Actions taken to stop eBay Item Location Misrepresentation

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Buyers should have complete information about an item’s location so that they can be aware of all the costs associated with purchasing the item and avoid any misunderstandings, unexpectedly high postage costs for buyers, and longer than expected delivery times. That’s what eBay’s Item Location Misrepresentation policy explains and today, in what will undoubtedly be welcome news, eBay are announcing new enforcement measures against listings and sellers who do not comply with the eBay Item Location Misrepresentation policy.

eBay say that it’s important for sellers to accurately state the location of their items so that buyers can use eBay’s search filters to correctly select listings based on location. When this doesn’t happen, it creates an unfair marketplace for sellers and a disappointing experience for buyers.

eBay have also said that they are grateful for the feedback received from the seller community about Item Location Misrepresentation. They’ve been listening and now they are acting. Today’s new eBay Item Location Misrepresentation policy enforcement measures aren’t exactly new – they’ve already told Chinese sellers in no uncertain terms to comply or be banned from selling on eBay.

Shipping method must match the Item Location

Having reviewed the policy eBay have made some changes which should help prevent sellers from providing inaccurate information about the location of their items. They’re now required to select a postal option that matches the item’s location. In addition, from today (28 March 2019), sellers won’t be able to create new listings or revise listings where the item location and postal service don’t match.

What this effectively means is that overseas sellers claiming their items are in the UK will have to select a UK carrier. For instance the table below sets out carrier choices for Chinese sellers which are now banned under the new regime.

Banned shipping options for Chinese sellers

Delivery Estimate

UK Other Courier 5
Other Courier 5 Days 5
Collect+ Economy Tracked 5
BPost International Parcel 7
TRAKPAK from outside UK 8
Standard Shipping From China/Hong Kong/Taiwan to Worldwide 19
Economy Shipping From China/Hong Kong/Taiwan to Worldwide 35


eBay will also be reviewing any international sellers who state their item location is in the UK, but have excessively high dispatch times resulting in extended estimated delivery dates. Their teams overseas continue to work directly with international sellers on policy education and enforcement to ensure compliance.

eBay will continue to take further steps to enforce this policy, including removal of listings, restricting a seller’s trading activities and, in the case of repeated policy violations, account closure.

Chinese sellers on eBay

We’ve written numerous times of Chinese Sellers on eBay bending (or outright breaking) the rules and effectively lying to buyers. Now it looks like this will come to an end.

Here at Tamebay HQ we’d like to make it clear that, just as UK sellers sell on overseas eBay sites, there is nothing wrong with Chinese Sellers listing and selling on eBay UK. The Internet knows no country borders and eBay is a global site. All we ask is that it’s a relatively level playing field and that on eBay Item Location Misrepresentation is stamped out once and for all.

Don’t think that this policy only applies to Chinese sellers – if you list and sell on overseas eBay sites then it equally applies to you. If you have an item location in a particular country for a listing then your stock really does need to be there and you should easily be able to ship via a local shipping method.

The full eBay Item Location Misrepresentation policy can be found here.

26 Responses

  1. so if i buy an item from a seller who is listed in the uk and that item has an advertised delivery time of 5 working days (with a uk postal service) and that item arrives from say china or hong kong within the advertised 5 working days, exactly how will ebay know that the item has arrived from china or hong kong and enforce this new policy?

  2. If they can’t despatch within two days with tracking they’re likely to be caught ?’

    the only way to prove an items actual journey is to have tracking on every sale with a carrier located in the country advertised on a sellers listing (uk seller, uk location, uk carrier). but ebay don’t require tracking on every sale. and there is no requirement to ship within 2 days anyway as sellers can still list items with up to 20 working days (i think) handling time.

    so as above, if an item arrives untracked within the advertised schedule how will ebay know if it came from china or not? they won’t.

  3. thanks chris that makes sense for chinese sellers! i guess what i’m trying to point out is this:

    i’m in the uk. and i buy a freepost item on ebay uk from a uk registered seller with a uk location advertised on the listing with a uk postal service advertised. it arrives from china without tracking and within the delivery schedule i paid for.

    so how will ebay know about that scenario?

  4. I will wait with anticipation. These Chinese sellers destroyed my Xmas sales with there lies about item location.
    The below accounts have about 20 accounts all with different name, but its the same person.
    Both accounts still saying items are in the UK with Chinese addresses
    . Lets see how this pans out

    1) = browneagle18
    2) = paiforward

    April 6th is approcahing fast my china friend

  5. Now the next move I am expecting from eBay is to give buyers the filter option to choose the fastest shipper from the same or different country.

    Please Tamebay can you write some articles about this too?

    While I am working very hard to provide same day dispatch so I can provide faster services, sellers who dispatch the products a day or two later get the same credit and get it fast badge as I am. I mean eBay should give little extra credit for the fastest dispatching sellers by at least giving a filter option.

