Nervous about shipping to eBay buyer - any advice?

I just sold a (used) media player to an eBay buyer for £114. The buyer messaged me to ask me to mark the package as being worth less than $75 so that they don't have to pay duty. There was also a slight irregularity in the comms from eBay regarding the payment - the item is showing as having been paid for in my eBay seller dashboard, but I didn't get the usual email to notify me when the payment arrived.
The buyer is based in Israel, and has only been an eBay member for just over a month. Having had one or two bad experiences with eBay buyers over the last couple of years, I don't have a great feeling about this buyer. I'm also conscious of the fact that (from personal experience) buyers get ALOT more protection than selllers on eBay.

Any advice on what I should do?
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  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
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    find another buyer
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,880
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    Cancel the sale, say the item is damaged and no longer available, and then sell on fb marketplace....
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,852
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    edited 31 October 2022 at 7:45AM
    Firstly, it is up to you as the seller to mark the customs declaration honestly, never make a fraudulent statement to HMRC.

    Secondly, if you are nervous about overseas buyers why do you allow them to buy? Due to issues of slow deliveries and problems with some buyers reluctant to pay all the import expenses I no longer ship directly overseas, I only use the GBS (Global shipping) via ebay as they take care of it all.

    Deciding whether you trust buyers is a thought to have before you list anything, not after a sale. Yes you can cancel the sale and if you choose certain options then you don't get penalised, although you do of course lose the 30p set fee plus any currency conversions. Buyer can obviously complain to ebay and report you if they think the excuse is spurious.

    A cancellation for 'problems with buyers address' might be in order since they are expecting you to make a fraudulent statement.
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  • soolin said:


    A cancellation for 'problems with buyers address' might be in order since they are expecting you to make a fraudulent statement.
    I would go with this, it's doubtful they'll leave bad feedback, if they do have a chat with eBay and point out you cancelled because the buyer wanted you to lie about the value on the customs form.
  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
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    soolin said:


    A cancellation for 'problems with buyers address' might be in order since they are expecting you to make a fraudulent statement.
    I would go with this, it's doubtful they'll leave bad feedback, if they do have a chat with eBay and point out you cancelled because the buyer wanted you to lie about the value on the customs form.
    Indeed, honesty is always the best policy and like most sites, ebay is very good and can easily determine fact from fiction.
    so cancell but call Ebay first they often answer the phone quickly.
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,852
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    soolin said:


    A cancellation for 'problems with buyers address' might be in order since they are expecting you to make a fraudulent statement.
    I would go with this, it's doubtful they'll leave bad feedback, if they do have a chat with eBay and point out you cancelled because the buyer wanted you to lie about the value on the customs form.
    Indeed, honesty is always the best policy and like most sites, ebay is very good and can easily determine fact from fiction.
    so cancell but call Ebay first they often answer the phone quickly.

    This is one instance where I wouldn't call ebay first, leave it alone unless you need to explain yourself. Just cancel and wait to see if buyer makes any move- I doubt they will.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
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    soolin said:
    soolin said:


    A cancellation for 'problems with buyers address' might be in order since they are expecting you to make a fraudulent statement.
    I would go with this, it's doubtful they'll leave bad feedback, if they do have a chat with eBay and point out you cancelled because the buyer wanted you to lie about the value on the customs form.
    Indeed, honesty is always the best policy and like most sites, ebay is very good and can easily determine fact from fiction.
    so cancell but call Ebay first they often answer the phone quickly.

    This is one instance where I wouldn't call ebay first, leave it alone unless you need to explain yourself. Just cancel and wait to see if buyer makes any move- I doubt they will.
    Personally, I would as I worry a lot and a call to Ebay would address the concern and I could move on. You do have a valid point for many but not me and possibly some others.
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,852
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    soolin said:
    soolin said:


    A cancellation for 'problems with buyers address' might be in order since they are expecting you to make a fraudulent statement.
    I would go with this, it's doubtful they'll leave bad feedback, if they do have a chat with eBay and point out you cancelled because the buyer wanted you to lie about the value on the customs form.
    Indeed, honesty is always the best policy and like most sites, ebay is very good and can easily determine fact from fiction.
    so cancell but call Ebay first they often answer the phone quickly.

    This is one instance where I wouldn't call ebay first, leave it alone unless you need to explain yourself. Just cancel and wait to see if buyer makes any move- I doubt they will.
    Personally, I would as I worry a lot and a call to Ebay would address the concern and I could move on. You do have a valid point for many but not me and possibly some others.

    Ebay CS will either just say 'fine' and not understand what OP is asking- and they won't give guarantees about anything anyway so OP would not be in a better position, or stick to the ebay rules, tell OP to email and say they cannot make a false declaration- and then they must ship regardless.

    I think calling could give more cause for concern.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • itm2
    itm2 Posts: 1,303
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    To clarify - this would be shipped under the Global Shipping Programme (not directly), and I have explained this to the buyer. I have no problem shipping overseas (I've done it lots of times), but his query raised a red flag and prompted me to check out his profile. When I saw that his account was only opened a few weeks ago, and had zero feedback, I began to feel uneasy about the transaction.
    His name on the eBay shipping details was written in Hebrew, so I needed to contact him to get an English version for UK shipping purposes. This was also a first for me, as I've shipped to countries with non-Latin alphabets before but the buyer's name has always been presented as an English equivalent. This would not have been a cause for concern in itself, but along with the other factors it didn't help.

    At this point it sounds like cancelling the sale due to item damage would be the most straightforward option,

    As a matter of interest, does anyone know if it's possible to restrict eBay bidding to buyers with a minimum account history period and feedback?
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,852
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    itm2 said:
    To clarify - this would be shipped under the Global Shipping Programme (not directly), and I have explained this to the buyer. I have no problem shipping overseas (I've done it lots of times), but his query raised a red flag and prompted me to check out his profile. When I saw that his account was only opened a few weeks ago, and had zero feedback, I began to feel uneasy about the transaction.
    His name on the eBay shipping details was written in Hebrew, so I needed to contact him to get an English version for UK shipping purposes. This was also a first for me, as I've shipped to countries with non-Latin alphabets before but the buyer's name has always been presented as an English equivalent. This would not have been a cause for concern in itself, but along with the other factors it didn't help.

    At this point it sounds like cancelling the sale due to item damage would be the most straightforward option,

    As a matter of interest, does anyone know if it's possible to restrict eBay bidding to buyers with a minimum account history period and feedback?

    In that case don't worry at all, ebay make the declaration and your label should print out the name that ebay want- and they will re label it when they receive it.

    I think you will struggle now to cancel this as the GSP makes a huge difference as ebay need to get involved- the only way to cancel would be to just refuse to send (using one of the seller at fault options) , get a seller warning placed on your account and phone ebay to get them to refund the buyer the part they have taken. I've had some wonderful names on my labels- it just prints out how ebay want them - and they really only care about the GSP code anyway.

    You cannot block new users- everyone starts somewhere, you can only block those with 5 or fewer feedback (although I haven't checked recently that that is still an option) and then only if they don't have a payment card registered with ebay.


    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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