Ebay purchases from Ebay France; off topic

Can anyone tell me whether it's possible --and advisable-- to purchase from another country, through that country's Ebay site?

I now know that I can message someone through the foreign site (Ebay France), using my US Ebay member ID. Would this mean that I don't need to set up a separate Ebay membership for that country and that I can use my existing PayPal?

Is it ever possible for a seller to get ahold of personal information through PayPal as long as you use PayPal via Ebay? Will all of the PayPal security measures be the same? If there is any chance that a French Seller could get my personal info then it's probably not worth the risk since holding them accountable would be harder.

Aside from the risk of identity theft, I realize the consequences and difficulties involved are greater if something were to go wrong so I would keep my purchases relatively small to reduce what's at risk. I'm wondering more about the likelihood of something going wrong.

Am I begging for a headache here or would I being taking a minor calculated risk? I'd appreciate any input.

In case you are curious, the items I am interested in (Educational electronic toys and books in French) are extremely difficult to find on Ebay US, or even Ebay Canada.

Thanks,
~Cath

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Having done that myself....

I think the largest problems are communication problems (language and culture), and shipping risks between countries. France doesn't have a bad rep, but Italy has a horrible rep for shipping both from and to (but especially from). I'm an American eBayer, living in Poland, who's bought a few items from UK eBay, and had no problems whatsoever. My latest (a 3/4" U-Matic video recorder) just arrived yesterday--although a bud of mine picked it up and shipped it for me.

My biggest piece of advice would be to contact the seller before bidding to make sure he's fine with it. I've had a couple sellers not want to, so I just looked elsewhere. Oh, and be prepared to wait a while.

PayPal is all over Europe, and you shouldn't risk anything with that.... I'm not really sure, even, why your concerns on this point... PayPal is PayPal, and eBay is one, big, happy eBay. You can change your country of interest simply by changing the final letters, .fr for france. .de for Germany, and .co.uk for Britain. It all works as one--and you can change that on _any_ eBay page, and that page will change to show what those countries show.

-Jon

I am using the online

I am using the online translator, Babel Fish, to translate my messages to the French sellers. I am in the process of trying to weed out those that won't ship to the U.S.

I use Ebay a lot and it would be helpful if the Sellers didn't note, "unspecified" under the Ship to U.S. option at the top.

As far as "Ebay is Ebay" and "PayPal is PayPal", that's precisely what I was trying to confirm. I might not have been too concerned except every once in a great while when trying to use PayPal the seller will use an intermediary site at closeout (such as Auctiva) and it made me a little nervous the last time. Possibly because I was unfamiliar with the intermediary. But it was all done on the Ebay site so unless it was hacked there shouldn't be a problem.

As far as the length of time for shippping, I am prepared for that. Although I suppose I should ask about tracking options. If only for the illusion of peace of mind.

I forgot to ask about Customs and Duties. How likely is it that small transactions like this would actually be subjected to them and if so, what is the percentage it would cost? Is there anything the Seller can do to make this easier? Aside from cost maybe that's something Sellers don't want to deal with.

~Cath

Maybe?

Not sure about ebay, but I've had EXCELLENT results ordering from amazon.com's non-USA branches. At Christmas I ordered a DVD through amazon's British site. It was listed on British amazon, but was actually coming from Austria. I used the standard amazon pay I always use and I had the DVD in my hands, in the USA (midwest) within THREE DAYS (!) of closing the deal. That's FASTER than I receive anything being shipped from within the U.S.! Ebay might be slightly riskier because ebay doesn't take responsibility for their sellers the way amazon does, but is probably as good as ebay is anywhere.

I did try Amazon France.

I did try Amazon France. Unfortunately the specific line of toys/books I'm interested in were discontinued. Most items seem to have been cleared out at 75% off last year and they don't seem readily available through Amazon.

The lone exception is one title available on Amazon but through a private Seller. It seems to be cross listed on Ebay for 50% to 150% more than it probably should cost.

But thanks for the reminder. It might be worth checking Amazon again.

~Cath