Fake UK sellers (china) on eBay scam?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Worzel, Mar 19, 2013.

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  1. SEIB

    SEIB UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 0
    One of the best ways to make sure you are dealing with genuine sellers on Ebay is using their feedback scores.
    A lot of overseas sellers have latched on to the "UK Seller" idea and regularly post union flag images as part of their item.

    I would say that if an item appears to good to be true / over half the price of other uK sellers and they appear to be a UK seller, check the feedback. Even the power sellers with 1000's of feedback often have over 99% good feedback if they are reliable.

    You often find the overseas sellers who are not geniune never get to power seller status or really high volumes of feedback.

    Feedback is always key to how well the seller has/is performing.

    That is the best method to avoid a scam in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
    Posted: Apr 8, 2013 By: SEIB Member since: Apr 2, 2013
    #41
  2. Worzel

    Worzel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    190 28

    The better method is go onto the bottom of the listing and click contact details. Here you will see the hong kong address.

    Problem is buyers shouldn't need to do this, and most won't even know how. IF they learn, it is probably to late. The slightest thing will put buyers off using ebay so they won't return I'm sure
     
    Posted: Apr 8, 2013 By: Worzel Member since: Jan 28, 2013
    #42
  3. SEIB

    SEIB UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 0
    You make a very good point there but the issue I have found is a lot of these sellers tend to use false UK based address for shipping.

    Very crafty!
     
    Posted: Apr 8, 2013 By: SEIB Member since: Apr 2, 2013
    #43
  4. Worzel

    Worzel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    190 28
    I've seen it all. UK flags in pics, UK SELLER in title, uk address in listing along with royal mail postage. It is unthinkable that they can get away with it,
     
    Posted: Apr 8, 2013 By: Worzel Member since: Jan 28, 2013
    #44
  5. coolhands

    coolhands UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    7 2
    well thanks worzel. I (thought I was) an experienced ebay user - even I didn't know to check the contact details that are hidden at the bottom of the listing, cos I always click 'uk only' for items.

    I normally opt for uk sellers as I don't want to wait 2 weeks just to save a extra 5p or whatever.

    I'm not a seller but I 100% agree it is a disgrace that ebay allow this to continue when its pretty obvious. Especially with all their other stupid conditions they do enforce, bunch of *******.
     
    Posted: Apr 9, 2013 By: coolhands Member since: Apr 20, 2012
    #45
  6. jake the peg

    jake the peg UKBF Contributor Free Member

    50 5
    But what about companies in Hong Kong or China which really do have a UK warehouse, are VAT registered, and can deliver next day? I've bought plenty of items from such sellers, so by saying that all sellers with a Hong Kong address are part of a "Fake UK seller scam" is a gross generalisation.
     
    Posted: Apr 12, 2013 By: jake the peg Member since: Jun 27, 2011
    #46
  7. Worzel

    Worzel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    190 28
    What about them? this thread is about the China sellers who don't have UK warehouses, but pretend to. Also if you bothered to read through you would see it is not just China, other countries also do this, it's becoming a trend to flood the UK market.

    Please don't come to this thread twisting what has been said to start up an argument, it's embarrassing. This thread is about a real issue that is acknowledged by many sellers and even buyers.
     
    Posted: Apr 12, 2013 By: Worzel Member since: Jan 28, 2013
    #47
  8. jake the peg

    jake the peg UKBF Contributor Free Member

    50 5
    I'm not here to start an argument, I was just pointing out that your method of detecting if a UK seller is fake or not, "go onto the bottom of the listing and click contact details. Here you will see the hong kong address." isn't really a foolproof detection method.

    I understand all about the ebay issue, as I sell on ebay myself. There is another seller on ebay selling the same products as me, products shipped from UK, company registered in UK, the owner/director based in China, with over 100000 feedback in the past 12 months, but pays no VAT.
     
    Posted: Apr 12, 2013 By: jake the peg Member since: Jun 27, 2011
    #48
  9. Anonymouse72

    Anonymouse72 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    765 158
    all the ones i've seen are pretty obviously fake UK addresses, this week I saw London, Worcester as an address (or something similar), & i wouldn't buy from any seller with this type of info.
     
    Posted: Apr 12, 2013 By: Anonymouse72 Member since: Jun 16, 2012
    #49
  10. Worzel

    Worzel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    190 28
    No worries, the thing is there is no actual way to be 100% sure (which is the whole issue for buyers, selecting UK ONLY doesn't even work). So that is my way of checking. If you are in the position where you need to check, then that is probably the first red flag anyway.

    I'd be very interested to see this seller you mention that really does have a UK premises? How can you actually know without visiting the warehouse that it is belonging to this seller? For example, another thing that *some* Chinese sellers do is use use UK company registration numbers for ones that are no longer trading (I forget the correct word for this)

    Please post a link to said seller(s) ? I have also heard of some that do infact have a uk warehouse, in a spare bedroom above a Chinese takeaway. They will ship a few EMS parcels over to here with the main sellers, which CAN explain somethings being delivered the next day.
     
