Ask advice and get tips from expert vintage sellers and buyers.


Postby Corey on Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:40 am

Just wondering if any sellers block shipping to Thailand and/or Malaysia? I doubt that I am the only one that has had problems over the years -from the perpetual "Where is my item" and "Item not received", feedback extortion, low DSR's because of shipping time and cost (issues beyond a sellers control), etc.

Obviously, there are honest buyers because I have sold hundreds of items, but I have also been forced (through ebay) to give away some nice high ticket items. And it seems that within the last two years, the scammers have proliferated!

I used to ship t-shirts in a USPS flat rate priority envelope for international sales. That cost about $10.95 printed online. If the item was bid up high and went to Thailand or Malaysia, I just ate the cost for delivery confirmation (Registered Mail), about $11.

Now the price has gone up to $16.95 for the USPS International Priority Flat Rate Envelope. I didn't want to punish other countries with such high postage so I
blocked Thailand and Malaysia. USPS does not allow Registered Mail for First Class International, only Priority. So the cost is ridiculous -that is about $28 dollars for a single t-shirt just to have a tracking number. And, you can bet you would get a negative feedback for shipping costs.

How is everyone else handling these issues i.e. shipping and dealing with scammers?
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:02 pm

Re: Thailaysia

Postby timetraveltees on Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:14 am

I haven't had many problems with the folks over there aside from the non-paying bidders. Obviously knock on wood, but I haven't had any lost packages and only one person claimed they didn't receive it but they did end up getting it later. The raise in price for shipping sucked for sure, but that's not something I'm willing to eat on my end. Sucks to be the rest of the world but them's the breaks, price-wise.

But on the upside, USPS offers flat rate priority padded envelopes on their website. You can't get them at regular post offices and they don't even really know what they are when they see them. But they're much sturdier than regular flat rates, they cost the same, and you can jam more shirts into each of them. I find I can fit 5 shirts in each envelope. So I charge one flat shipping fee for up to 5 shirts which I find entices my buyers to buy multiple shirts to save on the shipping costs. On the other hand, I'm sure I'm losing some buyer interest because my shipping costs are high but what can you do.

And as far as lost packages, etc. I use ShipSurance which is offered as an eBay app called ShipSaver I believe. It's cheap and really is good for peace of mind more than anything as I've actually only had to file a claim through it once. But it costs $1 per every $100 of coverage. They insure basically everywhere in the world and don't require tracking (although will require other documentation and if you use it, it's wise to pay for the shipping online so you have verifiable records). The only downside is that they will only let you file a claim after 45 days of shipment so if you have an insistent buyer that wants their refund immediately you may have to suck it up and refund them and hope for the best after the 45 days is up that they'll accept your claim. I find that they will as long as you have all your documentation in order.

So yeah, overall, my business wouldn't be nearly where it is now without our pals over there. I find that while there's always a few rotten apples in any bunch, they're a pretty honest lot and are obviously more than enthusiastic about vintage tees. Good eggs, I say. But hopefully what works for me will help you figure out how to make it work on your end. Peace.

- Mark
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:47 pm

Re: Thailaysia

Postby Corey on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:12 am

Thanks for your response. It was very insightful, and from my last set of auctions I will definitely have to lift the ban. I turned away over 20 potential bidders on just one item. ShipSurance sounds like the way to go, as well as the padded flat rate envelopes.

Now I just have to decide whether to use Priority or not for International shipments.

Thanks again!
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:02 pm

Re: Thailaysia

Postby maxvintage on Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:21 pm

Good thread. I appreciate the response. I've been dealing with non-paying/low feedback buyers. Two people from Malaysia in the past week with 1 or 0 feedback have bought items. To cover myself, I always ship overseas with tracking. It's like $30 bucks, and unfortunately it drives away a lot of buyers and others end up not paying.

I'll have to look into ShipSurance.
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:25 pm
Location: New England

Re: Thailaysia

Postby Corey on Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:48 am

Another good point Max -the buyers with low feedback scores that never pay (especially from the two aforementioned countries).

I do not understand why this happens so much, or what purpose it serves, if any. Because of the frequency, I believe there must be some angle. Does anyone have a theory?

A good example would be a 1980s Camel Cigarette tee featuring Joe Camel. And just to make it more enticing, lets say it has some Rayon in the composition. Now, a shirt as such would probably get bid up quite early -eventually settling well over $100. But, you would probably never hear a peep out of the buyer -not even the courtesy of a response saying, "I changed my mind." So, the seller would have to open a case, and go through the motions.

The other side of this scenario, and others may disagree, is that it may have a negative impact on an item. It can devalue it. In my experience, many times over, I have had an item get bid up extremely high. And there is only a difference of $1 from the high bid to the second highest bid. So, when the high bidder fails to pay, it is almost a guarantee that a second-chance offer will not be taken. The interest and excitement is gone. It is especially frustrating when that second highest bidder is from Japan.

As a side note, I am more weary of the feedback scores in the 25-50 range. These buyers get a few numbers under their belt to look bona fide, then proceed to screw sellers over.
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:02 pm

Re: Thailaysia

Postby jinnosuke on Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:44 am

Hmm..i know you guys are frustrated with some buyers/bidders from Thai& Malaysia, but i hope you don't block all the them.. Yeah, there's a lot of joybidder out there including from my country, Malaysia but you can always check their feedbacks. I also noticed some sellers already blocking buyers from this reign, prior to lost package :(
But i hope you can consider to continue sell to us because there are many genuine vintage shirt enthusiast willing to pay top dollar for your rayon shirts.

*my triblend nike bo jackson has arrived, thanks timetraveltees..
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:35 am

Re: Thailaysia

Postby hermosavtg on Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:43 pm

Great tips Timetraveltees!

I've almost never had a problem with lost parcels to Malaysia and Thailand when I ship via flat rate Priority. All my problems shipping overseas have been to Europe, where the customs and postal offices take pleasure in opening, seizing, delaying, or extorting customers with exorbitant fees.

My one tip is to avoid the Flat Rate paper envelope, as these easily get ripped open during the handling process.

If you're selling vintage tees on ebay you'd be a fool to block malaysia and thailand. The rewards far outweigh the risks!
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Return to eBay Advice

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests