Ebay Question: Should I Offer International Shipping?




Now, don’t go reading any forums about ebay and international shipping because you’ll find hundreds of disgruntled people who sent iPhones to some war torn country and then found out their package got “lost” and had to refund $600 to the buyer and never saw their phones again. But that ain’t you. You’re shipping clothes, and those rarely get stolen.  (That’s what my blog is all about, reselling fashion and accessories. If you’re trying to ship gold bars or something, you should ask somebody who’s done that. That someone is not me.)

I’ve shipped nearly 100 items internationally and never had anything go missing. I’m guessing that “women’s sweater” listed on the customs form isn’t real enticing to those mustache twirling bad guys sorting the mail. In almost every case, my international packages have ended up exactly where they were supposed to be.

“Aren’t customs forms complicated?” you ask.

The answer is, nope, absolutely not, unless you ask a Postal worker about them. Please don’t do this, you’ll just get confused. Use the Ebay label printing service. All you have to do is type in what’s in the package (like “women’s pants” or “men’s shirt” or whatever broad category your item falls into). Then print your label, write the date, and sign your name. Your postal carrier can pick up your international packages just like any other package.

I’ve seen many ebay sellers insist on using USPS Priority International because it is slightly faster, includes insurance, and offers more precise tracking info. Unfortunately, it is prohibitively expensive. The cheapest priority rate offering by the USPS (without ebay label discount) is $33. The same package sent First Class International would cost $11. I think for the additional $22, you can afford to self-insure and there is still some basic tracking provided through ebay. You’ll also get more international business by offering more affordable shipping services. It’s a win-win.

“What about that Global Shipping Program Ebay offers?”

I looked into it and decided it was not for me. It was  going to add transit time to my packages since it involves sending orders to an Ebay sorting facility here in the states, and then letting them ship your package internationally. It’s already so easy to ship internationally anyhow, why would I get Ebay to do it? My advice is to do your own international shipping with USPS First Class International and relax. After you’ve completed a few international shipments, you’ll wonder what you were so worried about.

Do you have questions about reselling clothing on ebay? Ask in the comments below!

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