Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bizz Buzz - Shipping Part One

If you sell and use PayPal shipping, like I do, you probably received an email from PayPal about the new eBay shipping. If you often receive PayPal spam like I do, you probably don't want to even follow through and check the links. And of course there is no information on the PayPal site about this either.

Here's what I know. I sell on eBay (some of you do, most of you don't) I started selling there years ago, before Etsy or any of the other Handmade sites. It was a fantastic place to sell handmade and supplies back then. Back then we used PayPal shipping. In the past few years eBay has improved their own shipping. Which is odd, because eBay and PayPal are the same company and why they didn't work together in the first place is confusing to me. EBay shipping is directly linked to your product information, and it would not have access to all of your other sites information. They might have been working on that issus.

The thing I love about eBay shipping, is international shipping. You can ship first class and print labels online. Love that. I also love that the information you need, is automatically put into your forms. You don't have to guess what you need to add. The only thing you have to do is check the box n the customs form othat says you aren't shipping hazardous materials and that you agree....blah blah blah. Everything else is added for you.

Recently I haven't been able to get any International labels to work on PayPal, not even priority, so I print them on They are a big pain too, but I want to offer International shipping at my Artfire shop. I only offer Priority shipping, because for now, that's the only way I have a viable trail to prove that I shipped if anything happens. If the new PaPal shipping really works like eBay, we will be able to ship first class and have proof of shipment and easy custom forms.

For those of you afraid to ship International, I have a few pointers. I know many of you have heard horror stories about certain countries. Italy probably has the absolute worst Post Office in the world. Also, some countries charge a very high tax on the merchandise received. I'll address this issue first.

People who live in countries that are taxed on the value of the merchandise from other countries will often ask you to lie on your customs forms. I wouldn't do it. It is breaking the law in both countries and you know what that can lead to. I would recommend saying that your shipping is automatically linked to your product information, or just say no. I'd rather loose a sale, than my freedom for a year or two. 

The other issue is Italy, or any other bad post office. I was told not to ship to Italy a long time ago, so I did a little research. eBay has horrible information for sellers, but they have a wonderful community of sellers that they rely on completely to give information. I found a seller that ships to Italy regularly with no problem. They said that the issue is always, having enough information on the customs forms. Since I took their advice, I have never had any problems shipping to any countries (so far, knock wood).

This is what you should be doing on all International customs forms. When shipping jewelry, don't just list for example, earrings. You need to list - New Silver and Crystal earrings. Don't just list dress, list - New Cotton Girls Dress. I would not put handmade on the form and I would put vintage over used on the forms.  The important thing is to list as much detail about the actual content of the package. Foreign customs don't care if it's Mario Brothers or Blue, they want to know the material content and the type of merchandise. 

I hope this helps you a bit. I will be posting Part Two if and when PayPal ever gets eBay shipping going. I can't advise on a service that isn't working yet, but I will when it's fully functional. Until then, have fun with shipping. 

Please feel free to add any advice you may have in comments.


vintage eye said...

Informative post with lots of useful information as usual! :)

Pili said...

Lots of info as usual, and thank you for shipping internationally!

Pesky Cat Designs said...

Thanks for the info!

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