Selling abroad - do the high postal fees ding your stars?

bliss_cathy

Member
Jan 30, 2014
427
80
Hello,

Selling domestically there's the option of free postage as it's possible to absorb the cost. However if you want to sell internationally, obviously postage becomes more expensive.

I am looking at my automatic postage options, and not charging any extra for packaging or time, I'm just looking the flat international postage fee that ebay provides for express international post which is roughly $50.

Even though I'm choosing the automatic amount ebay provides is it a risk that international buyers will ding stars for postal fees or do most buyers understand this is just the flat fee?

I could choose regular parcel post, but am concerned that then it would take 2-3 weeks to arrive and be dinged for slow post!

Also I would be paying for insurance myself, that wouldn't be charged to the buyer.

Please, would be interested to hear some thoughts from international buyers and sellers :smile:
 

kasumi168

Obsessive Collector
O.G.
May 16, 2006
2,643
49
As i'm in Australia, and i do sell quite a lot to the US, but it's only stuff from my personal collection, however, i do quote a flat rate in my listing, and i do refund if it's over by a significant amount (like over $5). Otherwise for the flat rate, if it's only a little bit extra to send it via Express than Registered, then i will upgrade the shipping. I've had to pay significantly more to ship stuff to Russia as i had to make sure it was trackable (express) and i bore the cost of that. I've had people ask me for an exact quote to various places, and i've given them, but never heard back as Australia Post costs are high. I don't make money from shipping cost and i charge what the post office charges and nothing more (no extras for time etc that some sellers charge) as i know how it feels to be charged $120 for shipping a very large item from the US to Oz but then it arrives with $80 postage label stuck on it.

PS: Due to paypal rules, i send everything now via trackable/signature both locally and internationally. My listings now have free domestic shipping as i've had local people complain about postage cost (and they don't want all the frills of signature on delivery) so i just incorporate those postage fees in the price of my items. It just safeguards me again people that may complain that they didn't receive the item with regular mail (even if they didn't pay for insurance/tracking etc..) or a neg FB/dings in stars
 

IrisCole

O.G.
Dec 28, 2007
9,291
46
Michigan
www.nikitajade.etsy.com
Hello,

Selling domestically there's the option of free postage as it's possible to absorb the cost. However if you want to sell internationally, obviously postage becomes more expensive.

I am looking at my automatic postage options, and not charging any extra for packaging or time, I'm just looking the flat international postage fee that ebay provides for express international post which is roughly $50.

Even though I'm choosing the automatic amount ebay provides is it a risk that international buyers will ding stars for postal fees or do most buyers understand this is just the flat fee?

I could choose regular parcel post, but am concerned that then it would take 2-3 weeks to arrive and be dinged for slow post!

Also I would be paying for insurance myself, that wouldn't be charged to the buyer.

Please, would be interested to hear some thoughts from international buyers and sellers :smile:
Personally I would never ding a seller for higher international shipping costs or longer shipping time, but there are also a lot of people who don't have a good sense of how international shipping works. I really wouldn't worry about it though - you're just as likely to run into people who have the same sort of issues with domestic shipments.

One thing that I would mention - $50.00 will only cover an international Express shipment if it fits in a flat rate envelope or padded flat rate envelope. If it's something that needs to go in a box, the costs will more than likely be $60+ for Express (unless it's just going to Canada).
 
Sep 11, 2006
6,852
2,246
U.K.
Hello,

Selling domestically there's the option of free postage as it's possible to absorb the cost. However if you want to sell internationally, obviously postage becomes more expensive.

I am looking at my automatic postage options, and not charging any extra for packaging or time, I'm just looking the flat international postage fee that ebay provides for express international post which is roughly $50.

Even though I'm choosing the automatic amount ebay provides is it a risk that international buyers will ding stars for postal fees or do most buyers understand this is just the flat fee?

I could choose regular parcel post, but am concerned that then it would take 2-3 weeks to arrive and be dinged for slow post!

Also I would be paying for insurance myself, that wouldn't be charged to the buyer.

Please, would be interested to hear some thoughts from international buyers and sellers :smile:

Can you just not increase your start price and absorb all shipping costs, be it international or domestic, then you wouldn't have to worry about your P&P star rating? Or use BIN with BO feature then you could accept lower offers from domestic customers due to the lower shipping fees?

As a buyer, shipping costs per se don't put me off but the import charges when you live in the UK do!!
 

northerndancer

What, me worry?
O.G.
Dec 30, 2007
5,072
698
The Cool Cool North
Hello,

Selling domestically there's the option of free postage as it's possible to absorb the cost. However if you want to sell internationally, obviously postage becomes more expensive.

I am looking at my automatic postage options, and not charging any extra for packaging or time, I'm just looking the flat international postage fee that ebay provides for express international post which is roughly $50.

Even though I'm choosing the automatic amount ebay provides is it a risk that international buyers will ding stars for postal fees or do most buyers understand this is just the flat fee?

I could choose regular parcel post, but am concerned that then it would take 2-3 weeks to arrive and be dinged for slow post!

Also I would be paying for insurance myself, that wouldn't be charged to the buyer.

Please, would be interested to hear some thoughts from international buyers and sellers :smile:
As an international buyer I understand that postage is higher and would not ding a seller's stars for a higher shipping charge. It is nice when sellers offer shipping options as I am often not in a rush to receive an item.

Personally I prefer to deal with US sellers who do not use ebay's global shipping program. I find generally the fees are higher when this program is used.
 

bliss_cathy

Member
Jan 30, 2014
427
80
Thanks for the comments. I ended up selling an item which cost $56.05 to send and was the flat rate express courier international. It's the only one with tracking and signature on delivery. The buyer seems fantastic, I actually ended up lowering my item price to help compensate for postage.

