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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 11-30-2013 03:44 PM 1474 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

4225 posts in 3197 days


11-30-2013 03:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shipping issues cost of freight surcharges

I’ve mentioned this in a past thread, but with Christmas coming, it bears repeating.

International transactions on eBay are now subject to a ridiculous surcharge, which you are not informed of until after the deal is paid for.

In other words, if you live in the USA, and purchase an item in Canada, you are now subject to a ridiculous surcharge from a third party. You are not even notified of this sneaky charge until your transaction is completed.

This third party is Pitney Bowes. I see that on my recent purchase of a vintage woodworking tool, with purchase price and shipping of about $20.00, according to my Paypal account, I was dinged for an additional $16 in a separate billing, for bogus ‘Freight forwarding and Customs broker’s fees”.

By habit, when I shop eBay, as a resident of Canada I click on the ‘Canada Only’ filter. This way, I was reassured that I would not see listings by people who do not ship to Canada. I can’t even do that any more, these listings get through anyway.

Now, whether a US seller wants to ship to Canada or not, his or her listings are viewable to a Canadian resident.
This way, under the pretense of widening a seller’s market, Pitney Bowes can maximize their revenue by making sales happen internationally that weren’t supposed to happen. In other words, eBay has made it possible to trump a seller’s wishes by making any listing a possible international transaction. Then, Pitney Bowes slaps that surcharge to your order.

I should say, not all sellers have knuckled under to this bogus freight forwarding program, but more and more are signing up for it, and I wonder what kind of ‘incentive’ there is for falling in step with such a program. In this present case I’m dealing with, the seller had no idea what had happened to his listing, which had been “modified” to increase the chances of a billable international sale. He prefers to ship only within the US, but his listing indicated otherwise. Heads up for you eBay sellers, too. your listings may be getting ‘tweaked’ too.

In the past, I would make international purchases only with the understanding that the item would be shipped by the US Postal Service, then handed over to Canada Post where there was never an extra fee for Customs involved. UPS would always arrive at the door with their hand out. Fed-Ex would send a bill to your house, a week after the fact!! Canada Post never asked for additional fees. Nothing I buy now will be delivered by Canada Post, unless the shipper sends it from within Canada. All international freight gets diverted to a central terminal and shipped to your home at their choice of a carrier. Now, there is no way to avoid third party fees anymore.

Let it be known, your international eBay purchase will cost you more than you anticipated, because of the additional fees tacked on that you will not be informed of until AFTER the deal is done.

Those who avoid eBay, you’ve got one more reason not to start.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


18 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 1501 days


#1 posted 11-30-2013 03:47 PM

Thanks for the heads up. I am one of the quitters who left about 4 years ago. There are a lot of cheap metalworking supplies I’ve been eyeing but it doesn’t look like it’s worth the trouble/risk of going back.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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poopiekat

4225 posts in 3197 days


#2 posted 11-30-2013 03:53 PM

JustJoe and other readers: There’s a whole lot more to be said, and some points need clarifying.
If you know for sure that the item is being listed from somebody within your own country, there is probably no reason to worry about getting ambushed with extra fees. I’d verify by clicking on “ask the seller a question” to be sure it is a domestic purchase.

This whole thing is a new ballgame, but only for those cross-border purchases.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1824 days


#3 posted 11-30-2013 03:56 PM

Good information, though I’ve never used eBay, nor will I. If I can’t find what I want elsewhere, I’ll do without. Karma.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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poopiekat

4225 posts in 3197 days


#4 posted 11-30-2013 04:01 PM

You’re right, Clint!
Ebay was a good source for hard-to-find items. I’ll be hesitant from here on, it’s really hard enough to find suppliers of ANYTHING that want to ship to Canada. As I said in an older thread, I cannot even get a pound of Dunkin’ Donuts ground coffee shipped to my house here!! Much less a dream plane on eBay….

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

4153 posts in 1117 days


#5 posted 11-30-2013 04:01 PM

Great information. I rarely use eBay simply because I find most of it is over priced once shipping is included. Now I have even more of a reason to skip the site.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

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Tedstor

1625 posts in 2095 days


#6 posted 11-30-2013 04:16 PM

I use ebay somewhat frequently. I’ve been tempted to purchase from foreign sources before, but never pulled the trigger. Now I definitely won’t.

