01/20/2021 at 3:26 pm #85288LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Just wanted to share an experience I had this week that involves using Pirate Ship for international shipping, specifically with regards to returns. I’ve been using Pirate Ship exclusively for international shipping for several months and this was a first for me.
I shipped an item to Australia over the holidays. Miraculously, it arrived quickly and without problem. Unfortunately, the buyer was unsatisfied with the item and felt I’d left a flaw out of the description, though it was clear in the pictures. They chose the damaged item option for the return.
After some discussion I accepted the return, only to find that eBay doesn’t supply return labels for international items if the original label wasn’t purchased via eBay. Either you send money to the buyer to purchase one themselves, or buy one from their country’s postal service and send it to the buyer. Fortunately, Australia has a fairly simple online purchase option, not too dissimilar to the U.S. and I was able to buy the label and send it to the buyer for the return. I do wonder what , if any, tariff fees I will have to pay for the return as it was a $75 antique silver item.
Though this time it went smoothly, after a small initial panic, I’m left wondering what I would do if it was a country that didn’t have an English option on their site, or perhaps no online option.
Anyone else have experience with this type of situation?
As always, Thanks for the input.
01/20/2021 at 8:24 pm #85294TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
I cannot recall the last time I had an actual international return – there have been a few situations with buyer refusals to pick up when duty was due on their end or foreign postal services refusing the package and returning it. But there was an extensive discussion on international returns on the eBay for Business podcast #122 very recently that I posted about. The process they described was pretty much what you did in this case, even when the original label was purchased on eBay. You have to go on the foreign postal site and either calculate the correct postage to send to the buyer or buy the label from the foreign postal site and send it to the buyer. They suggested using Chrome browser translate feature if necessary to buy a label or calculate the price from non-English sites if necessary (and I have found that many international postal sites offer an English language version).
Griff said that if you offer international returns and agree on a cost for a return (by going on the foreign site and calculating the price) and send the money to the buyer by Paypal and upload the shipping quote and Paypal receipt, that eBay will back up the seller if the buyer tries to claim a higher amount for return shipping. Also if a seller offers 30 day returns for international sales on a returned item, the seller can make the up-to-50% refund deduction for condition the same as they can for domestic.
As for import tariff fees, if you purchase the label you have to check the box for returned goods on the customs form or instruct the buyer to do the same if you’re sending them the money so that you won’t be liable for duty.
01/21/2021 at 12:11 pm #85308LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
@temudgin – Thanks for posting the information. I listened to the podcast and it was helpful. I find it interesting that Griff mentions that he had to research this issue for “weeks” to pull all the information together. It is not always going to be a straightforward process. This is only the second international return that I’ve ever had and the last didn’t require me to do anything with the return label. I don’t recall details, but it must have been a buyer’s remorse return that didn’t require action on my part. For anyone else who might listen to the podcast, the shipping part starts at 30:30.
Now that I’ve pulled the Band-Aid off it won’t be so bad next time, knowing what to expect. If it wasn’t an expensive item I would’ve just refunded and let them keep it.
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