Lynn Dralle learned her lesson the hard way. From now on, the eBay PowerSeller and author plans to insure everything she ships overseas that's worth more than $20.
Recently, Dralle sent a new product from a manufacturer to a repeat buyer in Thailand at a cost of $270 for shipping alone. Then she got the call every seller dreads: Her buyer never received the package.
"Not only did I have to replace the item, I had to reship it," says Dralle, aka The Queen of Auctions. The transaction cost Dralle not only the shipping costs, but also the value of the product as well. She won't make that mistake again.
Dralle plans to buy insurance from Auctiva. The company's policies provide the same level of trust between sellers and buyers as ordinary postal insurance, but they do it without many of the headaches that come along with obtaining coverage and filing claims. Plans are cheaper and easier to use than others, she notes.
"I told my assistant, 'If we ship anything over $20, go into Auctiva and get insurance,'" she says.
Auctiva Insurance covers damaged or lost items and can be purchased for any goods listed on eBay.com, eBay Canada and eBay Motors, including eBay Motors Parts and Accessories. It's the same as coverage others provide, but because Auctiva buys insurance policies in bulk, sellers pay less. In fact, coverage up to $50 costs $1.45 with Auctiva versus $1.70 with the United States Postal Service. That difference increases to $1.75 for items worth between $500 and $600. The difference may not seem like much, but it can add up for sellers who do lot of business.
For Dralle, though, it's all about international shipping. "We have too many international shipments go missing because once they leave the country, it's out of our hands," she explains. "It's in the hands of another country's postal service."
Auctiva's insurance covers international shipments up to $2,500 and shipments through all major carriers, which Dralle finds reassuring. Plus, Auctiva doesn't show an item's value on the box the way post office doeswhich can save buyers having to pay duties and could be a deciding factor in sales.
Insurance made simple
Claim forms are readily available within Auctiva and the seller is reimbursed when a claim is processed
But there other benefits to Auctiva's insurance policies. The process to buy insurance saves users time, says Michael Davies, Auctiva's customer support manager. When Auctiva users set their global auto-purchase rules, policies are automatically generated for every transaction, or just those that meet a specified price threshold. That means sellers can spend more time listing items and less time buying coverage manually. (Policies through Auctiva may also be purchased manually, on a case-by-case basis).
But if a seller decides not to offer Auctiva's insurance, disabling coverage isn't hard. Sellers can simply go into the My Account tab, click the insurance link, uncheck "Use Auctiva Shipping Insurance" and click save. It's that simple.
Those Auctiva users who don't set their auto-purchase rules can still reap the benefits of Auctiva Insurance. Sellers may purchase insurance up to 72 hours after a sale by going into the Sales tab on their Auctiva account, clicking the Transactions link, then clicking the Add Insurance link on the item they want covered. Clicking the blue Purchase Insurance button completes the action.
Even reporting a claim is fairly simple. No trudging to the post office, filling out form after form and waiting for weeks. If an item is lost or damaged, users simply to go to Auctiva's Web site, fill out a couple of online forms and instantaneously file a claim with the company's insurance provider, U-PIC.
"If you ever need to file a claim on a lost or damaged item, you can do so without having to go farther than your mailbox," Davies notes. "The claim filing instructions and forms are readily available within your Auctiva account and you (the seller) are reimbursed when a claim is processed, so you can decide whether to reimburse your buyers upfront or wait for the check to arrive before reimbursing your buyer."
Dralle has experience with this, too. An item she bought on eBay once arrived at her door with three broken pieces. Luckily, the seller had purchased insurance through Auctiva, and in a few weeks, Dralle was compensated.
The insurance is really valuable, she says.
"It's definitely a time saver," she notes. "I know it works. It's so easy and it's cheap."
For more information, check out the section about Auctiva Insurance on Auctiva's Frequently Asked Questions page, which can be found by clicking the Help link on the homepage.
This article has been updated to remove references to third-party checkout, which eBay no longer supports.