CITES and shipping a guitar through the eBay international shipping program

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,563
I've got a guitar listed on eBay with a rosewood fretboard, manufactured in 2015. I received a message from someone in the UK to ship it. Answers seem to be all over the place, from "I wouldn't risk it" to "the international shipping program is eBay's responsibility, and they will take care of it".

Do I need to get CITES documentation before I would even think about shipping it anywhere outside the US?
 

sleep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,453
I've got a guitar listed on eBay with a rosewood fretboard, manufactured in 2015. I received a message from someone in the UK to ship it. Answers seem to be all over the place, from "I wouldn't risk it" to "the international shipping program is eBay's responsibility, and they will take care of it".

Do I need to get CITES documentation before I would even think about shipping it anywhere outside the US?
I shipped a guitar w/an ebony board to Canada; eBay, not custons, seized it. They would not return it. They refunded the seller his money & re-sold the guitar. It was a nightmare, I wouldn’t do it again.
 

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,563
I shipped a guitar w/an ebony board to Canada; eBay, not custons, seized it. They would not return it. They refunded the seller his money & re-sold the guitar. It was a nightmare, I wouldn’t do it again.

Ebony isn’t part of CITES, is it?
 

Cheecharron

Member
Messages
27
Just this summer, I sold a Gretsch Anni with a rosewood board to someone in East Asia through ebay’s International shipping program. eBay seized it and refunded the seller, but I also got to keep what the seller paid me as if the transaction proceeded normally. Several months later, I saw that guitar listed on eBay (using my exact listing and photos) by ebay’s presumably licensed clearinghouse. Somebody got it for a real bargain, as I watched the price drop precipitously over the course of mere weeks.
 

Magnets And Melodies

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,358
Not sure about Ebay. I am in Canada and sold a 2016 Gibson guitar to someone in the US off of Reverb. Originally I didn't list it for the US, but this guy found it and asked me to sell it to him. I told him I'm up for it only if he was ok with me not getting CITES certification and if he was willing to assume any risk associated with that. He said he was.

The guitar took 5 days to get to him and was in and out of customs probably within a few hours.

I'm not sure if it helps that it was "made in the USA" and being shipped back to the USA. I know that guitars made before 2017 are exempt from restrictions, but they still require CITES to verify when they were made. I have 2 Fender George Harrison all rosewood telecasters which I bought with the intention of selling 1 of them... that sale will almost surely be a domestic only sale, though I might start looking into getting the CITES certification now as I'm in no rush to sell (would like to wait for it to appreciate).

Although the proper answer I think still is that, without CITES you are taking a risk - whether its small or not. BUT, if you are selling a guitar made in 2016 or before than I'm really thinking that most likely the vast majority of the guitars crossing the border won't be seized.

EBay is another concern altogether. Pretty crazy that they would seize a shipment, not customs. I would probably never sell through a company that would do that sorta thing.
 

JeffHaddad

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
714
As others have mentioned, I have heard nothing but bad things about eBay's "International Shipping Program". Sounds more like it's an International Seizing Program.
 

GibsonSGgirl

Member
Messages
1,272
My concern is moving abroad and bringing my guitar collection with me. They were all bought used by me over the last few decades, and I don’t have a bill of sale or receipts for most of them, but quite a few have rosewood fretboards. I hope they won’t get seized!
 

Magnets And Melodies

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,358
My concern is moving abroad and bringing my guitar collection with me. They were all bought used by me over the last few decades, and I don’t have a bill of sale or receipts for most of them, but quite a few have rosewood fretboards. I hope they won’t get seized!

I honestly don't think anyone will seize them. I think personal guitars are not under the CITES regulations- it's just the sale of guitars with rosewood that is being regulated since rosewood in many regions is becoming endangered. From what I understand, you can still travel with your personal guitars freely (as freely as you could before).
 

DustyRhodesJr

Member
Messages
12,136
Just this summer, I sold a Gretsch Anni with a rosewood board to someone in East Asia through ebay’s International shipping program. eBay seized it and refunded the seller, but I also got to keep what the seller paid me as if the transaction proceeded normally. Several months later, I saw that guitar listed on eBay (using my exact listing and photos) by ebay’s presumably licensed clearinghouse.


This is what happens with ebay- I am a powerseller and have had it happen many times.

You dont need to do anything- just sell it on ebay using the global program, and ebays assumes
all responsibilty. They actually do the shipping to overseas, not you. Once it is in ebays hands
your part is through.

If it is seized, you get to keep the money and the buyer is refunded by ebay.

I have had this happen many times already, just make sure the sale is through the global program
and not a direct sale.
 

transmission

Member
Messages
610
Just this summer, I sold a Gretsch Anni with a rosewood board to someone in East Asia through ebay’s International shipping program. eBay seized it and refunded the seller, but I also got to keep what the seller paid me as if the transaction proceeded normally. Several months later, I saw that guitar listed on eBay (using my exact listing and photos) by ebay’s presumably licensed clearinghouse. Somebody got it for a real bargain, as I watched the price drop precipitously over the course of mere weeks.

Do you remember the user name of eBay's clearing house account?
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,754
I would never ship through ANY source without a CITIES permit. If it gets confiscated, it is your loss, not theirs.
 

stonem

Member
Messages
2,865
I shipped a guitar w/an ebony board to Canada; eBay, not custons, seized it. They would not return it. They refunded the seller his money & re-sold the guitar. It was a nightmare, I wouldn’t do it again.
You've got to be kidding/trolling right?
 

stonem

Member
Messages
2,865
This is what happens with ebay- I am a powerseller and have had it happen many times.

You dont need to do anything- just sell it on ebay using the global program, and ebays assumes
all responsibilty. They actually do the shipping to overseas, not you. Once it is in ebays hands
your part is through.

If it is seized, you get to keep the money and the buyer is refunded by ebay.

I have had this happen many times already, just make sure the sale is through the global program
and not a direct sale.
Does ebay accept responsibility if the buyer lies and tries to force a return as well? I've never sold international cause I don't want to have to pay huge return shipping any insight would be helpful.
 

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,563
This is what happens with ebay- I am a powerseller and have had it happen many times.

You dont need to do anything- just sell it on ebay using the global program, and ebays assumes
all responsibilty. They actually do the shipping to overseas, not you. Once it is in ebays hands
your part is through.

If it is seized, you get to keep the money and the buyer is refunded by ebay.

I have had this happen many times already, just make sure the sale is through the global program
and not a direct sale.

That's what their info says: "You aren't responsible for item loss or damage that occurs after the item is forwarded by the US shipping center."

But I'm still nervous. EBay can't really keep that up forever, can they? Eventually, they'll abruptly change their policy, most likely in the three days that my guitar is on its way to Kentucky.
 

DustyRhodesJr

Member
Messages
12,136
That's what their info says: "You aren't responsible for item loss or damage that occurs after the item is forwarded by the US shipping center."

But I'm still nervous. EBay can't really keep that up forever, can they? Eventually, they'll abruptly change their policy, most likely in the three days that my guitar is on its way to Kentucky.


If you are wondering how they can afford to do this, I used to wonder the same thing.

But what happens is they then keep the guitar, and sell it off to one of their wholesalers,
which keeps their losses to a minimum.

They are making a fortune on the global program as a whole, so the few dollars they are
out due to CITES problems is just a drop in the bucket.

And not all rosewood is confiscated, a lot of the guitars get through and are delivered even
though they have gone through customs.
 




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