International sales
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 21, 2
Author


Active Collector

Posts: 77
Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 13, 2009

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 3:37 pm 
 

Out of curiousity, what is the risk of using an M-bag?  Is it any worse than sending something surface mail?

Regarding the economy, with the US dollar falling in value with respect to the euro, it makes some US exports more competitive, including used RPGs. But it also means American citizens holding US dollars are losing money. Their savings are worth less this year than last year. Next up the US dollar will be losing money against Asian currencies.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 3:45 pm 
 

dave wrote:Out of curiousity, what is the risk of using an M-bag? Is it any worse than sending something surface mail?

Regarding the economy, with the US dollar falling in value with respect to the euro, it makes some US exports more competitive, including used RPGs. But it also means American citizens holding US dollars are losing money. Their savings are worth less this year than last year. Next up the US dollar will be losing money against Asian currencies.


well don't send anything fragile that way as its VERY likely to be bashed about. you can't insure surface m-bag but can airmail m-bag (apparently...)

its one of them "use it at your own risk" services. the buyer MUST be made aware of that, as the risk is totally his/hers.



  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1709
Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 23, 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 3:53 pm 
 

The other issue with M-Bags is:  wait until you get to your local post office and ask about M-bags and they stare back at your with a blank expression . . . maybe they know what to do. . . but they don't have any M-Bags to give you.  Or they have no idea and eventually figure out that you need to fill out the little "M-Bag card."

Doesn't exactly fill you with confidence . . .

It's just a hassle - no big deal if someone asks about it . . . I'll always accomodate a buyer, but it is not something that I just offer to everyone with a heavy package.


"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6402
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 20, 2021
Location: UK

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:23 pm 
 

BaconTastesGood wrote:1. Because shipping is so much more expensive, very often international bidders compensate by bidding lower so the same total price works out.

This is probably untrue for RPG stuff. The exchange rate is so good ATM, that we Brits can push prices high in Dollars with relative ease.

BaconTastesGood wrote:2. For non-RPG stuff, when customs/tariffs are involved, I am often asked to undervalue the item on the manifest, which hurts if insurance is required.

There is no reason why you can't simply state in your terms that the declared Customs Value will be the final Auction Value plus shipping, and that this is not negotiable. You will not undervalue for Customs reasons. Besides, doing so is illegal. UK customers do not pay duty on 'educational materials' and 'books', they also do not pay duty on anything under about $200 (£140).

BaconTastesGood wrote:3. Lack of tracking when sending via inexpensive methods can mean problems with lost shipments.

You may also insist that tracking be included on all oversees orders. You are the seller, and as long as you state before hand what your terms of sale are to bidders, there can be no disagreement. You simply say when asked: Refer to the terms and conditions of the sale as referred to in the auction.

Aside. A warning for UK sellers. If you sell to a European customer, and you are a UK seller, PayPal require that you ship all packages with tracking in order to qualify for seller protection. I know that you get £28 compensation with proof of postage, but is a buyer does not receive his item and claims his money back through PayPal, they will receive a full refund of their money if you have not got tracking information for the package. The Recorded Delivery tariff (63p) comes with a tracking number that is only trackable by the Royal Mail, but this counts as tracking information and accepted by PayPal when fighting against chargeback under PayPal's Seller Protection. I get the impression that different rules apply for US sellers.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . minestrone soup.

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 26
Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 13, 2005

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:30 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:DON'T EVEN MENTION M-Bags unless the buyer requests and you feel comfortable.


What is the worry with M-Bags? I've only ever used this method one time (for sending a large lot of Dungeon magazines to Canada). The package arrived quickly with no problems. It seemed like a good method for international shipping, but what are its pitfalls?

  


Active Collector

Posts: 26
Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 13, 2005

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:33 pm 
 

Nevermind on my question about M-Bags. I see you answered it to someone else. Now that you mention it, I do recall that they had to go looking around for the tag when I asked to ship by that method. They did have one, but then again, this was an airport post office for a fairly good-sized city. I'm sure small-town local post offices probably wouldn't have the tags readily available.

