International Shipping Tips

Like if this guide is helpful
Are you unsure about shipping your eBay items to International customers?

Its not complicated and your sales will increase. eBay has so many security checks these days there is no reason to fear the foreign buyers. All of our sales are International and its very rare that we have a non paying customer (and if we do, we report it to eBay).

Tip 1 - Do your research at the post office/online.
Ask for help from the counter staff, do they require special forms to be completed or extra packaging?
Do they have weight limits? Are there any countries that do not accept your kind of item (banned, restricted).
Royal Mail small packets is the cheapest post, but maybe a courier may be better for your particular item.

Tip 2 - Weigh your items and make a price list. 
Calculate for multiple items purchased - are you offering customers a discount when they buy more?
Dont forget to add on a little extra to account for more packaging. The average delivery time for International post can be from 10 - 30 days.
Your parcel may have several stops along the way before it even gets to the customers country, so its better to add a bit extra tape or padding.
- Make sure you keep your shipping rates updated.

Tip 3 - Ship Worldwide - make sure you select the Worldwide option on your listing. Do not limit your customers. It maybe an expat living in a small country that would really like to purchase from you. Not all people will email the seller to add on their country, you may lose potential buyers if you limit the countries.

Tip 4 - State clearly in your listings that you ship Worldwide and delivery times are estimates. Customers are happy to wait for their parcels from abroad, if you make it clear in the listing that delivery times may be from 10 - 25 days.

Tip 5 - Customs - Do your research. It is the customer that has to pay any customs taxes in their country.
You will need to add a customs form or sticker onto your parcel. For large parcels it may be wise to also include an invoice.

Tip 6 - Packaging - Is a jiffy bag enough?
I prefer to pack my items securely with bubble wrap and plastic postage bags (tamper proof). Make sure you weigh up costs and practicality when selecting your packaging. International parcels have a lot further journey and will possibly need more secure packaging.
Plus, if the item is returned and is still well packaged you may be able to resell it.

Tip 7 - Courier - Some customers may prefer a courier instead of slower airmail. Offer as many options to your customer as you can. Remember it is them paying for this shipping, so do not be put off by a higher quote.

Tip 8 - Payments - Only offer PayPal. This is eBay's authorised payment option and it allows customers to pay securely by credit cards too. Do not entertain anything else, stay secure and keep by the eBay rules. 

I have been trading on eBay for years and no one has ever asked me to accept another payment method, so do not worry about selling International.

I hope this helps some one who is thinking of selling abroad. It really is the best option.

Thanks for reading.
Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides