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Subject: Does this seem okay? Or a little sketchy? rss

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Bryan Thunkd
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I have a question about selling a game... if there's a better forum for this, then I apologize, but I couldn't figure out where else to post this.

Someone ordered an OOP game I have up for sale. I listed the game as shipping to the US only, but the buyer has an FPO US - Armed Forces Pacific address which would require me to fill out a customs form, and is making estimating the shipping cost more difficult, as I can't figure out how to get an online estimate. So while technically I guess it's a US address, the package will be forwarded overseas by the military.

On top of that the user has only been on BGG for six months, during which time he's never posted a single post, never traded or bought a single game.

I'm feeling a little nervous about shipping a game that's going to be going overseas given that this is somebody who has no history on BGG. Am I just being silly? Or am I right to be concerned?
 
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I've sent to military addresses before, and while they did require a customs form, they had a regular zip code, and the prices were domestic prices rather than international. The medium flat rate was regular medium flat rate prices. In fact, I think there are even cheaper boxes you can use for these addresses. Did the address have a zip code? IIRC, when I sent to Germany, the zip code started with 09xxx.
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Bryan Thunkd
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The address did have a zip code. So I guess I can get a domestic quote using that zip code, so that's fine. I'm just worried as I've had problems with every other package I've sent overseas.
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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As indigopotter noted, the zip code is all you need to get a completely accurate quote using the USPS Rate Calculator.

I just did a trade with a guy stationed in Europe and shipping him a HUGE 20lb box to the APO address provided cost... (wait for it)

$10.32

It was so cheap that I paid for extra insurance. A whole $3 for $150 more peace of mind.

Our rates to APO/FPO locations are crazy cheap. One thing the USPS definitely does is make shipping costs no obstacle to folks wanting to send stuff to those serving.

As long as he's paid for the game up front you've got nothing to worry about Bryan. Just tack on a couple of bucks of insurance if it makes you feel more at ease.
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CHAPEL
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I would be worried if paid for by paypal. They tend to favor the buyer when problems occur.

Me personally, I would see this sale as too much hassle and pass on it.
 
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Thunkd wrote:
Or am I right to be concerned?
At first sight, yes.

With a user profile like that and an OOP game of decent value I certainly wouldn't accept Paypal as a 'purchase of goods' for fear of chargebacks.

Personally (assuming the sale is of a high enough value to be worth the effort) I'd ask for payment first, then create a marketplace entry which I'd buy myself (to pay the 3% commission and avoid the threat of spurious -ve feedback.

As for AFPO addresses, unsurprising I have no clue!

A polite explanatory message will either receive acceptance (in which case s/he's probably a good guy anyway, or rejection (in any shade of possible fury) in which case your caution was wise.
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Kevin B. Smith
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You might ask him if he has an ebay account, so you could see his reputation there.
 
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Timothy D
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I would just hold unto the game since it's OOP just to make sure that you won't have issues and wait till there is someone with an account more reputable.

If it's a game that can be bought off the shelves then I would be more willing to take the risk.
 
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Zoe M
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My fiancé held an auction last month, and one of the winning bidders was someone who had just created a BGG account *that very day*. I was not particularly happy and didn't have high hopes for the outcome of that transaction.

But it was actually perfectly fine. Most people really do have good intentions.

That said, I would still take reasonable precautions in this situation.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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If you open an account at USPS.com you can fill out the forms when you pay for shipping and it's remarkably painless. You will need an accurate weight, but if you don't have a scale you can box it up and the PO will weigh it for you without you having to ship it at that moment.

Me, I trust APO/FPO people and happily ship to them. It's the least I can do for people who are serving their country. Haven't been burned yet.
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Ben R
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Paypal.com/shipnow
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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BentlyCash wrote:
Paypal.com/shipnow
Yeah, that was where I started... but the address had a PO Box so I couldn't use the UPS calculator (which actually did have the "US Armed Forces Pacific" as a "state") since it won't deliver to PO Boxes. And when I tried the USPS calculator, it didn't have a way to select the state as anything other than the standard state choices. And since I wasn't familiar enough with the military forwarding program to know that I could just put in the zip code and treat it like a standard domestic address, I didn't know what to do. This was my first time ever seeing such an address and I didn't want to make any assumptions that would later come back to bite me in the butt.