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 1501 days


#7 posted 11-30-2013 04:24 PM

When I left ebay I was primarily a seller, having acquired most of the tools I was collecting. The fee structure was going crazy at that time, and they forced paypal on us which was another fee to pay and then they came out with a new TOS that said they could contact us on our phone at any time even to send us ads, so I quit. I opened my own online store and sold for a few years (just closed it this summer). I’ve looked at Bonanza but they play games with their rates and don’t advertise. Etsy was for handmade goods and “vintage” but now its flooded with mass-produced goods that skirt the definition of man-made and a lot of 1990’s cr@p that passes as vintage. For me, there just isn’t any decent place online to shop for or sell used goods anymore.
But back to the OP – I shipped a lot of old tools to Canada and Australia, only had one bad transaction ever. With the flat-rate priority boxes and the USPS doing all the work I can’t see why any seller would want to use Pitney Bowes. I wonder if ebay plans on buying them out and then they can squeeze even more money out of the sellers.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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Tedstor

1625 posts in 2095 days


#8 posted 11-30-2013 04:32 PM

Joe’s Bucket o’ Rust? Too bad. I liked your site. Made a few purchases here and there.

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#9 posted 11-30-2013 04:36 PM

The best way to avoid paying the extra fees to Pitney Bowes is to read the listing very carefully and look for Customs services and international tracking provided .that is when I stop going any further with a listing and go to the next one.
To be fair though it is clearly marked on all listings with Global shipping program(GSP),most US sellers were not even aware that they are in this GSP program and are not aware how much the buyer will end up paying in total. Those who opted in the program willingly,thought it would be an easy way to sell internationally without the extra work,filling custom forms ,etc.
All I know is most US sellers now are not happy with GSP and find it hard to opt out without closing their ebay store completely but can still cancel the GSP option for one listing at a time if a buyer contacts them and ask .

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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darthford

532 posts in 1387 days


#10 posted 11-30-2013 05:17 PM

Its not just ebay, my brother is moving to Canada for a job, he’s taking a used $140k CNC lathe with him and Canada required him to import it via a broker and pay broker fees. I do NOT agree with ebay charging fees that are not disclosed up front. I gave up on fleecebay years ago though.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4225 posts in 3197 days


#11 posted 11-30-2013 05:40 PM

@distrbd, and everyone: Yes, thanks for further clarifying this! There is a lot to be said about this new thing on eBay, I couldn’t put it all in one post because it might put people to sleep, y’know the turkey and all!! Problem is, how stealthy it all is, the fees are invisible until you have already confirmed your payment! and they do operate out of the element of surprise. Oh, well, once burned is twice shy. I did a search, now I remember, for a specific brand of plane, and this was how I was alerted to an offering I would not otherwise have seen, nor had an opportunity to bid on.
I will ONLY scan Canadian listings from now on, and be extra careful to ensure I’m not liable for international fees. The Canadian dollar is falling again anyway, it’s worth less and less versus the US$ these days. In the back of my mind, I’m considering selling some of my surplus workshop stuff….but I hesitate now that it may be a major headache for my customers, presumably most would be from the USA. Sheesh!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 1501 days


#12 posted 11-30-2013 05:58 PM

How far north of the border are you? I just bought some books last month from a seller that only ships twice a week. He boxes everything up, takes it to customs in bulk, and then drives across the bridge to mail it from the US. And I’ve sold tools to someone north of Oregon or Washington who keeps a PO box at the UPS store just south of the border.
And as bad as it might seem, I think Australia is worse. I’ve had people pay $40 for postage on a $20 tool and tell me they are getting a great deal. If someone could find a cheap way to transport old tools by the suitcase-load they’d make a killing.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3445 days


#13 posted 11-30-2013 06:31 PM

I think the fees must vary by item or seller. I buy small items from China quite frequently and have never encountered the add ons.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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alohafromberkeley

257 posts in 1867 days


#14 posted 11-30-2013 07:18 PM

Just a small reminder, if you cross the border with Brazilian Rosewood and can’t prove original sale date,there may be problems- i.e. if you replaced a tote with a piece of BRW in your shop and some customs guy is having a bad day, then that could mean you’ll have a worse day. The Lacey Act axe has fallen on a number of people innocently moving goods across US borders. Any piece of plant, mineral or animal has to have papered ownership with it. I maybe be going off topic but please look at the Lacey regulations before personally carrying anything over the US/Canada border. Postage would be cheaper than a fine.

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

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poopiekat

4225 posts in 3197 days


#15 posted 11-30-2013 07:20 PM

JustJoe: Indeed, having the advantage of skipping across the border is a great way to avoid the fees. Ebay tends to figure out where you are, though. A Canadian who registers as a US resident could probably get away with this! In fact, there are a few businesses on either side of the border, who will act as proxy, and receive your purchases at their address, for you to pick up later, OR, ship for you to your customer.

Dan’Um: You’re quite right, it looks like the Global Shipping Program hasn’t discovered Asia yet. I’m guessing it will happen, though. There would have to be a network of private carriers to make it work. That infrastructure is already in place in North America and Europe, I’m guessing not in the Far East…
By all means, shop where you’re not going to get gouged by third party pirates!!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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