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  • OT- ebay sale gone south...

    OK, so I recently sold an item on ebay to a guy in Europe. I don't do many ebay sales, just the occasional garage or closet cleanout so I try to be honest and ship stuff promptly etc... To give the guy a little break I even ate about $40 of the shipping cost when I sent him the invoice. This is on top of dragging a 50 lb box all over town to USPS, and UPS for the cheapest shipping. I'm not greedy you know, just getting rid of some stuff I haven't used in years. The guy agreed and paid me.

    Well, the guy paid me promptly so I shipped the item as soon as he paid via paypal. Unfortunately, I shipped it to the address registered with ebay instead of a different address he requested. I missed the message... Seems this will put him out a bit because he won't be home I guess.

    I also specified the value of the item on the customs forms as the value he paid. The postal worker said it would protect me better against loss if it were insured for the actual value. If it got lost I imagine it would be ON ME to refund his $$ and I would also be out the item.

    Sooo, after shipping it within hours of receiving payment I send the guy a message with tracking info and informing him that I put "Customs clearance by recipient" in a foreign language on the form as he asked. Not sure what that's about but trying to help the guy out you know?

    Anyway...

    Guy sends me this ranting message about how I've done him this HUGE disservice of sending it to his home instead of office because he won't be there to sign (I sent it to his registered address) and the fact that by not lying on the customs forms it's going to cost him $170 extra. He's saying that he's going to just refuse the package now because he is angry I guess

    I sent him a cordial message back expressing my apologies and have yet to hear back...

    So now I've spent over $150 in shipping and who knows how long the $$ will be held up by ebay/paypal while this is being resolved...

    Anyone else have any experiences like this and how long did it take to get it worked out? I guess I need to just wait until he refuses the parcel or whatever and then get ebay involved...
    Techno-Anarchist

  • #2
    I sold a camera lens to a buyer in Italy a few weeks ago. I used the new eBay International Shipping Program, which really simplifies things for the seller. All I had to do was put the USPS postage on the box for an address in Kentucky, which is where FedEx has HQ. FedEx then attaches the necessary customs forms and the address label to the final destination.

    Before receiving payment I got a message from the buyer requesting that I declare a low value, to save on customs duty. I told her that I did not have that power, even though I was sympathetic. When the PayPal still did not arrive I initiated a cancellation of the winning bid. That did the trick -- she paid, and I mailed the box.

    The countries on the list of this new service include Russia and China. You can't have a garage sale much bigger than that! For reasons I don't understand Switzerland and Norway are not on the list, although every other country in Europe is. Australia is on the list, but not New Zealand.
    Last edited by aostling; 11-24-2013, 02:01 PM.
    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

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    • #3
      He was probably trying to keep it secret from his wife. Isn't making a false customs declaration a federal offence for your part? That alone would probably make me put down the true value.
      Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

      Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
      Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
      Monarch 10EE 1942

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      • #4
        I don't see where you really had a choice on insuring the package for it's actual value. If it had been lost in shipment or received in damaged condition and refused, it would be have been on your dime. I suspect the recipient is more upset at having to pay duties, or whatever, on the declared valve than the address mixup. But I don't think he has any real grounds for refusing delivery as Ebay will see it.

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        • #5
          Jon,
          International shipping is a pain. I have been shipping a non machining project worldwide the last few months. Shipped to 15 countries. I have been declaring the real value on them and got into extended email dialogs with several people about falsely declaring values to let them save money.
          They don't seem to understand that you may be setting yourself up for much grief.

          The good news is in many cases the items make it thru customs unnoticed and untaxed. I put proper value and the official HS code on them.

          Out of 50 or 60 shipments only one got close to a dispute. I promptly answered all his emails and it all worked out. In the end the postal system sent it via surface instead of air. Then a huge delay in German postal system.

          Good Luck. I found Paypal people good when we chatted on phone.
          Dave

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          • #6
            I'm hoping that the guy was just venting over having to pay customs fees. I guess the declared value could be anything because it's used but at least I could file a claim were it lost.

            Would the sender or receiver file the claim anyway?

            Maybe the guy will calm down and accept the package... It's crossing the pond now...
            Techno-Anarchist

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            • #7
              We're constantly rethinking our international shipment policies and options. Worst case was a $3500 guitar we sold to a guy in Brazil, shipped appropriately, and received in good order. Then, weeks later, UPS hit us with a charge for $3400, which they deducted from our deposit account. That was to cover what they described as a bribe they had to pay to get the package through, and there was no redress possible. The only solid response we ever got from a UPS official was, "You shouldn't have shipped to Brazil." Thanks for not telling us BEFORE we shipped!

              In frustration, we contacted the buyer, who amazed us. He said that he'd had that kind of trouble all the time and wasn't a bit surprised. Then, he sent us a payment to cover the $3400, apologizing for his country's behavior.
              Cheers,

              Frank Ford
              HomeShopTech

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              • #8
                For these reasons I refuse to sell to foreign buyers. Life is too short and shipping is too frustrating.

