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View Full Version : International shipping got me fired?



carlsson
August 20th, 2007, 11:28 PM
On the topic of international shipping on eBay auctions, some sellers have the most charming reasons why they won't ship overseas. I can see that the eBay + PayPal safety net is not as strong once you accept international buyers, and some clueless bidders may neglect the much higher shipping fees.

Yet, another Swedish guy had found an item in the USA that he wanted to bid on, but the seller only accepts bidders from the States. His reason for this was that the seller is scared of shipping to foreign countries and he does not want to lose his job for doing so.

I beg your pardon? Does the CIA, NSF or what is their names monitor eBay and will flag fellow US citizens who make business with people abroad? If you send too many packages to foreigners, will your employer get a note, eventually leading to you being dismissed?

Maybe he meant to say there could be a lot of hassle, claims of lost goods and so on which will cause financial losses to the seller and take too much of his spare time, but how does it threaten his job?

How often do you encounter this, probably in auctions originating in Europe, Japan or elsewhere?

paul.brett
August 21st, 2007, 02:50 AM
but how does it threaten his job?

I guess he was intendnig to use internal company postal service to send items out (cheapskate). An International post may be noticed, and thus get him fired.

Paul.

carlsson
August 21st, 2007, 03:05 AM
Ooh, tricky. Then he will charge for shipping but in reality his employer covers the postage?

dongfeng
August 21st, 2007, 04:40 AM
Like most sellers on eBay :rolleyes:

chuckcmagee
August 21st, 2007, 05:46 AM
Hey, you are right. I just thought about what one seller recently said "I just dropped you package off downstairs". Yessir, charge the buyer and use the company for postage.

Trixter
August 21st, 2007, 06:53 AM
How often do you encounter this, probably in auctions originating in Europe, Japan or elsewhere?

Sadly, I experience this as a seller, not buyer. Shipping internationally has traditionally been so much of a hassle that I tend not to do it. Not only are the various options offered by the post office confusing to me, but my post office has a minimum 30-minute wait time to handle customers. It's a 10-minute drive to/from the PO, so I burn an hour of my day to ship something internationally.

I'd ship UPS or FedEx, but the last time I checked they were significantly more expensive than the USPS for international packages.

BTW, I'm open to any advice on international shipping practices from USA -> rest of the world. All advice on lessening the pain accepted, since I don't really WANT to limit to USA only...

chuckcmagee
August 21st, 2007, 07:02 AM
Brings back horrible memories! When I lived in the Los Angeles area, the P.O. close to work was always packed. The parking lot would have cars lined up onto the main street waiting for parking spaces. I tried to use a small residental area to park in once. The street was so narrow, it wasn't wide enough for cars going both ways. I ended up clipping a parked truck with my Blazer trying to get onto the street. I paid the guy $600 for the damages and didn't bother reporting it to my insurance. As we all know, sure, they will pay your claim and promptly raise your rates. Never went close to that P.O. again.

carlsson
August 21st, 2007, 07:04 AM
For domestic shipping, are alternative couriers such as UPS and FedEx comparable with USPS?

Too bad about the wait time. Is it just as bad if you would stop by the post office very early in the morning, before going to work? Indeed filling out customs notes takes some time, if you can't fill it out in before hand.

What really confuses me is sometimes when a seller has 5-10 similar (but not identical) items for sale, and perhaps 80% are listed with worldwide shipping but the rest are only domestic. Perhaps it is an error in listing, and can be clarified if I ask the seller. I've noticed it helps if I have a clue in what range the postage will be, and indicate this when I ask the seller if he or she will ship abroad.

Terry Yager
August 21st, 2007, 08:52 AM
I don't know about others, but, based on recent experience, I have resolved not to send anything fragile overseas any more. (After Carlsson's trashed-80, I had another shipment to Austria busted up). Having discovered that the USPS shipping insurance is worthless, it's no more, uh-uh, not this little black duck!

--T

Druid6900
August 21st, 2007, 03:25 PM
I can only speak from my experience in that I'd say, about 30% of my e-bay sales were to non-North American destinations. Lots to Europe and the occasional one to the Far East.

That 30% would constitute about, oh, 60 shipments or so.

