International Shipping
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Long-Winded Collector
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 8:18 am 
 

Ok, what is the deal with international buyers complaining about shipping prices from USA to their locale.

I have always shipped overseas and have had very few complaints about the cost. I charge actual cost via USPS plus a buck or so to pay for materials. I really try to be fair and indicate this clearly in my listings.

And then, bingo, here come the complaints. I have at least three or four guys trying to weasel cheaper shipping, yet same service right now. One guy is trying the old "the other guy shipped it for half that price" routine. Of course, the other guy probably used his bosses postal account and paid nothing - his company or boss did.

I am thinking about going back to the US/Canada only method of selling.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:03 am 
 

Here is one international buyer who is not complaining.

Your shipping seems fine to me(that is if you are bbarsh on ebay too), I especially like the fact that you state the shipping clearly. For me personally, the exchange rate between USD/SEK makes arguing about a couple of dollars either way pointless. But there are always people whining no matter what you do.

Of course the current exchange rate makes it a bit trickier for me to sell stuff to the US. I have some TSR stuff that I am considering selling.

So I think you should keep selling internationally and ignore the whiners.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:11 am 
 

Yeah, I am the same bbarsh.

I am not trying to accuse all international buyers. Most have been great all the way around.

Just a recent group of complainers spurred this thought.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:15 am 
 

The funny thing is that many times the Global Priority Shipping from the US to Switzerland is about as expensive as a High Priority package that is sent inter-european. So here is one person that is not complaining at all :D

Actually I am pretty happy with the shipping rates in the US for international packages. It is certainly cheaper than something that is being sent from the UK...and it takes about just as long to get into my mailbox. So go, go, go folks and sell internationally ;)

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:49 am 
 

I had a lot of those customers last year - some even left poor feedback.  The solution was to stop being a nice guy, and ban all of them from my auctions.  I basically passed them off to my rivals, which is mean but highly effective.  I suggest you do the same ...
:P

Right now I have an excellent representation of quality repeat customers who happen to be international.  I'm very happy with the way things are right now.  But I've felt your pain before.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:37 pm 
 

I have had several US sellers who tried overcharging on the shipping cost. There is a tendency that people seem to believe they can cheat on the shipping rates thinking the overseas buyer wouldn't know the shipping rates. Or they overstate the packet's weight. When I started international sourcing, I received several items I had paid $10 or more (for shipping) and when it arrived there was a $4.80 stamp on it  :evil: .

So, today, with the exception of BINs, I buy from overseas only after the seller answered my "How much is shipping to Germany" request with a clear, final and satisfying answer. You won't believe what kind of bullshit answers I sometimes receive (such as package weights of > 1 lbs. for a 1E module  :roll: etc. )

If the seller clearly states the cost for international delivery, that's a big bonus for him. Sadly, only few sellers use this option, but I really tend to favor these. Even better if they distinguish between air and surface.

PS: My favorite of the last weeks is this guy. Check out the auction desciption, he charges $8 handling fee (handling only! not including shipping 8O ), but only for international buyers.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 5934166273

Clearly, I would never buy from such a person. What a rip-off...


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:46 pm 
 

If I make a profit on shipping, it is usually about 10 cents or so, if my weight estimate is off. Sometimes I take a loss. I've never charged "handling", and as a rule I don't bid on auctions that do.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:55 pm 
 

By the way. . . do those of you outside the U.S. usually go to the eBay US site?  I guess I have never really thought about it before. . . I guess I just list my items on ebay U.S. only, but I get a very large amount of international sales.  

How does that work?  Is it because I list my shipping as worldwide?  Are these users still going to the ebay US site?   :?:


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:07 pm 
 

I tend to charge extra for international shipments - when I'm spending 3-4 hours a week filling out customs forms, haggling with the PO clerk over rates and security issues, explaining currency conversion issues, weighing packages and calculating individualized rate information, and answering various questions from people whose fluency in English varies as much as mine does in foreign languages, I'm going to charge for my time.  I currently work for $0.00 per hour, plus invested income, plus risk bonus/penalty, minus eBay and PayPal fees, so I always factor that into the price.

Charging straight shipping with no handling is nice, but when you're shipping (to date) 2,800 items a year to the tune of $18,000 spent and $XX,XXX earned, spending 960+ hours a year, it adds up.  I understand buyers refusing to pay handling.  But I also understand that few buyers have really experienced the deep end of the pool, so I do charge it.
:wink:

Conversely, when my scale and the post office's have a profound disagreement, I eat the loss without recontacting the buyer.  I've paid $50 out of pocket before on a $200 order.  I tend to spend about $5,000-$7,000 on shipping a year.  I don't keep track of handling vs. expense charges until the end of the year, but the last 5 years they've ranged from $800 loss to $300 profit.  Ideally, every package would be weighed and charged individually, but volume and the realities of a 65-hour work week prevent me from taking things to that level anymore.  I admire sellers who manage to charge only exact shipping on every package and still make a profit, but I can't imagine how they do it.  Economies of scale have catastrophic effects on 1- (and in this case 2-) person operations.  I've tried to maintain an equilibrium between international customer desires and realities of time and money, and in most cases, I've succeeded in building great relationships.  I know some are dissuaded by this approach - but that's OK.  Unless they're willing to pay me an hourly wage, I really don't have the time to give those additional individuals the extra customer service they need.  So on they go ...
8)

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:27 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:By the way. . . do those of you outside the U.S. usually go to the eBay US site?  I guess I have never really thought about it before. . . I guess I just list my items on ebay U.S. only, but I get a very large amount of international sales.  

