Italian Iron Classics, LLC Shipping Strategies & Ebay Shipping Limitations

Posted by Scot Wilson on

Thank you all who helped make this the biggest production month ever!!. Happy to be sending Vintage and Modern Italian Motorcycle bits throughout the world!! It has been a real joy and I appreciate being able to help out with that illusive spare part for your project!! Looking at my activity, over 68% of my sales are going overseas. 

As such, the purpose of this Blog is to discuss shipping. I am listing new items as fast as possible but I am a small shop and trying to balance bike builds, bike sales and parts sales simultaneously. Most of my day seems to be packing and shipping as then preparing and listing new bits for sale. 

As stated previously and on both my website and my Ebay store, I shop the best rates and share my discounts with you and offer 3 different options that best fulfill your delivery goals. I typically run rates with DHL, FedEx and USPS. It is interesting how rates vary based upon destination country. Shipping is NOT a "profit source" for Italian Iron Classics, LLC. Further, I list a notice on my Ebay listings asking shoppers to ignore Ebay's shipping quoter as I believe that it IS a big profit center for Ebay.

However, since I have placed my statement about offering my discounted shipping options, I have been able to prove my claim that I can get a customer the best rates. Perhaps we are limited here in the US, but DHL and FedEx are not listed International Shipping options that I find available through Ebay. I have asked Ebay why that is and am told that DHL and FedEx do not ship to enough locations worldwide. Very frankly, I have not found that to be the case.

There have been some situations when a customer concluded their purchase or "checked out" before contacting me and paid exorbitant rates through UPS Saver. I was able to ship for a fraction of that amount to Australia for example and refunded the balance to the customer. The reason that I do this is 1) I do not like my customers or myself getting ripped-off through excessive shipping fees and 2) as a US Ebay seller, I must pay the 10% Ebay fee on the purchase price of the item AND the shipping costs! I find Ebay's tactics unconscionable but they are a significant marketplace that I cannot ignore as I build up my web presence. 

Another reason that I discourage potential customers to avoid relying on the Ebay Shipping Quoter is that according to Ebay their systems have been hacked. I have had several customers complain about shipping rates changing when they checked-out and they were not happy about it. It angers me as well and especially when I am at my daughter's birthday party and a customer is sending me an angry e-mail asking why I raised the shipping rates on them!!

This experience has not built Ebay customer confidence but what has built customer confidence is my calling Ebay to get the matters fixed. No system or human being is perfect, however, I recommend to minimize stress that you contact me before you "check-out" with your purchase and let's confirm that you are getting the best shipping price as well in addition to the best price on your item. Let's prevent a problem first before "systems" can make it one. It is our hope that you are excited to find that illusive part and we wish that the remainder of the process to be hassle-free so that you can maintain that excitement.

Customs Duties and VAT are also considerations when items are purchased by those who live abroad. The reason that I often recommend using a carrier like DHL or FedEx, Insurance is not as critical due to the reliability of the carrier. Since most Customs Departments charge fees based upon valuation or Insurance Value, those Fees are a part of the shipping "puzzle" in terms of managing cost. With data you can determine whether to use a cheap carrier with full insurance or a more expensive carrier but with less insurance. I would recommend that when you purchase that you pull out your calculator and run the numbers to see what makes mathematical sense. I can help you with that. This is one of the reasons that I offer 3 good options.


I have shipped containers and crates of bits as well as vintage motorcycles for almost 30 years. Despite the changes in customs regulations, there are still cost-effective methods to ship both large and small items internationally and successfully. I do have contacts in the International Freight Forwarding business and am happy to aide your search to cost-effective shipping whether that be by Air, Ground or Sea. 

Please continue to share your shipping questions and parts inquiries as we are focused on building a Win:Win business experience. 

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