We are starting to get more reports from sellers that eBay is charging them an "International Fee" for some domestic shipments, and eBay reps are giving sellers inconsistent responses when they inquire.
eBay changed its User Agreement last summer, and we reported on the EcommerceBytes Blog
: "Sellers in the US who sell to an international buyer will pay a 1.65% surcharge - even if the buyer is registered in another country but is having you mail the item within the United States."
One seller who was surprised when she experienced such a sale told us, "According to eBay customer service there is no setting to not allow international buyers."
"This isn't right," she said. "The seller should NOT be charged this fee especially when the seller's account is set to no International Shipping. Either charge the buyer the fee or when the seller's account is set to no international shipping this will not allow a buyer with a registered address outside of the seller's shipping setting to be able to purchase."
However, some readers said eBay customer service reps were as perplexed as they were when they sought answers.
One seller told us that two of his sales in February going to US addresses incurred an international fee. "I called eBay and they said they would credit those international fees. eBay sellers should keep an eye on this," he said.
Another seller who said they were enrolled in eBay Managed Payments and operated in the US recently observed eBay was charging its "International Fee" for domestic US shipments where the buyer's profile indicated they resided in another country but the shipment was to a US domestic address.
"eBay indicated that the software problem would be fixed, but maybe your readers might like to know about this and check their transactions," he said.
For some sellers of certain goods, a 1.65% fee can be absorbed, but for sellers with slim margins, it may significantly eat into their profits. As far as we know, there is no way to block an international buyer from making a purchase if they provide a domestic shipping address.