  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:22 pm 
 

killjoy32 wrote: ppl like draco76 and bclarkie etc are great as i know they are reliable and very easy to deal with - makes for a nice easy deal all round and i would certainly go back and get more.
Alan


Aww, Thanks Killjoy!! I really do try hard to please  :D  :D  :D

draco76 wrote:Ya killjoy is a nice guy,


I agree totally.  :wink:

draco76 wrote:You have to ship overeas or you make no money these days.

I agree on this 100%.  So far in my 6 years on EBay to this point, I have only had one real bad experience with an international customer. In retrospect,  the problem that I had though really wasn't really an international customer problem, it was more of him being a 1st class(international or domestic) a$$hole. The problem I had was that he deadbeated me on 5 auctions and then he also had the nerve to leave me a neg first!  Boy was I pissed!!!  :evil:   :evil:  :evil:    But anyway, up until this year, probably 30%-40% of the people that I have sold to were international, including several folks from this forum (killjoy, mbassoc2003, blackmoor, johnhuck, etc) as well as many others not on this forum, and never really had any more problems dealing with them than any of my American counterparts.  As a matter of fact, IMO international customers for the most part are usually easier to work with, more communicative and much less demanding.  :D     Now, so far this year, the action on my auctions from international bidders has decreased a bit, but in the long run I am sure it will probably even out . IMO, it would probably be wise to leave open your auctions to all comers(except for maybe ones that are furry and like M-bags :wink: ) and you'll find in the end that you will make a lot more money.  Just my .02


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 628
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Mar 15, 2007
Location: Illinois

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:36 pm 
 

ya if you ship overseas I'd block couger 1st thing lol.  Hell I'd even be willing to use M-bags with the right person, like some of the guys from here I'd have no problem with it.

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3593
Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Last Visit: Sep 19, 2021
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:14 pm 
 

I buy from the US all the time now, living in Canada the shipping rates are not bad and the 20 -30% decline in the US dollar over the last year and a half makes it a buyers market.

Selling stuff is not so good now though for the exact same reason.


Games can get you through times of no money but money can not get you through times of no games!!

 WWW  


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 656
Joined: Apr 12, 2004
Last Visit: Nov 28, 2020
Location: Perth, Australia

Post Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:58 am 
 

I've bought quite a few items from the US, in fact all my 'rares' (Lost Tamoa; 3rd print Brown, B3 Orange etc).



A couple of things from the buyer's point of view.

1. I've had, I think 4 items go missing; 2 not sent, and 2 lost 'somewhere'. The items were insured and the funds refunded to me.

2. When surface mail says 6-8 weeks, read 3 months, putting it close to 'no-feedback time' :roll:

3. For the expensive goodies, Mr Taxman at the customs house just loves it. The actual cost from US is reasonable $US20odd, but it's the $AUD250 slug for a $US1,000 item that will kill you (including customs agent). 8O

The only way around it is to mark the actual price down (and subsequently the insured amount) even if it's marked as a gift, which opens up all sorts of ethical questions, and leaves the buyer open to loss if it goes missing.



I can say that I've never had any problem with any goods described and sent by an Acaeum member. :wink:



Adder (Australia)

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 530
Joined: Feb 25, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 12, 2021
Location: Lille, France.

Post Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:09 pm 
 

As a european buyer, i think the current rate exchange are quite good for those who use Euro... and even better for those who use Pounds (maybe i am wrong)... but are those people really belong to Europe  :wink:  :wink:  (Sorry for that guys, and pray for Wilkinson's return !).  Ops

I never had a problem with the international sellers registred here at acaeum, and the items always arrived in an excellent shape.

Well, my advice : as it is not really easy for me to wait for the end of the bids (in the middle of the night, or very very early) i do appreciate sellers who let some Buy It Now items : then, if i won only one bid instead of the 6 or 7 I was bidding for, I can BIN some stuff to make the shipping costs less expensive.

Think of that maybe, to reassure international customers.

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 628
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Mar 15, 2007
Location: Illinois

Post Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:35 pm 
 

I love youffie  :wink:

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 530
Joined: Feb 25, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 12, 2021
Location: Lille, France.

