I would be interested in your thoughts on insurance. I’m keenly aware that insurance is there to protect the seller, but in the past I have either self-insured, or been able to charge a small amount for insurance on a domestic parcel.
This is now changing, for two reasons. The first is that the decline of the Aussie dollar has attracted more overseas buyers to my auctions. The second is that I am starting to get quite a few sales that go for prices way higher than I feel comfortable self-insuring.
In my ads, I give my buyers the option of registered and express international, and explain that registered does not come with insurance. I recommend insurance, but buyers always choose the cheaper option of registered.
I feel like I am being backed into a corner here. If people decline the option of insurance, my understanding is that I am still on the hook if the parcel disappears or is damaged en route. So when I sell something valuable, I feel like I should send via express anyway and insure. Yet I haven’t been paid for that, and I will eat something like $30 on each parcel. On the other hand, if I insist on insured Express for overseas, I will probably lose a big chunk of my customers.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to approach this? (One thing I had thought of is jacking up my handling fee to defray this a bit).
I do have the exact same problems as you (and I'd say every Canadian/Australian too) and I always chose the riskier choice and never insured anything (costs are ridiculous too here, same as you). If you jack the prices, you'll sell less. If you have a claim and it was uninsured? Eat it. I'm small time but in 550+ sales I had 0 insurance claim, but I wouldn't know the standard of our "industry".
You should ask other non-US guys their opinion though since I'm a bit hardcore. I don't even track my small fodder stuff when I sell abroad. It allows me to send shirts and pants for 8$/15$ to any country in the world... (and 4$ for ties). In 350+ untracked sales? One guy (US) claimed his shirt never arrived. Whatever :D