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

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For US Amazon sellers, do you enable international shipping?  I got a message request from a buyer in Asia for something I have listed.  I have no concerns with international shipping, having sent 1000+ parcels internationally for BrickLink sales.  But I looked at the Amazon price bands and they look extremely risky to me as a seller.  Either I'll be gouging buyers on small/light packages or lose my shirt on a large oversize heavy set.  Is total order value the only way to set shipping prices on Amazon?  Can I enable/disable international availability at the product level?

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First, concentrate on getting paid.

The ship it with signature confirmation and UPS Ground or USPS Priority with insurance. Buyer should pay for postage. If the package is international, ship USPS Express

Is Fedex that bad?

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no.  fed-ex international is clutch since they deliver packages themselves and not some local postal service.. usps global express international actually uses fedex for the delivery .  just going through usps in most cases is cheaper.

 

i use usps priority express because it offers many of the benefits of fed-ex and usps global express. namely insurance can be purchased on all packages which priority international doesn't offer, better proof of delivery and Money-Back Guarantee.

 

 

http://faq.usps.com/adaptivedesktop/faq.jsp?ef=USPSFAQ

How is U.S. Mail Delivered Internationally?

Solution:


 

The U.S. Postal Service

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Yeah, that's the good thing about Fedex for international. Can insure anything. Wish there was a third party insurer that would, but there isn't. Unfortunately, Fedex is cost-prohibitive compared to USPS for international.

 

@jaisonline: Have you run into buyers not wanting Priority Express? Had an experience with a Russian buyer where the package was returned to me because it wasn't delivered successfully and then not picked up in time. Buyer then requested it be sent Priority, which I did (I don't even have qualms about using First Class. This case required two separate shipping boxes and he preferred that to the one large shipping box via Express) and it worked out (like all the other shipments I sent him, except for the one that went Express). This was all at his expense, of course, but I'm curious about your experience. 

Edited by minicoopers11

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Sometimes.  Depending on the value of the sold item, i might agree with regular Priority International. 

Before I knew the differences between international shipping options, I sold a sealed 30th anniv C3PO.  I only used Priority Express which doesn't always get delivery tracking updated. I was sweating for 4 days and hoping the buyer didn't try anything funny. luckily, it all worked out.

 

Yeah, that's the good thing about Fedex for international. Can insure anything. Wish there was a third party insurer that would, but there isn't. Unfortunately, Fedex is cost-prohibitive compared to USPS for international.

 

@jaisonline: Have you run into buyers not wanting Priority Express? Had an experience with a Russian buyer where the package was returned to me because it wasn't delivered successfully and then not picked up in time. Buyer then requested it be sent Priority, which I did (I don't even have qualms about using First Class. This case required two separate shipping boxes and he preferred that to the one large shipping box via Express) and it worked out (like all the other shipments I sent him, except for the one that went Express). This was all at his expense, of course, but I'm curious about your experience. 

 

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Watching the tracking on an item as it travels around the Earth can sometimes be already enough entertainment to sometimes sell something internationally. I'm currently watching a shipment make it's way to Australia and imagine someone ordering these few plastic bricks all the way to the other side of the globe. Now these few bricks travel by plane to a continent I've never set my own foot on, yet. It's a crazy world we live in.

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Hi everyone.  I'm on the other side of this conversation (overseas buyer/seller dealing with US/Canada/UK/Australia), and would like to chip in to the topic.

 

I have been a long-time toy collector (new in Lego, but collecting since 2007, dabbling in One-Sixth figures, 6-7" action figures and Transformers).  I have bought/sold/traded hundreds of times to overseas collectors, and this is a first that I'm observing in the Lego forum.

Looks like the preferred method of selling here is via eBay.  In my other toy forums and Facebook groups, the transactions are not done within eBay, but only within the group/forum.  You can always check the positive/negative feedback of the collector you're dealing with, in the same forum.  Invoice is sent via Paypal still, and so far I haven't had a problem that wasn't resolved.  Is eBay listing more preferred here, than "within the forum" dealings?  Don't sellers have a more even playing field outside of eBay than within eBay (where buyers are always preferred and sided with)?

 

Now, regarding shipping.. It is true that packages have a potential to get lost.  However, paying for Registered Mail (when I am the buyer) always does the trick of tracking.  When the package reaches Philippine shores, the seller's responsibility ends (or at least that's mutual between me and the seller), because there is no way the package can get lost once it reaches my country.  The tracking number also means it's searchable in the Post Offices I inquire into.  What more the Express shipping, which is more secure.

 

I think the problem is very isolated (stories here and there, experiences which are less than 5% of the total transactions), and is being blown out of proportion - thereby hindering the profitability in dealing with overseas collectors.  What is the 'problem statement'?  What is the real issue?  US buyers/sellers refusing to deal with overseas collectors like myself because of security reasons, or mostly inconvenience?

> If Security is the reason, the sellers can pass that "burden" to the buyer.. The buyer can always shoulder Insurance premium/cost and Traceability on their packages.  A disclaimer can be made for buyers who choose to ship without tracking, that It cannot be refunded or something.  This is easy to address.
When I ship my items, I use a reliable local courier (http://www.xend.com.ph) which still offers online tracking despite the cheapest being REGISTERED MAIL.  I went out of my way to research that courier, and have used them eversince.

 

> If Inconvenience is the reason, the sellers realistically just have to go to the Post Office, fill out a Customs Declaration Form, and ship the item (like what I do when I ship the items I sell to overseas buyers).  If everybody else is doing it globally for international packages, then what's the real inconvenience?  Can Customs forms be filled out by the buyer online using an electronic form that the seller can send the buyer, to take away the inconvenience of the seller?  And can the seller charge the "inconvenience fee" to the buyer?  All this, can be passed onto the buyer, just to make the item available overseas.  That's how powerful I see the US/Canada/UK sellers are, but I always hear about the whining about the "inconvenience".

 

What's your take on this?  Thanks in advance for any reply and thoughts.  I'm trying to understand the problem, so that I can possibly find solutions, as I know US/UK sellers who are also willing to suggest/recommend to me, and I'll post the recommendations here.
 

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just a FYI and reminder for those in the US who get paid w/ PayPal for non-eBay international transactions.  i had another chat with PayPal claim team (was just being proactive for a recent sale to a HK customer).

 

 

when using USPS international priority express, the country's local post office makes the delivery. 

 

thus, if the package isn't delivered, there is a chance you will lose the PayPal claim since the buyer didn't receive the package (even if it's not your fault).  this is why Paypal highly recommended wants signature delivery (basically required for possible claims) now on all transactions that are $750.00+. 

 

as my post a few above states, USPS does offer a service that uses Fed-Ex for the final delivery. however, fees are expensive like the Fed-Ex and UPS offerings.

 

to me, the main benefit of USPS international priority express instead of regular USPS international priority is just the  insurance option (up to $500 when bought online) and faster transit (excluding customs hold-ups).

 

update: due to paypal's policy (non-ebay sales), this is another good reason when your non-US buyers have US addresses (even package forwarding companies).  once your package is delivered to that US address, you are no longer responsible for the delivery to the buyer (at least with paypal).

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