Weekend Wonder #1

Join us here AND on Facebook this weekend for our first “Weekend Wonder”!

Each weekend, both places will be open for asking questions and sharing knowledge about the “biz”, items you have found, or reselling in general.  There are so many of you doing a fantastic job at this…I know we can learn from you!

The Late Night Market will have a post where you can join the thread. The Late Night Coffee blog will have the comments section below open as a place to converse.

Everyone is invited to share questions AND answers!


Or the comments section below!

See you here or there!

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15 Responses to Weekend Wonder #1

  1. I have a question…or maybe just some insights. I was selling internationally for a while and then it got to be a nightmare….what are your selling experiences with international buyers and do you have any good tips?

  2. Gina says:

    I haven’t been selling long, but I’ve sold 4 items internationally that I remember – Ireland, Australia, Canada, and Germany. Almost all of my listings allow international sales though. So far, all my international buyers have been really nice, it’s been good experiences. I put in my listings that international buyers should contact me first to be sure I ship to their country; and that I require insurance and/or delivery confirmation, if available. (Although the Germany pkg didn’t have tracking or insurance as it was first class mail…luckily it got there fine!) I’m sure you already know, but be sure to check the USPS Handbook for your country to see if there are any restrictions (eg, a lot of countries prohibit used clothing or bedding). Also just put “shirt” not “used designer X shirt” to help cut down on theft. (I’ve never had theft, but just in case…) And, be sure the insurance company insures to that country! (I use ShipSaver). Shipsaver, btw, has as a term that you can’t have wording on the box that alludes to the contents or to the fact that it’s insured – so be careful & cover it up if you recycle packaging!

    What happened to you that made it a nightmare? I’m crossing my fingers that I can continue to sell internationally with no problems…right now, I had 2 queries about items I’m selling and the potential buyers were from Malaysia & Argentina, so if they buy I will have to look up everything I talked about above!

    • Wow…thank you for such great information. I will have to look into Shipsaver. Really,really great tips to keep in mind…….thank you again.

      I had two transactions that just were so frustrating. One was with a guy in Europe ( I think England) who had gotten the book I sent, but wasn’t happy with it. He thought it had other content. The time changes made the email interactions take daysssssss. I was completely okay with him getting a refund…but he wasn’t happy, period. Ended up giving me a negative before I could get him to send it back. Ugh.

      Another involved a pattern I sent to Canada. It never got there…or at least that is what the buyer said. No problem. I got a neutral even after refund. Without delivery confirmation, I couldn’t even say where it was.

      I realize both of these incidents could have happened with US customers…but the fact that my international customers were such a small percentage of my business….but were giving me the most unsatifactory feedback, I just stopped shipping to other countries.

      I think I just need to look into it again.

      Thanks again for taking the time to write your experiences/tips!

  3. Gina says:

    oh, one more tip – I looked up ShipSaver’s excluded countries and just put them in My Ebay as blocked countries, so they’re always blocked. I still have to say no to buyers if their country prohibits the specific item though (eg used clothing, but ok on other things).

    I also make sure they know it can take a long time for items to get there! most know already of course. so far nothing’s taken over 2 weeks, but I know that can change!

  4. Nancy says:

    I sell internationally and haven’t had any problems so far. At first I sold worldwide but since doing more reading on the eBay message boards I’ve cut back and now I just usually sell to Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Sometimes Japan. There is a post somewhere on the boards of countries that people won’t sell to and why. Alot of times it has to do with their bad postal services or high risk of theft of packages. Things I wouldn’t have thought of before reading those posts. I noticed my sales go up when I extended myself past just the US so I like that. Most of my international sales have been Canada but a sprinkling of other countries as well.

    Here’s my question. I’ve noticed you keep your store at an inventory of over 1000! My dream goal 🙂 Right now I’m at 60. How did you do it and how long did it take. Is it difficult to maintain that number?

    • Okay…this is making it easier for me. Thank you so much for your great answer. I have thought of “tiptoeing” back with just Canada and Australia.

