09/17/2018 at 1:01 pm #48817Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
I ship directly to Canada, UK and Australia but use GSP for all other countries. I do this to save my buyers money since evidently GSP tacks on a hefty fee for their service. I received a message from a UK buyer stating she received her item but had she known the customs charges were so high she wouldn’t have bought it. She said other sellers disclose this. I am assuming these other sellers are using GSP, and the customs charges are calculated up front.
To prevent such surprises in the future I added a disclaimer to every one of my listings explaining customs charges and that buyers can find customs calculators online. But now that I’ve sat with it a few hours, that seems a lot to have to include in every single listing. What does everyone else do when you ship directly to international customers (without GSP)? Do you include a notice in your listing or say nothing, it’s up to the buyer to expect such expenses?
09/17/2018 at 2:01 pm #48823JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
This is exactly why GSP is so good: the buyer gets the total price up front. No hidden fees.
Before GSP, we would always get angry messages from buyers about their country’s custom fees. They’d say that they usually don’t have to pay those fees (as if we had any control over it). One time, a woman in England just refused the package and made us eat the shipping cost because she refused to pay VAT tax or whatever.
You can actually test to see what GSP fees are vs shipping priority using a European shipping address. We found that GSP prices are actually pretty competitive.
Being willing to ship First class overseas is its own risk since you’re on the hook if the package is lost and the tracking doesnt work. Often packages can get “stuck” in customs and tracking shoes nothing. Buyers then demand a refund.
The big question I have is: for sellers who are willing to ship first class overseas, do you think you’re getting a substantial number of sales?
09/17/2018 at 3:39 pm #48834Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
There’s an extra expense in the UK where the Post Office tacks on a charge of £8 if the customs fees aren’t paid upfront before collection (i.e. you have to pay the extra when you go to collect the parcel). Customs duty is also paid on the postage. Presumably GSP avoids UK buyers being taxed the £8.
I’m not sure what the situation is regarding “printed paper” and GSP. My view is that if it’s paper it’s printed paper. I’ve had discussions with postmasters whether photographs are that, and thus duty free.
09/17/2018 at 4:06 pm #48836SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Occasionally, I get an oversees buyer who wants me to ship directly. I will ship direct for countries that will provide tracking and have reasonable reputations for good postal service.
So, if I’m OK with that, I will offer direct shipment and remind the buyer that they will have to pay for import taxes. I don’t add that to every listing.
09/17/2018 at 11:17 pm #48863totommytoParticipant
- Location: Naples, Fl
I ship direct. For the past 10 years or so I have little or not issues with International shipping. I had a problem on Etsy once where a pair of expensive and heavy wooden Printers letterpress Trays bounced around but finally made it to the very understanding buyer. Only once I had a problem on eBay where an International buyer complained about the high custom costs and left me a negative feedback. eBay promptly removed it because I add the following disclaimer in red to every listing and have done so since almost the beginning:
International buyers please note that you are responsible for any additional customs, import duties, taxes, border charges, and any other additional charges to your country. Items will also be marked only as merchandise and not below value on the Customs Form.
I wonder if eBay does not inform the International buyer as well somehow during the transaction? Either way, including this disclaimer seems to work for me with no known negative effects so I’ll continue. Also, I don’t care to have my packages opened and repackaged by anybody, regardless of them taking all the risk (GSP). If I sold more Internationally I would consider the GSP because of increased chances of issues due to the higher shipment numbers. Not so right now.
I sell about 3 items per month on average First Class International, and about 2 per month Priority International. I determine based on weight, value, durability and other factors what mode to offer for international shipping, or offer no International shipping at all.
The right answer for somebody new to eBay would be GSP. Maybe someday I will give the GSP a go. Right now, direct has simply worked for me.
By the way, the only country I will not ship to is Italy. I have not shipped there for 10 years now. Horrible pain in the butt for me over and over again back then for a variety of reasons. And I’m Italian!
09/18/2018 at 2:25 am #48866Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
Re totommyto’s remark on having parcels opened and repackaged, does this happen? The way I pack things, from scavenged materials and hot glue, there’s no way once re-opened that the packing can be re-used. I get feedback on “a well-packaged item” etc., so the customers seem happy (some of the cardbox boxes are from medical suppliers- I take care to remove the labels; don’t want the customers to have to explain to their significant others that they didn’t order a gross of assorted prophylatics).
09/18/2018 at 9:44 am #48875InglewoodParticipant
The U.S. and Canada are renegotiating NAFTA at the moment, and one of the items the U.S. is pushing for is that Canadians have a higher duty free limit on items shipped from the U.S. for personal use. Right now, Americans can buy from Canada (I think it is $800) where Canadians can’t really buy anything duty free.
Just something to watch out for as it may open up options for Canadian customers. I believe that Mexico has agreed to different limits under the re-negotiated NAFTA if you ship that way as well.
09/18/2018 at 12:06 pm #48886Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Thanks everyone for your responses. My sales to UK did increase once I started mailing direct but nothing serious, 2 this week. I’ve been mailing via First Class International. I did not realize that there isn’t tracking on First Class to UK so I’ll have to revisit that decision. I may go back to my old shipping policy which was GSP for all countries except Canada, which I ship to directly. GSP does offer me peace of mind.
09/18/2018 at 8:23 pm #48910SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Here is a link that shows which countries provide tracking for first class shipping. “Great Britain and Northern Ireland” are on the list.
09/19/2018 at 4:40 pm #48938bcfol440Participant
I just started using Pirate Ship’s Simple Export Rate International. Pirate Ship is FREE and has already saved me money on USA cubic rates.
I shipped an item first class from USA to Monaco/ France for $15.00. You need sign uo and then send them a chat saying you want to have Simple Export Rate International added to your account. And voila! it imports directly back into ebay’s tracking (you link). This has allowed me to give a cheaper rate to international folks if asked directly on some lower dollar items.
This being said, I also just had a First Class item get lost in France and it was sent back to me (outside GSP). And that sucked. But then I had some jeans make it to Mexico First Class just fine. So…
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.