International Shipping - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!!
Why Don't More Sellers Offer Global Shipping?
What is the Reason?
As a seller, I wondered why there are there so few ebay sellers that offer global shipping. I interviewed many sellers for this guide and the following information is the outcome gathered from those conversations.
Offering International shipping for all global buyers opens the seller to a whole new world of selling and many would think what a nice option, especially since the dollar difference in some countries is an opportunity for many outside of United States to benefit.
So Why Isn't Every eBay Seller Offering Global Shipping?
The sellers that offer global buyers, International USPS Priority mail with insurance or UPS with insurance say the downside is the high cost of shipping. International buyers are not happy about the high cost of the shipping fees that they pay to ship USPS International Priority mail. Even though it isn't the sellers fault, it does put a damper on the sale. Then why not ship cheap with parcel post? Because you do not get tracking information, no delivery confirmation and the parcel post takes 2-3 weeks to arrive, sometimes badly damages because of the length of time and package is banged around. When you ship parcel post and the package doesn't arrive, there is nothing anyone can do about it. If you ship with USPS International priority the shipping boxes supplied by the post office are strongly made and can withstand the distance and handling. It is illegal to take the USPS priority boxes and turn them inside out to use for parcel post.
Is Insurance a good thing for International shipping?
The sellers are no longer allowed to ask for insurance from the buyer in their listing. However if a buyer wants to be guaranteed that the item is not stolen, damaged or lost, insurance is very important. The buyer would need to ask the seller to add insurance to the package. Some sellers add the insurance into the cost of shipping, then you can be assured that the package will be covered in case of loss or damage.
Free Shipping for International buyers!
I interviewed a successful eBay seller that told me he ships all his items with FREE global shipping. This way the high cost doesn't annoy the buyers. He told me that the cost to global is expensive and even though the buyers know that up front, it is irritating. He offers FREE shipping which works for him since his product is sought after and in high demand. Of course his price per item included his cost of shipping built in. This could only be done if the item was in high demand and one-of-a-kind item.
Extra Paper Work for Global Shipping
Yes, there is more paper work and time required to ship internationally. It isn't as easy as regional or shipping within your own country. You fill out the information on the USPS priority international forms and you use the USPS International plastic envelope to attached the shipping information to the package. You can take the global shipping package to the post office and they help you fill out the forms. The form requires the address, item's value, description, insurance amount, return address, and your signature. The forms are free.
Are there good experiences? Yes!
I have had many wonderful experiences shipping hats and vintage items all over the world. I met many great ebayers that enjoy the same hobby. Hat and vintage collectors have much in common and many friendships are made. After hearing about so many problems, I wish there was a way to make global shipping better for all. It is a wonderful feeling to give collectors/buyers from other countries the opportunity to buy hats from United States.
I will continue to ship to international buyers hoping that everyone will understand the situation about the cost of global shipping and understand that the length of time and the costly rates are not the seller's fault. Also the sellers cannot do anything about the duty fees in other countries.
This guide was written to better explain the reason why so many sellers do not offer International shipping to global buyers. If this guide was helpful please click the YES below. Thank you.