For Seniors: How to Know Whether to Ship Your eBay Item Internationally

By Marsha Collier

Many eBay sellers are afraid to ship items internationally and list “I don’t ship overseas” on the item page. Of course, sending an item that you sell on eBay that far away may be a burden if you’re selling a car or an exercise bicycle (they don’t fit in boxes too well), but sending a package internationally can be just as easy as shipping across state lines.

When you ship internationally, you need to tell what’s inside the package. Be truthful when declaring value on customs forms. Use descriptions that customs agents can figure out without knowing eBay shorthand terms. For example, instead of declaring the contents as “MIB Barbie,” call it a “small child’s doll.” Some countries require buyers to pay special duties and taxes, depending on the item and the value. But that’s the buyer’s headache.

Wherever you send your package (especially if it’s going to a country where English is not the native language), write legibly. (Imagine getting a package from Russia and having to decipher a label written in the Cyrillic alphabet.)

One downside to international shipping: The U.S. Postal Service does not insure packages going to certain countries, so you’ll to use private shipping insurance when using the USPS to ship internationally.