Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Sept 15 2016 09:29:15

Will eBay Benefit from an Amazon Seller Crackdown?

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon has third-party sellers on the run, but are they running to eBay - and if so, does eBay want them?

There are varied viewpoints as to whether eBay will be a beneficiary of any crackdown by Amazon. (Sellers are worried about brand-gating - Amazon now charges sellers a fee in order to sell certain brands - and are concerned about reports that Amazon is being pickier about accepting retail store receipts as proof of authenticity.)

If sellers who grew reliant on the Amazon FBA fulfillment model can't sell some or much of their inventory on Amazon, they could turn to eBay - and they could continue to use Amazon for fulfillment - Amazon allows merchants to use FBA for non-Amazon orders (called merchant fulfilled).

There are indications that eBay is hungry for this business. It just announced a partnership with Sellbrite, which helps sellers manage inventory on Amazon and other channels, to make it easier for their merchants to import their items to eBay.

But how would eBay handle pressure from brands who complain about unauthorized and counterfeit goods - and how would eBay handle any increase in customer claims?

And of course there's the issue of how such a development would impact current eBay sellers, who are already struggling with an incursion of cheap goods from overseas sellers.

In the long run, would eBay benefit from a surge of merchandise from fleeing Amazon sellers? And will eBay have to institute a crackdown of its own?




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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Sep 15 14:04:34 2016

Based on what I read, eBay want the fees at any cost. They'd likely welcome them with open arms.

eBay seem to have no problem with China counterfeits, and if past written articles are any indication, encourage and participate in it. (The lists of hot, no pun intended, selling items that eBay have provided to the Chinese in the past for manufacture.)

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by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 15 14:19:56 2016

The sad irony is that a lot of authentic and counterfeit branded items, especially electronics, shoes, and clothing are made in the same Chinese factory AND to the same specs. It's all hype and a fraud at this point. All the brands really want to do is fix prices to maximize profit. The days where things were made with quality and pride in workmanship are long gone.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Sep 15 16:38:49 2016

''The days where things were made with quality and pride in workmanship are long gone.''

Sad but true. This is one reason most clothing including the name brands are made with low quality fabrics that only hold up to a few washings, if that, and are done. Those who think they are buying from a high end line are in most cases kidding themselves. As long as it looks good nothing else seems to matter.

Look at Ebay. They only care about appearance. Why do you think they are constantly changing the home page, built a Main Street on their hq campus, and investing in acquisitions? As long as eBay makes money and looks good on the surface, the rest does not matter to them.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Sep 15 19:04:17 2016

It is my understanding that not all of the Seller's being booted from Amazon are selling counterfeit products.  They are just unable to pay the fee or otherwise unable to prove what Amazon wants.  Certainly some are selling stuff they shouldn't, but not all.  

I do think Ebay will benefit from this crackdown.  They will get some good and some bad from it.  Only time will tell what the impact will really be on Ebay.

 

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 15 19:48:57 2016

But how would eBay handle pressure from brands who complain about unauthorized and counterfeit goods - and how would eBay handle any increase in customer claims?

It would be business as usual for eBay. More fees, more charging manufacturers via verowatch, more blame for sellers.

Like Alfred E Nueman "what me worry?"

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Sep 15 20:00:12 2016

I honestly don't know Pace.  How are they dealing with it now?  Ebay currently has a lot of sellers of counterfeit items.  We can report them, yet Ebay does nothing about them in most cases.  I have no clue as to what they are doing behind the scenes to battle this problem if anything.

What does "...more charging manufacturers via verowatch..." mean?

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 15 23:19:20 2016

Marie :)

2 things please ...

A) eBay only removes counterfeiters if they get a complaint from a manufacturer. I once asked my old eBay rep (way back when) about this and was told 1) other sellers arent reliable sources for complaints on items since they could simply be competitors angling to remove competition and 2) cant take the word of buyers - most are uninformed about whats real or not

Thats why eBay no longer enforces picture theft from other sellers ...

B) more charging manufacturers via verowatch ..... eBay plays both sides of the fence. eBay doesnt care if there are more fakes - since if they are actually forced into doing something about it - its cool since they make money off that removal.

