Fed up with location abuse? Me too!

By Chris Dawson October 28, 2013 - 9:57 am

Location AbuseMonday morning and the first email I receive is for a purchase I made last night:

HI, Sorry for that the item has been sold out,would you mind waiting a few more days?it will be come in stock on the Thursday.of course I will make the refund to you if you want,please advise.
Kindly regards

The purchase was from a multi-variation listing but the seller still has that variation showing on eBay with a quantity of “10 available” showing.

What’s even more annoying is that once again it’s turned out to be a seller based in China who supposedly has their stock in Manchester. They may well be dispatching from Manchester but their stock certainly isn’t based there and they’re still selling stock which is in China. I’m getting fed up with purchasing on eBay just to discover that I’m dealing with a seller who isn’t where they say they are, not that I have a problem purchasing with China, just that I’d like to know I am before I make the purchase.

In fairness to this seller they may well ship their items to the UK in bulk and despatch from Manchester, but if that’s the case they should only list the stock that’s already sitting in Manchester and have it available for immediate despatch. I’m certainly not going to get “Fast & Free” delivery “On or before Tues. 29 Oct” which is what I was promised in the listing.

Being an easy going buyer I emailed the seller to say that any colour would do – just ship me something. That got the reply:

hi,all the colour have been sold out.would you like to wait or cancel this order?

In other words on a variation listing with 10 variation options they’ve not got a single item in stock in the UK.

Location abuse appears to be just as prevalent on eBay as it always has been. Next time I think I’ll purchase from Amazon!

  • 5 years ago

    Yep I have had this last week..checked definitely said ship from London, UK registered company, UK vat number…and then when I chase as it was sent 1st class was told ..”might be delayed clearing customs” ; Heh?, I explained customs from London to Burnley was not normal, and asked if coming from overseas…they said yes they had shipped from China as they had run out in their UK warehouse and did not want me to wait… another seller I won’t use, as yes it finally arrived, but after I needed it, and I wanted UK not china import.

    • Gerry007
      5 years ago

      It’s the North-South divide you know….!!

  • 5 years ago

    Well it just gets worse. The seller has stopped communicating with me and hasn’t refunded me as requested.

    I don’t want to buy another item in case two turn up.

    I can’t open an eBay dispute until enough time passes and eBay support brush it off saying the seller has to have time to respond.

    I’ve opened a PayPal dispute to get my money back but can’t escalate it until the 3rd November at the earliest.

    I now don’t know if or when I’ll get my refund/item and when it’s safe for me to buy a replacement.

    Honestly I thought I was experienced on eBay, but quite frankly this is just crap!

    • 5 years ago

      It’s a royal pain, and I wonder if ebay realise this is as widespread as it really is. it also happens on Amazon too, in a big way – sellers not declaring that they are actually stateside – claiming “seller name UK” indicating they are uk based, and then the customer gets stung with import duty etc

    • 5 years ago

      They were quick enough at their emails when they were asking if I’d wait until Thursday. As soon as I said give me a refund they disappeared and stopped responding to emails.

      I reckon they probably ignore refund requests and just ship late, which means if I don’t wait (massive inconvenience as it happens) before I buy another I might end up with two!

  • admiralhardinge
    5 years ago

    This is a really bad case, and the kind of thing ebay should be jumping on. They claim they want a safe selling environment for buyers and sellers but they simply don’t have the manpower and possibly the intent to make sure this happens.

    One has to ask if ebay actually delivers on what it promises.

    Equally frustrating for me are those sellers who call themselves somethingUK or GB, but when you check the location it is actually in Germany with 5-7 day delivery. The name misleads the buyer because they naturally don’t think to check a company calling itself UK is actually in the UK.

    What is really bad is that these guys can come higher up an apparent Best Match even though they don’t offer Premium Service (I do), deliver slower, have worse feedback, and a price no better than mine. More evidence that Best Match simply doesn’t do what most buyers expect from the name – offer the nearest to what they are looking for.

  • Jane
    5 years ago

    Oh, I can beat that! I was duped in the same way a couple of weeks ago with the same scam. The thumbnail pic actually boasted ‘UK seller’ which is why I chose to buy as I wanted the item in a hurry. I purchased, then saw a listing for the same item £1 cheaper. As I actually needed 2, I bought this one too. Both offered free post, dispatched from UK etc, and they were from different parts of the country.

    I got the usual runaround, then after a few days was sent a tracking number from one seller. I checked it and basically it is bogus. Seeing the writing on the wall, I started a dispute with both sellers as soon as I could, and this is where it gets interesting: I got the same copied and pasted reply from both sellers! Then the second seller quoted me the same bogus tracking number as the first seller!

    I challenged both sellers – they admitted they ‘worked for the same company’ then told me that although they had packaged my 2 items separately, their courier had repackaged them into one parcel!

    By this time I had bought an alternative item so decided to ‘enjoy’ the dispute process. The trouble is, whatever you put, the seller has several days to respond (which both sellers did, leaving it as long as they could) but you can’t escalate until a certain date or or if the seller stops communicating. So they were just spinning it out as long as they could. I was told all sorts of bull – their courier was on strike, was ill, and would I please be patient, etc.

