Author Topic: International shipping with USPS???  (Read 3640 times)

Holyoak

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International shipping with USPS???
« on: September 04, 2014, 11:47:00 AM »
Looking for help with you folks in the know, and experience with it.

Although I listed my eBay item for USA residents only, as always I get crazy requests to ship elsewhere, many of which feel shady/scammy.  I have a seemingly reputable bidder who bids and wins a lot of what I am selling, place a bid (without even asking if OK) from Holland, and I wonder if it may be worth it to modify the auction to allow buyers from there?

I have not shipped anything internationally for a very long time, and not sure if it is worth the hassle, even with a seemingly good bidder, from a seemingly reliable country/postal system.  So if I do allow it, how does the whole customs thing work?  I saw that some type of form would need to be done, and attached to the box.  I know I have to state actual value (not doing the "gift/sample thing"), and I think provide a bill of sale?  This all seems a PITA, but if the auction closes for around $500 for an old slide projector as has happened recently on eBay, it may be worth it.  Thanks for the help!

nordlead

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 12:43:58 PM »
The form is simple to fill out. Its roughly the size of a postcard, you fill out the information the best you can, affix it to the front, and ship it. If you need a bill of sale (which I don't think you need), then just print the ebay page and stuff it in the box. Holland customs will charge him if there are import duties involved, so it isn't a big deal for you.

Honestly, for an old slide projector I doubt the guy is trying to scam you. It doesn't seem like a fast moving product that is worth shipping around the world to scam someone out of a few hundred. Also, allowing international bidders can sometimes multiply the price many times over. I had an old PDA go for 10x more once I opened it up to international bidders.

Argyle

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 12:48:39 PM »
I have had friends suffer scams from international bidders they claim the package never arrived and demand their money back, whereas you have no way to disprove them.  If I opened bid to international buyers, I'd make it a requirement that they pay for insurance, delivery confirmation, etc. whatever's available to head off this kind of problem.  If you're selling moderate-cost items, it may not be worth the effort to protect things so heavily.  The friend who got ripped off the most was selling expensive ($5000+) items.

Holyoak

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 01:34:44 PM »
You both make compelling points. 

Because I do not want to fight BS "you shipped me rocks", "I never got it", or simply risking that long in transit for something to break, and blaming me, is exactly why I never do international auctions, fully aware that many times I may be limiting my final winning total.  Even when I was fully in the right (received a counterfeit item verified counterfeit from the actual man who invented the item), ebay still made me pay for return shipping.  This same asshole seems to have ebays blessings, as he continued to sell the same fake items afterwards.  I have no faith in ebay to side with the honest person.

Good point about maxing every shipping protection to ensure I don't get taken; I had thought the exact same thing prior to posting.  Thanks folks!

MikeBear

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 03:01:40 PM »
I've never used it, but Ebay has an international shipping service that will do ALL this for you if you sell overseas. You ship to them, and THEY do all the work from there. You'll have to check into it more, since that's about all I know about it. I have heard that in the near future we Ebay sellers will ALL be forced to sell worldwide using that service.

For now, I also just use the function within the listing tools to block anybody from out of the country from even being able to bid.

Here, I'll make it real easy for you: http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/shipping-globally.html
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 03:06:59 PM by MikeBear »

beeth_oven

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 08:25:59 PM »
Whatever you do, don't offer First Class International, because there is zero tracking offered with that option, and you don't want them to claim they never got it. Like others said, make them pay the expedited shipping for delivery confirmation. That way you can protect yourself, especially if it's a big-ticket item.

deborah

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 02:57:43 AM »
What is wrong with international buyers - it might be me - I'm Australian? And is the person who buys from you a few suburbs away any less of a cheat that someone a million miles away?

nordlead

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 10:03:30 AM »
What is wrong with international buyers - it might be me - I'm Australian? And is the person who buys from you a few suburbs away any less of a cheat that someone a million miles away?

If I ship to the guy next town over, I can track the package, have it insured, and get signature confirmation. The delivery service will be fairly easy to work with if there is a problem.

If I ship overseas, typically the package is out of reach once USPS/UPS/Fedex hand it off. No tracking, no delivery confirmation, etc... I probably have no recourse once the package is handed off. Some countries are better to ship to than others.

So, an international buyer can take advantage of the flaws in international shipping to increase the chance of success of a scam being successful. At one point I wouldn't have been shocked if someone told me 90% of laptop sales/purchases were scams on ebay (even if it was never truly that bad).

Holyoak

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2014, 10:18:17 AM »
...  And at least using domestic USPS, I can involve the postal inspector branch to sort things out concerning fraud; good luck once it leaves the US.  Yep, even Ebay recognizes some countries are a higher risk than others; just look at what $$$ they will cover if using their international shipping service if a problem arises...  Even with an honest buyer who never did get a package/carrier treated it like a Rottweiler chew toy, dealing with language barriers is a PITA to say the least.

There is a chance this joker has a US address to have the item shipped to, and I asked them this yesterday...  Next email will say if I don't get an answer by x tomorrow, I am cancelling your bid...  Had they asked before bidding if I might consider it, work out shipping and tracking info, maybe it would be a go; disregarding my auction rules is rude, and rubs me the wrong way.   

Greg

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Re: International shipping with USPS???
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2014, 10:23:10 AM »
I thought ebay had a setting for which bidders can bid based on location, i.e. no international bidders?

Anyway I've sold plenty of things (car parts) to folks here and there using USPS International Priority mail.  It's great because they supply the boxes and within certain limits if it fits it ships.  And you can print the label at home and it includes the customs form on the label, much easier than doing at the post office.

This is how I do it unless they are someone I'm somewhat familiar with through a car forum for instance.  The packages are tracked somewhat too well and I know when it's been delivered.  Certainly in Canada. You can enter the recipient's email and they can get the notifications too so they know when to expect it.

The one time someone claimed they didn't receive it I simply forwarded the USPS email notification to them with a note saying it was delivered according to USPS tracking, and suddenly they found it.

With ebay you may have to follow their policies which are designed to promote sales and don't actually protect buyers or sellers so much as they protect sales and therefore ebay revenue.