Since September 2018, I've been warning eBay Dropship Sellers about the consequences of not complying with eBay's 'item location' policy and this week, the hammer has come down on Top-Rated Seller Status Account restrictions.
If you just sat there and did nothing to comply, you can get your Top-Rated Seller Status back again after a couple months evaluations, but it will take..... a good look at making changes and new decisions, in the way you are doing business as an eBay DropShip Seller.
Item Location Policy
Many eBay DropShip Sellers believe eBay wants to obviate dropshipping from their marketplace, nothing could be further from the truth. eBay has been moving towards localizing listings to closest match a buyer's location. Localization benefits allows for faster delivery and returns. In other words, when a buyer performs a search, listings are displayed by "Best Match" Title Keywords and Item Location.
Item Location Misrepresentation
Intentional or not, there has been many problems and customer complaints about DropShip Sellers deceiving buyers using a State/City in their listings item location, when in fact it was shipped from China. The buyer complaints soar when the listing return policy states buyer pays for returns. In order for a buyer to return the item, they are subject to very high shipping costs and long wait times before it's received and refunded.
Fact is this is just 'bad' business and many DropShip Sellers are abusing 'item location' in their listings. eBay is determined to provide buyers with Free, 1-2 Day Shipping and 3-Day Delivery and this should be your goal, too.
DropShipping from Amazon & Retail Stores is Dead
Unless you can be guaranteed from an Amazon/Retail Store where a product is being shipped from.....dropshipping on eBay is dead. In general, this method of dropshipping was fun, profitable and easy, but has run it's course. Outside of item location issues, eBay says there are way too many out-of-stock listings, without any sales, showing them you don't have control of your inventory. Likewise, eBay easily recognizes Amazon sourced products, receiving too many buyer complaints after receiving delivery with Amazon Packaging.
You may get away with it for awhile, but it's just a matter of time before your account is restricted or suspended without prior warnings.
Solution? DropShip from USA-based Wholesale Suppliers.
Yes, this is the change, you'll have to adapt your dropship business model to succeed on eBay. There are many types of USA-based Wholesale Suppliers. I have personally vetted over 200 of Top-Tier USA-based Wholesale Suppliers with 1 or 2 warehouses located on the east or west coast and happy to provide you with its location, offering lucrative profit margins,dependable fast shipping, generous return policies with high-quality product lines.
Use Multiple USA-based Wholesale Suppliers
Even if you prefer to niche your product lines, you can apply to multiple Top-Tier USA-based Wholesale Dropship Suppliers to become a Reseller of many different types of products, offered in your eBay Store, This method will take some time to be approved, but you can immediately list high-quality, hot products from wholesale USA-based Chinese WholeSale Suppliers using Lettopia Platform Services as you are waiting to be approved from other USA-based Wholesale Suppliers.
Adapting to Change is a Blessing!
Changes happen within any industry, in this case, it's a blessing.
Seems eBay has gone overboard sending Top-rated Restriction emails. If you received it, call eBay, ask directly if your account status is restricted. If so, you can get your Top-rated Status can be restored within 2nd month evaluations.
"Success doesn't just happen...You have to go out and get it!"
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eBay enforces USA 'Product Location' Zip Codes?
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Ms. Debra Bee-Stefani
eBay Top-Rated Power Seller - eBay Trained Education Specialist - eBay Coach/Trainer
Specialized in: SEO Applications & Techniques; Higher Profit Strategies; Inventory Management and VA