eBay problems with newbie international bidders bidding on my US only items

I has a very small eBay hobby business selling higher end athletic and sport shoes in a “buy it now” straight (non-auction) purchase format. Lately I have been covered up with newbie international buyers bidding on my items. My items are advertised as US shipping only.

They are subsequently completely non-responsive when I ask them if they are aware the item has to be shipped internationally at a cost of around $20-$50.

I’m having to unwind about 5-8 of these deals a week and it is a time consuming PITA to go through all the motions to fill out all the crap necessary to do this with eBay and have the selling changes (about 10% of the cost of the item eBay charges) refunded back to me. Plus I have to pay a re-listing fee to put the time back up for sale.

I can specify that I do not ship internationally, but eBay does not seem to have not a way I can stop these clueless bidders, or at least make them ask permission before bidding.

Is it possible to do this and acreen these buyers somehow?

First of all, I have to say that I hate Us-only sales on ebay, I usually stumble upon great deals only to be disappointed when I realize it’s us-only… ok rant over.

Now regarding your problem, I’m not sure they are actually clueless, i mean, I’m pretty sure that ebay has warned me (i would say prevented, but your experience says otherwise) that the product i’m buying does not ship to my country, so I don’t think it’s something someone could just not notice.

I know I can’t really help you since I only have experience as a buyer, not a seller, but have you trying contacting customer service and ask if there’s a way to prevent these bids in the first place?

I ship internationally all the time, but here are times it is not prudent or safe to do so, so I want the ability to say no.If someone asks, is willing to pay the USPS shipping and does not live in a country where posted items are stolen as a matter of course I almost always ship if requested.

I had a few problems with international bidders so I add a note saying that they should contact me about shipping before they bid. That seems to have gotten rid of them.

Are they using buy it now? If you’re Paypal registered (it doesn’t cost/need anything), you can force people to pay immediately when using BIN or they can’t.

I agree. these may be scam artists trying to see if they can get you to ship to them in return for bogus (non)payments.

A lot of what I read about eBay nowadays seems to be complaints about various scams - the Nigerian auction, I guess. If they win, they see if you are gullible enough to ship with promise to pay on arrival; or they send you the way-too-much “cashier cheque” and ask you to send them the excess back in a money order, keep $100 extra for your trouble; etc.

On Ebay.com, when creating your listing, scroll down to the international shipping section. Choose “No International Shipping”, then in “Exclude Shipping Locations”, click the “add exclusions” and check everything except North America. Under Buyer requirements, choose “Change Buyer Requirements” and require a paypal account, and check “have primary shipping address in countries I don’t ship to”.
Now, I don’t think that prevents scammers that have a US shipping address on their paypal and ebay and then change it post purchase, but it should weed out everyone that legitimately wants you to ship an item overseas.

Non-US bay surfer here! I routinely pay 10 to 40 Dollars for shipping US products. It’s good business guys. Ship international!

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]

If they consistently seem to be newbies, maybe that’s because the scammers are making new accounts for each scam attempt. Of course there is no guarantee that it is the right country, even. If they try the old “here’s a cashiers’ check for too large an amount, wire me the change” then can they have the money re-wired to a third country? (or the scammer’s accomplice does not need to be anywhere near the shipping address, just the same city). If they collect the shipped item, bonus; but the trick is to get the cash.

Good business for eBay and the post office, maybe. Every time I’ve tried to ship something internationally, the actual shipping was quite expensive. Selling internationally didn’t bring me any more money, it just added more hassles.

The US Post Office has an official list of what you can send where. Italy has a great list of prohibited items. Bells, coral, hair, nutmeg, ribbons for typewriters, the list goes on.

More hassles of course. That’s how the export business is. But it’s good in the end.

The hassles involved in international shipping is exactly the sort of thing that a professional could specialize in and make money on.

For the average guy on ebay (me!) selling off some stuff he doesn’t want any more, it’s so not worth it to learn.