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                • #9
                  I can speak for the flip side of the coin. I have dogs; the big ones scare the hell out of you and the little one will actually bite as soon as you take your eyes off him. UPS will not deliver here, nor will they leave notice, nothing. I usually know when packages are coming, but not always. It sits in their terminal for the requisite amount of time, then gets sent back. So I owe shipping two directions and occasionally a restocking fee with nothing to show for it. My only recourse is to have everything sent to work, where UPS stops at least 3 times a day. It is inconvenient for other carriers (especially USPS) but I rarely have control over how the item gets shipped.
                  I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DFMiller View Post
                    Jon,
                    International shipping is a pain. I have been shipping a non machining project worldwide the last few months. Shipped to 15 countries. I have been declaring the real value on them and got into extended email dialogs with several people about falsely declaring values to let them save money.
                    They don't seem to understand that you may be setting yourself up for much grief.

                    The good news is in many cases the items make it thru customs unnoticed and untaxed. I put proper value and the official HS code on them.

                    Out of 50 or 60 shipments only one got close to a dispute. I promptly answered all his emails and it all worked out. In the end the postal system sent it via surface instead of air. Then a huge delay in German postal system.

                    Good Luck. I found Paypal people good when we chatted on phone.
                    Dave
                    I would seriously doubt there was any delay because of the German postal system. There are a lot of things about Germany that irritate me but the trains run on time mostly and the postal system is incredible.

                    I ship a lot of items from USA to me and I never ask anyone to give a false value to an item. Some of the items are high dollar also but it is just not worth it to me to get customs watching me like a hawk.
                    Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Frank Ford View Post
                      We're constantly rethinking our international shipment policies and options. Worst case was a $3500 guitar we sold to a guy in Brazil, shipped appropriately, and received in good order. Then, weeks later, UPS hit us with a charge for $3400, which they deducted from our deposit account. That was to cover what they described as a bribe they had to pay to get the package through, and there was no redress possible. The only solid response we ever got from a UPS official was, "You shouldn't have shipped to Brazil." Thanks for not telling us BEFORE we shipped!

                      In frustration, we contacted the buyer, who amazed us. He said that he'd had that kind of trouble all the time and wasn't a bit surprised. Then, he sent us a payment to cover the $3400, apologizing for his country's behavior.

                      I had that happen to me on a plane load of horses I sent to Costa Rica. We land in Costa Rica and the "officials" come on board the plane before the horses are unloaded. He starts stalling around and then says the paper work is not in order and the horses cannot be unloaded. Me being naive I start arguing with the man telling him the paper work is perfect, bla, bla bla. I even told him the horses were bought by the Minister of Agriculture of Costa Rica. He didn't budge.

                      The man that flew with me was Latin and he knew exactly what was going on. He came and took me aside and told me to give the guy some cash. I said no way was I going to bride an offical of a foreign government. He laughed and told me to give him some cash. He goes over to the man and takes him aside and gives him the cash and BAM all is OK. When we got to the ranch of the Minister I told him what happened and he just laughed and told me that the payoffs are considered part of their salary. I was shocked.

                      The next time he came to my place and wanted to buy horses and cattle, I told him it was his responsibility to handle the transport. He laughed again!
                      Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                      How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Frank Ford View Post
                        weeks later, UPS hit us with a charge for $3400, which they deducted from our deposit account. That was to cover what they described as a bribe they had to pay to get the package through, and there was no redress possible.
                        I am surprised that UPS would be a party to this sort of transaction. How can that fit into their corporate model?
                        Allan Ostling

                        Phoenix, Arizona

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                        • #13
                          There is unlikely to be problems sending to NZ but the mere fact of problems with other countries does make it much harder for me to buy stuff internationally.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Black Forest View Post
                            I would seriously doubt there was any delay because of the German postal system. There are a lot of things about Germany that irritate me but the trains run on time mostly and the postal system is incredible.

                            I ship a lot of items from USA to me and I never ask anyone to give a false value to an item. Some of the items are high dollar also but it is just not worth it to me to get customs watching me like a hawk.
                            BF,
                            For whatever reason my experience to Germany was different. Searching on Google popped up some horror stories also. I have data to support my bad experience shipping to Germany via Canada Post. In the 50 plus shipment the 3 that were sent to Germany on 3 separate days under performed in delivery time by a huge factor. Since currently from Canada to Germany via the post there is no economical way to track the shipment there is no way to effectively point the blame.

                            I shipped to 15 countries and delivery on average was the 4-6 days to everywhere except Germany and Italy. Germany was 4 weeks for 2 and 6 weeks for the other.

                            Dave

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DFMiller View Post
                              BF,
                              For whatever reason my experience to Germany was different. Searching on Google popped up some horror stories also. I have data to support my bad experience shipping to Germany via Canada Post. In the 50 plus shipment the 3 that were sent to Germany on 3 separate days under performed in delivery time by a huge factor. Since currently from Canada to Germany via the post there is no economical way to track the shipment there is no way to effectively point the blame.

                              I shipped to 15 countries and delivery on average was the 4-6 days to everywhere except Germany and Italy. Germany was 4 weeks for 2 and 6 weeks for the other.

                              Dave
                              I would say that the holdup was in customs and not the postal system. Italy I can understand the mess but Germany surprises me. If I mail a package by DHL it goes really fast here in Germany. At least for me.

                              Don't get me wrong. I am not defending Germany at all, just surprised.
                              Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                              How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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