How charge to postage and packaging for internationals

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So when I started selling on ebay all of 3 months ago i naively chargef under £5.00 for all items only to find that sending a top to Australia cost about £6.62 in a bubble envelope. To make matters worse the buyer complained that the item was creased terribly and would need dry cleaning, insisting anyting with part silk needed dry cleaning. I think you can get an idea of where this story goes. Needless to say I learnt quickly that when it comes to international; postage the rules are different to local. Here are my bits and bobs of wisdom:

1. Never underestimate how much time it takes to pack up items and you must take this into account when charging P&P. Lets face it most of us non business sellers dont make a profit on ebay, we are mostly getting scrap value for items purchased at much higher prices. Plus you dont realise how much you spend on fuel driving to the post office. These costs add up. I was shocked to realise that I had had to put in fuel twice as much because i kept going to the post office to send out items on a daily basis.

2. Always pack silk items in a box because they will get there in a state otherwise and some cheeky buyers will ask for dry cleaning money.

3. Always wrap the item in something waterproof before putting it in the box just in case it rips and may get wet! Happened to my sister on an item and had to pay buyer's cleaning costs (she was a rookie too).

4. Dont apologise for your P&P charge. On Ebay buyers see EXACTLY how much they will pay to get item out to them so if they do not like it then theydont have to buy from you. Its that simple after all when I buy stuff I see how much postage is and make a decision. I never give low marks for P&P reasonable charges because its entirely stuoid for Ebay to ask to rate something you agree to when you buy (check out my other guide on the feedback system on Ebay).

5. Keep doing it if you enjoy it despite a few cheeky customers here and there. Most of buyers (me included) are just glad to buy something dirt cheap that would have cost 5 or 6 times as much in a shop.

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