The tools given to VERO members are from eBay itself. VERO memnbers dont go through listings on at a time - theres a tool a search tool. ....... Actually if sellers & buyers had that tool - eBay would be a different place.

There are 3 companies that eBay is part of that troll listings for violators - verowatch.com being the biggest. For $150 per 1/2 hour they will do the dirty work for you. Guess who owns/runs it? eBay. (and yes I have a screen shot) and a verbal admition to prove it. Verowatch uses space on eBays servers and their domain as well.

My point was, that if more bad sellers show up on eBay (since really they are the only game in town)(with Jet and Walmart being so selective), eBay doesnt care. If sales grow then great they win. If counterfeits grow then no problem either since the solution to their removal padds eBays pockets as well - its win/win/win.

I know sometimes you think I have an axe to grind when it comes to eBay - I dont - Ive just dealt with SO MUCH of their lies and games that Im sick of it all. Id leave if I could get my Amazon to grow enough that I no longer need eBay - but im not there yet and some brands/items are gated on Amazon ... so Im stuck with the crooks from San Jose :(

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by: fifilapew This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 09:35:40 2016

@pace306
thank you for your informative and intelligent comments. I truly appreciate the time you spend sharing your knowledge of the inner workings at ebay

if you do have the ability to 'escape' the evil clutches PLEASE return to post your insightful comments as you would be terribly missed

wish you much success!  

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 09:48:53 2016

For me, I think most of my Amazon competitors are already on ebay and jet for that matter.
Those that will buy popular items for Christmas and want to pop it up on Amazon may have a  rude awakening though since I hear a lot of the toy brands are costly to get approval so will not be for the casual seller. I guess ebay could benefit from this in December as theoretically Amazon could be out of stock on some items and ebay with lots of sellers of these items. I do not think this would be a lasting issue though because as these ungated toy sellers understand they are among the few, they will make larger orders for future years.
However, it is possible that ebay will not make a cent on any of this. I have a few Disney items that are blocked to me that have been unavailable at times on Amazon and still do not sell on ebay. If you cannot find the item on ebay, it will not sell. If you give all these sellers free listings, and do not collect FVF then ebay will not benefit.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 11:29:14 2016

The new fees and back room deals most likely make up for sellers leaving

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Sep 16 15:07:30 2016

The only thing I could add to pace's excellent comment is that you have to bait the seller into 1) revealing the item is a replica or 2) that they cannot guarantee authenticity.  If a disclosure is included in their listing that will also qualify for removal. If those conditions are not met counterfeiters will have few obstacles to selling on fleeceBay.  

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 19:24:27 2016

Now thats funny. Aren't those sellers that supposely are going to flee from Amazon to Ebay, the same fools that fled from Ebay to Amazon.

How funny is that. Greed know no boundarys.

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 17 10:49:08 2016

''Amazon allows merchants to use FBA for non-Amazon orders (called merchant fulfilled)''

The above is true, but it is only true if you are authorized to sell the item on Amazon also. If the item is blocked for you on Amazon you can not send it in to FBA to sell on other venues.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 18 00:49:03 2016

=) fifilapew  - thank y ou so much for the kind words.

Believe it or not - I'd much prefer to an eBay cheerleader then be their #1 critic ..... but they continue to do things (to me anyway) that defy logic and even their own rules.

1) had a GSP case where the item could not be delivered in Germany. It sat in Germany for 12 days and then went back to PB's office in France. eBay let the customer open an INR case against me. Being its GSP and the item got to KY from NJ in 2 days - the rest SHOULD have been immaterial. Except it wasnt/ eBay kept the case open for 45 days "to see what the tracking number would say".  ...... its irrelevant what it says since its GSP and seller protection covers you once it reaches KY "in time". But eBay kept the case and my funds for 45 days with NO explanation. It took 4 calls to get it solved.

2) I had a customer who "received the wrong item". Why? 'cause the box color changed (company is going OOB and they ran out of pink boxes, but instead used black ones. Was the item correct? yes. Was the part # correct? yes. Was the UPC # correct? Yes. How do I know? (besides me saying so..) the buyer sent a photo of the box showing the upc and part# !

