Shop details for eBay
Ebay is an institution. According to Alexa.com, Ebay ranks number 27 on the list of the most-visited websites worldwide and is a major player in just about every country around the world--China included. Ebay hardly needs an introduction.
Experience with Ebay
As we are PandaCheck and not WorldCheck, our review of Ebay will focus mainly on the multitude of China-based merchants operating on Ebay. As Ebay is so huge, it would be difficult--nay, almost impossible--to review every major Chinese merchant on Ebay within our usual site review layout. Therefore, I'll speak generally: Ebay, like AliExpress, is a marketplace and is not centralized like some other major webshops. As such, it is very important to pay attention to user reviews and a merchant's experience when choosing a product. Sometimes ordering the cheapest thing available leads to unforeseen problems caused by an inexperienced or shady merchant.
We always recommend using PayPal because of its excellent internal Buyer Protection Program. Because of Ebay's status as a platform for individual merchants, PayPal serves as an extra protection against scams. Anyone can register on Ebay and offer their wares there, so its worth it to stay on the safe side!
|PayPal||Our recommendation; features a superb Buyer Protection Program and the option of One-Click Express Checkout.|
|Credit Card|| |
|Major Credit Cards are also accepted by most Merchants on Ebay.|
Shipping Costs and Delivery Times
Delivery times can vary drastically depending on the vendor. We've noticed that these variable shipping times can get particularly bad when using the free shipping options, as they are usually the slowest and offer the greatest amount of leeway on when the vendors must ship the item. Some of our Free Shipping orders have taken up to 7 weeks to arrive.
Most vendors offer multiple shipping choices, but you should always pay attention to the shipping prices, as they can vary dramatically.
Ebay and Customs
Again with international orders Ebay's non-centralized marketplace model shows some weaknesses in comparison with direct-sale online shops. Because Ebay Merchants can vary greatly in terms of experience and legitimacy, it's usually better to avoid placing international orders with merchants who have low ratings, no ratings, or only offer a few items--especially if these items seems ridiculously low-priced.
Prices on imports can vary from country to country. European customers can expect a 19% VAT and a possible 150€ surcharge on items stopped by customs.
For shipments entering the US, extra taxes and fees on your product are a possible, but only rarely come up in small orders. Not every item is taxed when entering the country, and the majority are only subject to a nominal processing fee of between $2 and $9. The amount to be paid, however, can vary widely depending on the product and how it’s sent. If you are concerned about your item, or are planning to order goods in excess of $500, it is worth it to check with the Customs Office at the port of entry to confirm any extra fees.
Any extra taxes or duties on your shipment will either be paid at your door when the mailman drops it off, or the package may be held at your local post office. In which case, you will need to go pick it up and pay any applicable fees in person.
As with safety, and shipping, and just about everything else inherent in the eBay experience, Return policy varies from vendor to vendor. You normally have the option of reporting any problems or damage within 1 week of delivery, to receive some form of refund or a fully- or partially-covered return/exchange. Some Vendors will not allow you any form of return or exchange, so its worth it to check out their individual profiles. The best vendors will outline their personal return/exchange policies so you can know in advance what to expect.
Ebay is a very well established online auction house that features a seemingly-endless selection of products offered by and equally-great number of individual vendors from all over the world. In terms of pure selection, Ebay is hard to beat. But its lack of a centralized Vendor certification, payment processing, and general absence of buyer protection makes it hard to recommend Ebay for ordering from China. Ebay certainly does many things very well, but with so many equally-large Chinese online shops on the scene it may be better to look around first!
|Alternative 1:|| |
|closest to ebay; user-friendly; great buyer protection, but some vendors require a certain amount of product to be purchased|
|Alternative 2:|| |
|Dealextreme delivers a huge selection of products|
|Alternative 3:|| |
|Equally-large selection, free shipping, and top-notch service.|
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