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


pickleboy
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Let me just add that the Global shipping program is a horrible option for parcels leaving the USA to international addresses. Being in Canada I always ask if direct (tracked) shipping is possible via USPS. If not, then I have parcels diverted to a USA based address to a 'friend' doing me a favor. The upfront inflated costs and taxes of the Global shipping program is outright robbery to the buyer. The brokerage fees and taxes charged are inflated above what Canada customs MIGHT charge me. I don't think I've ever paid duty taxes on parcels valued under $100. Global shipping program starts calculating taxes immediately from the first $1 and up...

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Let me just add that the Global shipping program is a horrible option for parcels leaving the USA to international addresses.

 

 

It's not a horrible option for everyone.

 

Some buyers like it - I know, I get feedback and personal notes from them often. Some sellers like it - I know, I'm one of them.

 

Bottom line, as a buyer I check my total costs on anything I want to purchase and I decide if it's a good deal. That's really all that needs to be done here. Whether the money is going to the seller, to Pitney Bowes, to eBay, to the Man in the Moon, to the Canadian Government -- I couldn't care less, I just want the item at the price I'm willing to pay.

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Guest brickcrazyhouse

the item hasn't been sold yet, so is there a way to estimate the shipping cost? potential buyer is (how to put this nicely) concerned the shipping will be more then the item.

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It's not a horrible option for everyone.

 

Some buyers like it - I know, I get feedback and personal notes from them often. Some sellers like it - I know, I'm one of them.

 

Bottom line, as a buyer I check my total costs on anything I want to purchase and I decide if it's a good deal. That's really all that needs to be done here. Whether the money is going to the seller, to Pitney Bowes, to eBay, to the Man in the Moon, to the Canadian Government -- I couldn't care less, I just want the item at the price I'm willing to pay.

That may be, but experienced buyers like myself importing from the USA recognize it for the money grab that it really is. I get the exact same service for less hastle and money if I just ask for USPS directly. I'm sure its very convenient for the seller but I don't care to get shafted for THEIR convenience.

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the item hasn't been sold yet, so is there a way to estimate the shipping cost? potential buyer is (how to put this nicely) concerned the shipping will be more then the item.

 

He can see the estimated costs if he's got his country/postal code entered and is signed onto eBay. Shipping costing more than the item can happen with lower cost items regardless of GSP or non-GSP.

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That may be, but experienced buyers like myself importing from the USA recognize it for the money grab that it really is. I get the exact same service for less hastle and money if I just ask for USPS directly. I'm sure its very convenient for the seller but I don't care to get shafted for THEIR convenience.

 

And it's your right as a buyer to avoid any sellers for any reason you like. It's just not accurate to say GSP is a horrible option as if it were a statement of fact rather than a personal preference.

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And it's your right as a buyer to avoid any sellers for any reason you like. It's just not accurate to say GSP is a horrible option as if it were a statement of fact rather than a personal preference.

The numbers bare out that it IS a bad option for international buyers. Regular Canadian buyers immediately recognized the problem and have vented about it in numerous venues online from what I have seen. I just want buyers to aware there is better options available to them and for sellers using the service to be aware that there may be downside to using it. USA sellers could be missing out on possible sales abroad. Luckily the domestic USA market is so big the many sellers may not care.

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The numbers bare out that it IS a bad option for international buyers. Regular Canadian buyers immediately recognized the problem and have vented about it in numerous venues online from what I have seen. I just want buyers to aware there is better options available to them and for sellers using the service to be aware that there may be downside to using it. USA sellers could be missing out on possible sales abroad. Luckily the domestic USA market is so big the many sellers may not care.

 

Most people comparing the numbers are comparing first class international shipping rates, which is not accurate since GSP uses priority shipping speeds.

 

However, as for downside to sellers, there is none for sellers who do not want to handle their own international shipping (and there are many such sellers, the program is hugely popular amongst US sellers who would not otherwise ship internationally). Those sellers are not losing a single sale - every sale they get through GSP is a bonus for them, since they are able to offer international shipping at only domestic risk to them.

 

Again, not trying to talk any international buyer who doesn't like the program into using it, but there are very good, very valid reasons for some US sellers to consider using the program.

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And it's your right as a buyer to avoid any sellers for any reason you like. It's just not accurate to say GSP is a horrible option as if it were a statement of fact rather than a personal preference.

