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eBay Sellers – Expand Sales with International Markets

July 6th, 2010

suzanne-wells_1If you are an eBay seller, shipping internationally is one way to gain millions of potential new customers without costing you a dime in advertising or marketing. 49% of the buyers on eBay live outside of the USA, which means that opening up your auctions to the rest of the world is a great way to increase demand for your products. Although eBay has many international sites, consumers worldwide understand that the USA eBay site offers a much larger selection of products. Plus, many international customers have an affinity for products sold in the USA.


First Class Mail International:  Cheapest Option to Ship Overseas
Shipping internationally is not complicated; it just involves a few extra steps. If you are shipping small inexpensive items such as health and beauty products, clothing items, or accessories, consider shipping those items First Class Mail International. If the item weighs less than 4 pounds, it can be shipped First Class Mail International which is a much more economical rate than Priority Mail International. For example, let’s say you sold a sweater for $19.95 to a customer in the United Kingdom. The sweater weighs 8 ounces when packaged in a poly mailer. If you ship the item First Class Mail International, the cost to the customer is only $7.32 compared to a Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box which costs $13.45 or a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope which costs $12.95. By using First Class Mail International, you are able to charge your customer less and make the purchase more attractive. As an eBay Top Rated Seller, I have used Stamps.com to ship thousands of packages via First Class Mail International over the last 7 years.

Stamps.com Offers Free Program for eBay Sellers
There are two major advantages of using Stamps.com for your eBay business. First, Stamps.com has the option to print and ship First Class Mail International without a trip to the Post Office whereas PayPal Shipping and and other shipping labels services do not. Second, Stamps.com offers discounts on your postage when you print labels online from home; you can save up to 13% on domestic Priority Mail and 5% on Priority Mail International.  Best of all, Stamps.com offers a free service for eBay sellers.  You can print shipping labels for free (including First Class Mail International) by connecting Stamps.com to your eBay account.  Learn more at: http://www.stamps.com/ebayfree4


About the Author

Selling on eBay since 2003, Suzanne Wells aka The eBay Selling Coach has sold over 17,000 items as a one person operation and has achieved the status of Silver Level Power Seller on eBay.   Suzanne’s book, The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Successful eBay Selling helps eBay sellers learn what products to sell, where to find them and how to successfully market on eBay.

  1. Jesse4484
    August 25th, 2011 at 13:58 | #1

    Yes, First Class Mail International is a bit riskier because of the absence of a tracking number, but after a while it will only be a couple countries that have all the packages that do not arrive.  Simply exclude those countries from buying from you, and you will have no further problems.  The main country that used to have to problem for me is Brazil, once I took Brazil off my buyer list it was very trustworthy to ship to the rest of the countries with FCMI.  At the end of the experience, it is worth losing a couple packages in order to find out which countries are the wrong ones to ship for you, since 50% of my sells are internationally.

  2. Eric Nash
    July 30th, 2010 at 18:20 | #2

    @Robert Hi Robert, You should see “merchandise” as an option in the Customs Form. The options should be Commercial Sample, Gift, Document, Return, Merchandise and Other.

    Are you not seeing Merchandise?

    Thanks!
    Eric
    Stamps.com

  3. Robert
    July 25th, 2010 at 18:31 | #3

    Hey, Stamps.com — for international mailing: how about including MERCHANDISE as an option for package contents on the Customs form. Each time I have to type MERCHANDISE it reminds me that Stamps.com could know its customers a little better :-) Thx.

  4. cindy
    July 20th, 2010 at 11:16 | #4

    I have been a seller on ebay over 10 years, gold ps, and about 1/3 of my clients are international. I can count the number of items claimed not received on one hand. They usually come from the same countries. Depending on the value of the item and buyers feedback, I will choose the method of shipping. Had very few problems.
    I just downloaded the new version of stamps.com to include international insurance. Just shipped to Germany, included insurance, it was great!
    The only truly trackable service offered by the post office is Express, even regular priority is not required to be scanned. I’ve had many arrive without a single update.

  5. Eric Nash
    July 14th, 2010 at 13:21 | #5

    @Darryl McCray
    You’ll need to download the new version of Stamps.com Version 8.7 at http://www.stamps.com/download/

    Once the new version is installed, you should see the option to add International Insurance on the “International” tab.

    Eric
    Stamps.com

  6. Eric Nash
    July 14th, 2010 at 12:28 | #6

    @Matthew G
    You bring up some good points about First Class Mail International and the lack of tracking.

    Regarding international insurance, Stamps.com Version 8.7 (just launched in June 2010) includes international insurance! To download the new version for free, go to http://www.stamps.com/download/

    Once downloaded, you should be able to insure international packages.

    Thanks!
    Eric
    Stamps.com

  7. Matthew G
    July 13th, 2010 at 09:48 | #7

    I’m a eBay Powerseller for 7 years, a user of Stamps.com for 5 years and I have been selling Internationally for 10 years. I would like to take the opportunity to inform eBay and Stamps.com users of a flaw in shipping internationally using FIRST CLASS INTERNATIONAL or Priority FLAT RATE Envelopes/Small Boxes. When using either one of these options, it doesn’t provide TRACKING, it just provides a LC# or better known as a customs #. I have learned the hard way and if a buyer says he didn’t get the package and you provide the LC#(customs #) it will show no proof of delivery or even the status that it left your local post office. You can save on shipping, but if the buyer says he didn’t get it you will have no proof of delivery. I have lost hundreds of dollars by using First Class International and Priority Flat Rate Envelope/ Small box, because Paypal doesn’t recogonize the LC# and they refund all the money back to the buyers who complain of non-delivery. The best way is EXPRESS MAIL INTERNATIONAL, it will insure upto 100 for free, but Stamps.com doesn’t have a International Insurance policy, so if you do use stamps.com it will not be insured. Still your best option is the post office or USPS online.

  8. July 7th, 2010 at 11:39 | #8

    How do I add insurance to my internatiional packages from my desktop ?

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