How to NOT pay fees on international postage

By Chris Dawson July 31, 2013 - 3:17 pm

Cross Border TradeWe’d like to address a complaint by many sellers that they’re going to incur disproportionately high final value fees on International Postage.

Did you know that you don’t have to?

Passive cross border trade selling with final value fees on postage

Passive cross border trade is where you list your products directly on eBay UK and make them available to sellers around the world by specifying postage to different countries.

When a buyer makes a purchase, under the new fee structure you’ll be paying final value fees based on the entire payment including the international postage option that they select.

Active cross border trade selling with no final value fees on postage

If you list directly on any site other than your registered site, which for many readers will be eBay UK, then you’ll pay final value fees according to the fee schedule for the site you list on. eBay UK and are the only two sites we’re aware of that currently charge fees on the postage element of sales.

That means if you list direct on eBay Australia and ship a package to Australia you’ll pay Australian final value fees which don’t include fees on postage. If however you list on eBay UK and an Australian purchases from you then you will pay final value fees on postage.

Avoiding fees on International Postage

If you only sell the odd item overseas this might not apply to you. However if you want to grow your cross border trade (and let’s face it why wouldn’t you?), then take a look at the eBay Featured and Anchor shop cross border trade insertion fees.

We’re not going to run through the fees again, but basically you can list on multiple eBay sites either for free with an Anchor shop, or for free or very reduced fees with a Featured eBay shop.

Why pay eBay fees on your international postal costs by selling internationally from eBay UK, when you can get free (or very low cost) insertion fees, much greater visibility in the countries you wish to target and grow your international sales all at the same time? Oh and only pay fees on the final sale price, not on the postage element of your international sales.

  • Mark Townsend
    4 years ago

    I use eBay’s Selling Manager Pro but that provides Pro features only for listings on the home site ( in my case).

    With the changes you have been highlighting, and a clear eBay preference for listing directly with the different country sites, can I manage that process from within Pro or do I need to move on to some other selling tool?

    Any advice?

    Best Wishes

    Mark Townsend

    • Gerry007
      4 years ago

      If you sign in on any other site, I think you will find selling manager Pro will not be there for your use.

      I might be wrong, but try signing in on other sites first & see …..

    • Mark Townsend
      4 years ago

      This is my point.

      I use Selling Manager Pro (SMP) on the UK site but it is country specific so I cannot use my UK SMP subscription on other sites.

      If I try to list on other country sites as eBay suggests, I cannot run them all from one place so I am asking how are seller supposed to manage listing started on all the different country sites without taking a SMP subscription is every country?

    • 4 years ago

      In my opinion you would want some form of channel management software or it would get fearsomely complicated.

      Tamebay have a ton of suggestions on for channel management on the Tamebay Guide.

      Also if you can get on eBay’s International Growth Programme mentioned in the seller release they promise “A service to help you synchronise your stock quantities across multiple sites”. You can apply on eBay to join the International Growth Programme.

  • Jimbo
    4 years ago

    But what will you lose in currency conversion? + you will need to have some kind of external stock allocation solution (is there any good stand alone products out there for this?).

  • JD
    4 years ago

    So eBay are significantly distorting International Trade?

    I’ll list all my ‘one-offs’ on eBay France with International Postage and pay no fees on Postage?


    Being jerked around by eBay every year is too much.

  • Lynne
    4 years ago

    I sell a lot to Australia among other countries, as an example 12 photo frames £150.00 postage to Australia £32.00 This all looks complicated to little old me do you suggest I log in to Aus Ebay and list directly on there? to avoid the fees on the postage.
    Any help appreciated x

    • 4 years ago

      I would suggest picking your top selling products and experiment with listing them on eBay Australia. The visibility will be much higher and you’ll soon find out if it works for you or not

  • Alison
    4 years ago

    I’m with Lynne, we sell all over the world, but (for some unknown reason), particularly well in Italy and Oz.

    How many ebay sites will we have to list on?

    This is extortion on ebay’s part, why do they think they’re entitled to fees on postage when they’re fully aware we’ve just been ripped off with Royal Mail, and will again when it’s privatised.

  • Lynne
    4 years ago

    Thanks Chris I will give it a try later and see if I can get my head around it, I suppose I will need to convert GBP to Aus Dollars to list on there?.
    Alison I think we might have a lot of work to do in August, I find the fees on postage a disgrace. We will need to list on each countries site to avoid the extra cost on fees , nightmare!

    • Lynne
      4 years ago

      Feeling like a total numpty trying to list on Aus Ebay and it only has an Australian post selection? I’ve converted the GBP to Aus dollars for the item but I am stumped at the postage part. What am I doing wrong?
      Help appreciated please

    • JD
      4 years ago

      And this just starts the need to ‘learn’ the idiosyncracies for each site that you list on.

      I do speak a little French but apart from that it is just Babelfish.

      Bearing in mind that I sometimes struggle with the issues raised by listing on the home (UK) site what chance have I got for all the others?

