I am so, so tired of getting screwed over by eBay in regards to foreign buyers. I have nothing against our friends in other countries, but shipping to them is a major hassle. Filling out customs forms, getting accurate cost estimates, and having to physically go to the post office is not something I enjoy doing.
When you set up an eBay auction, you have to select the areas you will ship to. I always select U.S. addresses only. So, WHY does eBay allow buyers in foreign countries to bid? EBay knows your address when you sign up for an account, so why is it even possible for foreign bidders to enter a bid? I don’t get it.
Here’s what happened to me last night, which is just the most recent example… I sold a vintage toy for a final bid of around $60. It turns out the bidder is in Slovenia, so I tell him I don’t ship to foreign addresses, as clearly stated in the auction, and will be canceling the transaction.
At this point, the bidder has to AGREE to cancel the transaction. Well, this Slovenian bidder doesn’t agree to cancel it, and as a result, eBay will not reimburse my listing fees. Realize, I have not received ANY money at this point, but I am charged by eBay for the listing fees and the final value fee, which is around 10% of the sale price. So, I’m out around $7 without having any money coming my way.
At this point, I have two options. I can choose to send the item to Slovenia, or I can eat my losses and relist the item. Of course, I can’t relist it until the final eBay arbitration is complete, which can take anywhere from seven days to a month. After this point, the auction will take another 7 days, before it will be sold again and then I have to wait for payment. Of course, it might sell to another foreign bidder, and this whole process could start over again!
The icing on the cake is when you get an insulting email from the buyer that says “you are a great seller thx for nothing.” Never mind the fact that my auction explicitly stated that I DO NOT SHIP TO FOREIGN ADDRESSES, I am somehow a horrible seller.
Ebay is not my source of income, it is a fun place for me to find items for my collections. I buy a LOT of things on eBay and I also sell a lot of items, and as a result have earned an eBay feedback rating of 732 with 100% positive ratings. (That’s pretty good.) But I swear, transactions like this really do get me wishing there was a serious competitor to eBay out there.
I usually try not to rant too much here on the site, but sometimes a guy just needs to blow off some steam. Now back to your regularly scheduled program…