How to buy antiques and collectibles on eBay Part 5:
Payment and Shipping Options
On most eBay listings in the UK and the USA, Paypal is the preferred purchase method; and in many cases it’s the only one allowed. Including a Paypal option is a requirement that has been imposed on sellers in these countries for a decade or so now; and it’s strongly recommended that you sign up for a Paypal account and link it to your bank account before you start using eBay at all.
If you try using the national eBay sites for France, Germany or some other European countries, you will find that different rules apply there; and Paypal is not always even allowed as an option by the seller. In France, sometimes only a personal cheque is allowed, which effectively makes buying impossible if you don’t have a bank account denominated in Euros. On eBay Deutschland (eBay.de), serving Germany, it’s usually the case that sellers not allowing Paypal require a bank transfer. In some cases, they will allow buyers outside Germany to pay by international bank transfer, but where they only ship within Germany and only offer payment by bank transfer, it would be wise to assume that they won’t sell to buyers without a bank account denominated in Euros.
French and German sellers who don’t allow Paypal usually end up with lower sale prices on their auctions of rarities that would be of international interest, so while they may avoid Paypal commission fees, which are typically in the order of 3.5 to 4.5% on international transactions, their overall income potential from each sale is considerably reduced.
When you purchase an item on any eBay website, if it’s small enough to go in the post, you’ll normally be offered postage by the seller. For bulky items such as furniture and for delicate antiques, however, this may not be offered, and instead you’ll see ‘Collection in Person’ as the only option. Presuming that you don’t live close enough to the location of the item to spare the time to drive there and back yourself, perhaps even accompanied by others needed to help you lift and move it safely, this is where the services of a courier come in useful.
Don’t forget that Mission Impossible Couriers regularly transports antiques and furniture bought on eBay within the UK from seller to buyer. We offer a secure and reliable door-to-door service and save you time and money compared with driving half way around the country and back yourself!
Return to Part 1: Introduction to Buying Antiques and Collectibles on eBay