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EBay and Ethics...
As some of you know, I've been collecting new/used gear... While replacing some of my heavy outdated equipment I frequently find what I like at REI and then go to EBay to get it cheaper, even if it is used. I have had good luck so far, but...I bid on some North Face Cloths that were "New With Tags" at a fraction of the cost of US based retailers... And here is the problem, The cloths are from China. I understand that The North Face cloths are made in China and then shipped to US based retailers for distribution. I contacted some of the EBay'ers that purchased Cloths from the seller I am interested in buying from and all say that the Cloths are authentic and are exactly the same as US merchandise. One said that his Jacket was simply a '03 model no longer sold in the US. Ethics... I feel like I'm doing something wrong buying from oversees Venders, but When I bye gear from some "Joe" in Iowa for dirt cheap I think I got a great Deal...Has anyone experienced the same delema? ORIs getting a $300 jacket for $50 just good business?Thanks...
Edited by Drunkenblade on 01/17/2005 11:37:47 MST.
Don't we do the same thing if we buy close-outs through someone like Sierra Trading Post or Campmor? Sierra Trading Post as an example buys lots for close-out (from current or previous years) or 2nds whether through US or foreign distributors. They also put items up on eBAY. They do not normally sell these items for $50 on the $300 however. They do frequently sell items for 35-70% off list. Campmor frequently sells close-outs at a substantial discount as well. But again not for such a dramatic discount.
Edited by naturephoto1 on 01/17/2005 13:06:31 MST.
A lot of new stuff sold on eBay is actually counterfeit. Part of the Chinese strategy for world domination is to counterfeit absolutely everything made by North American or European countries which they are not already producing legally under contract. I saw an interview with a Chinese manufacturer and he claimed to be able to exactly copy anything in 48 hours. In another case there were legal TV's and counterfeits coming off parallel production lines in the same building. But while clearly illegal/unethical, counterfeit goods in many cases now have almost the same quality as the bona fide goods. Remember the Jap-Crap of the late 60's and 70's? By the 80's the Japanese were the world's quality leaders. The problem with current Chinese counterfeits is that you have no way of knowing what the actual quality and longevity will be, and buying it sight unseen just makes the purchase even more problematic.(Another scenario is that the goods are genuine, but the workers at the Chinese factory are stealing some of the product.)
I have also seen and read many articles about the junk sold on EBay and when ever indoubt I do without! The North Face Gear that I mentioned is most likely stolen by workers, but never the less I have opted not to buy the afor mentioned gear. I have purchase "gently used" gear and am quite satisfied... Do your research if you ever question a seller on EBay. Click on thier name and then click on a few people they have sold to and EMail them. Out of ten a couple usually respond... Ask questions and by all means use the EBay Stores. I have found very reliable sellers that will let you return what you buy... Another note is to only use PayPal Verified customers when paying :) This way if there is a problem both EBay and PayPal will help to get your money back...Ken
I see nothing wrong with buying new items, factory seconds, close outs, gently-used returns, etc. from Ebay or from any other legitimate sources.I would, however, avoid buying stuff that I suspect are counterfeits or stolen.
Ethics aside. A co-worker of mine at the bike shop went to China a couple of years ago and brought back North Face clothing they bought there. While it "looked" nice enough for a fashionable peice of clothing, it did not look real functionable. He had one that was labeled Gore Windstopper, but we could almost see through the fabric. SO, those peices coming from China might be fakes.
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