The danger of drop-shipping for both sellers and buyers on ebay

Posted on May 17, 2009 by


Recent comments on our blogs have made us aware that some people do not know about the dangers of drop-shipping where flash memory items are concerned.

Drop-shipping is a system in which an ebay member lists an item for sale but it is actually delivered by a wholesaler they have a drop-shipping agreement with. The ebay seller never sees the item and only pays for the item when the sale is completed. The ebay seller then pays the wholesaler, who then sends the item to the final buyer. This is why you see items listed where the seller is registered in one country but the item is in a different country. This can work well for items like jeans, shirts, shoes (other than designer items!), costume jewellery, general household items and so on – but….

Where flash memory is concerned this presents a big problem! As the ebay seller is unlikely to have ever clapped eyes on the flash drives/memory cards/memory sticks/ mp players they are selling they have had no opportunity to test them and verify that they genuinly have the capacity claimed by the wholesaler.

A comment made today by an ebay seller who was wise enough to buy one to check before listing the item on ebay is quite revealing:

Yes, I’m beginning to think that the drop shippers are the major source of the fake flash because they mostly don’t screen what they sell. Specially if they are getting it from a supplier they trust.

“Drop-shipping” is a type of agreement where you sell an item that a different seller(supplier) has and just add a mark-up value to the item, that way you make a profit.

The e-bay seller then wouldn’t really have the item, in fact the item could be on a different country and the e-bay seller wouldn’t even have to touch the item to make a sale. A good example is if I sell you a “digicam”, after you pay me I will then contact and pay the “drop-shipper” but instead of sending the items to me, the “drop-shipper” will send the item to the address I specify which in this case will be you.

So I could be in London and you could be in New York, but you will receive the item and surprise! it’s not from London but from the address of the “drop-shipper”.

A lot of e-bay sellers actually do this, mostly power sellers. It’s a good way to start an online shop without having the need to physically stock up on the items you’re selling. It’s just that you have to SCREEN what you sell if you wan’t to make an honest living. The problem is if you have a trusted supplier that suddenly sells the fake USB’s and you add them to your shop you end up selling the fake USBs for the supplier.

Hopefully the comment from this seller who nearly fell into the trap of selling fake flash will clarify the issue for other ebay members!