Forwarding Services?

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  1. #1 Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    This is the first time I've posted in this forum... any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Here's my issue... This is my first sale in years, on ebay. I listed my item to be sold. I stated I only ship within the US. Shortly after my listing became active, I received an email from someone in the Philippines asking if I'd be willing to ship to her "forwarder" in New York who would then ship it to her. :confused1: I'm confused. I did a search but couldn't find any hard advice on what to do. My gut says something's not correct here. I want to say no, but how do I nicely do that without tarnishing my 100% feedback reputation? A side note: After doing some research, I did go back into my ebay account and block buyers who are registered in countries to which I don't ship. So I suppose, theoretically, this person can't bid anyhow... but I'm still nervous.

    What a headache I'm getting. And it's only the second day of my 7 day auction.:sad:
  2. I think what's going on is that your potential buyer is trying to avoid dealing with customs duties. She purchases from you and has you send the item within the US. Then the US buyer forwards the item to her as a "gift" with whatever declared value she and her friend determine is appropriate. Hopefully, by marking the item a gift, she avoids paying duties.

    I would tell the potential buyer that you will be happy to ship to her "forwarder" if that person (the forwarder) bids on, wins, and pays for your item through PayP. Just indicate that you will ship to the PayP approved address. This way, the ball is in her court. If her friend wins your item, you can ship to this person (all will be kosher as far as PayP and seller protection is concerned) and then that person (the forwarder person) can do whatever she wants to with the item. Does that make sense?

    That's JMHO, though, as I've never had anyone ask me to do this. I believe Amour Couture said she had some experience in this area. Good luck!
  3. I've sent several things to forwarders located in NYC -- they were forwarded to Saudia Arabia and other ME countries w/o problem. I don't think it had anything to do with avoiding customs.

  4. Did she pay by paypal? I wouldn't ship to any address other than the address paypal discloses to you with her payment, that's the only way you'll have seller protection.

    My gut is right there with you and I wouldn't do it.

  5. As someone who lives in an Asian country and uses a forwarding service as well (one that's a completely legit company, not just a random individual), I do have to pipe in that this could be legit.

    Forwarding services like the one I use here simply provide a US shipping address for customers, thereby allowing them to shop at US online stores that do not ship to international addresses (e.g. Old Navy). Sometimes, these forwarding services are also used to reduce shipping costs, especially for some sites that charge exorbitant shipping fees for international shoppers. How it works is that the forwarding service gives me a shipping address in the US to use (where the recipient's name takes the form of "[forwarding service serial number] [my actual name]"). Then, when the package arrives at the US shipping address, the forwarding service processes it, bills me separately for the shipping costs (and any import taxes, if applicable), then ships it to me at my international address.

    This eBayer could be using a similar legitimate service in the Philippines, and they might think that this is a way that they could purchase your item since you specify only US shipping. I would at least reply to this user and see why she wishes to use this forwarding service, though, and whether or not it's a legitimate one. If you can get the NY address that this user wants to use, that might also help you determine if this user's "forwarding service" is a legit service, or just some random individual. If it's an individual, yeah, I think you should follow the advice above to ask the user to get her friend to do the bidding, so that you can't be liable for anything else that happens after the item gets to the NY address.
  6. Oh - these are actual companies (the forwarders)? When I read OP's initial question, I assumed that she was being asked to ship to a friend of the buyer's.

    Lulilu - just out of curiosity, why do people hire/use a forwarder?
  7. My concern here would be that in order to have PP Seller Protection against INR, you MUST ship only to the address shown on the PP Transaction Details page once buyer has paid.
    You might want to read the PP user agreement below, because many things have changed and they have a bunch of rules that a seller must follow about shipping.

    What is the Seller Protection Policy?

    Question : Answer : Seller protection is for claims, chargebacks, or reversals based on the following reasons:

    • Unauthorized Payment
    • Item Not ReceivedThe Transaction Details page will display whether a transaction is eligible for coverage under this policy. If it is eligible for seller protection, you must ship to the address displayed on the Transaction Details page.
  8. I sold a chloe bag to someone to the Phillipines. Canada Post would not ship becuase they couldn't insure for the full value. So I found out about Johny air cargo. Its a shipping service specializing in sending stuff to the Phillipines.

    I had the bag shipped to their NY office and they shipped it to the Phillipines.

    The service was FANASTIC to say the least and shipping costs are VERY VERY reasonable.
  9. I'm confused. Did that buyer buy the item or not?
  10. Starkfan - thanks for answering my question about forwarding services. I've never heard of this before, so this is new information for me. Much appreciated!
  11. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    To clarify: The person from the Philippines I spoke of above, had not placed a bid yet at the time she sent me her question. I had clearly stated within my auction that I only accept Paypal and I only ship w/in the US. She wanted to know if she could place bids even though she's not a US resident, then have me send it to some address in New York that she'd provide to me if she won the auction. It just seemed strange since she's from a place (Manila) that already has a reputation for scammers and she has 0 feedback. I kindly responded with the advice that I received from choo_girl123, as I believe it's a fair response to protect myself. I had blocked bidders not within the US, seeing as how I don't ship anywhere but the US. I did notice in my Blocked Transaction Log that she indeed tried to bid not once, but three times none-the-less, even when she knew she was blocked. She has the freedom to ask me why I blocked her, but I never heard from her again.

    I hope that all makes sense... I'm almost confusing myself upon rereading what I just wrote!!!
  12. fyi for future reference, youre completely covered as a seller AS LONG as the forwarding address is the same as the Paypal address when she checks out and pays. I use bongo international as a forwarding company, they are a popular option for many reasons for us international shoppers.