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:16 am 
 

draco76 wrote:I love youffie :wink:




Well honey, let's continue that conversation apart.  :oops:

And thanks again !

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:50 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:
killjoy32 wrote: ppl like draco76 and bclarkie etc are great as i know they are reliable and very easy to deal with - makes for a nice easy deal all round and i would certainly go back and get more.

Alan




Aww, Thanks Killjoy!! I really do try hard to please :D :D :D



draco76 wrote:Ya killjoy is a nice guy,




I agree totally. :wink:







awww shucks youre too kind :)



i like m-bags tho, for certain things... i think all methods of posting have their advantages and disadvantages really, but in the end, it IS nice to have a choice to a certain degree that the buyer AND the seller are both happy with. that way, you will always deal again.



  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 628
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Mar 15, 2007
Location: Illinois

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:46 pm 
 

I lov you to killjoy :P



your a sexy man  8O

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 628
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Mar 15, 2007
Location: Illinois

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:49 pm 
 

lol this kinda reminds me whats going on with the $ and the pound......





Subject: Fluctuations



I had a bunch of Canadian dollars I needed to exchange so I went to the

currency exchange window at the local bank.



Short line... just one guy in front of me...



The guy in front of me was an Asian guy who was trying to exchange yen

for dollars and he was a little agitated... he asked the teller, "why it

change, yestoday I get two hunat dolla fo yen - today I get hunat

eighty? Why it change?"



The teller says, "fluctuations" (fluc-tu-ations)



The Asian guy says, "fluc you white guys too!

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 299
Joined: Jun 07, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 14, 2008
Location: OHIO

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:54 pm 
 

draco76 wrote:lol this kinda reminds me whats going on with the $ and the pound......





Subject: Fluctuations



I had a bunch of Canadian dollars I needed to exchange so I went to the

currency exchange window at the local bank.



Short line... just one guy in front of me...



The guy in front of me was an Asian guy who was trying to exchange yen

for dollars and he was a little agitated... he asked the teller, "why it

change, yestoday I get two hunat dolla fo yen - today I get hunat

eighty? Why it change?"



:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:



FLATULATIONS? 8O



The teller says, "fluctuations" (fluc-tu-ations)



The Asian guy says, "fluc you white guys too!


May Eru's light shine upon you always.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7967
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Sep 15, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:44 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:Here is all you need to know about international shipping (I have sold several hundred items overseas with not one damaged or lost item).



When sellers say "they have had horrible experiences" it is probably because they did something wrong or packaged it poorly and it was damaged.





RPG stuff is an easy sell for two reasons:



1) They are books

2) They often fit in Global Priority Flat Rate envelopes



Get a stack of Global Priority Flat Rate envelopes and "Green" (short) Customs forms.  You can ship up to 4 lbs in a GP Flat Rate (which is more than enough for anything that can fit). Address everything clear and correctly and fill out the customs form. Check "other" for the contents (it is not a gift, sample or documents). Be brief in the description - "Book" or "used book" is more than sufficient. You can list the weight or let the Post office list it. Also, feel free to put the actual price - there is NO INSURANCE available for Flat Rate and, in any case, most countries are "easy" on books (in fact, many don't charge or concern themselves with a tax). A Flat Rate is $9.00 ($7.00 to Canada).



The only "commonly" sold to country that doesn't accept GP Flat rate is Italy. You will have to use Air Mail.



Even packages that are somewhat large ( I think the Max Height/Width/Depth limit is 72") can be sent Airmail letter Post if they are under 4 lbs.



If packages are larger than 72" (but less the 144") or are over 4lbs they must be sent by Parcel Post. Always offer Airmail Parcel Post and state that interntional bidders must email you first. Check your weight (usually it is in 1 lbs. increments so it is easy to guess) and go to USPS - The United States Postal Service (U.S. Postal Service) to find the cost. Insurance is available for these packages . . . if you don't want to risk an expensive purchase, don't ask you buyer if they want insurance, just bundle it up with the total shipping cost. For these packages you must fill out a "White" (long) form which has five carbon copies.  



