Friday, December 27, 2013

Shipping Internationally with eBay. Seller Protection is a joke.

Shipping outside of the United States is something that makes US eBay sellers cringe. To qualify for "seller protection," you have to ship with a service that provides a tracking number and delivery confirmation. That leaves one option at the post office: Priority Express International. The cost is much higher, and it is typical for prospective buyers to assume you are trying to fleece them. The fact is though, when you ship with a lesser option, the buyer has only to say that they did not receive the item, and their money will be refunded every time - at the seller's expense. Regardless of any mitigating evidence, eBay will automatically rule in favor of the buyer. I understand why eBay does this - they must protect eBay's reputation as a safe place to buy. Unfortunately, the way they achieve this is by systematically throwing sellers under the bus.

It cost me about $300 to learn this lesson. Now, when somebody asks for international shipping, I just quote the high price and give a short robotic explanation.

Sometimes people don't mind:
Hi sandwichbear,

I'm very glad to invite me to your auction and to get chance to take your fine parts. The Topline crank-set is my favorite one and I've been using four sets for my bicycles. I hardly ever see a new one in recent years. I don't mind the shipping cost what you anxious about. Thank you very much.

Kindly Regards,

Takashi from Japan

Takashi seems like an alright guy. Like many Japanese, he is also willing to pay a fair price for good components. If I could lower my shipping costs, I would happily do much more business with Japan.

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