Safe to ship to Italy??

  1. I received an email from a potential buyer in Italy who asked for the shipping costs for a handbag I am selling. After reading some of the horror stories posted on this forum, I am inclined to tell her I am unable to ship internationally at this time. I can't remember if I read it here or on another board, but is it true that shipping to Italy is risky due to shady customs? Thanks for any and all advice!
  2. Hi, shipped a leather bag to Italy recently. I told the buyer up front that I would only accept a wire transfer and that I would disclose full value for customs purposes. I did insure the bag also. Shipping from CT was $45.00 via USPS Express Mail Service with insurance.

    She got the bag in 6 days, she was thrilled. I was relieved...

    She assumed ALL the risk and she was okay with it. I emailed her the link to the USPS site where it states items you are prohibited from mailing to Italy. I could not assume the risk and be out the bag and the money if it got confiscated, hence no Paypal, only wire transfer.

    Good luck!
  3. Actually, if this can be of any reassurance, I buy from the States all the time. I tend ti buy smaller things because every single time I'm hit by customs.
    However, if you ship via an insured and trackable posting method you should be safe.
    The list of prohibited items posted on the USPS is, from my direct experience, terribly out-of-date. I have received loads of leather products from the US and the only thing that might be asked to the recipient is a certification that the leather does not come from endangered species. So if the good you have to ship is calf, goat, or other "normal" leathers, no problems at all.
    The main concerns regarding posting things to Italy are these:
    - Make sure to describe correctly the content of the package. Do not omit anything contained in it. I had a parcel bounced back to the sender because it contained several stuff and only part of it was listed on the customs declaration. So go ahead and be very specific about the parcel: "Used leather bag" or similar descriptions are ok; I would also omit to specify the brand of the bag because yes, *some* customs offices in Italy are a bit shady.
    - Make sure the buyer knows that you will insure the parcel with its full value and that he/she will end un paying customs duties on it. As a personal favor, you could mark the parcel as a gift, so that the buyer will end up paying only import duties but not VAT, but that's up to you. I know this is a hot issue because everybody appreciates when they get a parcel without having to pay customs duties (this is discussed a lot in every area of this forum) but many sellers do not want to do this. Just *make it very clear to the buyer* that you are not responsible of customs. In Italy you must pay a percentage for anything over 45 Euro (50US$).
    - If possible, avoid completely the postal system. If the buyer really wants the item, he/she could agree to use a courier instead of the post. It will cost more, but it is much safer that the normal post.
    - If you still send by post, expect that the delivery times are twice those stated by the USPS itself. So if it's 5-7 days expect two weeks, etc.
    - I have to say that *eventually* I always get all my parcels from the US, it's just a question of patience!
  4. Thank you both for taking the time to provide such detailed responses! I really appreciate your input. I've decided to tell the buyer I won't ship internationally right now. Perhaps I will in the future, but it just seems like so much extra work right now.
  5. I haven't shipped to Italy but addresses in many countries cannot be verified so you will not have seller protection from eBay/Paypal if you ship to an unverified address. I think Italy may be one of these countries where you can't verify an address but I'm not sure.

  6. Actually we can't have confirmed address here in Italy for Paypal...:flowers:
  7. Yep, no address confirmation here in Italy... BTW, there is only a minority of countries where paypal addresses can be confirmed: The US, the UK and Canada for sure. I don't think there is anybody else. On a side note, I discovered a couple of months ago that buyers in unconfirmable countries like Italy are less covered by Paypal than those with confirmed addresses. I had to turn to my CC company to get a refund for an item I won on eBay and never received. I wasn't even allowed to open a dispute with Paypal!
    So this is not a problem only for sellers, but also for buyers...

  8. That's not very fair at all.
  9. I shipped to Italy a few times without problem however these was one time that a bag sent via AirMail took 3 weeks to arrive.
  10. Yep, happens to me all the time!