    Posted: Apr 12, 2013 By: Worzel Member since: Jan 28, 2013
    #50
  11. Worzel

    Worzel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    190 28
    Yeah, I see "Jersey" alot
     
    Posted: Apr 12, 2013 By: Worzel Member since: Jan 28, 2013
    #51
  12. Sky_Blue_Dave

    Sky_Blue_Dave UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    I recently brought a towing adapter 13 pin to 7 pin. Ebay Cost £6 with free postage. Discovered seller was Hong Kong based afterwards. Goods arrived 2 /3 days later by Royal Mail 2 nd class - Small parcel would be something around or just over £2 with PPI. Ok I leant from here he pays no VAT. Ebay score was around 40,000 with 99%.
    Ohh Store Title started with UK....

    Uk companies started buying from China, India etc to reduce cost perhaps the factory owners can now see that they can sell direct to Uk customers via ebay or their own e commerce sites.
     
    Posted: Apr 13, 2013 By: Sky_Blue_Dave Member since: Mar 16, 2013
    #52
  13. hualun

    hualun UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    I wonder do they pay VAT If the item dispatched from 'The UK warehouse'
    As a samll UK seller, I found There is not much profit left after paying VAT
     
    Posted: Apr 13, 2013 By: hualun Member since: Apr 13, 2013
    #53
  14. AbsolutNut

    AbsolutNut UKBF Regular Free Member

    170 39
    Yes, an overseas seller, if dispatching from within the UK are supposed to be VAT registered and charge VAT as a result. HMRC brought a new rule in to existence beginning of December last that stated that overseas companies shipping from within the UK cannot make use of the VAT threshold and must register for VAT for all sales made in this way.

    We are sick to the back teeth of the huge swathes of overseas sellers (particularly far east but also USA), infiltrating Amazon for example, flouting tax laws. Many have crap feedback and still many seem to get the Buy Box. Many far east sellers sell poor quality goods or fake items in our experience. We have one now from Singapore infringing our trademark for example with arrogant responses to our emails sent.

    Many use Amazon FBA. You can tell by the really cheap prices they are not paying VAT and are probably shipping them in massively under-declared. With the recent Amazon fee increases, it is harder than ever now for a legitimate UK company to survive. If it isn't Amazon undercutting their own sellers, we also now have huge numbers of overseas sellers to contend with.

    I have noticed a big increase in this over the last 2 years since Amazon started promoting cross-border trade. One of the worse things they have done IMO. It piss*s UK sellers off, and it piss"s customers off when they have to wait 2 weeks because it is being shipped from China.

    Rant over. :mad:
     
    Posted: Apr 19, 2013 By: AbsolutNut Member since: May 17, 2010
    #54
  15. Banksbroo

    Banksbroo UKBF Regular Free Member

    229 49
    A lot of non-Uk sellers, particularly from China, have active .co.uk websites. A nominet lookup will often give the owners address in China.

    I think Nominet have a role to play here in terms of policing the .co.uk namespace. Perhaps limiting it to organisations and individuals who have a real presence in the UK, or at least filtering out fraudulent sites.

    HMRC are clearly losing millions of pounds in VAT and import duty.

    Ebay and Amazon may think they are above the law, but HMRC should be able to take robust action against the platforms used by VAT fraudsters. All it needs is political will from the top, and who knows, even Amazon may stop its own efforts to avoid paying VAT on all its sales.
     
    Posted: Apr 19, 2013 By: Banksbroo Member since: Nov 7, 2008
    #55
  16. amac

    amac UKBF Regular Full Member

    426 33
    I agree in some respects but Amazon do have certain items in their TOS that help UK sellers - like me. We also have to remember that using Amazon is our choice - we could acquire customers using other channels i.e physical store, online store etc.
     
    Posted: Apr 20, 2013 By: amac Member since: Dec 31, 2011
    #56
  17. jashry

    jashry UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 0
    Firstly, I believe one person has already explained how the Chinese sellers defraud HMRC and I would like to point out that I have reported the method and hundreds of sellers to HMRC but they are not interested.

    The Fraud:

    (1) Chinese sellers send their goods to a UK fulfilment warehouse. Let's say the goods are valued at a £100,000, they will declare the value at £10,000 so they will pay input VAT of £2,000 rather than £20,000.

    (2) They then sell these goods on ebay (same is true with Amazon) and when they are sold the sales revenue goes to their HONG KONG paypal accounts. However, some sellers are clever and have UK paypal accounts as well and will show some revenue in their UK paypal account.

    (3) So, in our example above, let's say the final sales value for the £100,000 of goods is £200,000 the Chinese seller will pay VAT on, say, £20,000 of sales shown in their UK Paypal account and will pay NO VAT on the HONG KONG paypal account which has the £180,000.