It does add an extra element of complication selling abroad setting the price as postage in Australia is 7.20 + 2.95 SC with no insurance, vs $56.05 international with no insurance.

The idea of offering free postage for all but accepting a higher BO from international actually is an option to think about.

It's a bit annoying that ebay still charged me FVF on the 56.05 flat rate, which the post office charges for international post. Not a big deal as but I don't think on flat rate shipping they should.

Anyhoooo.
 
Nov 22, 2007
2,094
410
Niagaria Escarpment
As an international buyer I understand that postage is higher and would not ding a seller's stars for a higher shipping charge. It is nice when sellers offer shipping options as I am often not in a rush to receive an item.



Personally I prefer to deal with US sellers who do not use ebay's global shipping program. I find generally the fees are higher when this program is used.
+1 totally agree ebay's global shipping program is insane and if a seller is not willing to offer a cheaper method I will usually not bid when the shipping is higher than the item.


I'm getting concerned as I'd like to start selling and realistically my customers will probably be international. So want to avoid the whole problem but still have an easy seamless transaction.
 

megt10

O.G.
Feb 17, 2008
21,112
1,072
SoCal
+1 totally agree ebay's global shipping program is insane and if a seller is not willing to offer a cheaper method I will usually not bid when the shipping is higher than the item.


I'm getting concerned as I'd like to start selling and realistically my customers will probably be international. So want to avoid the whole problem but still have an easy seamless transaction.
That is interesting. I just started selling last month after years of buying on eBay. I did sign up for the global shipping because it is less time consuming and easier to manage especially being a new seller. I did send one bag to Canada and the buyer begged me to lie on the forms. I won't do that again. I think without the program I probably would just sell my stuff in the US.
 

northerndancer

What, me worry?
O.G.
Dec 30, 2007
5,072
698
The Cool Cool North
That is interesting. I just started selling last month after years of buying on eBay. I did sign up for the global shipping because it is less time consuming and easier to manage especially being a new seller. I did send one bag to Canada and the buyer begged me to lie on the forms. I won't do that again. I think without the program I probably would just sell my stuff in the US.
International shipping does require more effort than domestic. The shipping costs are higher and a customs form is required. If a seller calculates these herself rather than using ebay's global shipping the costs to the buyer are much less.

Requests to underdeclare customs forms are not uncommon, particularly outside of the US where fees and taxes are so high. But many sellers are uncomfortable doing this (and understandably so). It is a good idea to mention specifically in a listing that you will show the full value on the customs form and will not declare as gift.
 
Nov 22, 2007
2,094
410
Niagaria Escarpment
That is interesting. I just started selling last month after years of buying on eBay. I did sign up for the global shipping because it is less time consuming and easier to manage especially being a new seller. I did send one bag to Canada and the buyer begged me to lie on the forms. I won't do that again. I think without the program I probably would just sell my stuff in the US.

Very difficult situation! Really no one should ask or expect you to break the law.

I have asked sellers if they can use a different shipping method, some times it's possible sometimes not then take my total cost into account as to how high to bid or offer.
 

megt10

O.G.
Feb 17, 2008
21,112
1,072
SoCal
International shipping does require more effort than domestic. The shipping costs are higher and a customs form is required. If a seller calculates these herself rather than using ebay's global shipping the costs to the buyer are much less.

Requests to underdeclare customs forms are not uncommon, particularly outside of the US where fees and taxes are so high. But many sellers are uncomfortable doing this (and understandably so). It is a good idea to mention specifically in a listing that you will show the full value on the customs form and will not declare as gift.
I won't be selling outside the global shipping program for now. I have too many things listed at the moment. I have about 40 things listed with more to come. If I only had a couple of things that would make a difference.
Very difficult situation! Really no one should ask or expect you to break the law.

I have asked sellers if they can use a different shipping method, some times it's possible sometimes not then take my total cost into account as to how high to bid or offer.
I agree when I am buying from an eBay seller who is abroad I take the total price into consideration. If the item is still what I want and can't be found here and still reasonable I go for it. I think with a lot of my stuff which are already priced super low for what they are I have had a few buyers from abroad who still don't mind since they are still getting a good deal.
 

bulletproofsoul

Always on the hunt
O.G.
Jan 18, 2007
4,707
30
Innerspace
My stars have been dinged significantly since I started using this program, and these were for small items. I was just sent a message today from a prospective buyer (in Australia) saying that on her end postage/fees were being shown as over $300(!) for a jacket! I won't ever use this program again on future listings. It's been hell on my stars (and I ALWAYS take a hit on shipping or refund any difference) and it's actually turning buyers off. I have always been fine with shipping overseas on my own and will continue to do so without this program.
 

northerndancer

What, me worry?
O.G.
Dec 30, 2007
5,072
698
The Cool Cool North
My stars have been dinged significantly since I started using this program, and these were for small items. I was just sent a message today from a prospective buyer (in Australia) saying that on her end postage/fees were being shown as over $300(!) for a jacket! I won't ever use this program again on future listings. It's been hell on my stars (and I ALWAYS take a hit on shipping or refund any difference) and it's actually turning buyers off. I have always been fine with shipping overseas on my own and will continue to do so without this program.
I would not ding the stars of sellers who use this program because I understand that it is not the sellers who are imposing the fees. Other than for very small purchases I look for items that are not part of the program. Sellers who sell outside the program probably get more interest in their items from international buyers.