Why you don’t need to worry, but can probably get your item for cheaper on Amazon the next time around.
Earlier last week I ordered a pack of wrist straps for my everyday carry flashlight on eBay for less than $6 with free shipping.
A good deal, right?
The item said it was shipping from Denver, CO or thereabouts, so I expected a couple of days shipping time to get to me in California.
The seller, however, did not give me a USPS tracking number but gave me one from Bluecare Express that started with “BCE” as shown in the screenshot below.
Four days later, earlier than expected, my order was delivered by an Amazon driver in a big blue Amazon delivery van.
Why was my eBay order delivered by an Amazon driver?
Here’s what happened.
Whoever sold you that item on eBay doesn’t actually have that item in stock.
What they did is, when you bought your item, they took your money, ordered the same exact item on Amazon.com for cheaper, input your name and shipping address (on Amazon,) and shipped it to you.
“Basically BlueCare Express is a tracking number service that allows an Amazon tracking number to be changed hiding the fact the stuff is coming from Amazon. People on ebay will mark up a given product, sell it on eBay, go buy it off Amazon with your money and ship it to you as a gift, then send the Amazon tracking number to BlueCare where they get a stupid tracking number usually starting with BCE, and they make money with no product and not having to ship.“
(linked here is an article from Shopify about Dropshipping.)
“While not illegal or anything, it’s a great way to scam people. Sometimes sellers use fake or old BCE #s that show up as delivered and folks get screwed. Most often it’s just a tracking number changer. “
Now in the know, I looked up my item on Amazon and found out it actually only sells for $4.15.
I paid $5.65 before tax on eBay, so the drop shippers made $1.50 off of me.
This strategy of buying from one store and selling it on another with a markup is simply retail arbitrage.
Looking at the seller’s profile, they’ve sold over 7,500 items since February 2023 with items selling between $5-$60 so you can imagine how profitable this can be.
Personally, I’m not upset about it since I still got a pretty good deal, but it just feels scummy after the fact.
In the future, I’m going to just buy the lanyards straight from Amazon and for other cheap items, I’ll cross-reference Amazon.