    (4) From the HMRC's point of view, this is what's happened:

    (a) Input VAT of £2000 was paid and reclaimed by the seller
    (b) Output VAT of £3,333 is paid to HMRC on the sales of £20k in the UK paypal account
    (c) HMRC is defrauded out of £30,000 of VAT on the £180,000 of sales from that went into the Hong Kong Paypal account.

    Competition:

    Remember, as a UK seller it is impossible to compete against the Chinese sellers as they make an additional 20% margin on what a UK seller would make.

    Ebay's Response:

    "We know about this". Remember, ebay are the ONLY ones not losing out on this because they get their ebay selling fees and they also get their paypal fees and if anything Ebay is facilitating this whole fraud for the overseas Chinese sellers.

    HMRC's Response:

    This was interesting and I will summarise how they responded when I spoke to them on the phone:


    • We are aware of this fraud that is happening and are working with ebay
    • If you give us names of sellers this could be a threat on your life as the sellers may come after you so do this at your own risk !
    • We cannot work with you on this as everything we do is confidential
    In a nutshell, it seems like the HMRC would prefer to go after bigger guns like corporates and UK sellers than to pursue large ebay sellers who are defrauding them of VAT. As part of my research, I have listed the following ebay sellers who are defrauding


    List of Ebay sellers defrauding HMRC by more than £5 million pounds per year:



    Below is a list of ebay sellers defrauding HMRC and this list was provided to them. This is a small extract from a list of over 200 ebay sellers that I have as part of my research. Most of the sellers below are overseas sellers that have their fulfilment centres in the UK, however there area few sellers (for example <removed.) who are Chinese, but UK based and have Hong Kong registered paypal addresses so the money go straight into the Hong Kong Paypal account and the HMRC are none the wiser.


    <list removed by mod.>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2013
    Posted: Jun 30, 2013 By: jashry Member since: Dec 23, 2009
    #57
  18. AbsolutNut

    AbsolutNut UKBF Regular Free Member

    170 39
    Jashry - yes this is exactly what I as alluding to.

    I can see why the mods lol removed your list as potentially libelous. :D

    I cannot believe the HMRC line "If you give us names of sellers this could be a threat on your life as the sellers may come after you so do this at your own risk !"

    Absolutely ridiculous. Any information you give to HMRC should be confidential. They just simply do not have a clue and are years behind what happens online. Any proper UK online business can see what is happening on a daily basis. Much has been made in the media about Amazon, Starbucks et. al. not paying their fair share. Actually, we believe the fraud we describe as being perpetuated by these overseas sellers is at least as significant and possible more so given how numerous they are.

    When Amazon opened their doors to them, I could almost hear the whoops of euphoria coming from China etc. when they realized what this meant for them. They were then free to replicate what they have been doing on eBay on Amazon also and shaft even more UK sellers in the process.

    This simply cannot continue and one day somebody somewhere in government will wake up and smell the coffee. Unchallenged, this problem is going to spread and get even worse. Many people who have lost employment since the banker's crisis have turned to online trade to make ends meet. It is then that many realize just how difficult it has become if not impossible to compete. I am sure glad we are not starting out from scratch although we could certainly probably help many startups as we know more than a little about how to get ahead...

    Steve :)
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2013 By: AbsolutNut Member since: May 17, 2010
    #58
  19. jashry

    jashry UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 0
    I think people need to realise, no one minds the Chinese competing with UK sellers, this is not the issue. The issue is that they're not paying VAT which is illegal. Any goods that are sent from the UK (in their case they use fulfilment companies) are classed as UK sales and are subject to VAT - they are simply not paying these taxes and therefore they have an additional 20% margin.

    HMRC's response was completely unacceptable, I spoke to them over 9 months ago and they just do not care despite the fact that they said they would crackdown on internet sellers that don't pay taxes (every ebay top seller received an letter from HMRC informing them of their duty to pay taxes).

    In terms of the list I posted on this forum, yes, I agree it could be libellous, however come on realistically which Chinese seller is going to sue me ?

    One of the largest Chinese sellers now opens up new accounts and reaches over 100,000 feedback scores within 6 months (unbelievable), HMRC if you're reading this I'm happy for you to contact me and I can give you a list of over 200 sellers that are defrauding you in excess of £30m-£50m in VAT per annum and I don't even want a commission from you guys I'm willing to do this for free to protect what's right.
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2013 By: jashry Member since: Dec 23, 2009
    #59
  20. AbsolutNut

    AbsolutNut UKBF Regular Free Member

    170 39
    Indeed, but a level playing it ain't - far from it. The numbers as you say are quite staggering and growing by the day.
     
    Posted: Jul 2, 2013 By: AbsolutNut Member since: May 17, 2010
    #60
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