eBay is a worldwide marketplace that connects you with sellers from around the globe. On eBay, the process for buying internationally is similar to the process for buying an item within your own country. You can search for and purchase items from international eBay sites (such as eBay.com or eBay.co.uk) on the eBay.com.au site.
When buying items located internationally there are a few additional factors to think about.
Here is a list of points to think about.
Remember that items that are imported into Australia comes through customs. Some goods are prohibited by Customs which means that you are not allowed to import the goods in any circumstances and others are restricted, so you need to have written permission in order to import the goods. Consider this when you are arranging delivery with your seller and also find out if any duties or taxes apply as these may increase the cost.
Items imported into Australia must also meet Australian Quarantine Import Conditions which apply to items such as foreign plant, animal, mineral and human commodities. Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service can assist you identify whether a product needs a quarantine permit or if there are any other quarantine prerequisites.
Confirm that the seller is willing to post to your location. If this information is not on the View Item page, click 'Ask seller a question' and email them to find out.
Take note of the item location and postage costs. Use a Postage Rate Calculator
to estimate costs. You will need the item's dimensions and weight. If the seller has not provided these in the item description, you can email the seller for the information by clicking 'Ask seller a question'. Keep in mind that the transit time for international postage may vary depending on the items location.
Check if goods are subject to regulatory requirements and comply with Australian Safety Standards. These apply to a broad range of goods and can mean that goods from other countries which may appear similar may not be of the same standard as a complying product. Other standards may also apply such as the Australian Design Rules that define safety, emission and other requirements for motor vehicle parts.
Check if warranties are valid in Australia.Not all warranties apply internationally and so may not be honoured in Australia.
Check details provided for electrical goods as different countries have different wall plugs and other standards.
Check to see whether that there are any differences in sizes or measurements (eg Shoe sizes in the UK are different from AU and US).
Carefully review the item listing to see whether there are any region specific or locking mechanisms, such as digital rights management or mobile carrier locking.
Review the seller's feedback prior to bidding on or buying an item.
Take caution when placing a bid or buying from a seller that doesn't have a good feedback rating, or seems suspicious.
Never ask a seller to mark your goods as a gift on the customs form.
Don't wait until the last minute to contact the seller with a question. Times zones often result in delayed response times.
Never use Western Union for eBay payments. Use PayPal, Paymate or other safer electronic payment methods.
Other issues you may need to consider include:
If you are purchasing goods for on-sale, there may be additional restrictions or requirements which apply to you. You should obtain legal advice before importing items for commercial purposes.
Be aware that you may not have the same protections under Australian law as you would when buying from an Australian seller and, even if you are protected under Australian law, it may be more difficult for you to enforce your rights because of the seller's location.
When buying on eBay.com.au (whether from a local or international seller) eBay Buyer Protection programs offered on other eBay Sites do not apply. If you paid for an item with PayPal on eBay.com.au, you may be eligible for a refund of the purchase price and postage through PayPal Buyer Protection.
eBay Buyer Protection is available for purchases made on some other eBay Sites including eBay.com and eBay.co.uk. Check the buyer protection policy pages on the relevant eBay site you are planning on buying from or have bought on for further information. Only buyers who have purchased items on eBay.com or eBay.co.uk are eligible under their respective Buyer Protection policies.
If you bought an item on eBay.com.au (whether from a local or international seller) and you run into problems, the eBay Resolution Centre can assist in sorting it out. We want you to be able to shop with confidence on eBay. The eBay Resolution Centre will guide you through the steps to take if you don't receive your item, or it doesn't match what was described in the listing.
If you bought a product on another eBay site, check the relevant customer support centre on the site to see if eBay Buyer Protection is available.