With regard to USPS postal changes impacting Chinese imports, he said "it's a little early, we're pretty well positioned if those changes take fruition."

Wenig referred to SpeedPAK, a new shipping service eBay rolled out to help Chinese sellers reach US consumers through multiple delivery options that would not be subject to proposed postal changes, a reference to the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the Universal Postal Union and "self-declare" higher rates for goods coming from China.

In fact, Wenig said he thinks eBay is better positioned than other companies when it comes to US government action regarding China:

"I wouldn't say there is no impact, but actually, in some ways, if the changes happen for everyone importing China inventory, we think we're about the best positioned given that we've been in this business for a long time, and we've taken a lot of changes to shrink time and distance and costs for Chinese sellers and build diversity at the last-mile."

Some might wonder if Wenig is tone-deaf to the current political environment. A sign came today that the administration has not finished taking economic actions in response to what it sees as the China threat, with the potential for more collateral damage to retailers.

The United States Justice Department launched the China Initiative to combat what it called "Chinese economic espionage against the United States," which it said has been rapidly increasing. Among the goals of the DOJ's China Initiative is to "Evaluate whether additional legislative and administrative authorities are required to protect our national assets from foreign economic aggression." 

Wenig also appeared oblivious to the concerns of eBay's US sellers who resent what some perceive as its favoritism to Chinese sellers that harms their own exposure in the marketplace, resentment that is being fueled by the political rhetoric.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Nov 4 02:18:13 2018

@ Bill

I don't usually buy chinese stuff but I'm doing a review on Youtube and the item is a chinese knock off of an American made product (Radian Raptor Charging Handle for a AR15).

I found a chinese based seller who claimed the item was being shipped from California when in fact it was shipped from New Jersey. (no big deal)

The label was printed using Endicia and says CommercialBasePrice First Class PKG SVC. . . It looks just like any other USPS printed label.

As long as it didn't come in an ePacket I'm OK with the way it was shipped. . .

PS: If you want to see my review on Youtube I'll give you a link

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 4 05:33:43 2018

@Toolguy
using "endicia" labels with "Comerical Based Price"

WOW,, thanks for this info, this is incredible, So the china sellers still get their discount even thou they ship directly from US soil.

Someone needs to put a stop to this, I can see doing a little discount, but we are talking about prices of a dollar to ship, practically anywhere,

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 4 06:48:24 2018

@Bill

Tool would know, his whole family going back several generations worked for the post office, i believe what he's saying, the china sellers are getting away with it legally , it's far worst then i thought.,

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 4 11:18:21 2018

At this point in time I doubt it matters anymore what the Devil says - ebay is dead - dead as a door nail and we are approaching the xmas selling season. Even the big box retailers are freaking out with black friday prices in october. Devin is desperate to compete with Anyone these days.  Mobile shopping is a joke - the site is a mess - still encountered the "Picture" problem the other night - haven't sold anything in days - I personally cant just sit here working it with no results.  After 20 years of ebay experience I think I know what should be happening at christmas time.  If it is this bad now January should be the shutter days for ebay. I hate to say it but I'm going over to Etsy and give them a sincere shot - put some effort in it and abandon ebay.  I spent the day yesterday at the antique mall and it wouldn't hurt me to spend some time there either - funny how people are shopping there again.

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by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 4 11:23:29 2018

"we've helped our Chinese sellers with warehousing domestically, so that wouldn't be subject to those quarters."

1. What?

2. If they're if the USA, they cost an extra money to ship via USPS First Class Mail. That simply isn't the case.

3. For the few times I bought a misc "Wish App" type junk product on eBay, it has come from China, not the USA.

The old way (not very old) is that companies in the USA would import and private label those junk products. The new way (within the past 2-4 years), is that the Chinese sellers are selling directly to the USA end user. They save money with postage. The sabotage other seller's listings (on Amazon, not sure about eBay). And they also save money by leaving the item in bulk/unbranded packaging. This way, if a screwdriver, made in China and sold in the USA, sells for $6, they can sell it for $3 and ship it straight from China.

All the complaining that goes on about this, and I'm okay with their methods. I'd rather we find a way to be better than them, than to use laws to cut them out. I'd rather we find a way to get USPS to ship for cheaper, in order to compete. I'd rather we educate consumers on the low-quality and disposable nature of these products. And I'd rather we find a way to manufacturer for cheaper, in order to compete.  

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by: corpuschristi1956 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 5 00:14:55 2018

"resentment that is being fueled by the political rhetoric".....STILL REFUSING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DISCRIMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BASED SELLER.

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

Mon Nov 5 00:56:07 2018

I don't sell on ebay, but the majority of my products are made in the USA and I bring this to my buyer's attention by thanking them for buying from a US seller selling  US made goods and paying USA taxes. I have had customers comment positively on that. They appreciate being able to buy US goods. Granted some want the lowest cost possible, but others understand that it helps the US economy to be buying American.  

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by: lalaland This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 5 02:27:50 2018

'' how is it that China can stock warehouses in the US like a regular business, but get away with shipping their items , thru the post office for practically nothing, when the rest of us are paying thru the nose ''

And then they pile another 10% on top of the already ridiculously high shipping cost
for us.  Which in my mind is illegal in the first place.
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE.  RED WAVE!!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

by: ySirTinLee This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 5 02:28:43 2018

When I buy on ebay, I search for U.S. sellers and have gotten some Chinese sellers with products in the U.S.; it cost about 6 times more than the same type of item from China or any of those other asian countries.
Ohbuybuybuy, and I received a package within 1 week.  So, yes, there is Chinese products warehoused in the U.S. (and not just from ebay!) Check out other chinese websites and you'll see what I mean.  
To: ebayisscrewed:  I think you have a very good idea, as a matter of fact, it's one of the smartest things I've seen on this site.  Now, how can we get that idea to knucklehead?

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Mon Nov 5 04:26:42 2018

As you all know, some Amazon "unauthorized" staff was selling data to China sellers, but did you know that online sales in Europe from China sellers account for more than 40%? and 25% are dropshippers from India, Russia, Latin-america and other places. That leave you all with a small piece of the cake, but to make it easier on all of you, the postal rates from China are lower than for you to send a package across the street. Does anyone knows what is the percentage of online sellers getting sales from USA buyers? I do not mean China made stuff, I mean sales, purchases made in Alibaba or one of those places. I think this is quite very much super alarming. Good day, keep pretending that everything is just fine.  

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by: jewelryqueen521 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 5 06:16:15 2018

So Ebay wants to keep the fakes and repros coming in from China not only hurting American business but deceiving the American consumer??? Is that what they are blatently saying?? From fake Chanel to fake Oscar de la Renta, plus many lesser known names, they and a handful of unscrupulous sellers have ripped off buyers of millions of dollars, and that is just one small category. You buy it from China for 20-40 on the Oscars at most, and dealers sell them here for hundreds??? And all the complaints in the world don’t get them pulled. Isn’t there a word for that?

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Nov 5 06:47:18 2018

@TroyStiffler
You missed the part where those products ship here cheaper and enjoy other such subsidies [aid my Americans due to various laws and regulations.  It's all well and good to oppose laws and regulations that keep competition out but it's foolish to ignore that the playing field is already artificially tilted in China's favor by other laws and regulations.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Nov 5 06:49:16 2018

"[aid my" = paid by

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

Mon Nov 5 08:39:32 2018

selling to China via Global shipping has NOT been a pleasant experience. Chinese simply dont know what they are buying!

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by: zenbreeze This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 5 09:37:45 2018

Too bad they've never been concerned with the rampant copyright theft from Chinese sellers, which still goes on there daily, and has done for decades.  VeRO is not very effective in taking down these sellers.  I saw one of them using my painting on a jewelry piece.  There were rhinestones around my painting.  I still shudder.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Mon Nov 5 10:18:22 2018

Let's just be done with it and have Alibaba buy Ebay. I would actually be ok with that at this point.

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by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 5 10:22:23 2018

"but we've helped our Chinese sellers with warehousing domestically"  Perhaps if you helped your US sellers just as much as you help the Chinese peddle their junk your buisness and marketplace would not be failing as miserably as it is. Ebay = Dead Man Walking

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 5 20:58:27 2018

@Maxmad

The comment that Tool made about the Chinese Sellers in the US getting Commercial Base Pricing is exactly what they are entitled to using Endica, the same as we get here in the US if we use a Reseller like Stamps.com.  

Maybe I misread your comment as my head is spinning tonight, but I read it as the Chinese company in the US was paying the correct amount of postage for shipping in the US.  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 6 02:29:57 2018

@Silver Ice King

if the china sellers are paying Commercial Pricing to ship from within in the US, it would be the same as what they pay in china,

As mentioned I have received many items, that arrive very quick as if they were sent from very close by, for the same cost as if they were sent from china, we are talking cheap, in many cases under $2 TOTAL including the item and shipping combined.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue   eBay CEO Devin Wenig Addresses the China Issue

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 6 09:56:54 2018

Again, if they are shipping from the US ("US warehouse") to the US (buyers), then they should be paying the same usps rates as US sellers, who also ship from US warehouses (our homes/offices, etc.) to US buyers. The fact that they don't, by forging labels that "appear" to have that article being shipped via epacket from China to the buyer, IS FRAUD.

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