Can an EBay seller (me) back out of a transaction because the buyer is in China?

I just listed a spare iPhone 5 with a flat shipping rate of $5 not thinking that a buyer would emerge overseas where they have very little in the way of CDMA carriers (it is a Verizon phone). After looking into shipping the cost to China may be prohibitive at $50-80 or so. I really don’t know how much it costs to ship there. I am afraid it will get lost or not show up or something worse.

Can I just back out without damaging my seller rating?

Any suggestions?


I always flagged no international orders, if you did not, eh, I would take the hit and call it a lesson learned before eating $80 to ship to someone who is as likely as not to claim they never got it and demand a refund.

The postage for a one-pound package from the USA to China by US Mail First Class International is only $15.75. (Value of contents may not exceed $400.)

Note that if you use the postage calculator at, it is set up to display only the more expensive Priority and Express options, with the more reasonable First Class rate hidden as a link at the bottom of the chart.

I always use “S/H: $7.50 lower 48; others email for quote if desired” and “will ship worldwide”.

I don’t go to the trouble of stating duties and taxes of destination country are responsibility of buyer" - that can be assumed from that fact that I am talking about s/h, not “all costs to buyer”.

If I can drop it off at the USPS and it gets there, I will ship pretty much anything I put on ebay. For stuff I will not ship, I use craigslist.

Are there any CDMA carriers there? Maybe the buyer made a mistake and you can mutually back out of the deal?

I sell a ton of stuff on ebay. I’d just tell the buyer there’s no way you can ship it for $ 5.00. then tell ship what the rate is. I only ship internationally these days using USPS Priority which has tracking. For your phone the best deal is to use the small flat rate box below. You can get one at your post office.

Here is flat rate for your shipping 23.50 if you print the label online via the ebay shipping applet. 24.75 otherwise.

Priority Mail International® Small Flat Rate BoxMore info about Priority Mail International® Small Flat Rate Box

Value of contents can not exceed $400.00
USPS-Produced Box: 8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8"
Maximum weight 4 pounds.

There are CDMA carriers in China