If I order a knit hat on Ebay directly from China, how is the 10% (increasing to 25% on Friday per Donald Trump's tweet) tariff paid?
It's possible that the Ebay seller pays the tariff and tariff effects are already included in their advertised price, but I doubt that.
It's possible that Ebay could collect the tariff as a separate charge at checkout (and pay the USA government directly), but I don't see such a charge.
So, it seems more likely that the hat will be delivered to my home with no tariff effect and it is then my obligation to pay the tariff by filing a customs form (and I would bet most people do not pay or file, which is illegal but hardly caught; by the way, it seems the seller usually labels the package as a "gift" to make this avoidance easier), with a small probability (increasing with package size/weight) that my order is instead stopped at customs to await my upfront payment. Is that correct? If so, is anything being tightened to force better compliance?
I believe the hat is item 6505.00.15 from the official China tariff list: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/Tariff%20List-09.17.18.pdf