Posted by Alex Jackson on 1st Dec 2017
We love hearing from our customers especially when it’s about your success stories and we have heard quite a lot of these in 2017. Liquidation retailers like you are crushing it this holiday season and are poised to hit it out of the ballpark again in 2018. Now ask your friend that sells generic items they purchase from China and you may get a very different view of this year. Why? Because of ePackets and wide spread fraud from competing Chinese sellers.
So what are ePackets? We will cover them briefly but for a more in-depth look please read our article terminal dues. So what do they look like? Well they are those small boxes or padded envelopes that you occasionally get in the mail, covered in international postage forms, usually small, light and inexpensive items. Now as many sellers are aware, these ePacket items have not only flooded most of the major marketplaces like Amazon and eBay but are also costing US buyers and sellers money in the form of higher shipping rates. Due to international shipping agreements with other countries the US postal system is basically forced to subsidize these shipments. Essentially the US consumer is getting a seemingly cheap item but at a hidden cost. Besides being unfair to US sellers, there is a new scam that abuses this deal and it is called Brushing.
Forbes Magazine recently reported on this Brushing technique employed by unscrupulous overseas merchants, its used to artificially inflate their sales ranking and positive feedback of an item for sale. What a Brushing company would do, is place fake orders and ship empty boxes. The delivery looks legitimate, it can be verified by the carrier and now the unscrupulous seller gets a bump up in sales ranking and positive feedback for a successful transaction. Brushing enables the seller to ship 100s of empty parcels at little cost to gain 100s of feedbacks thus artificially inflating their seller ranking.
Since the shipping rate is so low, they effectively are purchasing seller ranking and gaining a competitive advantage over other sellers in the marketplace. Seems crazy to spend money to ship an empty package? And what’s the destination of these empty packages? Well in many cases they are going to unsuspecting consumers, whose identity has been hijacked. The Brushing company will find an average consumers name and address, create a phony profile for them and then place these phony orders and ship them out. The consumer will think nothing of it because well it’s just some junk in the mail I didn’t order. Costing pennies to ship these empty packages essentially create a cheap but very effective way of pushing up the sellers sales ranking and feedback, and that’s where this scheme makes its money. Who’s the victim here? Well there are multiple victims, US customers who subsidize phony shipping, the consumer whose identity has been hijacked, the consumer who buys the actual item based on the fraudulent feedback and last but not least the legitimate sellers offering comparable items. Who stands to take the greatest hit? The honest sellers who lose business due to sellers with inflated ranking.
The unbranded or private label sellers need to take a serious look at the market and their merchandise before investing. You could very quickly and easily get buried by a competitor with inflated ranking and feedback. How do you as an honest seller compete? The unbranded or private label merchandise is risky and should be avoided. Diversify your product mix with recognizable name brands and merchandise that cannot be as easily undercut or hijacked by these unscrupulous merchants. The liquidation merchandise you purchase from us is high quality, with brands customers recognized and love. This is something Chinese sellers cannot compete with leaving you with limited competition and higher profits.
Remember folks, internet retail while being advanced in some ways is still in the dark ages as far as regulation is concerned. You made the right decision to specialize in liquidation merchandise now take what you have learned in 2017 and make 2018 your most profitable year yet.
Just over a year ago we shared with our readers some information on the universal postal union, the governing body that oversees all international postal trade and establishes the rates for these shipments(click here for the full article). In particular we focused on terminal fees and how these fees being set low for countries like China and Singapore has [...]