    When I was able to escalate, I received a refund within an hour for both. (Forced refund by eBay, not offered by the sellers)

    I’m afraid I left negative feedback for both, mentioning the bogus tracking number and lack of UK stock, in the hope of warning others. I should add that both were TRS and – silly me – I didn’t check their feedback before buying. When I came to look it was appalling, with many many similar complaints.

    I thought that would be the last of it, but no! Within a couple of days I got ebay messages from both sellers: ‘Dear frend, we have refunded your payment but you left us a bad feedback. We will send you £2 compensation for the dealy, when you change it to a good feedback’.


    • Gerry007
      5 years ago

      You should have known by the excellent English grammar.

  • Bryan Griffiths
    5 years ago

    Unfortunately my general experiences of buying on eBay over the last few weeks have been quite disappointing. Ordered a suitcase, received email to say it had been dispatched followed by another to say it was out of stock. A personalised item was sent in the wrong colour, nothing exciting just a luggage strap! Scales to weigh the replacement suitcase (bought from Amazon) were DOA. Ordered MS Office 2010 a week ago, still hasn’t arrived. What looked like a great buy was a new i5 desk top arrived with dead graphic card, which took 10 days to sort out.

  • Sam Fisher
    5 years ago

    This practice is absolutely rife on eBay. I will do my utmost to avoid buying from a location faker. I am normally happy to pay a few pounds more to a reliable UK honest seller and know I will get the goods quickly and have recourse under UK consumer protection laws if there is any issue.

    There are different levels to the faking but 99% can be spotted with a little diligence.

    The latest thing is foreign sellers falsely obtaining the Premium service badge by adding an express delivery method at an inflated price i.e. £29.99 for special delivery on a tiny item. They have no intention nor capability of providing next day service (from Shenzhen or wherever) but by adding this option they are able to kill two birds with one stone…creating trust and obtaining full Premium Service discount on their fees.

    This is my process:

    1. Change search result to UK only (default is listed on eBay UK). This filters out the items that have an honest non-UK location.

    2. Check on the listing if the seller has a UK address and VAT number (only applicable to business sellers but a key check). This is shown at the foot of the listing in an expandable section. Many who state “Location UK” or “Location Manchester” will still have a non-UK address in this section. If in any doubt, don’t buy unless you see a UK address.

    3. Go to their feedback page. Check the country of registration. This will often contradict the item location in the listing. If they are not showing UK on this page then the item is unlikely to be in the UK.

    4. There is another level of faking where they have a UK location, UK address and even an English sounding name, but still post from outside the UK. These can be detected in two main ways:

    a. The listing will be foreign looking, both in style and in spelling/grammar. Most Chinese sellers for example have a particular style of language and layout that is easy to spot if you are looking closely. An example would be this one

    b. check the sellers neutral and negative feedback for the last 12 months. If you see a single comment saying item not sent from UK or along those lines then it is likely that all items are being posted from outside the UK.

    Follow the above and you can eliminate 99% of the faked location items, it works for me.

    eBay need to get real about policing this but sadly show no sign of doing so. You see impossibly cheap items on eBay and they are impossibly cheap, because it would be impossible for a genuine UK based seller to sell these goods at a profit on the UNLEVEL playing field eBay have created. This experience tarnishes the eBay experience and puts buyers off. They need to provide a mechanism to show if an item is genuinely in the UK and it is feasible to radically improve this if they want to.

  • Mukesh
    5 years ago

    All that Ebay needs to do, is ask buyers for an exact date when they received the item, as opposed to asking them to rate dispatch times (which is basically asking them for a value judgement about delivery times)…

    This information can then be used to work out the average delivery time from a seller, which would then (by default) take into account the reality of the item location (even differentiating between UK offshore/inland), handling time, delivery service used (Royal Mail standard / courier etc).

    Anyone selling regulary has a default way of doing things- and therfore a fairly predictable delivery time…However, Ebay does not present this information to buyers upfront & buyers suffer ‘Bad Buyer Experiences’ due to either being duped or suffering from an expectation gap, due to not realising that their chosen seller is located overseas (even when a seller has been upfront & honest about this).

    The main search results could then show average delivery times in a column next to the price, with ‘Best Match or the default setting showing the quickest delivery times for an item first as opposed to prioritising the cheapest item.

    This would then help to steer buyers towards buying from domestic (usually higher priced) sellers & away from cheaper overseas sellers.

    The average delivery time column could then be finessed, with a figure for average over the past 12 months, and a figure for average over the past month.(This would take care of situations where a seller has recently changed some aspect of their business to increase/decrease delivery times.(Also it would highlight issues with bad weather/snow or postal strikes).
    The key to making Ebay work for buyers & sellers is transparency- and this has been historically lacking on Ebay.

  • Mark
    5 years ago

    That’s why I tend to purchase on Amazon

    eBay need to do something about this.

  • 5 years ago

    Well I got my refund after two days and am now getting hassled with promises of more refunds in exchange for changing my feedback – not happy at all, three begging emails to date.

    Purchased from another seller that shipped really quickly and very happy with my purchase, but the location abuse seller is really taking the mickey! 🙁

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