Hi,  Rainer,

Global Mail is Ebay's in-house export shipping service (which I don't use as
it limits the countries that can be serviced.)  

Packages can be sent from the First Class International up to 4 lbs.
After that Priority Mail is the least expensive choice.  

I understand that, for Germany, customs is imposed if the value is over $
30.00 or thereabouts (Euro/dollar fluctuations made this an imprecise

This U.S. dealer is unwilling to put his postal privileges at risk by having
one selling price and another declared value.  Neither Ebay nor Amazon
permit this as a matter of policy and fooling around with the declared value
can knot up the computerized mailing and payment process.  Same holds for, which I use for my Amazon shipping.  

The risk of getting  thrown of Ebay and/or Amazon is simply not worth it.  

It does happen.  In recent years I bought inventory from dealers whose
selling accounts had been cancelled.

I'm not sure if International First Class is traceable. If so, it is
automated as part of the programs that underlie Ebay and Amazon shipping.  I
know it is not insurable.

In one recent case, I shipped 2 boxes to the same customer to keep the
weight to under 4 lbs each.  

Steve Smolian

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dr Rainer E. Lotz
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] The Nuisance of USPS International Priority Mail

Sending USPS International Priority to overseas customers is an enormous

While letter post will be delivered straight away, traceable packets must go
through customs, where both import duties and value added tax will be

One would have to pick up the packet at the customs house, which in my case
means travelling up to an hour by car during a working day, then join a long

The alternative is to email customs the invoice, and ebay numbers (since for
some inexplicable reason American sellers tend to never attach the invoice
on the OUTSIDE of the packet, as required).

My local customs office (in western Germany) then sends everything by mail
to a central customs office some 600 km away (at the far end of eastern
Germany), where it will be processed further. This normally requires another
fortnight (!) until the goods finally arrive at my home
-- with a customs invoice which has to be paid cash to the mailman...

On top of that, USPS Priority Mail charges are about double the charges for
regular uninsured letter airmail. And the advantage of airmail is brought ad
absurdum by this bureaucratic delay.

I therefore always URGE American sellers to send items as letters, not
packets, and adjust the invoices accordingly. I am prepared to bear the risk
of not being able to track the item (an alternative would be to send by
registered mail).

I just won two items from the same seller. I received what might be an
automatically generated invoice, charging the postage twice, and stipulating
USPS international priority mail.

I then contacted the seller:

"Could you please check the charges for combined shipping?

I prefer regular airmail, NOT USPS Priority Mail, because a packet will
always have to pass customs while letter post is unproblematic, and

The seller answered:

"Here is the message I receive from eBay when I try to invoice your
transactions - "you can't send invoice for this order .

The item(s) will ship using the Global Shipping Program. As part of the
program, buyer directly pays international shipping and import charges to
the third-party shipping provider. The buyer will still be able to complete
checkout even if you don't send an invoice."

It sounds like you will be hearing from the Third Party Shipper employed by
eBay as to the shipping charges owed. Hopefully you will be able to work it
out with them. Sorry I can't be of any additional help. Thank you for

This sounds rather strange to me, actually, this never happened to me
before. Does any one have an explanation? What can I do?

Dr. Rainer E. Lotz
Rotdornweg 81
53177 Bonn (Germany)

Tel: 0049-228-352808
Fax: 0049-228-365142