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Chinese sellers continue march on eBay UK

By Dan Wilson June 10, 2015 - 11:15 am

Web Retailer has updated its Top 1000 eBay Sellers report for 2015 and it makes for some interesting reading. You can find the full list here.

A key finding regards the extent to which Chinese sellers continue to exploit the eBay UK marketplace.

Here is a verbatim extract from Web Retailer’s findings regarding cross border trade:

“Over 35% of the top 1,000 eBay sellers are serious cross-border traders – they are based in one country, and have a Premium (or Featured) eBay Store in another. That’s up from 31% in 2014.

Of those international eBay traders, 89% are based in China or Hong Kong – 315 sellers in total, up from 281 in 2014. To put it another way, 34 of the new sellers on the list are Chinese exporters – which accounts for most of the increase in cross-border trade overall.

Over half of all cross-border traders are Chinese sellers exporting direct to the US. In fact, 18% of all the top 1,000 eBay sellers are based in China with eBay Stores in the USA. That’s the same as in 2014.

A further 135 sellers –14.6% – are based in China or Hong Kong and export to other countries in the West. That’s up from 102 in 2014. So most of the increase in cross-border trade is businesses from China and Hong Kong selling to countries other than the US, particularly the UK where the increase is from 33 to 59 sellers.”

So this evidence is quite clear, as many eBay traders who have been commenting here on Tamebay say, there is growing competition from Chinese sellers.

Cinese charts

So how are Top Sellers defined?

As Webretailer says: “they have gained the most positive feedback in the last 6 months, and they are all Premium Store owners (or the international equivalent such as Featured Shops in the UK).

Webretailer is extremely clear on the methodology, but it is worth noting that this is based on feedback. That’s information freely available from eBay and whilst not sales data, it’s a good indicator.

You can find the full list here.

  • jon
    2 years ago

    Ebay’s USP was the unique and unusual products from a wide range of goods, the highlight being collectible, antiques, coins etc. This coupled with the auction style made ebay unique and fun. Now, when you talk to someone about ebay they talk about cheap tat for 99p that often breaks. They never mention an auction they are following and hope to win…. Ebay have forgotten their USP big time and the shrinking marketplace is a result; why else would JD and others be dumping their stock……

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    what this tells us is that ebay has lots of buyers
    and the Chinese are good at selling to them,
    nobody to blame but ourselves, were not grabbing our share

    • Dan
      2 years ago

      Don’t agree with that.

      One of the products we sell are LED light bulbs. It costs us £2.38 to send ONE LED bulb anywhere in the UK, it costs a chinese supplier 95p to send the same parcel from China to the UK. Add in the fact they don’t pay 20% VAT and we do and we are at a massive disadvantage and cannot compete on price. What the Top 1000 sellers list tells us is that this is exactly what eBay are happy with.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      its called business ,how is it ebays fault if someone can offer an item at a better price

    • Derek Duval
      2 years ago

      Yes, that’s Business. Unhappy Buyers who dont return to Ebay cos they got there fingers burnt by a 85 day shipping time

      Great business model that is…

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      Proof of the pudding ?
      You can buy from a chinese seller and often receive it next day from a uk warehouse

    • Tracy Davies
      2 years ago

      A lot of the chinese stuff is fake i have had some real bad experience,and they always try and make you feel sorry for them when they complain.I wouldn’t buy chinese again.

    • Fred
      2 years ago

      ” It costs us £2.38 to send ONE LED bulb anywhere in the UK, it costs a chinese supplier 95p to send the same parcel from China to the UK.”

      Anybody know why Royal Mail deliver all this stuff at what must be a loss for them?

  • Dan
    2 years ago

    ‘they have gained the most positive feedback ‘

    eBay should encourage feedback to be given 30 days after they have bought the product, when it has failed because the build quality is rubbish.

    Better yet, introduce a product feedback feature like Amazon has, given buyers the opportunity to actual know what they are buying.

    • Simon
      2 years ago

      Feedback – Product reviews would be such a good idea on eBay. When you look at a sellers feedback you have to look hard to see if they have sold any of the item you want to purchase.
      As ebay now have Fixed(ish) item ID’s (3 months) then this gives the item (ID) a greater life so that Reviews or feedback can be seen per product. If they went the whole hog and used Letters and Numbers in the ID’s (like asins) then they could have a more permanent product. Not even sure if the above makes sense or maybe it does in my head. B-)

  • Tom
    2 years ago

    What makes me laugh is Babz manage to feature twice in that list

    Babz
    bargain-bonanzaa

    Ebay the place for cheap toot, I wonder if they have sorted out their accounts yet? time to take a look

  • Stuart
    2 years ago

    I was thinking about Chinese Sellers on ebay the other day and if they could be the cause of their downfall and sliding results.

    If we sell an item for say £6.99 with free delivery and I can bet the same items is available from a Chinese seller for .99p with free delivery, how many more of the .99p items have to sell to pay the same fees as I would for selling a £6.99 item.

    Perhaps ebay should really think long and hard about clearing this clutter and focusing on selling the more expesive items? (by expensive I mean not .99p from China).

    Ebay go on and on about buyers and great experiences, well waiting 3 weeks for your .99p items to arrive is not a great experience.

    TRS status doesn’t seem to overide Chinese sellers either, they just flood the marketplace with products and over run categories.

  • ifellow
    2 years ago

    Does this include chinese sellers using fake UK addresses and drop shippers, fake companies and vat numbers ? Because these are indeed a massive proportion.

    Its not ebays fault, even if people consider it an ebay problem.

    Its the failure of central government policy and HMRC to act that’s to blame.

    Those moaning about VAT dodge, and the heavy cost of accounting for vat.

    Consider a 1500 sqft space outside shanghai can be had for around 260-300 usd a month, no rates bills tiny compared to the UK. But don’t forget most chinese will laugh at you stating ‘ HA HA rich foriegner want such small warehouse’.

  • ifellow
    2 years ago

    If you think its bad here, think how the amercians must feel.

    Of course we won’t do anything about it untill they do.

    • Derek Duval
      2 years ago

      Don’t worry the FBI will sort the Chinese out, just look at smug Blatter and his cronies…they aint laughing any more

    • 2 years ago

      So far the FBI has raided a few offices, siezed documents, files and computers. So far nobody has been charged and no one has appeared in Court.

      There is still plenty of time for the FBI to announce that they cannot put together a real case. There is obviously a long term possibility of Appeals about this or that especially to do with Jurisdiction.

      So lets not hold FIFA up yet as an example that the Chinese Sellers could soon be in trouble with the FBI. As far as my selling Books is concerned the Chinese are not a major player. But I do feel for anybody being pounded by Chinese Sellers. But while I hope that the FBI will come up with an answer it is probably years away.

    • Derek Duval
      2 years ago

      Yes they haven’t been charged, but for sure its put the frighteners on to them. You don’t need a rocket scientist to see Fifa was bent, how else do you explain world cups being awarded to countries like (South Africa, Russia and Quater)

    • 2 years ago

      Very True. But if the Fifa investigations do not result in Prosecutions and Convictions it is very possible that the previous Ruling Clique will be able to regain control of Fifa. After all it is only recently that the Fifa Elections were held. Blatter was returned just about unopposed. There is no guarantee that ALL the Countries that voted for him then will not vote for him in the future. The FBI investigations will have to succeed. If not they can only be considered a total failure.

  • carol graizevsky
    2 years ago

    could anyone let me know how chinese sellers can sell items of jewellery as stirling silver when it is only silver plated and after many negative feedbacks carry on selling and and come in tiffany blue boxes ?

    • James
      2 years ago

      eBay don’t care if this happens because they realised a long time ago that they (along with Amazon) have absolutely no chance of competing against Alibaba in the Chinese domestic market and therefore they only chance they have of making money is to encourage Chinese suppliers to sell directly to foreign markets and aid in their local fulfilment.

      eBay actively turn a blind eye to fraud because this setup works for them. They realised that Chinese will in the long term probably make them more money than local UK based sellers and so couldn’t care less about the ongoing fraud (that goes for Amazon too).

      VAT Fraud, duty fraud, description/item fraud – none of this matters to eBay or Amazon as long as they are making money and not compelled to deal with the issue.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      I am no lover of ebay but why should ebay be held to task about vat fraud,
      you dont expect whoever runs the shopping mall or the property owner you rent a shop from to be responsible for a traders vat returns, HMRC ,trading standards etc should be brought to task not ebay

    • dan
      2 years ago

      well said

    • James
      2 years ago

      Where did I say anything about eBay being held to task?

      i just said they turned a blind eye and gave an explanation about why they turn a blind eye.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      word play ,your insinuation is quite obvious? why even mention ebay at all?

    • jimbo
      2 years ago

      tinker do you think eBay should be held accountable for the facilitating of selling counterfeit goods?

      Should eBay proactive in making sure that goods on the site conform to legal requirements of the country into which they are sold?

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      IF ebay are accountable for facilitating
      what’s the next step in the process ? perhaps royal mail becomes accountable for allowing their service to be used for importing counterfeits ,

    • James
      2 years ago

      Tinker

      The difference is that eBay are aware of this happening. Many people have reported obvious cases where there is fraud going on.

      I.e Chinese seller not having a VAT number (when it is a requirement for all NETP’s selling £1+). Where Chinese sellers are providing fake VAT numbers.

      Your Royal Mail example is less obvious – because in this situation Royal Mail is unaware of the fact that these goods are counterfeit as they have no visibility of the product as it is usually wrapped in packaging and even if they did – it would not be reasonable for them to check for counterfeits as they would be unaware of the standards placed on differing products.

      eBay have visibility of the fraud, submitted evidence and the standard is the same (VAT law) of which they would be aware and are able to implement. That is the difference

    • jimbo
      2 years ago

      Fake items like fake silver are sold brazenly and openly should eBay not be held accountable or at least be obliged to be more pro-active in trying to restict? Royal Mail does not allow it’s service to be used in that way.

      Markets and car boots are obliged to take responsibility for their traders.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      ebay already restrict all manner of counterfeit and illegal items,
      to police every seller and every item is not viable
      the fee increase to sellers needed to administer any such policing would create an even bigger uproar than the counterfeits

  • Paul
    2 years ago

    I’m in the lucky position where I sell FAR more to China than I buy from China (I’m figuring that my Chinese buyers are marking up my goods at 3x the price when they arrive and are selling them locally, but I don’t care).

    They may be sellers of tat now, but give it 5-10 years and they will be major buyers of EU and US goods.

    • PayPalUser
      2 years ago

      That is interesting. Are you saying that you are doing this via eBay?

      That would be very interesting to me. Tell me more….

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