Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Be Careful, eBay International Sales can take you for a ride!

Having completed many International Sales to eBay buyers' overseas, I will give you some tips and insights as an eBay seller. It is good for International eBay buyers to read this as well, they sometimes wonder why some eBay Sellers refuse International bidders. From my experience if you are a US based Seller, the easiest shipping option is to use www.usps.com,  The United States Postal Service.
www.usps.com To Ship you prepare your package to ship as if you were shipping to the U.S, except you fill out one of 2 simple custom forms. A customs form is simply an additional form declaring what is inside the package and it's approximate value. There are 2 different custom forms which you will use, one if package is under 4 pounds the other if it is over 4lbs.
(Now you will still have options at to the speed of shipment and the price will vary accordingly.)

If you use the United States Postal Service for International sales once you ship the item you are done. Using FED EX, or UPS you may get charged with a customs fee as the shipper (That is You!) is held responsible for any Value or USE taxes applied upon entry to the country you are shipping the products to. This was an eye opening experience the first time I received a FedEx bill after the fact for $140 customs charge ouch!. Using USPS that will never happen, the buyer upon pickup, will have to pay any taxes or levies to receive the goods.

I recently sold a Macintosh G4 Powermac via eBay, in my auction ad I state I accept international bidders, but payments from www.auctionpayments.com (they are a division of Western Union) or Bank wire transfer. The reason for this is if you accept a credit card or PayPal for any international sale, and the person later claimed the card was stolen, you will be charged back, meaning the money taken back and you will never get the item back, so don't do it. for International Sales I only accept wire transfer direct to my bank account or Western Union. Overseas sales can be profitable, but the do require more paperwork and payment precautions.



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