eBay Drop-Ship Addressing

So I bought some LM12UU linear bearings from a nominally US-based eBay seller and received a suitably marked bag:

eBay - LM8UU bearings in LM12UU bag
eBay – LM8UU bearings in LM12UU bag

They looked a bit on the skinny side:

eBay - LM8UU bearing
eBay – LM8UU bearing

It seems somebody in the supply chain wasn’t paying attention, which isn’t surprising given the its ability to deliver ten hunks of reasonably precise machining to my mailbox for a buck-and-a-half apiece.

As it happens, I already have far too many LM8UU bearings and, after some unavailing back-and-forth with the seller, eBay customer service determined neither of us was “at fault” and refunded the whole order.

Being in no particular hurry, I ordered the next lot from halfway around the planet. Apparently, I’m now known throughout the land:

eBay - drop-ship addressing
eBay – drop-ship addressing

Another label atop that one sported my actual address, with a matching Orange Connex tracking number barcode. Turns out OC is a “a joint venture between a leader in Chinese private equity investment, CITI CPE, and the a [sic] pioneer of global e-commerce platform, ebay”.

AFAICT, containers of “direct from China” packages arrive in the belly of a cargo airplane, get a sticker with their final destination, and enter the US postal system. It’s not clear buying from a “US seller” changes anything, as many of those packages come from addresses matching a building next to an airport.