Canada Post has an on-line shipping module, but, I prefer the desktop version. It allows me to let the customer (both back on e-bay and on my website) to select from the methods of shipping offered by CP, allows me to do all the shipping and customs paperwork, inport the customer's shipping details (from my site) and whip a parcel through the paperwork in about 10 minutes max.

Packing the damn thing takes longer than doing the paperwork with this software. I also have the same sort of software from UPS but don't offer it because their prices are more expensive and CP offers courier service through their Purolator subsiduary.

In ALL the shipments I've sent anywhere, 1 was lost and I refunded the client and had the claim cheque in 3 weeks, 1 was stolen in France, it was like 20 bucks so I just refunded it and one got lost in the USPS system, so I contacted CP, they contacted USPS, it was found and delivered the next day.

No shipment was ever damaged. I guess I've been lucky and I pack for shipment through an artillary barrage :)

jetfire88
September 25th, 2007, 02:32 PM
I used to do a lot eBay overseas stuff, but the rules have now changed. The big shippers (UPS, FedEx, DHL) made huge contributions to the Repulsivcan Party. The end result is that USPS no longer offers Parcel Post or any other economy shipping options outside of the US. Everything starts at Global Priority, and goes up from there. Large parcels (over 108" total) must now go thru the big guys, at roughly 3 times the cost of USPS Priority. This has cost me sales, and prevents the rest of the world from taking advantage of the suck value of the dollar. (this is the RANT section, correct?).


Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how was Dallas?

tezza
October 5th, 2007, 04:52 PM
Ah shipping costs. The bane of those of us that live in far flung countries! I'll often see things on e-Bay being offered for what seem to be great prices. However, once you add the shipping fee, this can easily double the price if not triple it. As for any larger items, like a full computer, well forget it!

Anyway, those are the breaks I guess. It stops me spending too much money on this hobby. :-) We do have a local e-action website and the odd vintage model appears on there sometimes.

scommstech
October 28th, 2007, 06:49 AM
It's a shame when US sellers won't ship overseas.
The US provides a source for goods that may
not be available elswhere. I'v paid a few dollars for
an item that has cost me $30-$40 to ship
because I just could not get it anywhere else.
What is considered standard to you may be very rare to
somebody overseas.
Regards
Scommstech

ahm
October 28th, 2007, 08:37 AM
You make it sound like it's as simple as choosing to ship overseas. In fact, many of us have stopped doing so only after having been burned in one way or another. Even if I could be absolutely certain a buyer is who he says he is, he is where he says he is and he will pay me what he owes, there's still no guarantee that the item will even arrive intact, regardless of how well packed it is.

Yzzerdd
October 28th, 2007, 12:29 PM
I agree with Ahm. I won't ship overseas for the same reason. Just look what happend to Carlsson's TRS-80 (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=7937&highlight=TRS-80+shipping), shipped by a reputable member of the forums. It brought a whole new meaning to the term "Trash-80." And spammers are getting smarter. Recently a spammer bought a laptop off me, with a real eBay account with a large amount of feedback(from a year ago), and I believed it was legit until he tried to convince me to ship to his nefew argentina, and he was in New York. I just glanced at the feedback number, without actually looking at the feedback. Anyways, turns out he hijacked an account that was inactive for over a year.

--Ryan

carlsson
October 28th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Oh, don't remind me. I have just donated that TRS-80 by the way.

But there are a lot of computers, software titles, books etc that are much easier to pack safely than a TRS-80 Model III with its built-in screen, weighing 15 kg and which the post on purpose transports on its side despite big arrows pointing upwards. Sometimes it could be something as simple as a boxed game on 1-2 floppy disks that the seller refuses to ship internationally. In that case it mostly is due to they have bad experiences.

Terry Yager
October 28th, 2007, 04:37 PM
Oh, don't remind me. I have just donated that TRS-80 by the way.

Does that mean you won't be needing the spare CRT I'm holding for you?



But there are a lot of computers, software titles, books etc that are much easier to pack safely than a TRS-80 Model III with its built-in screen, weighing 15 kg and which the post on purpose transports on its side despite big arrows pointing upwards. Sometimes it could be something as simple as a boxed game on 1-2 floppy disks that the seller refuses to ship internationally. In that case it mostly is due to they have bad experiences.

