eBay looks at Item Location
Sellers are forced to match location with postage
eBay is taking a great step to stop sellers on their platform defrauding customers by misrepresenting the item location. eBay’s Location Misrepresentation policy states that sellers shipping methods must match up with the item location in the listing. This crackdown has been seen as a positive step for buyers and also a great help to sellers who are battling with unauthorised sellers who may be selling greymarket or counterfeit items and shipping them from countries that do not have vigilant intellectual property laws.
Why would a seller lie about an item location?
There are a few different reasons that a seller might lie about an item location. If a user is shopping for something large or heavy, the likelihood is that they will pay a bit extra to ensure this comes from the same country so that they do not have to pay for shipping. Lying on the item location means that a seller can sell to a certain geo from another geo and get more sales if the user thinks they are buying domestically.
The issue here is that the customer will then get hit with high shipping fees. eBay have been reluctant in the past to do anything about this so the customer can actually receive negative feedback from the seller through no fault of their own. Consumers also tend to be naturally wary of products that come from countries like China or Taiwan. This is especially true for products like electricals that are often seen as “inferior” to their US or UK counterparts. Marketplaces like Wish reinforce this narrative by offering products for such cheap prices.
What are eBay doing to enforce the policy?
It seems many people are welcoming this new policy from eBay. The marketplace has also announced two changes to enforce the new directive. Sellers on the platform will now need to select a postal option that matches the item location. If a mismatch is detected then the listing will not be able to go forward.
Although there are likely to be a few hiccups here with lesser-known locations, the amount will be a fraction compared to the successful listings. eBay will also put in place steps to review sellers that list themselves as domestic but have high dispatch times. This is also a welcome move as it looks like it will end up inadvertently ensuring that true domestic sellers improve their dispatch times for fear of being flagged as misrepresenting their location.
What is and isn’t allowed?
Accurate descriptions are allowed naming the city and the country, for example: London, United Kingdom.
What isn’t allowed is inaccurate city and country locations like Bejing, Germany.
What does this mean for brand protection?
There are a lot of things people don’t know about eBay, so this policy being so well publicised is sure to put off anyone thinking of registering as a seller and making some extra cash by charging customers for international shipping when the listing is domestic. While it’s great that eBay are making active moves to discourage this, there are still ways for outside parties to use the platform to their advantage that may end up damaging the reputation of your brand.
If you are worried about any brand protection issues, please contact globaleyez to find out more. Our traxster online monitoring tool as well provides filtering for country, rather then only displaying the location provided in eBay - to dense down the possible results for sales of your branded products.