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Selling on Ebay: International Orders & More March 25, 2010

Posted by James in : all, ebay help , trackback

Ebay’s new policies dealing with international orders has come with a new bag of challenges and problems. Some things you need to know:

  1. You should get tracking information.
  2. If anything goes wrong, you’ll have to contact ebay.

You should get tracking information.

Ebay now deals with fraud and other problems on its own. If a buyer files a claim against a seller saying that they never got the item, they will get a refund unless you can prove that the item was sent. International tracking information costs you about $11.

Buyers will complain that you are charging too much for shipping, so you should let them know you need to charge so much to get tracking information for “ebay seller protection.”

If anything goes wrong, you’ll have to contact ebay.

You can no longer leave negative feedback, to ebay has to help us deal with problem buyers. The most common problem is the “non-paying bidder.” You can file a non-paying bidder alert on ebay on your own 7 days after the buyer wins the item. Buyers who refuse to pay will get a “strike” and you will get your final credit fees back. If your relist the item, I think you can also qualify to get your listing fees refunded.
One major problem with ebay is that we only have 32 days to file a non-paying bidder alert. Here are a couple of my experiences with this rule:

1. A buyer didn’t pick the item up.

It takes a couple of weeks to send your item to another country. Then the post office will give the buyer a week or two to pick the item up at the post office if no one is at home to sign for it. If a buyer never picks it up, it will come back to you. At this point 35 days have probably passed.

When the item is returned to you, you should probably give the buyer a refund and try to “cancel the transaction.” However, this is just about impossible to do given the 32 day limit. So, you have to contact ebay.

2. The buyer gives a wrong address.

If the buyer gives you a wrong address, you will probably have to wait at least 35 days to get the item back in the mail. That is past the 32 day limit. The buyer is at fault and negative feedback might be appropriate, but it’s impossible to leave negative feedback. So, what do you do? Give a refund, and contact ebay.

3. You give the wrong person a refund.

If you give the wrong person a refund for a returned item, then you can just file a non-paying bidder alert… unless it’s been over 35 days. In that case you will have to contact ebay or paypal. I had better luck with paypal, but I had to write up a formal complaint. (I sent the complaint to ebay, but I got a refund from paypal.)

Ebay pretty much has no way to deal with this sort of problem, but it is an outrage to allow buyers to keep money from an accidental refund. You could have no way to leave negative feedback or give the buyer a non-paying bidder alert. If you contact ebay, they might refuse to help you, so you will need to speak with a supervisor and you will probably have to give a formal complaint.

4. The item is destroyed by customs.

If your item is destroyed by customs, you will have to give a refund and cancel the transaction. However, it will probably be over 35 days, so you will have to contact ebay.

Originally posted 3-18-2010.
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