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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 05:45 PM
Original message
Looking for some ebay selling (international shipping) advice
I'm helping a friend sell things on ebay, but we're trying to figure out how to arrange international shipping (from the U.S.) Question 1: How does one determine available methods and fees for shipping to places like Canada, Germany, and Italy (these are non-heavy things like baseball cards)? Question 2: I see that some sellers don't allow for international bidders to pay through PayPal -- something about "address confirmation"; can a seller be ripped off somehow by international bidders who pay through PayPal?
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. s/k
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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. I have no idea but maybe someone else does!
:kick:
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. You can get the price for shipping from USPS.com
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 08:33 PM by SmokingJacket
But... if you make a little mistake about the weight you can be charged more than you thought. I've had mostly good experiences selling to overseas bidders (they pay more!) but there can be problems too.

I've never had trouble with Paypal, though others might have, so I can't speak on that.

On edit: I would ONLY use US Postal Service for light things going over seas, and I wouldn't allow overseas bidders on heavy items, since the shipping can be prohibitive.

My husband had a HUGE mess up with sending stuff via Fedex to Canada -- they wanted him to pay the customs fees that the bidder was supposed to pay, and were going to sic a collections agency on him if he didn't. And this was something that came up MONTHS after the transaction was finished!
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. let me second that
I would ONLY use US Postal Service for light things going over seas, and I wouldn't allow overseas bidders on heavy items, since the shipping can be prohibitive.



the cost of shipping items weighing more than 2 pounds outside the country is such that it is just not worth doing

also investigate global priority envelopes -- if your item can fit in such (there are two sizes) you can ship at reasonable price to more countries than you may have imagined, for instance, using these we have successfully shipped to brazil
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. okay a little advice
you can be ripped off just as well by american and canadian buyers who pay by paypal, by check, by money order, by any method you name! if you plan NEVER to get ripped off, forget about selling anything -- your price structure needs to allow for a little slack, say assuming 1 to 5 percent of customers may not pay or may run some scam -- for me the percentage was much less, but if you're selling jewelry or electronics the percentage may be much higher

to keep rip-offs to a minimum, don't ship orders the same day, give ebay/paypal a little time to reverse the payment if it is bad -- 4 to 6 days is enough for an inexpensive item, but sadly 3 weeks (the same amount of time you would use to be CERTAIN a check or money order was correct) is necessary for big ticket items

therefore you need to have it in your posting how long before you ship the item after receiving payment and be VERY GOOD at keeping in touch w. people so they don't get twitchy

you get the price of international shipping from www.usps.gov and click the tab for international shipping, the country in question, and the weight

in my experience people in canada and western europe including scandanavia and germany are just as likely to be prompt honest payers as americans

i don't sell to countries where other people have had repeated problems w. scams (eastern europe) or countries where i believe postal service to be poor (africa, some latin american countries)

i have no customers from italy but have not heard of any "scams" being run from italy so i wouldn't hesitate to do so, i just think my merch was not in a hobby area of interest to italians

if you have an unusual line, then a canadian hobbyist may order again and again and is worth standing in line at the post office to fill out the customs form, it's your call on other countries but i've sold to hong kong, australia, many countries in western europe -- and almost always through paypal

really i haven't had any problems, to be honest the occasional bounced check i've had through paypal have been from americans -- i can think of only one e-check that was never made right and it was for like $4 so i'm over it

so it's your call whether or not you want to accept international business thru paypal, for me it was well worth it

finally, even if you DO decide to specify "no international sales," many canadians will order and pay anyway, so it's your call whether to complete the order or not -- when i had no time to do customs forms, i would say "sorry, this includes canada," when i was more energetic i went ahead and accepted these orders -- no problems either way, some canadians will ask so nicely that you will decide, what the heck, you'll take the time to fill out the custom form to sell to them
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
6. The PayPal problem may be the exchange rate.
Or maybe it's a fee charged by a bank in the buyer's country when US funds are deposited. That was the case with a transaction I had with a guy in the UK when I was wanting to pay via PayPal. He was charged a flat rate for deposits of US funds up to x-number of dollars, so he wanted only transactions that would take him to the upper part of the range to make the transaction profitable for him.

As a seller, I don't ship outside the US because I've heard bad tales from other sellers who've gotten stung by folks who claimed they didn't get shipments or they paid with credit cards they didn't own or some such thing. Also, I don't like having to fill out the paperwork. Shipping is a big enough headache without that added task. I have broken my not-outside-the-US rule a couple of times to ship fairly cheap, lightweight items to Canada.

I bought from a Canadian seller once and it was miserable getting delivery of the item. He used Bid Pay (I think that's what it's called) and they took forever to send him the payment they took from me moments after the auction ended. I went round and round with them. Meanwhile, the seller wouldn't send the item till he got his check even though I had confirmation of my payment and he'd been assured by the payment service he'd get the dough (they kept blaming their NYC office for the mess up; I later learned tons of people were having the same experience with Bid Pay -- which, by the way, charges the BUYER a bunch of dough for their service). The item was finally shipped about a month and a half after the auction.

I had only one buyer try to commit what I believed was fraud. I sold an antique lithophane lampshade to a woman who claimed it arrived cracked. I offered to take it back but she didn't want to return it; she wanted to get money from the post office because the shipment was insured. But I was 99.9% certain the lamp shade couldn't have gotten cracked given my obsessive-complusive packaging techniques, so I did some searching through the eBay site and found that she had purchased another piece of lithophane that was obviously cracked (which I could see in the listing photo). I filled out the paperwork for her claim with the post office, but I included a very thorough description of the item (distinctive shape) and a URL for them to check a photo of the item. I never heard from her again.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thanks for the feedback
This is the first time I've ever sold anything on ebay, so I'm not quite sure what to expect.
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