How to avoid amazon on eBay?
May 20, 2020 8:38 PM   Subscribe

This makes twice now that I’ve ordered something on eBay and it’s actually come from amazon. I don’t shop from amazon ever for ethical reasons; the whole reason I was using eBay was to avoid them. eBay wasn’t helpful. I’ve also tried messaging sellers before bidding and not had much luck getting responses. Do I have to stop using eBay too, or is there some way to ensure an item I’m looking at won’t have any connection to amazon?
posted by Violet Hour to Shopping (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
One heuristic is to search for the item on Amazon and see if it’s using exactly the same images on eBay. Arbitrage resellers are lazy. The same strategy also will reveal when people are reselling AliExpress stuff on Amazon (very common for cheap things)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:30 PM on May 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

[L]isting an item on eBay and then purchasing the item from another retailer or marketplace that ships directly to your customer is not allowed on eBay.” (From eBay's current drop shipping policy.)

It's a straight-up policy violation. Report the seller to eBay, and feel free to either leave negative/neutral feedback or demand a return. (This sort of thing used to be allowed but hasn't been for a while.)

When buying from a seller, use the "Search Feedback" tool to search the seller's feedback for "Amazon", to see if anyone else has complained.
posted by Syllepsis at 9:31 PM on May 20, 2020 [12 favorites]

Syllepsis, I would think it's more likely they are using FBA to handle stocking and delivery of product they own, rather then buying it on Amazon from a different seller as a purchase.

Violet Hour, there's no way to tell, even some manufacturers use FBA to deliver a product when you buy it on their site. I got a mop this way.
posted by flimflam at 12:54 AM on May 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I complained to eBay and they said it was fine since it was “just” shipped by amazon. Ugh.
posted by Violet Hour at 1:27 AM on May 21, 2020

Keep in mind, there are a lot of third-party businesses that aren't Amazon, but sell through Amazon, and Ebay, and even several other sites. It's extremely common for indie used bookstores, and I'd imagine other retailers use the model, too. It's not buying from Amazon so much as it's buying from a small business owner using Amazon as a marketing tool.
posted by stormyteal at 1:31 AM on May 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

I don't buy from Amazon for ethical reasons too. I've messaged sellers before bidding to check on this but it can be a lot of extra work. Filtering to "used" items helps weed it out. Mostly, I've started shopping direct from manufacturers or small businesses. Doesn't save any money but I felt better about the purchases.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 4:21 AM on May 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

Third party sales are still paying fees to Amazon and, for FBA sales, using the Amazon distribution network.
posted by Lanark at 7:41 AM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd just like to chime in and say I've run into this problem as well, and the only solution I've come up with is vigilance - checking Amazon and eBay against each other. I've even gotten items CHEAPER than Amazon off of eBay, only to be drop shipped from Amazon. Odd business strategy. I do know that if something ships directly from China then Amazon has nothing to do with it. As to if that is a more ethical solution, my mind boggles.
posted by Dmenet at 10:37 AM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

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