 

I have tried switching to it on a couple occasions. I did it early on & then stopped. A while later, after they added additional location, I added it again (for specific listings) and wondered why I had ever stopped - then I soon recalled the reason. Aside from the generally higher cost to ship, whenever I relisted items (any items, not just the ones that I had GSP set up) - eBay would automatically replace my shipping preferences with their GSP, which meant I would need to re-calculate it again for every one of my listings (or accept their GSP). I have a lot of listings (1,000 a month) - so that would be a huge pain (so I stopped again).

 

It would be great to have as an option, but not at the cost of being trapped into using it going forward.

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Those sellers are not losing a single sale - every sale they get through GSP is a bonus for them, since they are able to offer international shipping at only domestic risk to them.

Not true, if I was looking at 2 identical BINs for the same item at the same price and one offered USPS shipping and one offered GSP shipping at roughly the same rate falt rate I would chose the USPS auction every time, BECAUSE the GSP is automatically lumping the unneeded brokerage and taxes on top of the shipping cost. Do sellers even see those costs when they invoice a international buyer?

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Most people comparing the numbers are comparing first class international shipping rates, which is not accurate since GSP uses priority shipping speeds.

 

 

Not priority speed as the item must first travel to Kentucky and then go through the sorting / repackaging process.

 

If you can find a sucker to pay GSP rates then good luck to you. Keep the fatcats at Ebay and Pitney Bowes happy :)

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The numbers bare out that it IS a bad option for international buyers. Regular Canadian buyers immediately recognized the problem and have vented about it in numerous venues online from what I have seen. I just want buyers to aware there is better options available to them and for sellers using the service to be aware that there may be downside to using it. USA sellers could be missing out on possible sales abroad. Luckily the domestic USA market is so big the many sellers may not care.

I don't do international shipping outside of GSP, I was selling just fine without it. If an international buyer bypasses one of my listings because I only ship GSP I really don't care, the item will still sell.

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I don't do international shipping outside of GSP, I was selling just fine without it. If an international buyer bypasses one of my listings because I only ship GSP I really don't care, the item will still sell.

Yes I mentioned this already. The domestic USA market is so huge that you, the seller, have this luxury.

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One last time: it doesn't matter who is getting the money (to me, as a buyer). It matters what I'm paying at the end of the invoice.

 

If a GSP seller has a good deal and higher shipping and a non-GSP seller has a lesser deal and cheaper shipping, and at the end of the line the GSP item is cheaper, that's the one I'll buy.

 

I don't care who is getting paid, I just know what I want to pay. Most buyers are like this, that's why GSP does end up working for so many sellers.

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Yes I mentioned this already. The domestic USA market is so huge that you, the seller, have this luxury.

I was simply agreeing with you, also it ships to places other than just Canada. Again as a buyer it is your right to avoid me as a seller, but my use of GSP does open my listings up to buyers that I would not otherwise have access to and gives international buyers access to my listings should they chose. You don't like it and think it's to expensive, fine, don't use it, but to dismiss it entirely and say that it has no value is somewhat short sighted.

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Not priority speed as the item must first travel to Kentucky and then go through the sorting / repackaging process.

 

If you can find a sucker to pay GSP rates then good luck to you. Keep the fatcats at Ebay and Pitney Bowes happy :)

 

They're not always repackaged, even my media mail books to KY make it in about 3 days average, and the speed overseas is very, very fast, plus in most countries they are expedited through customs.

 

GSP priority shipping is faster than FCMI the vast majority of the time, to any country.

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I was simply agreeing with you, also it ships to places other than just Canada. Again as a buyer it is your right to avoid me as a seller, but my use of GSP does open my listings up to buyers that I would not otherwise have access to and gives international buyers access to my listings should they chose. You don't like it and think it's to expensive, fine, don't use it, but to dismiss it entirely and say that it has no value is somewhat short sighted.

Short sighted? Really?? Did I dismiss it out of hand for USA domestic shipping? Did I say its a bad option for shipping WITHIN the USA? No, I did not.

I'm saying as an international buyer that it is a bad program in terms of COST that eBay has created and international buyers need to be aware of it. There are better options to seek out.

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Seller protection and international shipping.

 

I am new to selling international and want to know how to protect myself. Some things that I have learned.

