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International shipping questions, discussions, fees, cost (eBay and non-eBay)


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You can remove the ability for these misunderstandings/shenanigans (they could be either) by setting up Immediate Payment Required (IPR) on all of your fixed price listings.   I set this u

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/shipping-globally.html

It was driving me crazy but I finally found THE announcement on the official USPS site. I am bookmarking it now, maybe I'll be able to find it faster next time!!    http://about.usps.com/

So I just made a sale through the Global Shipping program! My price for shipping is certainly reasonable. I will let you all know what all happens! I will most likely write a quick Blog on it.

 

What country is the package going to, and how much did the buyer pay for shipping?

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DoNot, if you want to see how much the buyer paid, go to print a shipping label through My eBay and print out a packing slip - it'll break down all the charges.

 

I've had very good experiences shipping through the GSP. It is often more expensive than FCMI, but cheaper than Priority or Express Mail, and offers tracking and seller protection.

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DoNot, if you want to see how much the buyer paid, go to print a shipping label through My eBay and print out a packing slip - it'll break down all the charges.

 

I've had very good experiences shipping through the GSP. It is often more expensive than FCMI, but cheaper than Priority or Express Mail, and offers tracking and seller protection.

 

I will do that - I have to do it tomorrow so I will definitely show everything I see. I thought shipping was really pretty reasonable at least on my end. Gotta see what they paid though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay. I sold a parts lot through auction. I have not enrolled in the GSP. I have changed my preferences to exclude shipping to all international locations. And I clearly stated in the item description, "No international bidders, please."

But this lot sold to an international buyer, through the GSP, with a shipping address to a routing station in KY.

Again: I have not enrolled in the GSP. What the hell? Is this normal? And what do I do now? Any advice is welcome. Thanks guys.

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They opt you in any time the user agreement updates, so you have to specifically opt out or make sure that the GSP option isn't check marked on the Sell Your Item form when you list.

 

Ship it to Kentucky, with tracking. It's just as safe as sending it to any domestic destination, and provided you can prove it got to Kentucky, eBay will deal with any item-not-received claims from the foreign buyer.

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They opt you in any time the user agreement updates, so you have to specifically opt out or make sure that the GSP option isn't check marked on the Sell Your Item form when you list.

 

Ship it to Kentucky, with tracking. It's just as safe as sending it to any domestic destination, and provided you can prove it got to Kentucky, eBay will deal with any item-not-received claims from the foreign buyer.

Yeah I'm sure it would get to KY with no problem. But the buyer will be hit with additional shipping charges from ebay. The buyer only has 4 feedback, so I'm sure he's unaware that this $12 parts lot will end up costing him closer to $30. I don't want to get negative feedback because ebay automatically opted me back into a program I previously opted out of. I mean, that's just shady. Shady!! Is ebay hard of hearing all the sudden? I allready told them, no GSP for me. Then they go and switch it back on, behind my back?!? ^%#+!!

Anyway I already contacted the buyer with a preliminary request to cancel the transaction. And I turned GSP off. AGAIN. Good lord.

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The buyer is told at checkout the exact amount of their shipping and import charges. Should they leave you bad feedback because of those charges, eBay will remove it.

 

It's really not scary at all, but you can do it however you want.  :turned:

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I haven't shipped using the new system..but I have shipped quite a bit to other countries. This is how I handled it before: I put a note in the listing to email me for the shipping charges before bidding if shipping outside of the U.S. I would pre-package item and use a postage scale/USPS.com to calculate shipping charges and let the customer know what it would cost. I would give them different options. I usually padded the cost too, not to be a jerk, but because international orders took ALOT more time and my shipping methods were pretty efficient for everything else. So I added $10-15 depending on what the cost of the item was. I had a bunch of customs forms so I just filled one out (it was super easy) and labeled the package. Took all of that to the PO and stood in line. I had months where I'd sell 50 items and probably 2 were international so not many. Surprisingly never had an issue. More issues with the stupid post office in Glendale that lost like 2 of my packages...and right now I have a minecraft somewhere in Florida that seems to be lost. But never internationally. Most were to Canada and Europe. Sold an Avatar poster for $130 to Australia and a $200 Dai-Appolon Figure (it was awesome) to Brazil. Both times no issues. I think International bidders are limited on their feedback options, or at least they were at the time.

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The bottom line for all eBay sellers to remember is: eBay knows what we should all be paying attention to - the international market is THE fastest-growing market share by far.

 

eBay wants that market. They want us sellers to want that market. They are going to do everything they can, including repeatedly opting us into a program that takes most of the "hassle and worry" of shipping internationally away, to get us into that market so they can make more money (and, we make more money, too, as a side bonus).

 

BUT, if we really want nothing to do with the international market for a particular item or all our items, watch those fields closely on the SYI form, because eBay isn't interested in our jitters and desires, they want to ship stuff worldwide.  :twitch:

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The buyer is told at checkout the exact amount of their shipping and import charges. Should they leave you bad feedback because of those charges, eBay will remove it.

 

It's really not scary at all, but you can do it however you want.  :turned:

Hmm, I figured ebay would hit the buyer with a bill after the fact. But if the buyer has already paid the extra charges, that eases my mind a bit.

Still, not so sure I want to sell to a guy who doesn't read the item description on a parts lot.

I don't know, I guess I'll wait for his response to my message and go from there. And i will definitely re-check all my preferences before I list from now on. Shady!