- Country of Origin is United States

- HS Tariff number (just leave blank)

- Make sure you state "Books"

- Always make sure you fill these forms out completely and sign/date (you can't trust a postal worker to check your work).





NEVER offer to send Surface mail - I will do this if the buyer requests and then I make sure they have a full and clear understanding that it will take between 4-8 weeks (possibly more).



ALWAYS package items as if they would be tossed about the room like a football. MAKE SURE they are encased in cardboard protective sleeves and/or boxes with bubble wrap, foam, etc.



DON'T EVEN MENTION M-Bags unless the buyer requests and you feel comfortable.



Rember that if a buyer gets several books and they won't fit into a Global Flat Rate, it still might be cheaper to send them in TWO separate envelopes at $9.00 each, than in ONE envelopes with combined weight.



Make sure you have a return address on every envelope - when shipping to Canada, make sure nothing is abbreviated and everything is in capital letters (they may still accept and delivery it if not, but their new "official" policy is as I stated . . . so don't take chances.)



Finally . . . if someone can't use paypal, then insist they use a Western Union money transfer which is quick and easy. Or, failing that, I have allowed buyers to express mail me U.S. cash (which is signed for).



I have never had even a whisper of a problem yet . . . it is really no big deal.  8)




AS usual BTB has it all wrapped up with a shiny bow.  Great post. Here's all the tidbits I can add from selling online and overseas for over 10 years now:



The free global priority envelopes are a perfect size for magazines, modules, and most gaming books.  Like BTB said, typically doubling or tripling up on the envelopes is actually cheaper than sending in a priority box in most cases as flat rate is $9 a box ( I charge a flat rate of $10 an envelope but I will stuff an envelope as full as I can safely without it falling apart at no additional cost).



Greece is another country who doesn't accept priority mail; you have to send airmail to Greece and Italy.  A bit of a pain but some of my best buyers are in Italy!!!! (the motherland!)



I would avoid shipping to Africa, Russia, Mexico and South America except by special request; all of my problems over the years have involved these locations. I will sell stuff to these places on an individual basis but in general I would avoid them.  The problem is not with the customers in most cases; it's with the lousy mail service in the mentioned countries.  They treat packages like presents for themselves and open them regularly to check for money or money orders.  A guy I corresponded with who lived in South Africa said he had never gotten a package or envelope that hadn't been opened and rifled through first.



Write "books" or "used books" on the green custom form, and if you wish value the items what the original price is on the book/module/magazine.  Technically you aren't fibbing, as that is the price of the item, and your buyer won't get hit with outrageous custom fees. I personally believe in letting a customer keep his money rather than letting the postal service collect a fee for no reason.



If the buyer wants surface mail, make sure you let them know it could take up to two months.  A lot of them don't realize how long it will be.



Use cardboard stiffeners or extra envelopes folded over to bulk up the global priority envelopes and make them hard to bend.  



I've taken Bidpay, paypaly, money orders, checks drawn on US banks only, and cash (carefully wrapped and sent registered mail). I've never had a payment lost in over 10 years.  



International bidders will often pay more for an item because it's harder to find overseas....I find that a very large percentage of my sales come from international buyers.  I uniformly find them polite, very grateful, and good to deal with.  I've only had one international buyer in a decade stiff me, while in that same time dozens have done so from the US.   I really like dealing with international buyers for most part even though it requires a small extra bit of work, they are good guys for the most part even the French!  :lol:



Mike B.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7967
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Sep 15, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:52 am 
 

AdderMcOne wrote:
3. For the expensive goodies, Mr Taxman at the customs house just loves it. The actual cost from US is reasonable $US20odd, but it's the $AUD250 slug for a $US1,000 item that will kill you (including customs agent). 8O

The only way around it is to mark the actual price down (and subsequently the insured amount) even if it's marked as a gift, which opens up all sorts of ethical questions, and leaves the buyer open to loss if it goes missing.





No ethical problems for me.  I detest any government, even foreign ones, making money off average joes like you or me for a game or hobby. Just write down "Books" or "Used Books" or value the item at $20 or so. Don't let the Man get you down.



Mike B.

 WWW  
Previous
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 21, 2