 

1. Paypal protection says for an item above $250 dollars I have to have direct signature confirmation that is viewable online. It looks like that takes USPS international shipping out of the picture for international shipping if you want to protect yourself.

 

2. Third party insurance and USPS international shipping: It looks like if you file a claim for lost item with a 3rd party insurance company they requires an affidavit from the intended recipient stating that they didn't receive the item. Getting an affidavit from an buyer overseas seems rather tough.

 

3. USPS international shipping looks to be the cheapest but just does not provide good seller protection

 

 

If you really want to protect yourself do you have to ship via a company like UPS or FedEx?

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Gayle, UPS and FedEx bring their own set of problems to some countries, in terms of extra carrier costs to the buyers that they may not be aware of up front and have to pay for when they accept the package.

 

Third party insurance is quite good in many cases, they are much better and easier to collect from than USPS in my experience. Call up the insurance folks you're considering and ask them exactly what the require, if there's a way for the buyer to provide the affidavit online, by pdf, etc., what happens if the buyer won't cooperate - you'll find most are very easy to work with. Be aware, though, that like any insurance company they will drop you for too many claims, and too many isn't a very big number is most cases.

 

USPS tracking overseas on FCMI is hit or miss - reports are it's getting better, but it's nothing like as reliable as domestic tracking (and we know that even that isn't always 100%). The problem with relying on it overseas is it is more hit or miss and if you don't have it, losing the claim is doubly painful because you'll be refunding the buyer for the item AND the bigger shipping fees you're paying.

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Gayle that is the conundrum. There is no way to cover yourself except to use GSP. A cynic may feel ebay set it up this way as they make a very large kickback from the GSP program.

 

USPS Priority or Priority Express provide tracking to international destinations. Your item will show as delivered. The problem is the signature for items over $250. USPS Express gets a signature about half of the time, plain Priority never gets a signature. The other half of the time your item will show delivered but no signature. All the buyer has to do is open an INR case and you are giving a full refund (as well as getting a defect).

 

You may think that is fine since you have third party insurance. BUT your third party insurance will not pay out as the tracking shows delivered. They would only pay out IF your buyer states the item is damaged or if the package is truly lost and there is no delivery on the tracking. They do not pay out for fraudulent claims from buyers as ebay does out of your paypal account.

 

Use GSP if you want to be sure you are covered all of the time. The only other option is to self insure and know that a certain percentage of your international sales will result in fraudulent claims. That is life. If you sell on ebay you are going to have to bend over from time to time even on domestic sales. Your job is to figure out how to not let those situations result in a defect. 5 defects on any one selling account over 100 or less transactions and you will be permanently banned from selling on ebay for life. Trust me when I say reselling is a very hard way to make easy money. Enjoy :)

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Gayle, UPS and FedEx bring their own set of problems to some countries, in terms of extra carrier costs to the buyers that they may not be aware of up front and have to pay for when they accept the package.

THIS.

UPS is the worst, I've seen brokerage fees cost more than 50% of the actual item! I'm talking over $50 on a $100 item PLUS the additional cost of shipping. Fedex is not so bad and I wouldn't have to worry about brokerage fees with the postal service so I don't understand how UPS gets away with the charges that they do.

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However, as for downside to sellers, there is none for sellers who do not want to handle their own international shipping (and there are many such sellers, the program is hugely popular amongst US sellers who would not otherwise ship internationally). Those sellers are not losing a single sale - every sale they get through GSP is a bonus for them, since they are able to offer international shipping at only domestic risk to them.

 

I agree wholeheartedly here.  Right now, as I'm just starting out, I don't want to deal with the hassles of international shipping.  So without GSP I just simply wouldn't even bother shipping over seas.  Adding GSP to my shipping policies on ebay, requires little effort on my part and any sales I gain through it are a bonus.

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  • 1 month later...

As I understand it, ebay charges you a a 10% commission based on what your item sold for PLUS shipping costs.  I just sold a Wolverine chopper for $59 to a buyer in France.  The shipping (understandably) ended up a lot more (a little over $20 instead of $7) and their was a $17 "import fee".  Am I on the hook for paying more in commission because an international buyer purchased my set and the shipping is higher?  Do I have to pay a percentage of the import fee?  I've sold many sets over the last year but this is the first international set I've sold and I'm a little nervous about how it is going to go.

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