We agreed (since as everyone knows asking eBay is like stepping on a claymore mine) that he should send it back (on his dime). Ok, so how many days does he get? Not 30 apparently. Not 35, not even 40! its STILL open and eBay wont close it!

3) I had an item removed by VERO. Its the old Parallel Shipping lie - the one that eBay refuses to stand up for sellers on. (The EEA treaty says in BLACK & White that the ONLY people effected are EU countries). Fine, eBay sux, move on. Relist is AS PER VERO INSTRUCTION (no more GSP to EU), no dings on my account - all is fine - I go to relist. MEANWHILE - just before the removal a buyer bought one of these items. Fine. THe listing is removed, but the info is in Paypal. I printout the GSP label and off it goes to KY. Propblem is the buyer cant get shipping info 'cause the listing was REMOVED. General low level CS people cant see it either SINE IT WAS REMOVED. He emails me, I call eBay - they say "not our problem have him call eBay UK (where he lives)). Buyer emails me back "eBay UK doesnt have the info EITHER). Finally after 5 calls to US eBay support - they tell me they will do me a favor and email him some tracking ... of course meanwhile  ... he opens a case in Paypal for INR! eBay says they will handle it ... problem STILL ongoing .... (look for gods sake - just send the buyer the tracking - why is it so hard!?)

4) We mistakenly shipped a buy the wrong item (cross shipment - 2 buyers, 2 sony headphones - cross shipped). I tell the buyer BEFORE he receives it to refuse it and upon refusal we will refund. Buyer is ok, Im ok, eBay is ok. Buyer accepts item and opens case. I accept the return (Im at fault here) and a return label is generated. "eBay seems to have a glitch (so he says) and he cant print out the return label.

Side note about the morons in San Jose. When you accept a return and create a return label ..... it doesnt show up in Paypal (charged to your account), doesnt show up in the Resolution center - its NO WHERE to be found on the sellers side. Typical eBay stupidity.

Ok, so the buyer has 10 days to return the item - eBay rules. Buyer emails me over an dover - but I cant help since eBay is run by dummies - ie I cant get him the label myself.

eBay admits to me that its been 2 weeks but that they are RESETTING HIS TIME LIMIT for another 10 days "to see if they can work it out with the buyer". I ask "is it HIM or you?". eBay "its DEFINATELY US". So I ask "why are you changing your rules - 10 days IS 10 days". (stupid question since "buyers rule and sellers suck". eBay says "'we dont REALLY know its us, but we think it is ... 'cause WE cant see the label either ... too bad - eat the 10 days".

Moral of the story - when you let people who have the IQ of a mentally challenged cockroach run an ecommerce company - stuff like this happens!


Stay tuned for my NEXT exciting eBay adventures! LOL

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

Mon Sep 19 23:11:10 2016

Here's the best insight I can give...

Amazon is not cracking down on all sellers. They're mainly trying to curb the ''dropship sellers'' who are cluttering their system. In example, Amazon has a ''Bed Comforter'' for sale. The problem is that there are hundreds of other sellers selling the same product. There are sellers duplicating listings, manipulating part #'s, etc. Another trick they do, is they ''custom brand'' everything with their own stickers, and then try to market that product as their own. They're not beating Amazon's pricing.

In the end, it's creating a ton of ''garbage listings''. Plus, you go to the ''real listing'' (being sold by Amazon), and there's 100 other people competing.

In addition, those sellers are working on smaller and smaller margins - going all the way down to 2% markups. And that forces Amazon's prices down to compete with those sellers.

Lately, there's even a trend of companies selling a massive spreadsheet with everything preprogrammed. It's like a pre-packaged Amazon-based business.

In addition, because these sellers are dropshipping on very low margins, they have big problems with these kind of sellers collapsing within weeks of opening accounts. So they take all of these orders, and then disappear (usually without even getting paid). And then it also looks bad to Amazon customers, because their items never arrive (even though they get a refund).

It's all a big mess. And Amazon is trying to curb it. I think they're fighting the good fight.



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