international shipping problems

International Shipping Problems

Recently, I shipped a modded Sega Game Gear out to S. Korea. I was happy to see the buyer paid full price for the item. I put 2-3 hours+ of my time getting the item repaired and functioning properly. When the purchase came in, I saw that it was going to eBay’s Global Shipping Program. So I packaged up the item extra thick to ensure that no damage would come to the device. I had international shipping problems once before with the power board being damaged. Once I was happy with the extra care I spent on packing the device up, I slapped on the shipping label and sent out it.

A Very Stressed Customer

A few days after receiving an email from the Global Shipping Program that the item was delivered, I received several very short and stressed out emails from the customer. The customer that bought my Game Gear spoke very little English and was demanding a refund and that the device was not working. Now I completely understand the problem being the person paid a good amount of money for the device. So I worked with the customer as much as possible to work out the international shipping problems. Not speaking any Korean, I attempted to use Google Translate to speak with this customer. That

Not speaking any Korean, I attempted to use Google Translate to speak with this customer. That failed immediately and decided to accept the return. EBay forced me to locate and pay for a shipping label since the return was marked as defective. In my opinion, the item was damaged during shipping. Since the customer never showed any pictures of the packaging it’s hard to say what happened.

Locating International Shipping Outside of eBay

Trying to find a company to ship back into the US is fairly difficult. I know DHL ships internationally and is generally pretty good, although I have my opinions about shipping within the US. I had also tried to setup shipping with the USPS but that was impossible. Finally, I tried out FedEx and was successful in setting up an initial return label with the customer’s address on file with PayPal. After entering in all the pertinent information I saw the price for the return label.

Needless to say, the price of the return label was insane with customs and duty fees. The final price for the return label and shipping from S. Korea back to the US was somewhere over $140. Looking at that price it was easy to see that return shipping quickly overshadowed the cost of the actual device. So I decided to cut my losses short and gave the customer a full refund and let him keep the device. This was also after receiving several other eBay messages on the verge of harassment.

Restricted International Shipping (eBay Sales)

Due to this two day long headache, I’ve changed international shipping rules. Now, I only ship to Canada and the US. I will be looking at other areas that have better trade deals with the US so I don’t run into this problem again. It’s unfortunate to have to do this but it’s what happens as I learn where I should and shouldn’t sell too around the world.