China Is Not Your Poodle

eBay wants to help China take over the U.S. consumer marketplace.

eBay wants to help China take over the U.S. consumer marketplace.

eBay is pinning its hopes for sales on Chinese sellers. eBay has stated that it expects sales from large exporters in China to grow 30 to 40 percent annually. In efforts to firm up this expected growth, the online auction house is dedicating teams of staffers to provide customer support to sellers in China, and is also opening fulfillment centers in the U.S. to handle product inventories from sellers in China.

eBay has even struck a special deal with the U.S Postal Service and China Post to help sellers in China send packages faster and at a lower cost from China to the U.S.

Cheap Chinese Crap

In many product categories on eBay, listings are already dominated by cheap Chinese crap (often referred to simply as CCC). Products sold from China are frequently illegal knockoffs of name brands, such as Coach handbags, Apple iPods, and Nike athletic shoes. Quality standards are tossed out on their ear for these illegal knockoffs.

Even worse, many of the products sold from China are manufactured without any of the safety standards that are required in the United States. Toxic metals, paints, and other materials are commonly used in Chinese manufacturing facilities. This is especially dangerous for children's toys that contain lead, cadmium, and other dangerous substances, and for items that people come into physical contact with a lot, such as jewelry or clothing.

Many people who enjoy shopping on eBay don't even want to see the innumerable listings from Chinese sellers of illegal knockoffs and dangerous products. These shoppers routinely use eBay's product location filter to limit their searches to include only products that are physically located in the U.S. or in North America, in efforts to avoid those listings.

eBay is pushing the Year of the Dragon

eBay is pushing the Year of the Dragon

With eBay providing an easy way for Chinese sellers to store inventories and ship products from U.S.-based fulfillment centers, Chinese sellers can avoid being filtered out by the product location filter. Sellers on eBay are supposed to list the actual location of their item, although it's not uncommon for sellers to say the location is "Granny's Attic" or "Somewhere in the U.S." But with eBay's new fulfillment centers coming online, Chinese sellers will be able to truthfully state "Peoria" for their item's location. And Chinese sellers often use American-sounding eBay IDs such as Maggie, Joseph, or Steven, which makes it harder to discern when you're looking at a product from China.

In my opinion, eBay is making a big mistake in focusing so much effort and so many resources on courting Chinese sellers for the U.S. marketplace, and especially in making it easier to "trick" buyers into buying cheap Chinese crap by storing it and shipping it from Peoria.

We don't want or need the cheap Chinese crap. Too much of the cheap Chinese crap is dangerous and/or illegal. Communication problems abound with non-English-speaking Chinese sellers, especially when you thought you were buying from someone in Peoria. When you buy from China, the fact is, you're very often not going to get what you think you're buying. How many people really believe that a Chinese seller in Beijing has hundreds of thousands of authentic Apple iPods to sell on eBay, at a fraction of the cost of an iPod bought directly from Apple? How many people really believe that the iPod bought from the Chinese seller is really an authentic Apple iPod?

How many people believe that it's not China's goal to dominate the U.S marketplace?

Someone posted a comment on the eCommerceBytes blog that summed things up nicely:

China is not your poodle.

They are *so* going to own you.

The thought of China putting the U.S. economy out of business is something worth panicking about.

Hey, eBay! China is not your poodle!

Hey, eBay! China is not your poodle!

I hope there's a lot of pushback from eBay sellers, buyers, shareholders, and others. We don't need more cheap Chinese crap being sold to U.S. consumers. We need to reduce the amount of cheap Chinese crap that we're importing and buying.

We don't need eBay continuing to provide poor customer service to U.S. sellers while hiring teams of staffers to provide support to Chinese sellers.

We don't need eBay helping Chinese sellers disguise the fact that they're Chinese sellers by building fulfillment centers in the U.S. for them to store and ship their dangerous products.


  1. Ebay is swarmed with chinese sellers now. Ebay is also giving many chinese sellers top spots in searches. I have been selling on ebay for some time with success but I’ am constantly looking for other avenues to sell my items. I now sell alot of my handmade jewelry on which is a great site and I recommend to anyone who sells jewelry 1000 times better then ebay.

    Jewelry Rage

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