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Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “Are You Missing Out by Avoiding International Sales?”

  1. We stopped selling international when we lost a 400.00 claim we should have won. It will be a cold day in that hot place before we will ever sell international again. The deck is stacked against you and we have no desire to see a replay of the lost.

  2. Deliberate or not? If you sell internationally and you have bought your labels from eBay, then you /we have probably taken a number of INRs.

    eBay leaves the customers telephone number off the International Shipping labels. This was brought to my attention by a mainland China Buyer who told me they use the phone number to contact package recipients for duty and other taxes. This is especially critical on first class international regardless of whether or not there is full tracking (google USPS 252 eligibility to find a list of countries that have tracking on First class International) .

    After I was hit with a rash of INRs from Brazil which now has full tracking , I put Brazil on my exclusion list. Concerned about my contingent liabilities for shipments still outstanding, I ran all the tracking numbers. This was after I started copy and pasting phone numbers on the shipping labels. I recall I had over 10 shipments outstanding and all had been delivered. All were first Class International.

    I’ve reported this to eBay enough times and they still haven’t done anything that I am wondering if they are deliberately leaving it off in the hopes they can channel more sellers into their global shipping program by discreetly causing INRs to occur. .

    Deliberate or not , it shows gross negligence on the part of eBay . Either way,it’s inexcusable when many countries use the telephone number to contact recipients, If they don’t have the buyers telephone number. A high enough percentage will put the packages in their version of the dead letter office . High enough that the seller gets hit with a INR and ends up backing out of exports completely. If eBay was hoping this would channel more sellers into it’s global shipping program , anecdotal evidence seems to point to it having the opposite effect where sellers who are burned a few times just stop exporting completely. Once again eBay is cutting it’s nose off to spite it’s face.

    Of course this is not the only way that eBay continually shoots itself in the foot disabling chances for any growth much less sustained double digit growth that would match the growth of eCommerce as a whole, but it’s not trivial at all .

    It should be noted, you can’t print an International shipping label – first class or priority without a telephone number from Stamps dot com. It should also be noted that eBay is the only label reseller I have run into who does not sell any insurance on first class international shipments. All other providers that I have tried all offer affordable insurance for small package shipments that fall under the 4 pound limit for first class international.

  3. Pigs will fly before I will sell internationally – jesus ebay can barely help me with the usa scammers – I don’t need to make my life totally miserable.

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