Arbitrage sellers on eBay became somewhat of an anomaly that became a rule. They create incredibly bad customer experience and expose buyers to the unnecessary risks and unjustified expenses, and in the aftermath – they harm the reputation of eBay as a marketplace.
Who are they?
Arbitrage sellers are the sellers that don’t actually own any kind of stock. They simply list the items from other websites and make them available for the eBay shoppers. Only when they make a sale on the eBay, they actually order the items from other sources and send them to the shoppers.
Basically, this approach is a scam on a high level and it is not in accordance with the eBay rules. On top of it, some of the operations ran in this way are also in direct violation of the UK laws, as these sellers avoid paying VAT although the merchandise they sell has its origin in the UK.
What are the consequences?
The consequences of this behaviour are numerous, and they are all negative. First of all, the final customers lose any kind of warranty, they pay more for the items they could buy elsewhere much cheaper, and they are provided with very bad customer experience. This reflects further on the eBay itself and creates the feeling of mistrust!
On the other side of the equation, the UK as a country loses as well, since the VAT that would be otherwise paid to the budget gets completely void. In these cases, this even means breaking the law with potential legal consequences.
How is eBay dealing with them?
Ever since the arbitrage sellers first appeared, eBay was ramping up their policies in order to prevent that kind of behaviour. In 2019 they will increase the efforts to cut off such sellers completely.
The newest rules explicitly forbid arbitrage selling and all the sellers caught practicing this type of trade are subject to a wide variety of actions, from suspending certain features to being completely prohibited from using eBay, both as a seller and shopper.
In the next period, it is expected that a lot of arbitrage sellers will simply have to find another place to operate, and it is likely that eBay will increase their efforts to deal with this kind of behaviour.