Japan Home Centre rocks big time!

Coming from my mind-boggling and on-going issue with an Ebay dispute, I was quite hesitant to continue selling internationally. However, I have recently acquired a couple of interesting items of clothing, which don’t usually tickle the interest of local buyers.

No other choice but to continue selling  internationally and not let the traumatizing experience burn me forever. But in order to do that, I have to make sure that I have to be more precise with the weight measurement of all the items because the last time I’ve sent a batch of items, I had to shell out a couple of pesos because I underestimated the cost of shipping vis-à-vis the item’s weight.

Japan Home Centre - Farmers Plaza, Cubao

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Ebay headache: Overseas buyer claiming “Item Not Received”

The summer heat is no joke and I’m most happy with the cotton shirts I have in my closet. I could have acquired more before and I’m left circulating the same shirt and polo shirt over and over again. That’s why I was extremely happy when I got this white shirt from Mon’s grandma and Laylay on my birthday last week. I still have to use the clothing allowance we have in the office and when I get extra money, I’ll spend all of them on cotton T-shirts and polo shirts — one in every color. =D

Oxygen shirt, brick pants, Yves Saint Laurent white patent sneakers and Prada nylon and saffiano messenger

Anyway, at the back of my mind, I had a feeling that something seriously bad will happen with one of the items I have sent overseas earlier this month via Registered Mail of PhilPost. One buyer (of a bag) has filed an “Item Not Received” case against me on Ebay 12 days after I have sent her item in April 3. That was not even two weeks since I have sent it and she was pretty much informed of the transit time, as indicated in the auction, as well as my (one-way) correspondences with her uopn sending the item. It mentions that shipping might take “more or less two weeks”, so I was baffled on how quick she was to jump the gun in opening a dispute.

An Ebay 'Item Not Received' case

The tracking in PhilPost’s website was faulty and delayed, and I was excpecting that tracking information will get updated once the item reaches U.S. soil and it may take some time. I have also informed the buyer about this and I’m quite exasperated of her impatience. =/ I know the item will eventually arrive in her homestate and I did not know what will happen to my bag and money once she gets her refund. And of course, Ebay ruled in her favor and it was no surprise that the funds were taken out of my PayPal account. The reason: I allegedly did not provide a valid tracking information and there was no movement in tracking. I was gobsmacked.

There you are, the tracking number from PhilPost finally working  in USPS' website

I have half-heartedly accepted the outcome as selling internationally on Ebay.com is always a great risk. I also not made adequate research on every possible scenario that might happen, nor asked around about insuring the item in case it gets lost. Very expensive lesson, especially I had to take the shipping fee out of my own pocket because my funds are normally held for 21 days because of inadequate selling history. I have lamented this issue over a forum and was then happy to receive words of encouragement from some of the members. At their urging/curiosity, I followed up in the tracking and was happy to see that there was already movement in the tracking. It took me some time to process what was happening and thought of the best way to respond to this development. I contacted Ebay, explained the situation and hoped they would reverse the decision and give my funds back. Ugh.

Hear ye! Hear ye!

It has been almost a month since I bought something for myself from Ebay. That was quite an achievement because I usually purchase several items for personal usage within a 30-day period. I’ve been focusing lately on Ebay selling and it was taking a lot of my time. So, as a gift for my birthday next week, I waged a bidding war for a peculiar jacket — the Gazette newspaper print one! Of course, the action begins in the last 10 seconds and the price have hiked up in those last moments. LOL I eventually won and I am very excited to receive the item on Friday!

John Galliano Gazette Newspaper Print Hoodie Jacket

(Photo from the Ebay seller).

I know Mon will particularly love this design because he is a BIG FAN of the KPop group, B2ST. He was once happy to see another shirt with an interesting print from Galliano in my closet because he knew that most of the members of his favorite group favor the design. I promised him that we could use the jacket together, and in fact, I think it would most probably spending more time with him. =D

Hyunseung from B2ST with a John Galliano Gazette newspaper print hoodie jacket

(Photo from coordinuna.com)

On a different note, I have tried to transfer some of my PayPal funds to a bank account because all the shipping I have done last Monday and today has greatly affected my finances. =/ The 21 day period is definitely a pain to deal with and I cannot wait to finally have my funds become available. I don’t have a credit card (I’m better off not having one) so it was Mon’s PayPal account and since we are doing this business together, I just think of it as an extension of our partnership. We had to open a PayPal account back in 2011 because the guesthouse we stayed in Seoul required a deposit and it they only accept payment via PayPal.

It was my first time attempting to transfer funds to a bank account and the process of doing so was not really that difficult. From the Home page, I click the “Withdraw” link, which redirected me to the “Add a bank account in the Philippines” page:

Add a  bank account in the Philippines - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

I have searched online and found a list of bank codes in the Philippines, listed on a page from Ebay.ph. I had to manually input the Bank name “BANK OF THE PHIL ISLANDS (BPI)”, and honestly, I was worried whether there should be an extra (BPI) in the end. I then added the bank code “010040018” indicated in the list, as well as entering the BPI account number twice.

