Dear eBay Queen;
I have a question regarding sending items overseas, and customs. I have been reading about customs issues and selling out side of the United States for years on various eBay chat room boards. Many people have discussed falsifying customs forms. I’ve never sold expensive items, so it has never been a problem to me, until now. I received this today from a buyer in mainland China:
"Please pack the item very carefully and do not value it more than $80USD for Chinese custom policies. Thanks! "
He paid $550.00 for this item. I’ve been wondering what they would do to me if I did put the lower amount. After all, the form is a US government form, and the taxing authorities are foreign. What could they do to me? I just don't know.
I ended up printing the customs form yesterday with the full value indicated. I'm not applying for sainthood here, but I am interested in staying out of trouble. Do you think the buyer is going to be angry with me? He will probably find some excuse to leave negative feedback after his own government charges him exorbitant duties or whatever. I checked out his ID, and he’s purchased about $4000 of related items in recent weeks. Don’t you think Chinese officials will probably decide he's illegally running an import business, with all these packages marked “gifts”?
The Jordans; Pomona
You made the right decision. It is never worth it to falsify documents. I contacted a couple of Post Masters in your area. All of them said basically the same thing; it would not be worth it to find out what would happen if you were caught. Here are a couple of links that might confirm you did the right thing: http://www.usps.com/postallaw/_pdf/RANDReport.pdf#search=%27falsifying%20customs%27 and http://www.usps.com/international/ .
If you haven’t done it already, I would make sure you put a blurb in your listings stating how you will not falsify customs forms.
Dear eBay Queen;
Literally five minutes after invoicing buyer for their purchase, I receive this message: "Please cancel the order. The shipping fees are way out of line".
The invoice offered the same exact costs/options as what showed on the auction page for her location. I wonder if she had the wrong zip code in the box when she viewed the shipping costs.
Should I just ignore her, and wait quietly until my 2-week payment deadline passes, then file a Non Paying Bidder Alert? Or should I send her this: “The shipping costs are exactly the same as what show on the eBay auction page for your zip code. Nothing was hidden from you; no surprises.” I don’t know how to handle this! Could you please tell me what you would do?
This has happened to me, and is very frustrating. You really have two options. You could let the buyer out of the sale, by canceling the transaction, or you could wait 7 days and file a non paying bidder case against them.
If this were my transaction, I would email them, and let them know you will be canceling the transaction through eBay. Explain to them they need to agree to the cancelation. Once you cancel the transaction, just relist the item again. To cancel a transaction or file a non paying bidder go here: http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ResolutionCenter
I would be a little worried the buyer would leave negative feedback and ding my shipping cost star. I would relist the item and hope your next buyer will be a better one.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item 270489588060 (enter this number in the eBay search box in the top right corner of the home page). You’ve heard of the Twilight series right? Check out what a replica of Bella’s (the main character) bedding sold for! SOLD $649.99 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270489588060
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained Education Specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Do you have a question for the eBay Queen? E-mail: email@example.com.