I've gone ahead and cancelled the sale and geekmailed the person explaining why. I really want to avoid anything complicated, and I don't have a good feel on this one. Just filling out the customs form is more effort than I wanted to put into this honestly.
 
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Ben R
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Well that's sad if it was legit and a member of our armed forces, but it's your call. I sell about 300 items a year between ebay/amazon/bgg. No issues shipping to Brazil, EU, or APO's...

I would add a line in your marketplace profile that says you don't ship to anyone but the cont US, so you can avoid this in the future. It will appear on all of your listings.

Another thing you can do is request that they send the money as a gift. There is no "buyer protection" for the buyer if they do this, therefore, no risk to the seller.
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BentlyCash wrote:
Another thing you can do is request that they send the money as a gift. There is no "buyer protection" for the buyer if they do this, therefore, no risk to the seller.


That's exactly what I do with no feedback/no presence buyers. Then I'm assiduous in giving them their due feedback once the sale has gone through.
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Thunkd wrote:
when I tried the USPS calculator, it didn't have a way to select the state as anything other than the standard state choices.


In the future if you get an APO/FPO recipient with sufficient presence on the 'geek that you're more comfortable, for rate quote you just use the zip as you've already heard. When you actually go to Print & Ship for the State pulldown you use "AA" (armed forces America) "AE" (armed forced Europe) or "AP" (armed forces Pacific). The address will include whichever you need.

The online customs form takes all of 60 seconds. Just asks what you're sending (game) and (gift if trade) or (merchandise), how much it's worth (gazilliontrillionspacebucksminusone), the weight, and the part that asks if what you're sending is worth more than (gazilliontrillionspacebucks). Done. It prints everything out for you and takes less time than it took me to compose this post.

There's really nothing much to it. Every APO/FPO recipient I've dealt with has been awesome and well worth the extra 2-3 minutes of time.

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Nick E
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I suggest that if you do not want to deal with APO/FPO, when you list that it is US-only, specify that it is continental US (CONUS) only.

Every now and then I might ask before buying/bidding if they include APO/FPO in their "US-only" but for the most part I don't worry about it and figure I'll wait and see if the seller has a problem with it or not later. It's been said already, but APO/FPO (and I think DPO) is considered domestic mail; If someone says they ship to the US, I will assume they ship to my US address.
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Eddie B
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EYEL1NER wrote:
I suggest that if you do not want to deal with APO/FPO, when you list that it is US-only, specify that it is continental US (CONUS) only.

Every now and then I might ask before buying/bidding if they include APO/FPO in their "US-only" but for the most part I don't worry about it and figure I'll wait and see if the seller has a problem with it or not later. It's been said already, but APO/FPO (and I think DPO) is considered domestic mail; If someone says they ship to the US, I will assume they ship to my US address.


But, but.... You are based in Greenland....
 
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Sicaria Occaeco
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I used to a do quite a bit of shipping at my old job. We had international orders and APO/FPO orders. I have never seen nor heard of an APO order go bad. I have seen plenty of international orders go bad.

I could be wrong but it seems to me APOs are not likely to be scams.
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Chris Robbins
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My only experience (through eBay) was to an FPO address. All went well except there was no way of tracking the shipment and he needed to be asked about receiving the game. That and the customs form make me reluctant to do it again.
 
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Allen Herring
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It's fine. This is a US overseas address. It ships/costs just like you would in the states (ie taxes, rates, etc) however it is going oversees to US personnel on US business. Yes, you have to fill out a customs form, but this is just the agreement with the host nation.

My guess it is a US service member serving overseas.

Trust me...been there, done that.
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Chad Egbert
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As long as you get the payment first (including enough for shipping), I don't see a problem. New BGG users have to make their first buy/sell/trade somehow. We were all there once.
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