Danger of selling to foreign purchaser?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Dan Henderson, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I have an opportunity to sell a Hasselblad lens to a buyer in Singapore. The buyer is willing to pay via PayPal. I have no reason to distrust the buyer, but I have never sold anything to a foreign purchaser. Actually I have been more of a buyer than seller, and have never sold anything via Paypal. I am just a bit nervous about selling and shipping overseas.

    Are there any dangers that I should be aware of before completing this transaction? Thanks for any and all advice.
    Dan
     
  2. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Make a accounted for invoice of what you are selling them and shipping method.
    Have them pay the invoice via paypal... that way if something goes wrong it is documented.
    Ship via a traceable carier and insure.
    Let them know that this is the end our your liability.

    Be sure the funds are in your hands and "good".
    THe documentation will be protection against paypal revoking the payment.

    I don't know what else to say.
    I haveshipped items to Hong Kong, Belgium, the UK, and Germany.

    I have bought via e-bay from Uraguay, Japan and the UK.
    On my own from Japan.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Read very carefully the terms of PayPal's buyer's protection services. Pay particular attention to requirements respecting ship-to addresses, tracing and signature upon receipt.

    Does the buyer have a feedback record on eBay? If so, review it carefully.

    In about 75% of the cases when I've bought on eBay, I've been a "foreigner" - I live in Canada :smile:.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Dont forget you may get hit with currency exchange rates on top of PP fees.
    Read the fine print.
     
  5. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    When you use PayPal, it's PayPal that decides where your liability ends, not you.

    You must be able to show on-line proof of delivery. And if the item + shipping was $250 or more, that on-line proof must include a signature.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Correct. Some sellers think that they are not responsible for delivery once they have dropped the item off at the post office and even put a statement to that effect in the description. They are wrong.

    That is contrary to both Ebay's terms and conditions and to the and law. The seller is responsible for delivery.


    Steve.
     
  7. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I haven't had a problem with selling items to overseas buyers, but others have. A few points to clarify previous comments:

    A paypal payment could be a purchase or a gift. A purchase entails more fees but gives more protection to the buyer. And of course a gift payment for a purchase violates paypal's terms. Note that there are paypal currency fees on top of paypal transaction fees unless the buyer has a paypal account in US dollars. Some overseas buyers do.

    A payment can be funded by credit card, bank balance, or paypal balance. If funded by credit card (and perhaps bank balance too) the buyer has an additional method of reversing payment - more risk for you.

    As noted, paypal protections for seller only apply when shipping to a confirmed address following paypal shipping requirements.

    As with any high value sale, it's helpful to take photos immediately prior to packing plus photos to shop the item as packed.
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    From Canada, I've made a fair number of US purchases via eBay. I only use bank-issued US$ money orders. Most sellers will accept these and, by doing so, have ample opportunity to play dirty. None have to date. Payment is always sent by trackable letter. They save PayPal fees. I loathe PayPal but will have to use it if and when I sell anything on eBay. Some sellers are rigid about CONUS-only sales and/or make a huge fuss about Customs forms(?) or kite shipping charges. Those I avoid. Cash is private, something sellers seem to appreciate as much as I do. I'm never in a hurry but have never had a seller dawdle about bank clearance. Perhaps I have a nose for honest sellers but I've never(touch wood)been diddled in a US eBay auction.
     
  9. hidesert

    hidesert Member

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    Why, might I ask, do you loathe Paypal? Their fees are trivial and they provide protection to both buyer and seller. seems well worth it to me. I think you have been very lucky using money orders.
     
  10. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Just wait till you've got the cash then send it on. No risk there in my opinion.
     
  11. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    I do it all the time....I'm in Australia so anything I sell to you guys in the US is a foreign sale....customs forms take a couple of minutes to fill in - and any additional fees are payed by the receiver. Why people complain about the forms I'll never know....

    And as people have said send it registered mail (which the received will pay for), or via Fed Ex etc if they want to pay for that service....One thing I do with an international sale is photograph the box with the customs form on it, and a close up of the form, and email it to the purchaser so they know when it was shipped and the tracking number.....

    I've done over 500 sales on ebay - over 90% of them have been international, and the only problem I ever had was a Japanese gentleman who sent payment via international money order, and couldn"t understand why I was waiting for it to clear through my bank because I couldn't read the paperwork that came with it. It was in Japanese after all..........

    Ask them to pay via pay pal in US$ - what you do about the pay pal fee is up to you. I would rather take pay pal with their fee than take a international money order/check which my bank can charge anything form $15-30 to cash...plsu it can take a week to clear....

    I wouldn't worry about Singapore - the culture there is generally very honest (we've not talking some places to avoid shipping to - on ebay I prefer not to ship to Africa, Italy, Indonesia and parts of South America)..
     
  12. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    I forgot to mention - when you log in to pay someone via pay pal using someones email address you have the choice of which currency you are paying in (at least I do on Australian Pay Pal) - so if I'm sending $100 US then the receiver gets $100 US - I get charged whatever the daily exchange rate is....
     
  13. carlosmccosta

    carlosmccosta Member

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    You have exacly the same risks while selling in US.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's a few other precautions you can take, (I'm talking generally), photograph the items before shipping, and also the packaging including labelling etc if possible. I've done this a couple of times in the past. I did this when sending a large heavy lens for repair to show the optics etc were perfect and the overall condition.

    It's worth doing this because it might help with a claim if an item gets lost or damaged, or if there's issues with a buyer saying it's not as described. I had a problem with a UK repairer/importer a few years ago and wish I'd done this.

    Ian