Selling Internationally with eBay

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Michael John, May 27, 2005.

  1. Michael John

    Michael John Agent

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    I am selling a few items on eBay. I put a flat shipping rate on the items I am selling. I also placed a disclaimer that I will only ship items to the 48 continental states.

    I received an email if I would sell one of the items to a buyer in France. The buyer stated he would pay by bank transfer, paypal, or bidpay. The buyer's ebay feedback is 866 positive, 0 negative, and 1590 total positive feedback.

    Does anyone have any experience shipping internationally?

    Is it too much of a hassle to sell and ship the item internationally? What are some the things I should be aware of?

    How can I protect myself from getting stiff? What is the best form payment to accept?

    Can I trust eBay's feedback?

    Thanks in advance,
    Michael John
     
  2. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    I've sold things (mostly CDs) to overseas buyers. What are you selling? I've heard of people having problems shippng electronics components to Europe (import restrictions, I think) but CDs, books, magazines etc. are no problem.

    I usually have been paid via Paypal (though there were one or two instances when someone mailed me US cash). (I don't have any experience with Bidpay or bank transfers.) I don't think it's any less safe getting a Paypal payment from an overseas buyer than from a US buyer.

    The only extra hassle is you have to fill out the little green sticker at the post office saying what you're shipping and how much it costs.
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    As Marvin said, the only real difference is you have to fill out the green customs declaration form and pay the international postage. But it's pretty easy.

    You would just need to make your international buyer aware that the shipping costs would be higher than what you're offering for domestic shipping. You can use the international postage calculator at USPS.com to get an estimate.
     
  4. Michael John

    Michael John Agent

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    Marvin,

    I am selling eletronics components. I am going to check with the USPS on import restrictions.

    I will most likely accept only Paypal. I don't feel comfortable with bank tranfers and I don't have Bidpay.

    I will post my findings from the USPS.

    How trustworthy is eBay's feedback?
     
  5. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    Michael,
    You can also ask the buyer if he's aware of any restrictions, fees etc. for imports to France.
    I generally trust eBay's feedback as long as there are more than just a few feedbacks given. Not that I can guarantee it, but I would trust someone with 866 positives and 0 negative feedbacks.
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Selling internationally isn't a big deal, but there are some things to be aware of.

    I would advise against using PayPal, since it is carries the most risk of the three methods indicated. If the buyer uses a credit card, they can simply bail on the payment, and you are SOL (like any credit card payment). Likewise if they use a stolen card. This is why there is no seller protection on non-US payments - PayPal can't verify the authenticity of foreign cardholders.

    A bank transfer is the safest, since the cash is in your account and can't be removed. If you are concerned about giving out banking information, you may be able to set up a second account to use for this purpose. My bank doesn't charge for a second account, nor do they charge for receiving funds (unlike PayPal). Check with your bank.

    Bidpay sends out a Western union money order, or can do direct bank deposits. The buyer has no way to cancel payment on this either. I don't know if there are any fees on the receiver's end, the buyer has to pay to use BidPay.

    The USPS may not be able to help much on the export issue, since any restrictions would be on the receiver's end. The other issue is the duty and taxes which the buyer will have to pay. Make sure they know you are not responsible for any additional costs, and that you will not undervalue the shipment, which is a federal offense. I would also insist on insurance.
     
  7. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I've sold laser discs to Europe and Asia for several years without problems. Jeff gives pretty good advice - I can't do better, except to add that if you accept Bidpay, there are no fees on your end. Bidpay will send you an e-mail saying that it's ok to ship, but wait for the actual money order to arrive.
     
  8. Michael John

    Michael John Agent

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    Thank you to everyone for your response.

    USPS walked me through the details of sending a package internationally. I was able to setup a second account with my bank with no extra charge.

    It's simplier than I thought.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    Offering your item to international buyer will get you more bids. I've sold to New Zealand, Japan, Germany and Great Britain with no problem. I always use USPS and prefer to ship by air rather than surface. Often the overseas buyer will ask you to declare the item is a "gift" and want you to put a lower value on the declaration to avoid duties. The only problem I've had was an R/C car radio going to Singapore by surface. It took several weeks to be delivered; I thought we were going to have to put in an insurance claim.
     

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