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When I create a listing on my local (German) Ebay, I'm given the option to make it available to international buyers. But to do that, I have to provide shipping costs for each country I want to make it available in.

Now, I'm not sure if my listing is actually really only limited to Germany if I don't supply these shipping costs, but I'm assuming that it is.

Determining shipping costs for every single country in the world and putting that into the form would be quite an extensive undertaking. Ebay also offers me to set a price for shipping within the EU and worldwide, but I can't give any fixed prices for these whole regions because the company I want to use for shipping does not provide prices for such a large region (only specific countries).

So how can I make my auction available to the largest possible audience?

  • eBay US figures out the shipping charges automatically for every country, if you ask it to do so. So maybe this just isn't implemented for DE yet. – Michael Hampton Dec 2 '13 at 8:18
  • @MichaelHampton: Doesn't that assume you are using some standard carrier? / I just had a look at some international sellers (from the UK) and they do appear to list the details of every country they ship to, some only have a handful, some have many. And if the country is not on the list they do not appear to ship to that country, but still do ship internationally. This would seem to be something which has changed in recent times. I have sold items "worldwide" in the past (a few years ago) and simply specified a single worldwide cost. – MrWhite Dec 2 '13 at 8:29
  • Yes, they assume you are using UPS, FedEx or US Postal Service (you choose among these). – Michael Hampton Dec 2 '13 at 8:33
  • I also chose the carrier (and their service) when choosing a shipping option, but the price isn't determined automatically. – Der Hochstapler Dec 2 '13 at 8:59
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I often search individual ebay sites in Europe; .fr,.es,.de,.nl just for the fact that not all sellers mark their item with worldwide shipping, even if the shipping costs are not listed. Sometimes I still forget to choose the "Ship to option", which needs to be selected from the search page in order to see items that are listed as shipping within a specific country.

If the "Europe" -option is selected within ebay.co.uk for example, you still get listings from other European countries. When postage isn't listed "Postage not specified" is posted on the search page instead.

Just be aware I guestimate that most people don't understand to ask for shipping costs. Of course the more valuable or rare the item, the more likely it is for people interested in the item to ask about its shipping costs. In over 50% of the ebay purchases there has been no shipping costs listed, but I have asked them beforehand.


side note: eBay probably introduced Global Shipping Program to UK especially because they were trying to get a wider audience for people normally only selling to UK. While GSP is OK when ordering from the US to pay taxes to eBay directly, from the UK it usually just doubles-to-tenfolds shipping costs and disables combined shipping when bidding for multiple items from one seller.

It is great for the seller protection-wise, but people who know to ask for shipping costs beforehand along with the previously strong GBP it just makes buying from UK auctions enabled with GSP totally worthless. This is one of the specific reasons why I started searching and asking more people in ebay.de for shipping costs.

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