EBay, the largest online auction house in the world, is a truly international business. People from Singapore to Atlanta all flock to buy and sell. The sold items range from the tiniest artifact to large tracts of land. One of the many challenges EBay and its participants face is that of shipping. For buyers have high expectations that the items they have paid good money for will arrive safe and in tact. While EBay oversees the operations of the company, it important to understand that the shipping of items is the full responsibility of both the buyer and seller.
The first thing for both parties, the buyer and seller, to remember is that honesty must be the one and only, the best policy. The seller should advise all potential bidders what costs may be incurred in shipping the item BEFORE the auction ends. This is important with any item but can be particularly important when shipping a heavy item, like a sofa or a table. Buyers are not happy about hidden costs of any kind and when they are surprised by an extra 300 dollar fee they might balk. Then the only option available is to try and resolve the dispute. That could result in lost income for one or both parties.
So the way to avoid that is to get an accurate estimate of the costs before listing the item for auction. If the item is large then location where the item may be shipped is an issue. The seller is advised to indicate that in the listing. It is common to see listings on EBay that indicate that the buyer must pay all shipping costs and that those costs can be determined at the time of sale, that way the buyer can decide whether the item is worth their bid. (UPS and other shippers provide estimates of items when needed.)
It is also important to insure any item that has value. Lost or damaged items will result in a dispute, and lost income. It may also help to add additional charges to shipping costs, and to have the postal service notify the shipper that the item arrived. If the buyer is unscrupulous he or she may claim the item never arrived, proof of delivery would help in that case. These charges should be folded into the general fee charged at the time the item is listed.
International shipping can be very costly, so make sure to follow these rules in detail when shipping to another country. Some EBay sellers indicate they will not ship overseas for this very reason.