So I bought some LM12UU linear bearings from a nominally US-based eBay seller and received a suitably marked bag:
They looked a bit on the skinny side:
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:
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.