Crackdown on fake Aussie stores

Ebay claims its compliance with the requirement to collect GST on offshore sales is being accompanied by a crack-down on international retailers passing themselves off as locals. However, a check on the Ebay website indicates there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Based in Hong Kong but apparently ships from Australia with no Australian office. Really Ebay?

‘This has been a large issue for Ebay sellers, as the the ‘AU location’ improves conversion and sales greatly,’ Nathan Huppatz, member of the board of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PeSA), told website Internet Retailing.

(PhotoCounter went into this in-depth in 2016.)

‘We had been pushing Ebay for years to do something more about it. With the GST changes, it looks like this might be the catalyst for some action,’ he said.

– ‘Looks like’ might be the operative wording here. A quick browse of Ebay.com.au indicates there still are plenty of rorting retailers on the platform, such as E-Infinity, Kacha and OzDigital Online –  claiming to ship from Sydney or Melbourne while also claiming they are based in Hong Kong. E-Infinity and Kucha offer ‘Click and Collect’ options around Australia through outlets such as Big W stores, newsagencies and pharmacies.

If Kacha is actually charging GST, it’s not apparent at the checkout – unlike most Ebay retailers.

It’s not clear that these retailers are even charging GST – there is no reference to GST being included in the pricing information for various products, nor is there always a GST line on the invoice when going through the checkout process.

The statement from Ebay to Ebay sellers follows:
EBay has deployed technology that identifies disparities between item location and the actual shipped from location. As a result, we have a list of sellers which is updated weekly, who are being contacted and told to change their item location. These sellers have been warned we will not tolerate item location misrepresentation and a clear consequence path has been outlined. Sellers that fail to comply may be removed from the platform.

It doesn’t matter if a seller is shipping directly to a consumer or to an Australian-based distribution centre, GST will be collected at the point of sale byEbay, or at the border by the seller and remitted to the ATO.

As a result of the recent GST changes we continue to work with our global product teams and regulators to enhance the buyer experience and tax compliance. From 1 July, eBay will also be accepting and investigating reports from the Australian Taxation Office of sellers that are misleading about a product’s item location – which again, may lead to a range of actions by us and or the ATO.

Should buyers or sellers have any concerns about item location misrepresentation or compliance with GST regulations, we encourage them to get in touch with eBay and/or the ATO.

It’s early days yet, and the tone of the above statement does indicate Ebay is serious about GST and ‘false flag’ retailers. Any readers who would like to speed up the process of bringing the international rorters into line can lodge a complaint with the ATO here.

The Ebay complaints system to report a non-compliant seller is hardly user friendly, but nonetheless is exists:

The following can be found here on the Ebay website:

Reporting other Ebay members
If you ever have a problem selling on eBay, we want to know about it. If sellers don’t tell us about problems, we won’t be able to prevent an eBay member from doing the same thing again.

To report a listing violation:

  • Click the Report item link immediately above the item number in each listing.

To report a policy violation:

  1. Search for and review the policy page that deals with the violation
  2. Click the Report link at the bottom of the page
  3. Enter the item number(s) of the listing that you wish to report
  4. Click the Send button to send your message to eBay Customer Service.

eBay will consider the circumstances of an alleged policy violation and the member’s trading record before taking action.

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Related Posts