Review your bank account information - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

After pressing “Continue”, I was led next to the “Review your bank account information”, where I was informed of the return fee, in case of wrong information (e.g. incorrect account number, names not matching). I think this was a one time process/s because it was sort of enrolling this bank account to be the default destination of PayPal funds when withdrawing.

Withdraw funds to your bank account - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

After pressing “Save” comes the part where I had to indicate what amount the amount of money I wish to send to the bank account. The dropdown in “From this balance” indicates the USD and Php balances. I only have Php 100 in my PayPal account, which was the fee credited back during the one-time verification.

Review your withdrawal - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

Then comes a review of the withdrawal, where I had to check and double-check the information from first line to last. And another thing, since I will be transferring less than Php 7,000, there will be a Php 50.00 charge from the account. Ugh, it made me hate the 21 day process more. =/

Your withdrawal is being processed

All I can do now is wait for two to four business days for the transfer to happen. I am crossing my fingers that it would take just the minimum two days because it will already be Thursday tomorrow. I am still stressing out and nitpicking with Mon’s name because I’m not too sure if he had added a dash (-) on his given name when he registered for that bank account. LOL PayPal, don’t fail me please.

A day in the post office

Last Friday, I was able to sell several items on Ebay.com. But even if I still have to wait 21 days for my PayPal funds to clear, I am obliged to ship them immediately because providing a working tracking information MIGHT help to increase the chances of getting my funds quicker. I haven’t been inside the post office in about two years and I can no longer remember the fees I have paid. So before going to Makati Central Post Office, I reminded myself to make a lot of mental notes for future forays into their premises. LOL

Makati Central Post Office under the sweltering summer heat

Words cannot capture how hot the weather was. Summer is definitely in full swing but it did not deter us from walking all the way to the post office in the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Buendia Avenue. I had everything inside my bag: shipping labels, a packaging tape, a pair of scissors, and the items wrapped in their respective bubble wraps. It took me a while to realize that I have forgotten one important item: a fan. The post office was not air-conditioned and it was definite that I will be sweating a lot. LOL

e-Post Shop in Makati Central Post Office, where boxes and packets are beong sold

Upon entering, we immediately purchased corrugated boxed from the e-Post Shop, where they sell different nox sizes. As I only need boxes enough for a single garment, I opted for the number 4, which was sold at Php 20 each. I had no idea what time the post office closes, whether it was 5PM or 6PM but we arrived around 4:30 and we immediately rushed weighing and prepping the boxes. The items must be fitted snugly inside the box before sealing with packaging tapes, so we still had to adjust the size by cutting the four corners. (The lady manning the shop was very kind and gracious, as she helped us in preparing the packages).

Now, the tricky part was the shipping fee. I charged my buyers (who are all from USA and Western Europe) a flat rate of US$ 20 or Php 780 fee. I originally intended to send these via International Express Mail Service (IEMS), but I was not too keen with the prices seen on PhilPost’s website. Shipping a 500-gram item to the United States would have cost me Php 1,409! That was twice the shipping fee I have charged the buyer. LOL But wait, France was more expensive at thrice the fee at Php 1,980!

PhilPost's Registered Mail Rates implemented since June 16, 2010

I scrapped the IEMS and opted for the Registered Mail because it still fell under the average of two weeks shipping period I have promised the buyers. However, I just found out that  the rate for items weighing 251 grams to 500 grams weigh was Php 885, meaning I had to add money from my own pocket because I had undercharged the buyers (take note that it was for the shipping alone, not also the handling which includes shipping materials, etc). Now, once the total weight (i.e. the item + bubble wrap + felt cloth container + packaging tape + corrugated box) reaches 501 gram (yes, even a single gram excess in their digital La Poste weighing scales), the cost of shipping automatically doubles from Php 885 to Php 1,770. In two out of four items, I had to remove either the freebie sweets I have included or something as light as the felt cloth container because I reached 508 grams. Removing the latter brought me back Php 885 mark, once the scale showed 498 grams.

I was made to fill up a form, one for each package containing important information about the sender, buyer and the item. I also then paid a total of Php 3,540 for the four items and was thinking of my held up PayPal funds while getting the money from my wallet. =/ She then attached the forms and some weird looking long stamps on top of each package and then stamped them with the date.

Some form I had to fill up for the Registered Mail parcel

After this, I was sent to the next counter, where the lady inspected and began attaching the stickers with tracking code to each items. She also issued a registry receipt, containing the same tracking information.

Packages with tracking code stickers waiting to be sent - PhilPost Makati Central Post Office

Registry receipts issued, containing the tracking number and bar code

 

I have learned a lot from everything that happened to me in the post office earlier. From glaring realities (e.g. my net profit for one of the items was just around Php 20! It was not even a dollar!) to realizations preparations on shipping internationally. I will definitely continue to sell on Ebay.com, but armed with these newly-acquired information, I hope it will help me strategize better for future sales.