AAMOF, the last three computers I've shipped overseas have been severely damaged, so I'm very reluctant to ship anything fragile or breakable, but I haven't given up entirely. I'm sure there must be some special circumstances that warrant the risk.

--T

BTW, Anders, had any luck with the insurance claim? PM me with an update...

Yzzerdd
October 28th, 2007, 05:04 PM
Does that mean you won't be needing the spare CRT I'm holding for you?



OOOooH! Busted!!!

NobodyIsHere
October 28th, 2007, 06:11 PM
I used to do a lot eBay overseas stuff, but the rules have now changed. The big shippers (UPS, FedEx, DHL) made huge contributions to the Repulsivcan Party. The end result is that USPS no longer offers Parcel Post or any other economy shipping options outside of the US. Everything starts at Global Priority, and goes up from there. Large parcels (over 108" total) must now go thru the big guys, at roughly 3 times the cost of USPS Priority. This has cost me sales, and prevents the rest of the world from taking advantage of the suck value of the dollar. (this is the RANT section, correct?).


Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how was Dallas?

Hey now, I don't care what your political beliefs are but you should keep them to yourself or at least have the courtesy to discuss them at a POLITICAL SITE. Please do not ruin one of the finest web forums on the internet with a bunch of off topic political garbage.

We are surrounded by that junk practically everywhere we go these days. It would be nice if vintage-computer.com forums weren't also taken over the politicos.

Thank you very much.

Andrew Lynch

PS, I know this is the "off topic" section but that is not the point. I have seen what happens to good websites when the politicals start pitting everyone against each other. It is NOT pretty.

carlsson
October 29th, 2007, 12:09 AM
Does that mean you won't be needing the spare CRT I'm holding for you?
Oh, sorry. I forgot. No, please sell it to someone else if you can find a buyer. Once the claim to the post office failed, I mentally gave up the project. :-( The Swedish post office said the claim should be made with USPS, and if I understood you correctly, USPS said the exact opposite thing. Happy happy joy joy.

Lydia
November 18th, 2007, 10:02 AM
eBay has gotten weird and capricious about overseas sales of certain items. Seems like they're looking for patterns of something (fraud?)because sellers of my acquaintance have gotten notices that they're to stop shipping their items to certain, and different places, e.g., Poland, Africa, Thailand, if they want to keep their unrestricted seller status. Other sellers have gotten restrictions placed on their accounts with no warning, and with no clue as to why.

I personally don't ship overseas because I don't want to be bothered filling out customs forms, plus I put a fixed shipping fee to make things easy on me. I don't want to be bothered figuring postage costs for every country in the world. I know, color me lazy.

carlsson
December 23rd, 2007, 11:36 AM
Tonight I got upset, while browsing completed auctions. There is a specific - highly collectable - computer game that I've been looking for since October, and willing to spend at least 100 USD for + shipping. It has appeared a handful of times on eBay in different state of completeness, and every time I have been outbid by a small or larger amount.

Now, when I browsed (or searched via Google rather, as its search engine tends to be more powerful than eBay's one), I found one copy of this game that ended in the beginning of December. An item that I never found, because the seller had listed it to ship only within France instead of Europe or Worldwide. Consequently, the auction ended below ~50 USD. The buyer made a real bargain on behalf of a seller who put comfort before making money. Grrr! Of course I don't know if the seller had been possible to talk into shipping internationally.

Mad-Mike
December 23rd, 2007, 12:48 PM
Could be patterns of fraud they are looking for, as there is a lot of it on certain easily copyable things (guitars come to my mind, as we have had several chinese/korean sellers claiming to be selling high end custom guitars that are really cheap chintzy korean/chinese clones of the real thing with the big name brand on the headstock, sometimes with dodgy fonts).

I don't ship internationally, but then I don't sell much at all anymore since I'm finally where I want to be state-wise. The only incident I've had was with the USPS when they destroyed an XT clone that I sold (and the IBM 5153 Monitor I sold with it). That thing was packed for a war....but I recall the only thing that survived was the IBM Model F keyboard.