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Re: GSP "ripping off the customer" - I disagree. The customer knows up front what their cost will be, the seller isn't keeping the extra money, and there are not at this moment in time comparable trackable methods for sellers to offer - if sellers want to take their chances and ship without tracking that's fine, but to claim that sellers who don't want to do this are ripping people off isn't fair or reasonable. The trackable methods that ARE available cost as much or more as the GSP.

ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE.  The buyer does not see the custom charges until after he commits to buy. Before clicking the buy it now he only knows about the shipping charges

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ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE.  The buyer does not see the custom charges until after he commits to buy. Before clicking the buy it now he only knows about the shipping charges

 

She's correct, you're just talking about two different things.

 

Customs charges are fees that they buyer's country charges. Any international buyer is responsible for their own customs charges. The buyer incurs the same charge whether using GSP or if you're shipping it yourself. It's the destination country getting their tax revenue, which is nothing that you as a seller or eBay can really do anything about. 

 

Personally I still don't use GSP because I don't see the value. We just ship things internationally on our own using USPS Priority Mail Express.

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ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE.  The buyer does not see the custom charges until after he commits to buy. Before clicking the buy it now he only knows about the shipping charges

 

Not untrue, absolutely or otherwise. This is from a listing of mine that shows up on eBay.ca, on the listing page directly under the item price, before I ever hit any "commit" or "buy" button:

 

Shipping:
US $9.88 (approx. C $10.26) International Priority Shipping to Canada See details
 
 
Item location:
Ripon, California, United States
 
 
 
 
Ships to:
United States and many other countries | See details
 
Import charges:
US $9.26 (amount confirmed at checkout)  
 
Delivery:
Estimated within 7-13 business days 
Includes international tracking
 
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The formatting came out wonky, but those words to the right "shipping" and "import charges" show up directly UNDER the dollar amounts on the next line down, on the eBay.ca page.

 

Edited because I typoed "over the dollar amount" rather than "under the dollar amount"

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I'm not going to go through every single country, but you get the idea. The information is there, before the buyer hits "buy", "commit to buy", or in fact anything at all other than clicking in to have a look at the item description.

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I'm not going to go through every single country, but you get the idea. The information is there, before the buyer hits "buy", "commit to buy", or in fact anything at all other than clicking in to have a look at the item description.

 

As Frog indicates, it appears eBay has been very transparent about all of the fees associated with international shipping to the extent that this is possible. Really they have to be if they want to capture that market.

 

At the end of the day we're still largely left with the fact that "buyer safe" international shipping methods are somewhat expensive. "Buyer safe" is why we only use USPS Priority Express Mail or higher levels of service for international items. You should the the whining and complaint messages my wife gets from people that think our shipping rates are too high and want us to ship "First Class" or whatever method doesn't provide tracking...we don't offer that, and depending on the way they ask, we might add them to the BBL, because they're usually not a customer we want.

 

We sold a Skylanders figure today for about $40. The buyer paid $58 to ship it. Additionally they will have to pay customs fees once it arrives. If they value the item enough they will pay whatever it costs to get it in their hands.

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I have started offering some categories of books with FCMI (where weight allows) to the countries that added FCMI tracking last month. I have kept a few receipts that are buried in a box (we are moving house 10 days from today...) but when I unpack I'll check the tracking on them to see how the "new" countries are measuring up.

 

Canada's FCMI wasn't reliable at first but has become pretty good. I have hopes for the new countries, too.

 

Unfortunately, if I opt into the GSP for a listing, I have to opt into ALL the countries GSP offers for that listing that I am willing to ship to - I can't say "I'll handle Canada and the UK and Australia, GSP, you take the ones that don't have FCMI tracking" (I can offer to ship to additional countries the GSP doesn't cover, however, along with the GSP).

 

Currently, the GSP offers more countries coverage than FCMI tracking does, so on categories where I can use GSP, I do, to gain trackable shipping to as many countries as possible. On categories I can't use GSP (book bulk lots, for example, are not eligible), I offer FCMI to trackable countries if under 4 pounds (and my "bulk lots" start at 2 books, so a fair few come under the weight) or priority if over 4 pounds.

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They've had their growing pains for sure. When we signed up for the GSP in late January, it was a case of the blind leading the blind every time I had to call CS on some obscure GS problem. Now most of the time they actually know what to do or can quickly transfer me to someone who does.

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Honestly, the GSP is putting me off from buying on ebay. The extra import charge is almost as much as the shipping fee that the seller charges, and then you end up with a ridiculously high amount just for shipping which becomes the same (if not more) price you pay for the actual product!

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There are definitely some buyers who feel that way, Sea.

 

From a US sellers perspective, I agree with Emes: trackable shipping is expensive no matter how you slice it. I have found the GSP to offer a better rate on trackable shipping than USPS in many cases.

 

Yesterday I posted that the new (since this spring) trackable USPS First Class International Mail was working pretty well, but I may have spoken too soon. A video game seller of my acquaintance reported yesterday that of 14 video games shipped FCMI last month to Canada, 4 never got a delivery scan on arrival.

 

If the buyers were so inclined, and unfortunately not all buyers are honest, they can claim non-receipt and win their money back from the seller because the seller cannot prove delivery.

 

You get enough of these cases as a seller, and it starts to make the GSP look pretty good.

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