Thursday, June 23, 2011

eBay and International Sale (Was United States Postal Service Blip)

Frequent PhillyCollector readers might recall my investigation of a package sent overseas. I had to find out if the item had left the U.S. so I had to go to the post office branch I used. The postal worker there sent me to our main post office.

Visit to the Main Post Office (30th and Chestnut Streets)

I spoke with a United States postal service supervisor. He informed me that no package takes a month to leave the U.S. If there were a problem with the mailing address or if the postage were insufficient, the package would return to me, the shipper. I do not have the package. I did not receive it back so it must be in Germany. The U.S. postal service cannot track the path of packages outside the U.S.

I informed the buyer of this statement. She responded that only here in the U.S. can the item be checked. There is no similar system in Germany seems to be the gist of her response.

So I now seek information about Customs in Germany. Is there a central location?

The problem is that the order went through eBay. The buyer has a time limit on when she can get her money back from PayPal. I have to check my "rights," as well. This being eBay 2011, I doubt I have any. But I will check and write again.

To be continued ....


Frannie said...

Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble locating where the package is.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Even though I do it cautiously, I consider it a risk to sell to international customers.

Good luck in this situation.


Alison in CA said...

Do you still have the customs number? I called the 800 number for the us postal service, and they were able to open a claim with a foreign post office for me. You might give that a try!

Good luck--those things are so nerve-wracking!

D7ana said...

Frannie, BDE, and Alison, thanks for your empathy and for your best wishes.

Alison, I do have the customs number; I might call the 800 postal number. (Will see if the collector has received the outfit first. I am hoping that my luck will hold or return.) The eBay time constraints are a good part of the strain.

Dollz4Moi said...

I had an issue with an item I sent to France. I had proof that I sent the item but since it wasn't sent w a traceable shipping method I had a charge-back on my PayPal.
Through no fault on my part I sent the package airmail but it was shipped the slow route.

My buyer paid again once they received the package. They also apologized it took a couple of months but it arrived. I hope you have the same result

D7ana said...

Thanks for sharing, Dollz4moi. Sigh, the wait for clearance and confirmation that stinks. Eh well, guess we all hit bumps in the road at times ;-}

AilanthusAltissima said...

I hope this situation has worked out in your favor. You have my sympathy for any ebay transaction. I stopped selling there years ago when they started making all of the crazy changes. Even back then I avoided selling internationally - packages can take a long time and the few international buyers that I had, knew it would take longer yet were still impatient.

I have seen complaints about German customs on sites around the internet. Apparently packages do go missing a lot.

D7ana said...

Thanks, Kim. I've shipped once or twice to Germany years ago and had no problem. Shipped to Slovakia, Japan, Italy, Great Britain, the Philippines, Russia, etc. No problems. Well, once there was a delay, but then the package came through. This is the first time an international shipment did not reach its destination.

I'm overdue the follow-up post, but I'll give my Comment readers the short story: I've agreed to give the buyer a full refund. eBay has a time limit by which the buyer cannot get a refund. Neither the U.S.P.S. nor the U.S. customs office can help track a package that was not registered.