It’s been 20 years since eBay first launched in Australia in 1999 with the intent to connect buyers with reputable sellers in an “honest and open marketplace”. Two decades later, we can’t help but wonder if that mission holds up, especially considering the massive influx of Chinese sellers in the eBay marketplace.
What began as a platform to auction used goods online has evolved into a global machine in competition with fellow e-commerce giant, Amazon. Between these two megastores, Australian businesses are forced to either compete or find a new platform to sell their products.
How did it get to this point? Does the root of the problem stem from an oversaturation of international sellers in Australian e-commerce? And while we’re on the subject:
In comparison to Aussie retailers, the number might shock you. It’s no wonder more and more businesses are closing up shop on eBay. In fact, numerous local businesses are taking to online forums to share their concerns about the future of eBay. As you can gather, this is a massive problem for Australian business owners. But eBay in Australia didn’t begin as a monster; it was created slowly and over time. So, how did it all come to this?
In this article, we’re putting the microscope on a significant flaw in the Australian eBay ecosystem, and why Chinese sellers on eBay pose a risk for both Australian businesses and buyers.
Local businesses are rising up for fear of Chinese sellers ruining eBay. It’s a lucrative business to list products on the most popular website in Australia, but what if no one sees them? That’s the case for all too many Aussie owned businesses on eBay.
Yet the fact remains: Aussies love eBay. Presently, the website is the most frequently visited site in the nation, trumping sites like Wikipedia and News.com.au. Take a look at the statistics:
There are 175 million international buyers on eBay Australia
The website gets 62 million monthly visits (that’s roughly six times the amount of traffic to Amazon AU)
60% of Australian online shoppers buy something from eBay every year
Ok, so the news is crystal clear: eBay in Australia dominates the e-commerce industry. That should come as welcome news to Aussie businesses, except for one major flaw in the system: Of the thousands of stores on eBay Australia, only 40,000 of them are Australian owned --or are they? The truth is, shady practices blur the lines of what is considered Aussie-owned, or advertised as Aussie-owned. So, if they don’t belong to Australian business owners, who do the other stores belong to?
Aussie sellers think so, as they’re hit first-hand with low visibility, lack of sales and overall minimal traffic to their stores. Consider the fact that the top competitors to eBay are Amazon Australia and Aliexpress.
What have we learned about these two retailers? That just like eBay, an infiltration of Chinese sellers infiltrating the Amazon marketplace are pushing Australian owned businesses to the back pages. How can they make sales if no one sees their products?
And Aliexpress? Well, as you know, that’s a Chinese selling platform. It’s crucial to analyze the competitor websites because it reveals a startling reality: that people are buying from Chinese sellers over Australian sellers.
It turns out, Chinese sellers have dramatically altered the landscape. Let us be clear: this is not a blatant attack on all Chinese stores, rather an examination of the consequences of flooding the marketplace with Chinese stores in favour of Aussie owned businesses. The result?
Poor buying experiences, lower quality products, and overall a detriment to the Australian economy. Is it worth it to save a few bucks on an item? Worse, those who seek to support Aussie businesses inadvertently buy from Chinese stores. That’s right, time to pull the curtain back on the shady underbelly of eBay location abuse.
The overwhelming amount of misinformation and blatant lying has given Chinese sellers a bad reputation. It’s unfortunate because there are honest, good Chinese owned stores on eBay, but they’re buried under shady practices like location abuse.
Location abuse is essentially a popular practice where Chinese sellers claim an Aussie location to enhance their visibility on eBay. By advertising that their products come from Australia, buyers assume they are supporting Aussie owned businesses. However, once the transaction is complete, the customer is met with extended shipping times, high fees and low-quality products.
While regulations have tightened to minimize location abuse, there are still loopholes. For example, Chinese sellers will send a large portion of stock to fulfilment houses to dispatch locally. Yet, it’s still from a Chinese store, not an Aussie one.
The bottom line is that there are still excessive amounts of fake Aussie sellers that are actually shipping Chinese products from Chinese stores. This has made many consumers and shop owners wonder...
An eBay seller can be based in China and still outrank an Aussie store in search results. This is why many local businesses are in uproar against Chinese sellers ruining eBay. And this isn’t only happening in Australia — it’s a problem on a global scale. Yet here in Australia, we’re feeling the consequences more than any other nation as eBay dominates the e-commerce industry.
How can you stop a monster? To start, you have to reclaim your territory and advocate for buyer education and awareness. Bottom line: the more that people buy Australian, the more impact we have on the e-commerce landscape and ultimately, the health of the national economy.
The truth is that the issue is bigger than just eBay. Chinese sellers have infiltrated Amazon Australia, and more and more sellers are closing up shop as a consequence. To truly generate a massive change, we need to use our voices to create a collective dialogue that encourages consumers to buy Australian. After all, if we want to keep money in the Australian economy, we need to buy from Australian businesses online.
Was this article helpful?1 person found this article helpful