No response from buyer, good or bad (or even a delivery?!)

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  1. I've bought and sold internationally before, but this is a new one to me:

    I sold a bag to a buyer in the UK at the end of January (I'm in the US). She paid via echeck, which meant that I had to wait about a week or so for the funds to clear before I'd be protected by PayPal; I sent her a message letting her know I'd ship as soon as I could. No response, but I didn't really figure on one.

    I posted the item on Feb. 2 via USPS Express Intl, insured and declared appropriately, and got hit with one of PayPal's lovely "your funds are pending for x days or confirmation of delivery or positive feedback" holds. That was fine, too. But according to tracking, the bag made it out of customs, a delivery attempt was made on Feb. 10, and that's the last update I have. I still haven't heard from the buyer, despite sending constant updates-- no email, no eBay message, no feedback, no smoke signals.

    The issue is that...there is no issue? The funds were finally released, so that's not a problem. I'm just a little concerned, knowing that the bag is apparently still floating around the UK somewhere, and I'm wondering what the buyer's thinking because it's been three weeks since she's won the auction. What happens if the bag isn't delivered? Can she refuse it, now that it's out of customs? Can I just treat the transaction as completed? What's going on? :confused1:

    Thanks for reading-- any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated! :flowers:
  2. I sent a bag to the UK last year via Express Mail that the delivery confirmation kept telling me that

    a) it hadn't arrived
    b) there had been attempted delivery 3 times.

    When the buyer finally contacted me, I sent her the information about the attempted deliveries. She told me there had been no attempts whatsoever, but she went to the postal office and discovered that it had been there awhile.

    She'll get back to you soon enough or be happy with the bag, just hold tight.
  3. It is possible that she has received it and the tracking hasn't been updated. It is also possible that she hasn't had a chance to pick it up at the post office. It is also possible that she refused the parcel. Did you provide her with the tracking number? You could send her an email telling her you noticed that a delivery was attempted and wondering if she has had a chance to pick up the bag.
  4. Thanks, deekai, fingers crossed that this is the case! Northerndancer, I messaged her with the tracking number-- but I'll go ahead and let her know that a delivery's been attempted. Thanks for the suggestion!


  5. Excellent suggestion and perhaps she has been away or had something

    to attend to and just hasn't had a chance.. hope this works out for you
  6. Hi. If you haven't already done so, instead of the USPS site, put the number into the Parcelforce Worldwide site

    It should show you a new Parcelforce number in blue, which you click on. This may show you more details. If it has not been collected, the only thing to worry about is the number of days held. They hold for 16 days I believe, after which they return it to sender if Customs Duty has not been paid.

    If they have collected it, that's wonderful. If not, send the buyer the new details of the tracking. Quite possibly they have no idea it is ready. This has happened to me 3 times.

    If there is no response after 24-48 hours, they may be aware of it, but refusing to collect. If you suspect that they are not collecting it, then just contact eBay and let them know that the buyer is not collecting their item. eBay will send them a gentle reminder. They have done this for me twice.

    Hope it turns out to be as simple as the buyer being unaware that the item is there.

    Parcelforce did have some tracking problems last week.

    Good luck.
  7. Thanks, shinymagpie, the Parcelforce site is significantly more detailed! Sorry to be dense, but if the tracking details say that the package was "Awaiting payment of charges" on Feb. 12 and has a rescheduled delivery date of Feb. 16 (the status is "Held") does this mean that the customs fees and payment have been sorted out?

    Many thanks to everyone-- your advice has been invaluable!

  8. Yes, unfortunately, she can just refuse to pay the customs and the parcel will be sent back to you. Then the buyer will be refunded and you'll be out postage.

    This is the double edged sword with selling internationally.
    Either you can under value the package and the buyer pays no customs BUT you stand to lose out on insurance if the bag is lost or damaged.

    Or you declare full value but the buyer is unsettled and unprepared to pay the customs and brokerage fees. Each company charges their own brokerage, so it's not just the taxes the buyer is paying but also a fee to the company for paying at the border on their behalf. UPS/Fed Ex etc, the private companies charge a lot more brokerage and hidden fees than USPS and federal posts do. So the buyer can simply not have the funds to pay those fees and the item gets returned.

    On the other hand if the buyer does pay and signs for the bag, as long as the tracking shows the item was accepted, paypal will release your money without feedback.
  9. I'd read that as saying that the buyer has been in contact with Parcelforce and has arranged to pay the customs duty before the 16th, so that it can be delivered on the 16th. Otherwise, there's no reason for that date to be put in there. It would just say "awaiting payment of charges" and "held" with no delivery date mentioned at all.

    I'd say it was a good sign.
  10. Yep I think whats happened is shes got the letter through the post which asks her to pay the fees before they deliver or before she can pick it up. She has then arranged a delivery for the 16th. International shipping and recieving can be confusing, the parcelforce used to tell me there had been an attempted delivery at 3am or something equally stupid, what they actually meant was that it was delivered to the parcel force office at that time (or something like that)