Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Ship International Packages
Come on, you can do it! It's easy!
For YEARS I resisted shipping internationally because...well...because...hmmm...well, I don't really know why. It seemed intimidating I guess, all the paperwork, going INTO the post office which I hate to do, dealing with huge long addresses and language barriers.
But did you know that 30% of my auctions are won by people living in countries other than ours? Do you know what that means? 30% of my auctions are ending HIGHER and I am making MORE money because I am willing to ship to foreign countries.
And despite my initial wrong assumptions, you CAN ship international packages from home...Mr. McFeely WILL pick those up too (as long as you have the right supplies).
In a nutshell, here's the skinny on shipping internationally:
1. Just like domestic shipping, the prospective buyer can calculate shipping to their location if you set it up on your listing (there is a place to do this). You don't have to answer a million gazillion questions and keep doing it yourself.
2. If you package weighs less than 4 pounds (and is NOT in a big box--see the USPS website for dimensions), it can be shipped via First Class International Mail. If it weighs over 4 pounds or is in a bigger box, it ships Priority Mail International.
3. You DO NOT need special boxes. I box my international packages the same as I would regular packages, and yes you can use the priority boxes and flat rate boxes.
4. You CAN ship international packages from home. When you print your labels out, you'll get extra copies and need to sign them, but for first class you simply affix the label to your box or envelope. For Priority Mail International packages, you'll need to get the sticky-backed clear front envelopes from your post office (go in there and get a ton so you don't have to go back for a while)...they'll give them to you. Your printer will print 4 copies of the customs form, which need to be signed and placed in the clear front envelope. Then you peel off the backing and stick it on your package. Your mailman will pick it up the same as the others.
5. International buyers do pay and their money is just as green as our dollar. Well, maybe their money isn't green...but when it lands in my paypal account it sure is.
Even if International buyers don't win all of my auctions, they are still taking place in the process of bidding my items up higher. I'm not sure why foreign bidders are willing to go higher than many American bidders...I know for a while the dollar was weak and so they were snagging up deals...maybe this is still the case? Maybe certain toys are not available in certain countries? Maybe a lot of ebayers won't ship overseas but I will? Whatever the reason, trust me, it will pay to open up your auctions to international bidders!
Check back later on today for more tips on shipping...I know it is something a lot of you have questions about!