There’s another thread going on right now regarding a person having his account suspended due to buyer problems and in there I provided my story of getting screwed by a buyer from Micronesia for a camera lens. The advice from jacobsta811 is the best way to prevent your problem, but like you, I want to open my products up to international buyers because it drives the price up. Few if any of us are experts in international shipping law, however, and in this regard, I really wish eBay would help us out with some kind of ‘blacklisted countries’ list, or at least ‘high risk transaction’ countries, so we know what we are getting into.
For example, it seems like every third country has some kind of weird customs law where you have to label your shipment as a ‘gift’ because ‘commercial product’ will get it tied up in ten layers of bureaucracy and taxes. Other countries randomly ban certain items, so shipping there is technically a crime. And of course, you have still others that are just so corrupt that your package has a 50% chance of being stolen by the postal service of that country before it ever reaches the buyer. All of this assumes, of course, that the buyers themselves are not scam artists, but as I discovered, when a dispute is opened, eBay tends to find in favor of the buyer most every time. I won’t recount the details of my story other than to say that I provided a complete paper trail of what had happened, including the part where the buyer didn’t want to pay a higher price for insurance and tracking, and when it didn’t get there, it was my fault and I had to refund his money.
[rant] And I really wish the buyers would do some investigating into the shipping costs themselves, because I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had bitching from these buyers who ignored my ‘U.S. only’ auction, bid on an item and won, and then didn’t like the $30-50 cost of the shipping, especially when the item they won may have only cost $30. I then have to go through ten rounds of investigating UPS, FedEx, DHL, and other courier services to find a cheaper option for them in an effort to help them, which never ends well. I’ve always found that it never saves much money, takes too long, and the buyer is always pissed off in the long run, and I wish they just didn’t bid on my stuff. [/rant]