Shipping overseas is easy. Negotiate the deal, get paid thru PayPal, use their online postage payment service, print PayPal label, drive to post office and drop on counter or put in box, no waiting. Does not get easier. Use USPS site to determine shipping costs.
P.S. Don't ship to Italy. Their restrictions are ridiculous.
This is the way I do all my US shipments, but what about customs form? Can that be done online as well?
Originally Posted by waynecrider
The level of paranoia about international transactions displayed here and on other photography bulletin boards continues to amaze and dismay. It is as inconsistent as can be with my experience buying and selling.
I started buying -- books and sheet music at the time -- internationally in 1971. I once bought a car sight unseen, and restoration services too, from a person in the UK. I drove it for a number of years. Started buying photographic equipment internationally around 1997. I continue to buy books and photographic equipment from sellers outside the US. I've had one incoming parcel vanish completely, two mysteriously returned to the senders, both dispatched again. I've bought one lens that was badly misrepresented by a foreign seller (Doug Jull, sells on eBay.co.uk as twybridge) and another that was badly packed. Had that last problem with a US seller.
I started selling photographic equipment via Shutterbug around 1987, went international through eBay starting around 2001. I've never had a problem with an international sale, including sales to buyers in Hong Kong and the PRC.
I've had three complaints from buyers. One was a Norwegian who didn't want to have to pay duty and VAT on the full amount of his purchase. The other two were in the US. One sent me an angry e-mail about a lens he'd bought from someone else. The other said I'd missed a wisp of fungus in a lens. I offered both repayment in full (purchase price, shipping both ways) after receipt of the lenses and verification that their claims were true. The first guy shut up and gave me good feedback. The second didn't accept my offer, asked for a partial refund, gave me good feedback after I told him to send the lens back, and later resold it as perfect.
I can't begin to imagine what you complainers have done wrong. Filling in customs forms is easy. Going to the post office is easy. Packing well is easy. My experience has been completely different from yours. I can't help thinking that you're all making it up.
Not complaining Dan. Just don't like standing in line for 20 minutes and filling out kludgey forms (done this enough times to know it's not worth it). As it is I find the audience in the US is large enough to get good value for the limited number of items I sell from time to time and printing postage is super easy at the big auction site.
I don't get what all the hysteria is about people who chose not to ship overseas. The OP just asked why and several people, myself included, simply stated their reasons.
If the Post Office put a Starbucks inside they they could solve their financial problems.
Just don't like standing in line for 20 minutes
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I regularly ship overseas, but the buyer *must* buy insurance and be prepared for high postage fees.
If they agree to all of that, I have no hesiatation to ship.
Only had one problem in over 15 years of buying & selling items OS - a wonderful 4-blade Saunders easel went astray; later found out via report on the Australian news, that a whole bunch of mail had been stolen by the postie - it's possible it was in that batch, but then again maybe not - I'll never know.
But, because the seller had insisted on insurance, I got my cash refunded and he had his fees refunded also.
A lot of times I've got excited by the price of an item, only to say "screw it!" because of outrageous postal fees - hmmmm, a $9.95 item that the seller is expecting someone to pay $60.00 shipping. . . . . kidding right? Unfortunately not. . . . . .
Sure it can be a pain to fill in all the paperwork, but I asked my local PO for a handful of customs forms so that I can fill them out prior to visiting, and if I have a few items to send, I try to do them all at the one time - saves my time going back and forth and shortens my queue wait time.
I like selling to people in other countries. I like the fact that we can take part in our own little global economy.
I recently sold a Rolleiflex for 2000 on ebay to a Chinese buyer. Looking at the bids after the sale I noticed that the highest bid from the US was 1400.
Domestic shipping only would have cost me 600 in selling price. When I go to buy something off ebay I like it when the seller has US shipping only
because it means the price will be lower.
You can grab a handful of those customs forms and take them home and fill them out before going to the post office. Boxes as well.
I drive 10 minutes to a smaller post office I know is never busy like the main one nearby. Generally no line.
The problem I had with the Chinese sale was that ebay required I do tracking. Tracking stopped when the package entered China.
I sweated it for awhile then the buyer wrote to say he received it. all good.
Some countries allow for cross-border tracking, as long as the format of the number is the same. If you ship USPS to Canada, for instance, you can track on USPS.com up to the border, and then track the same number on the Canada Post website after it clears customs. Many European countries will allow this as well.
There's an International system for the tracking numbers I know that the British Post Office, USPS, and Turkish post all use it from experience.
i usually have the postman leave a trail of crumbs and tie a long string to the parcel.
when the recipient gets the box they tug it a few times, and i know
i don't need to track it ... i had one time when they didn't tug it, and the post offices had
to track the crumbs, it turns out it was a misdelivery same name, wrong address ...
it took a few weeks because a few birds ate the crumbs, but it worked out , eventually.
i have a feeling your system is more efficient then ours.
i wish we did this with "camera 8" going around the world, it seems to be missing in action ..
if we could just tug the string, we could pull it back to the last person that had it...