How does that work?  Is it because I list my shipping as worldwide?  Are these users still going to the ebay US site?   :?:


I have set my search options to "all items from anywhere" level. The only time I go to the US site of eBay is when I want to post an auction link in this forum. With the new options, I can customize search pages and "My eBay" and eBay displays everything the way I want - on the German ebay site. The eBay interface is very well done.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:56 pm 
 

The international eBay sites are actually of higher quality in some ways, in that they're designed to integrate cleanly when you want to draw in broader searches.  The mentality among Americans that eBay US = the only eBay tends to limit the international functionality of the US site.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:18 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:I am thinking about going back to the US/Canada only method of selling.

That would be in my opinion a too harsh decision. You would lose many interested customers just happening to live in Europe  :D

I, as Frank, have experienced some US sellers attempting to fleece me perhaps thinking I was not able to read the US stamps on the envelopes or the boxes. Sometimes it happens to hear that the seller must factor the fact of going to the Post Office (I suppose the trip doesn't get longer when you have international packages...) or various paperwork and red tape. I hate red tape  :evil:  as you do, but such paperwork is not always needed. I ship usually via certified mail to various customers in the US and elsewhere in Europe and the paperwork is virtually the same. When I get packages with books, magazines or games from the US, they usually come with that little green tag with very basic data. I can't believe somebody can spend a lot of time with that. With bigger packages, well, that's another story...

PS: no problems at all with darkseraphim  :wink:  :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:21 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:By the way. . . do those of you outside the U.S. usually go to the eBay US site?  I guess I have never really thought about it before. . . I guess I just list my items on ebay U.S. only, but I get a very large amount of international sales.  

How does that work?  Is it because I list my shipping as worldwide?  Are these users still going to the ebay US site?   :?:

As a Canadian, living just slightly north of the US, I find it very annoying when people list items as "US Only".

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:34 pm 
 

Umm. . . I'm still confused.  I think I should know better as I've been selling for almost 2 years  :oops:  , but I just started trying out ebay Turbo Lister as bbarsh mentioned in a previous post ( I didn't even know it existed  :oops:  :oops: ).    Anyway, when I went into Turbo Lister it asked me "list on Us Ebay Only (or choose other options - which were the lists of other ebay sites.)

"Hmm, I says to myself", that's interesting.  I have been under the impression that if you list your shipping as "worldwide", it automatically comes up when other ebay sites do searches for items.

I mean, it must right?  I have done tons of business with first time newbie sellers in other countries - I assume they are just going to ebay and searching for whatever it is they decided they wanted.

Or am I still confused?

(Stupid Turbo Lister  :x  :x  - I bet eBay sends me an email a week telling me to use it, but I delete all their unavoidable "spam" without even looking. )
Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid         STUPID.  :twisted:


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 3:35 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:The international eBay sites are actually of higher quality in some ways, in that they're designed to integrate cleanly when you want to draw in broader searches.  The mentality among Americans that eBay US = the only eBay tends to limit the international functionality of the US site.


I did not realise that US ebay has different functionality. Well the only difference I saw is that you have to click on "show more search options" under advanced search to get everything. IIRC on ebay.ch or .de you get all options right away.

That search option  "Show only items that ship to country XYZ" is about the most usefull thing for us, as well as the option to only show those that accept PayPal :)

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 3:55 pm 
 

Jupp wrote:That search option  "Show only items that ship to country XYZ" is about the most usefull thing for us, as well as the option to only show those that accept PayPal :)

I check out ebay.com occasionally, if there is something I'm really interested in, I make it known to the seller and ask if he'll consider shipping to Canada.  Some sellers will, some won't.  Never hurts to ask.  Unfortunately I miss a lot of good stuff as it doesn't show up in ebay.ca by default.

 YIM  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:15 pm 
 

I have had a mized situation with international bidders. I use the shipping calculators, and some times they are just totally off, and I get accused over overcharging. Sometimes the items take alot of time to get to certain places, which scares international bidders, which I understand. Most often I have problems because they think I am trying to bilk them out of some cash, but I'm not. I was only selling Canada and US for a while, but changed my mind back, and have since then mostly had good experiences. International bidders I deal with now seem to understand.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:18 pm 
 

I dont see how posting internationally is any harder  than posting domestically. Why is it more work?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:46 pm 
 

It really isn't. 50% of what I ship goes overseas, and it's disgustingy simple to use USPS.com and get postage rates.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 5:11 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:It really isn't. 50% of what I ship goes overseas, and it's disgustingy simple to use USPS.com and get postage rates.


Quite.  I don't have a problem with people charging a little bit extra for handling - but I have had dealings with US sellers which routinely charge 50% markups or more on their shipping.  What do you think I can't READ the postage stamp??

Recently a US seller charged me $15.50 for shipping for one item (I did query it and accepted his estimate) and it arrives marked as $9.50 postage on the envelope.  What do I do?  Can I be arsed bothering to haggle for a few measly dollars back via paypal?  No.  Does a padded envelope cost $6 in Ohio?  Doubt it?  What to do... Neutral feedback?

:?:  :)

  
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