Help with an international eBay purchase?

Discussion in 'Disney Pin Discussion' started by NutMeg, Apr 2, 2018.

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  1. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

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    I know international shipping charges have been discussed to death already on here, especially in recent months, but I was still hoping I could get advice on my specific situation (hopefully from some UK members!)

    Ok, so I've made a few purchases from international eBay sellers in the past, and have never found the shipping costs to be excessive or unreasonable. I bought a pin from France a couple of months ago and the shipping was only $9; shortly before that, a pin from Spain cost only $6 to ship. And I've ordered from Japan multiple times, always with free shipping included.

    Recently, I was tempted to buy a couple of HTF Meg pins from a UK eBay seller, but the shipping was just so ridiculously expensive - $23 for the first tiny, soft-enamel Sedesma pin, and when I added the second to my cart, the combined shipping "discount" went down to $19.50 each. So the total shipping would have been $39, plus the actual cost of the pins themselves. So yeah, I decided to pass.

    But then a couple of days ago, I noticed an auction (from a different UK seller) for a set of official, licensed Anastasia pins!!! (For those who don't know, I'm kind of obsessed with Anastasia...)


    Sooo um yeah, I had to bid on that. I mean, how could I live with myself if I didn't? And I won! And for only $7! Except now the total is $30 (22 GBP) because again, the shipping cost is a whopping $23. I messaged the seller just to ask if this was the least expensive shipping option available, and she replied:

    "I only post direct to UK. Ebay organise international shipping, in which I send the item to their shipping centre and they forward on the item. Hence, eBay choose the postage price; I have no control of this."

    So I guess I have a few questions: Are UK sellers ONLY allowed to ship internationally through eBay's own shipping center? Obviously this isn't an obligation for all international sellers, since the previous eBay purchases I've made from France/Spain/Japan were all sent directly from the sellers. Why do UK sellers have to jump through this extra hoop, and are they not allowed to opt out of it? (I'm assuming this is the same reason why the shipping on the aforementioned Meg pins was so high.) Or is going through eBay for int. shipping more cost-effective for the sellers themselves?

    Also (and maybe some UK members can help me out here), in your experience, is $23 (16.36 GBP) a reasonable approximate cost for shipping a package to the US? Or is eBay tacking on a surcharge? What makes me suspicious is that the shipping cost for this Anastasia box set is the same exact shipping cost for that tiny little Meg pin. So it seems that eBay is charging a flat shipping fee from the UK to US, regardless of the item's size/weight.

    And as far as size/weight does go re: the Anastasia pins, that info is not included in the original listing, however the box is very small - only about 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches, or 8.89 cm x 8.89 cm, if I'm remembering metric conversion correctly (I apologize on behalf of America for our bizarre system of measurement.) The inside of the box is simply a thin piece of Styrofoam with the 5 metal/enamel pins attached; again, not sure about their individual weights, but they're also very small (I mean, they have to be to fit into that box.) So yeah, based on the photos, plus my own experience shipping similar-sized items, I would probably guesstimate its weight to be around 14 oz. (14 oz = 396 grams? Idk, I forget how to convert when it comes to mass. Damn you, public education system!) So, UK members: given this info, about how much do you think you would charge someone in the US to have this item shipped? (If it helps, my zip code is 98229.)

    The eBay seller in question offered to cancel the order, but I think I'm just gonna have to splurge on this one, because I seriously *need* these pins y'all. But I would just like to be as informed as possible on this issue, for future reference. I know international shipping has skyrocketed recently and it's super annoying for all of us, but UK shipping in particular seems oddly prohibitive. Any info or advice would be MUCH appreciated! <3

    (That said, I definitely will NOT be able to buy any more pins after this for like a month, lol. In addition to tuition payments, I may or may not have been sneakily investigating DPF birthdays lately, and I may or may not have gone on a bit of a zap shopping spree... So please pray for me that no Meg or Esmeralda pins will be released anytime soon!!!)
  2. ArttheAnimator

    ArttheAnimator Member

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    Last time I posted international ebay did calculate it for me and it can be a bit off, but I have posted internationally before and done it through my own methods (royal mail) without ebay suggestions. So it sounds more like the seller simply doesn't know how to do it. Having said that, I don't think they are being disingenuous, they just aren't arguing with the ebay numbers - which are at best subjective.
    It may also be a legit quote if the box is a certain size, shipping to the US can be a big pain here! Either way though, you might have to bite the bullet if you want to get those pins x They are very pretty!
  3. Buffy6

    Buffy6 Active Member

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    Usually if it’s $23 shipping for one item to the US, it’s express/priority shipping. So, if you pay that much and it’s not there in 3-5 Days, I would say you paid too much. Regular shipping should be 6-9$ like you said.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  4. katelouise

    katelouise lunapins on Instagram!

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    A lot of people only ship internationally through the eBay Global Shipping Program because this means they only have to ship to a US address and don't have to deal with the international shipping themselves.

    Did it say Global Shipping Program? or just regular shipping?
  5. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    Agreed, she is using the Global Shipping Program to avoid the hassle. I can't blame her; some folks don't have the time or energy to deal with international posting. (I will only ship international through eBay via the GSP. There's no more work for me than shipping within the US, in that case.)

    The issue is, you as the buyer have to pay for the seller to ship to eBay's "hub" AND for eBay to ship the package on to you. They also calculate and factor in customs charges, when they apply.

    The seller also has to have accurately measured the size and weight of the package. EBay will recalculate when they receive the package.

    In this case, for the added reassurance of proper tracking, the seller may have selected a more expensive service.

    So, yeah ... I think you have to suck it up this time if you really want the pins. I learned a while ago that you need to look at the shipping costs before you leap. Even within the US, there are sellers who list an item for $10 and then the shipping is $60. So if you aren't paying attention, your hot deal is NOT HOT.

    (To be clear: I don't believe this seller is deliberately hosing you. She won't receive the shipping funds EXCEPT for the portion for her to ship to eBay. The rest is paid direct to eBay.)
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  6. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    Agreed, one of the reasons why people will ship internationally through eBay's Global Shipping Program is they only have to worry about it getting to the eBay hub. After that, it is considered "delivered" - at least for eBay purposes so if anything happens between eBay's shipping hub and you, eBay is on the hook for it, not the seller.

    Also, even though the box set appears small, that doesn't mean that the seller will be shipping it in a padded envelope. Likely, it will be shipped in a box which will make it weigh more.
  7. slbrabham

    slbrabham Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for explaining about international shipping through eBay.
    NutMeg and watzshakinbacon like this.
  8. mickeymousje

    mickeymousje Well-Known Member

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    I don't live in the UK but in the Netherlands so also in Europe, when I ship a package from here to the US it's starting at €16,95 with tracking (without is a lot cheaper) I live close to the border of Germany and ship my packages from there with tracking for €6,20!!! Such a huge difference! I don't know if you already paid but sometimes when I see something on eBay I change my shipping address to my friend's US address and have it shipped there to ship it to me with other things in one order. If you want, you can have the set shipped to me if it's cheaper? :)
    NutMeg likes this.
  9. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

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    Yes, to echo slbrabham, thank you everyone for the detailed explanations!!! All of this information is super helpful for future reference. (I wonder why UK sellers in particular seem to prefer the Global Shipping Program...? Again, the other European sellers I bought from didn't use it. Weird.) Anyway, I ended up biting the bullet and just paying the full $30. Deep down I knew I was always going to pay it lol, but I was still super confused and wanted to be fully informed before forking over the $$. Plus, again, I'm trying to be as thrifty as possible right now. All in all, $30 is still a super good deal for such rare pins! Thanks again, guys! :)
  10. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

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    Aww, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for your extremely kind offer! I already bought the pins, but I'll remember your generous offer for future reference. ;) Also, if you ever need another friend with a US address to ship to, let me know! <3

    So weird about the huge difference between shipping costs in the Netherlands and Germany! Basically the lesson in all of this is that international shipping is random and confusing. xD
    mickeymousje likes this.
  11. pinnochiolover

    pinnochiolover DPF Member

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    For future reference, an envelope signed is around £9 ($12.65) UK to US , and any item thicker than 2.5cm would be classed as a small parcel (including boxes) around £14 ($19.68) signed to post.
  12. mickeymousje

    mickeymousje Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome! :) And thank you for the very kind offer too! Really appreciate it <3

    Yes, it's really weird! I always gladly drive to Germany to mail my packages because I prefer to mail with tracking. For heavier packages it's sometimes a bit more but I think it's €6,20 up to 500 grams if I'm correct :)
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