Why do eBay purchases turn up in Amazon packaging?

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eBay said it was fine with sellers who use the Amazon marketplace as a drop-shipper” is the first line of an EcommerceBytes blog post which examines the bizarre package branding that comes when a product purchase on eBay is shipped from Amazon.

The article unquestioningly accepts the position (which at times may be true) that arbitrage is the reason behind this. A seller spots a product on Amazon which has a lower selling price then can be achieved on eBay. They list and sell the product for a profit and then simply make the purchase on Amazon and ship directly to the buyer.

I’ve experienced this myself so arbitrage definitely happens, although it’s more common in the US than the UK and is simply an alternative method of drop shipping using either Amazon retail or a third party Amazon seller as your drop ship supplier – normally without their express consent. Of course things like returns get interesting with the question of who returns the product where.

In many cases when an eBay package turns up in Amazon branded packaging there’s a much simpler more logical explanation however. It’s simply that the eBay seller who sold you the item uses FBA. FBA, as well as fufiling your Amazon sales can also be used to fulfil sales off-Amazon. This can include your own website sales (in the past many retailers has Amazon Webstores) as well as other venues which can include eBay.

It’s much more probably if your next eBay purchase is delivered by Amazon that your seller uses FBA than is involved in arbitrage. Why wouldn’t they – the delivery then becomes Amazons probably and with Amazon Logistics working seven days a week suddenly the seller is able to deliver your product next day with later cut off times, at weekends including Sundays and Bank Holidays. About the only day of the year they won’t be able to deliver will be the one day Amazon takes off – Christmas Day.

If you already use FBA for your Amazon sales, do you also use it to fulfil your website and eBay orders? We’d love to hear your experiences and if you’ve ever run into any problems.

Of course alternative fulfilment houses to Amazon are also available, we list some in the Tamebay Guide.

4 Responses

  1. We use FBA for our own site for certain lines this is not an issue. The issue per normal is eBay themselves, they do not let you advertise FBA as a shipment option. You have seen some of the FEEDBACK left for sellers who use Dropship using FBA or send their “own stock” in a FBA warehouse.

  2. Arbitrage is definitely something that happens on Ebay and usually quite easy to spot.

    At a guess I would say they are using some type of software to run it.

    Some of the ones I have spotted are also promoting their products through Ebay Sponsored listings, selling items for 150%+ of the RRP

    I am sure there are some genuine sellers using FBA for all their orders, including Ebay and their own web site, which is no different to using one of the many other Fulfilment service companies

  3. Most of these sellers are Israel based and use software also from an Israeli based company. Not only they do not pay a penny in taxes, but they flood the search results with useless items, triplicated listings, and worst of all they steal your photos and descriptions.

    Customers and real businesses should be protected from these “thieves” but then again all eBay wants is to get their fees.


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