      It took almost two years, a husband, a sister, and some marathon weekends to get that much inventory into my store. Most of what you see are patterns, so they can be listed very quickly. I usually do my “marathon listing” sessions between April and August. I especially use the slow summer months to get on as much as I can so I can concentrate on shipping during the holiday season. I still list during that time…but its here and there. There are times that things do sell quickly and that my “number” drops and I can’t get it back up really fast. But that’s a good problem to have. 😉

      Thank you again for taking the time to contribute your info!

      • Jessica says:

        I’m pretty new too, but I don’t allow Canada. I think they have high expectations since they are so close, but it’s still internationally shipping that is expensive and takes a long time, not a good combination. I had a few times someone from Canada asked me to open an auction to them and I did and they never bought!

        I allow Australia and Japan on every auction, and if asked will open to others after looking at their fb left. Have sent to New Zealand and a few others I can’t remember. I had a few really nice smooth sales to Japan before the Tsunami but since then none, poor people in that country, it was such a bad hit. 🙁

  5. Marci says:

    Thanks for the comments on exactly what I wanted to talk about, international selling. I have not yet ventured into international selling but my husband is always telling me I ought to try. My opinion is its not even worth the hassel. My question is this. How much, percentage wise, would you say was international sales when you were doing it? How much have you noticed, if any, your sales have dropped since you stopped? Thanks for the info, someday I may quit being a chicken and try international!

    • Gina says:

      So far my percentage is not very high, but the int’l sales tended to be higher-dollar items, at least a couple of which were not moving otherwise (no bids when it was US only). Again, I don’t have a lot of experience selling yet, but I’ll continue to sell internationally, at least for now, as long as I’m covered by insurance. I also try to make sure there’s at least some communication – eg, I send an invoice/ other msg right after the purchase to make sure they realize how much shipping will be and how long it will take, etc.

      • Gina says:

        oh, btw, there was almost no extra hassle. If you print shipping online, it’s just one extra form that you need 4 copies of, but ebay will take care of all that for you. I think you just have to change the description (it’ll default to your auction title, but you don’t want that, you just want “shirt” not “XXX pricey silk shirt.”) That’s it. When you take it to the P.O., you just need all 4 (or was it 3? you might keep one) stuck onto your pkg. So far the counter lady pulls out this clear envelope protector-thingy to stick ’em in. (I always have to go to the counter anyway b/c I can’t leave pkgs out for the carrier to take as it might be stolen; plus my town is small enough that if you go at the right times, little/ no line).

        hope this helped!

      • Nancy says:

        There is a discussion group on Ebay just for International Trading
        I’ve learned some things by just sifting through those posts.

  6. Marci says:

    BTW, I noticed your feedback is at 4999. One more to 5000! Holy smokes I am impressed! I am trying to get to 100 🙂

  7. oldnndway says:

    I and my Wife have stores on e-bay. We primarily sell books and have shipped them (literally) all over the world.
    We don’t offer international shipping if the book won’t fit in the priority mail flat rate envelope.

    I noticed above someone saying something about multiple copies of forms that the PO puts in a clear stick-on sleeve, and while I do remember seeing them do this when I had the clerks at the window handle my shipping, I haven’t had to do anymore than print and sign the pay-pal label since I started printing my own labels.
    So far I have never had any kicked back for doing it wrong or any problems at all.
    I don’t know if Pay-Pal shipping auto-fills something or if it is because they can trace it back to their customer or what but I don’t have any trouble with international shipping. I also haven’t set any places not to ship to, even had a customer in Mexico comment on the fact that I was willing to ship there.

    I like having all of those extra customers looking at my offerings. It’s paid off to offer it for me.

  8. shannon says:

    Love selling internationally!
    With the shipping calculator on Ebay, figuring out shipping is a no-brainer. I’ve only had maybe 1 or 2 refunds due to the item ‘disappearing’. I mostly use First Class International, so there’s only one small label/customs form combo when you use Ebay shipping.
    If it’s an Etsy sale, I use the Stamps.com free account and plug in the address.
    International buyers spend more money IMO. They often pay full price and don’t bother with making an offer.
    Any of that can change, I”m sure…but I’ve had just as much trouble if not more with domestic customers.

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