    I have a strong believe if tamebay makes this a new agenda eBay maybe notice this beautiful feature beneficial for buyers, sellers, and eBay. I am optimistic this will happen one day I hope it won’t take long as I was waiting for the location abuse correction by eBay

  6. Hi, I am seller on ebay, I have warehouses in bradford and wolverhampton. The item location is in bradford but mostly we dispatch from wolverhamtpon and sometimes from bradford by myhermes. Will that be a problem?

  7. I spoke with eBay this morning as i have found 3 accounts now in Ireland. Maybe they think the lead times are less from there. They were quoting Royal Mail as delivery service though.

    eBay informed me they would pass on the account details to the team dealing with this issue. That means they have a team specifically for this.

  8. Recently bought something claimed to be in Switzerland – it came from Hong Kong with a RM48 sticker over a Hong Kong Post coded label.
    Just looked at an item claiming to be in Jersey, but business is Chinese in China.
    I guess if they are forced to stop claiming UK location, the Channel Islands and European locations will now blossom.

  9. The system will need a lot of work and a lot of reporting to solve the issue.

    If you buy a parcel from the numerous students living i the UK and operating an eBay account for overseas chinese sellers. That dispatches freepost and no tracking it needs you to report. However we purchased an item that was £149 in the UK and found another selller from Portsmouth doing it for £86.

    we bought it. Then 26 days later we received a letter from Fed EX asking for £6.95 import tax on an item.

    I realised we had been duped and asked what happens if i refuse they said we will ris ethe issue with our debt collection agency. I asked about not taking delivery and they said that was not an option as we were a live trading company within the UK that meant they could recover their money.

    So you cannot send back free and ripped off for money and eBay did not want to know.

  10. You can always report them for location abuse.’
    ‘and a lot of reporting to solve the issue’

    and that’s just ridiculous. it shouldn’t be down to buyers to do this work for ebay! ebay created the problem. they should fix it. and fix it without relying on buyers to report/police it. if they want our help then do the decent thing and pay for our efforts.

  11. Delivery times are one problem, quality is the other – I’d prefer not to buy knock-offs from China if at all possible.
    A lot of the registered sellers that have their business address in China don’t show as overseas because they have a UK VAT number, and there are several hundred using the same accomodation address in Manchester where there is a business specialising in providing them.
    Maybe when they’ve sorted this one out, they can get onto the MVL abuse – a 99p widget getting expensive stuff to the top of search.

  12. Could somebody please clarify the exact process for reporting them on ebay

    Im ready to go with about 10 china sellers to hand. I want shut of them. Been ripped of 3 times since xmas

  13. Hi on eissue is people seem to think everything from China is knock off.
    This is not the case as we sell lots of item that are from companies around the UK Australia Poland Italy and the USA. They are all well known brands and all are manufactured in China.
    Then the issue comes when the factory is asked to supply another company something similar and they supply exactly the same but with their company name on it .
    One example was a pump sold by SEIO in the Uk and then Croci trading or Wave as they were known (from Italy) sold the same with the name Marea all over the box but the pumps plastic body had Marea all over it.

    So who is wrong the Chinese factory or the Italians or what.

  14. The click and drop is appalling for tracking. If a customer is not in the system on ebay shows it as delivered the day the buyer chose to go and collect meaning we have a defect for 5 or 6 day delivery and we have to ring up ebay to get it corrected.

  15. I bought a noise meter last week on Look up noise meter by best match, filter for UK only, new. Set it to display 25. There’s only 1 actual UK seller in the top 25 displayed results!

    All the rest are Chinese, Hong Kong, Singapore businesses, often getting their listing in twice via sponsored listings. Claiming UK stock but that takes 7 days to deliver? Yeah right.

    I decided to try the only Chinese seller claiming premium service, because it looked like they were actually playing by the rules and I was curious to see if they were. With 1 day picking plus 1-2 day delivery via Royal Mail 24, that sounded to me like they might actually have UK stock (hey, it is possible) but this proved to be a lie. Ordered 11:30am 28th March. They messaged on the 29th March to say it had been dispatched, yet on the 1st April, when it was supposed to be delivered by according to the ebay estimated delivery, a Yodel tracking number was only just being uploaded. Later in the day, it showed it got collected by Yodel at 6pm, by their Jersey centre. So they lied about dispatch date, courier and Jersey isn’t even in the UK, so it is location misrepresentation too.

    If this was a first impression of ebay for someone, you could understand why they might shop elsewhere in future.

    I hadn’t realised how bad it was with some products, but based on this, I think ebay will need to do far more to sort this mess out.

  16. Usual eBay tactics. Acknowledge the problem after long time. Fix it by writing a “policy” sticked at random place.
    I sell on there as business and they haven’t informed be about this at all. Learning from 3rd party.
    And stop cheat yourself – it’s a big problem with big money (big sale fees) so ebay won’t let that dissapear.


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