This is written in response to the Readers’ Letter “Is eBay scheme targeting American sellers?” published in the Jan. 9 Antique Trader.
If someone is savvy enough to use eBay to sell, they should be savvy enough to learn how to minimize the risk in these types of transactions. Both eBay and the USPS put international shipping guidelines in place for a reason — to minimize fraudulent transactions or the likelihood that items are lost or stolen. Both the USPS and third-party insurance providers such as Shipsurance can provide insurance for items up to $2,500, depending upon shipping service selection and destination. This typically costs around 1 percent of the value of the item and can be built into the shipping and handling charges, so that they are completely covered by the buyer. I personally insure anything sold for $50 or more, whether it’s being mailed domestically or overseas.
EBay also allows sellers to set “Buyer Requirements” that place limitations on buyers based on location and/or feedback, which can limit unscrupulous bidding. Finally, when dealing with high value items, I prefer to use expedited shipping services like UPS or FedEx that don’t have the same insurance restrictions as the Post Office and can get the items to buyers more quickly.
If shipping valuable items internationally, you may find it easiest to bring your package to the nearest UPS or FedEx service center for assistance, as the customs paperwork can be confusing to fill out and can result in delays and additional expenses if not done correctly.
Having sold over $200,000 worth of merchandise on eBay last year with about 20 percent of the business overseas, I can attest that these practices will save you time, money and a great deal of frustration!
— “Trader Chris” DiGiovanna