With eBay Australia becoming more popular, many items are not as cheap as they used to be. In order to buy products for a better price, it has now sometimes necessary to purchase items from overseas. It is here that many people shrink back from buying internationally, due to the fact that they forsee many problems and risks. However, with careful planning and some common sense, it's really nothing to be afraid of. I have been purchasing products from all over the world for over 8 years, and i have had minimal problems or complications.
In this particular guide, i'll look at international shipping. Where examples are used, they will relate to the United States and its shipping services.
First things first - not all shipping quotes given to you by sellers are accurate. In fact, some are grossly overestimated, in order to make more money for the seller. But how do you know if the quote you've been given is accurate? There's a few simple steps you can use:
1) Find out what shipping companies are available to the seller. By finding out their location, you can do a simple web engine search to see which shipping companies they may use. In the US, there are 3 main companies - FedEx, UPS and USPS. USPS is by far the cheapest!
2) Ask the seller the weight and dimensions of the product, plus any other necessary information (postcode the item will be sent from, for example).
3) Visit each company's website in turn. All have online shipping calculators, which are able to give fairly accurate estimations. Enter the necessary information, and look at the quotes the you are given. An example can be seen here:
4) Once you find the best quote, inform the seller. A simple way to do this is to cut and paste the link to the calculations into a reply email. This way, you are not only able to question their shipping quote, but you're able to give them another option, and keep them honest:)
Once this is completed, you are able to ensure that you will pay a fair price for shipping your item. This can then be added to the price of the item and bingo, you have your total!
Should you require postal insurance, or an online trackng no., many companies offer this as well, and you can factor these costs into your calculations. More often than not, it's a small price to pay for peace of mind!
As you can see, it's not too complicated. And by communicating clearly with the seller, and ensuring that their shipping prices are fair, eBay can remain a fun and friendly place to buy and sell online!
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7 September 2008
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