Why US only?


Sparkle Pony
Jun 22, 2005
I might have asked this before, but if I have it was so long ago that I've forgotten the answer >.<

Anyway. I've been buying ponies online (and selling a bit too) since the late 90's, and in that time I've come across SO many sellers in the US that only ship to the US. Especially on Ebay.

Now my question is why that is?

I live in Sweden and when I want to ship something, domestically or internationally, I have to go down to the post office and drop the package off either way where the employees will weigh it and put the correct labels on it after which I pay. Sure there's a difference in shipping costs, but the buyer pays that. And sure, the labels on the package has to be a bit different, but the people at the post office takes care of that.
To me as a seller there really isn't any difference whether the package is going abroad or not. It's just as simple of a procedure either way.

So why are so many people in the US so reluctant to ship things aborad? Is it perhaps a different, more difficult procedure, when shipping things internationally from the US? Or is this reluctance to ship internationally caused by something else? If so; any guesses as to what?

I'm just really curious because I can't tell you how many auctions and salesposts I've seen over the years with ponies (and other things) that I would have LOVED to buy, but where the sellers only ship to the US. And it's just as frustrating every time :(


Princess Rinse 'N Spit
Apr 15, 2017
Shipping internationally seems scary at first, but it really isn't that hard. You just fill out the customs forms and go. I'd imagine some people wouldn't ship internationally because they are unfamiliar with how to do it.
Another reason may be the cost. It is expensive to ship something with or without a tracking number overseas. Someone was interested in a $1 bait pony and wanted to know how much it would cost to ship to the UK. It was $14 without a tracking number, and $30~ with. Granted, the tracking number option makes it an ensured delivery within 6-10 days, but it is still a lot to pay for a poor condition pony. Regardless, I do offer international shipping to those who are willing to pay it but it's very unlikely considering I'm not dealing with highly sought after, expensive ponies.
I think the horror stories of international post offices also makes people wary. They don't want to be held liable for something they can't fix? That's just a few of my guesses.


Nurse Pony
May 13, 2010
I think mainly the fear of the item not making it or arriving damaged. I often offer international shipping when selling toys since they don’t all make to different countries. Customs will open packages and not package them back up properly or ruin the item at times. I have heard some horror stories of them opening MOC/MIB vintage items during searches. If buyers want to pay, more power to them but often quite expensive. I do know it takes a little more effort to post internationally because you have to go when the post office is actually open; you cannot use the automated kiosk for that. I don’t know if you can buy postage online though, probably can. I don’t remember if I have done it, as it has been awhile. Also, filling out the customs form, even though that isn’t too difficult. I can see people being cautious with more expensive items, especially if buyer doesn’t spring for insurance or tracking (seller could require) because if lost or damaged, the buyer could report to PayPal/eBay and seller could then be out that money without getting the item back or in the same condition. Just more of a hit.

There have been a handful of times that I have wanted to purchase something from the UK on eBay and run into the same issue though. People only shipping within the UK, not even to the continent.


Festive FelizNavidad Pony
MLPTP Supporter
Jan 3, 2006
I'm guilty of this I admit. I don't sell often on eBay but when I have I've just done US shipping because I worried that no one abroad would want to spend the money on shipping at a level that provides tracking and at one point (I don't know if it's still this way) without proof of your package being delivered you were not protected through Paypal. Now though, you do have the option to ship to eBay's distribution site and then they ship it on from there. I've never tried this but would consider it. I was burned way back on an eBay sale and ended up out over 100.00 so I'm already not crazy about selling with them. I didn't have a tracking number and the buyer left me positive feedback but then filed a claim that they never received their package. I argued with Paypal and eBay that the positive feedback should indicate they got their item but since I had no tracking or confirmation they took the money out of my account and that was, that. Grrr.....


My shoes are laced with irony
Sep 2, 2013
I admit, back when I sold on eBay, internationals could be very difficult. You had to jump through custom hoops for some countries, and people would be very impatient with longer shipping times, even though this was not something I could control. Also, sometimes foreign packages tend to 'disappear' (especially in Italy and South Africa) and I would lose money and product. It just became a big hassle I was unwilling to deal with, unless I had a relationship with the buyer already.