How to Buy or Sell Internationally when Paypal is not an option, yes it can easily and safely be done.
Most eBay transactions use three currencies, United States Dollar (USD/$) , the Euro (EUR/€) and the Great British Pound (GBP/£) and this guide assumes you are in the United Kingdom and wish to either make a USD or EUR payment, or receive a USD or EUR payment, and one of both of the parties does not have a Paypal account, or does not wish to use their Paypal account for International transactions.
Lets cover USD first :
The most commonest form of non electronic (emoney) payment in the USA is a money order, they are the same as our British Postal Orders, as good as cash, available almost anywhere in the USA and cost a few cents to buy. These are widely accepted by many eBay sellers, and often the preferred payment method of many US buyers.
Question: Your US buyer sends you a USD moneyorder, what do you do with it ?
Answer: You cannot cash it at your local Post Office, but you can bank it as a normal cheque, but here lies the problem, many UK banks make you wait for upto 4 weeks before they give you the exchanged value (exchanged on negotiation) and charge you a fee for each money order deposited, not an ideal situation, but you can use an established third party service to exchange the money order for you, normally by return of post, and without paying the bank fees!
Question: Your US seller requests payment by USD money order or cheque, how do you get one?
Answer: Basically, within the UK you may have great difficulty in purchasing a USD cheque or money order that will be acceptable to your US seller, but all is not lost, as there is an established third party service in the UK that offers this service, and sends the payment direct to the seller for you.
Now ...... those pesky Euro payments!
The Euro is the common currency between member states (Eurozone states), and the banking system within mainland Europe caters very well for transfer of payments using IBAN and BIC transfers, most of which are free for both the payment sender and the payment recipient, even if they are in a different Eurozone states, and so is a very common payment method for European eBayers, especially in Germany, but England is not party to that common currency so cross border payments present some difficulties which can easily be overcome for both sending and receiving IBAN/BIC payments.
Question: My buyer is in Germany, they want my IBAN/BIC details and is it safe?
Answer: These can be found on your bank statement, if not ask your bank, and yes it is perfectly safe to send this information in an email, Don't believe me, well try Google, you will find millions of peoples IBAN/BIC codes!
Question: OK, so I will accept an IBAN/BIC transfer, but what currency do I use ?
Answer: You need to tell your buyer to send in Euro, selecting shared charges, why because that ensures the transfer is free for them (its not if they have to send in GBP) and your bank automatically converts the incoming EUR payment to GBP when they credit your account. OK you may lose a few cents on the 'exchange spread' on the exchange rate used by your bank, but it is only a few cents normally, and you can allow for that when you tell them how many Euro you need.
Question: My seller is in Germany and they want paying by IBAN/BIC, how do I do it?
Answer: You cannot create an IBAN/BIC transfer online or via telephone banking, you have to visit a branch of your bank and complete a form, some banks will offer RELAY (a low cost transfer for about £10) others will offer SWIFT (for about £20 per transfer) alternatively you can use a third party service which can create an IBAN/BIC transfer for you without paying the high bank fees.
To summarise, selling or buying internationaly on eBay can provide sellers with a much bigger market, can provide buyers with more choice, so don't let payments be an obstacle, and this 'established third party service' my About Me page will point you in the right direction: