Monday, January 25, 2010

Ebay - Ship Overseas or Not?

The question for today is overseas or not overseas? Hmmm….with the dollar dropping like it;s hot, overseas sales have been H-U-G-E. Sometimes these guys (or gals) overseas will pay more for shipping then for the item. The issue is, “What do you do if they don’t receive their item?” GULP!

In the US, I get tracking numbers on every shipment and watch everything get delivered right to the person’s doorstep. Overseas we track it to the country and that’s it. Who knows what happens then. In Nigeria, do they have mailmen with little Nigerian mail men suits, with the mail men shorts, driving a Nigerian Mail truck. I don’t know?

Feedback is always the main concern. You ship something overseas and the guy says, “I never received it”. Now what. You risk getting...
a negative feedback if you don’t return 100% of his money. I know that’s crazy but the way ebay has the feedback set up now, you as the seller are screwed! These buyers have no idea how severe a negative feedback really is.

Friday, I get an email from this dude in Turkey. He ordered an electronic cheese grater. Either my deal was so sweet, or there are just no cheese graters in Instanbul! I sold this puppy for $18 bucks and he paid $18 in shipping. What happens if he never received it? Well he didn’t. He ordered this thing on Dec. 17th! So boom, I had to give him a full refund. So now I’m out $24 bucks (my real cost plus shipping and ebay fees). I returned his $36 on Saturday. Margins are already razor thin so I was pissed, not pissed because it wasn’t his fault but I was disappointed.

What happens if that’s an Ipod? How do you rectify this? I could have been out a couple of hundred dollars. You can make a claim on the insurance but that is a lot of effort! For a cheese grater? Probaby not, but for an Ipod, you bet your sweet ass I would.

I’m definitely open for suggestions. In the mean time, I stash ½ of the profits to set up a refund fund. If I exceed what’s in the refund fund then I stop overseas shipping. But for now it’s a go. 1 in every 5 sales is global so for now - I got to get that cheese.

Ebayers – are you shipping global? Let the readers know.

-The FTB Blog Team

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  1. I stopped shipping overseas because of exactly what you said. Got screwed way too many times!! Good post tho.


  2. I've been overcharging for overseas shipping just to cover any mishaps. I mean really overcharging. It solves a lot of issues.

    -Ebay Killer