Chinese sellers masquerading as EU sellers on eBay

A few weeks ago I wrote about location abuse on eBay, a seller was pretending to have products based in Manchester when in reality as soon as I ordered they wanted me to wait while they shipped the item from China. At the time the listing as offering “Fast & Free” delivery which definitely wasn’t the case.

Today I was chatting to Andreas from Deltatecc in Germany and asked if it was an issue for him. He is seeing a similar situation and pointed me to a Chinese trader who is selling in Germany without paying VAT, customs and other state fees, They not only don’t offer a the normal return policy which all EU sellers have to offer but they Chinese trader even has the eBay Guarantee sign (The German equivalent of eBay Premium Service). Not offering returns lowers their cost of doing business and so gives them an unfair advantage.

I’ve not raised this officially with eBay, but the few people I’ve spoken to about it all say the same thing – eBay’s feedback and especially eBay’s Detailed Seller Ratings should be solving this problem and burying the bad sellers in search results. Andreas is being told the same.

The problem is that feedback and DSRs don’t appear to be solving the issue of location abuse and service. I’m not surprised, when I left poor feedback I had three increasingly desperate emails offering me additional refunds that ended up at 100% the purchase price if I’d revise my feedback. The last thing I want after an atrocious buying experience is a seller hassling me with bribes.

Not only is it a poor buying experience for consumers who receive items later than expected, it’s unfair competition for EU sellers who have to pay their VAT and EU postal rates – it’s often cheaper to post from China than it is to post within the EU!

It would be great if everyone who was mislead by a seller left negative feedback and low DSRs where appropriate. It would be even better if they refused to take a bribe to revise them. Sadly this doesn’t appear to be happening and feedback isn’t dumping these scamming sellers to the bottom of search.

Feedback and DSRs don’t seem to be working. If you have any ideas on what to do we’d love to know.