      Up to now I have done pretty OK listing only on the UK site (last month 75% of sales were International) but I fear that some of this will be switched down by eBay going forward.

    • 4 years ago

      Just select “Standard postage from outside AU” under “Services from outside Australia” (you may need to select “See more services” from the bottom of the list to make this option visible)

  • dan
    4 years ago

    i have just logged into mine today, and have been given a few thousand allowance, so have used them in the last few hours, so do you think this is because of the changes, or becuase ive been maxing out my allowances for the past couple of months by around the 10th of that month?

    also i list on aus ebay, and have just selected express postage service (as this is what i offer in UK) so its comparable.

    aus ebay, just think your sending from aus so have different options to the uk’s (first class, etc)

  • Imogen
    4 years ago

    Can I ask if Tamebay is now an official ebay mouthpiece?

    Most of this article seems to be tame indeed – just a straight acceptance of the policy with no analysis of what it means for sellers.

    Fees on international and premium postage is a disaster – and it is not going to see me listing on other sites to win the bonuses of the playgamers who thought this up.

    There is more analysis of the damage this will do on ebay’s own discussion boards.

    I came here, actually, to object to the fact that the initial leak left a lot of people assuming the fee would be on first postage, as on Com. Can you explain how that assumption was made? Because many people now assume it to be the case.

    Further, can you act like a journalist for once and actually do a critical assessment of this stupid policy?

    What we are being asked to do is split our stock and put up a listing on another site – so that some manager in ebay can hit a target that some other manager invented.

    I became self-employed to avoid this nonsense. I list on ebay. That is it. If it isn’t worth doing – then I don’t list on ebay.

    End of story.

    • 4 years ago

      We’re not owned or affiliated to eBay and we don’t influence eBay changes. eBay also don’t control Tamebay editorial in any way shape or form.

      However just for you here’s our critcal assessment…

      If you carry on listing with International Shipping offered from your UK listings and ignore the fact that eBay have given a ton of free International listings and a load of help to start listing direct onto international sites and (I note your next irrelevant comment about adverts) eBay are offering free channel management software to help you list on multiple eBay sites, then you’re screwed financially

      I can’t explain how any assumptions were made as I didn’t assume anything – all I can do is quote the old line that to AssUMe is making an Ass out of U and Me.

      As always you’re free not to read Tamebay – our tips and information are very much optional.

    • Jimbo
      4 years ago

      What is the free channel management software? Could you post a link please?

    • 4 years ago

      Hey Jimbo, sorry I don’t know which software is available, but for participants of the International Growth Programme it says “A service to help you synchronise your stock quantities across multiple sites” is included (See the “Support for creating your international listings” section of the seller release).

    • Jimbo
      4 years ago

      Hi Chris
      I have registered for the “International Growth Programme” but have to say that I am rather sceptical at this point. I would be surprised if anything materializes.

      At the moment I sell an amazon uk, de & fr. All stock is centrally managed and amazon translated 100 listings for both fr and de for me.

    • 4 years ago

      Isn’t Webinterpret devoted to this very thing? Plus they’ll translate your listings.

  • Imogen
    4 years ago

    Oh look – and advert for channel advisor right next to your article.

    Now – call me Mrs Cynical. 😐

  • Multi Channel Baby
    4 years ago

    “I became self-employed to avoid this nonsense. I list on ebay”

    Sorry I nearly fell of my chair when I read this. Well that is rather stupid in the first place. Why would you put all your eggs in one basket and play by someone else’s rules (eBay’s). If you don’t like it then please go quietly and stop moaning.

    I am sick of people complaining about eBay’s policies. Look, they do not care about you. They are a company who aim to make a profit and they will do things that are in their best financial interest. If you don’t like it go or do something to make it work for you.

    That’s what being is business is all about. Adapting. If some of you spent the same amount of time improving your business as opposed to complaining and moaning maybe you might actually get somewhere.

    I must say before I go, that the following comment is bang out of order.

    “Further, can you act like a journalist for once and actually do a critical assessment of this stupid policy?”

    Why the hell should Chris have to spell it out for you. This may sound harsh but if your too stupid to decipher the policy updates then maybe the world of business is not for you.


  • jay
    4 years ago

    Wouldnt all this be circumvention of ebay fees and result in you getting banned?

    • 4 years ago

      Nah – you’d still be paying eBay fees and it’s what eBay want you to do 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    Was anybody aware of PayPal cross border fee’s on top of ebay charging FVF on int’ postage etc?

    Was going crazy this morning looking at a PayPal transaction and the fee didn’t add up, after much head scratching I phoned PayPal and was directed to the UA, the extra fee schedule is below: (this gets added to your %) So anyone still paying 3.4% + £0.20 ends up paying 4.9% + £0.20 if the buyer happens to be in say Australia, this is for ANY transaction passive or active)

    Northern Europe* 0.4%
    Europe I/ US/ Canada** 0.5%
    Europe II*** 1.0%
    Rest of World 1.5%

    Crafty buggers!

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