Have you ever purchased an item on eBay uk only to find out the seller was located in Hong Kong? This act is called “Location Abuse” and it is happening on eBay all the time. If the seller is registered in Hong Kong, and they say in their auction: "Fast shipping from Hong Kong, United Kingdom" they have committed location abuse. They're fooling the search into thinking the item is in the UK.
I myself, witnessed this just yesterday when I searched for a mouse located in the UK and most of the search results were for sellers from the US! Here is what a seller posted about this issue on the eBay Powerseller forum:
“Theres this clown in America who sells Abercrombie clothes in the UK and states that he is in UK. He charges £6 to post t-shirts which then takes nearly 6 weeks to arrive after he has stated shipping will take 7-10 days.
I've read his feedback, and so many people have been misled by the fact that he is in US, especially newbies. So when there stuff doesnt arrive they neg him, and he ruthlessly responds by neging them back even if they have a valid complaint.
I feel really sorry for all the honest people who have bought items off him thinking they were coming from UK, paid a load for postage, had to wait months for their stuff and end up getting negs!!
AND not only does this guy neg people, but he has said things like 'i hope you are in a car wreck and die' and 'its not my fault if you're too fat for abercrombie'.
Some powerseller he is!!!”
As an eBay enthusiast I ask, what happens if you bid on an auction which is stated as in UK with the words actual postage paid only to discover that you have to pay actual postage from overseas? Could you appeal a non paying strike on those grounds?
The good news is that sellers who mislead customers about their location in the "Sell Your Item" form are violating two sections of the eBay User Agreement. Sections 7.2 a & j. They CAN be reported to eBay.
When you report the seller is it wise to report them for “Fee Avoidance”. One of eBay’s definitions of fee avoidance includes:
“Unreasonable postage or packing costs - Listings with low prices but unreasonably high postage or packing costs.”
How many Hong Kong sellers have we seen do that? My guess is that you have observed it regularly. The DVD market, for example, is full of sellers now targeting their whole Ebay business with 99p Buy It Now and £3.50 - £4.00 postage.
A buyer spoke about their experience:
A couple of days back,I was searching for a new Ipod.After 10 minutes of searching and finding nothing but sellers from the USA and China lying about their location,I then gave up buying one on Ebay.
I have had conversations with several eBay members about this occurrence. Another buyer told me:
I came across a hong kong seller (no shock there) doing buy it now of 99p with postage of £29.99,in a shop the item would sell for about you guessed it £22.99. what gets me is that in the auctions it states very cheap buy it now,like he is doing the buyer a favor. I was looking at another sellers items the other day...items for sale were Buy It Now £1.99, postage costs were in the hundreds. they had a note at the bottom saying "postage and packaging costs reflect our low purchase price". Shocking.”
Apart from avoiding eBay fees, another reason that sellers do this (particularly International ones) is because they do not refund on P&P fees for faulty items. That way there is no real way of getting your money back if there are any problems.
This kind of activity from lying sellers gives the wrong message to buyers. If I were a new buyer to the site, and realised and understood all the deception about item location, it would deter me from making any purchases on eBay. I believe eBay should protect it's buyers and automaticly place a notice on the listing page that says:
Please note that this item is outside the UK. Postage will be higher, delivery times longer and you may have to pay additional import tax.
That seems fair, as buyers will be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed purchase decision. It seems to me that Import tax is a hidden charge that should be declared by the seller.
Remember, Location Abuse and Fee Avoidance are AGAINST eBay policy. You do not have to tolerate it. Report lying sellers on the Official form here.
Select 'Listing Policy Breaches' then 'Circumvention of eBay fees' and then finally select 'Excessive postage and packaging'.
Good luck everyone.