Buyer Asking Me to Undervalue Items on Declare Value Section of Shipping Form

I sold an item on eBay about the size of a shoe box for around $300. It sold to a buyer in the US. They sent me a message after requesting that I value it at 40USD.

My biggest concern is insurance. If I value it at 40USD and the item is lost in the mail, isn't that all I will get back?

Edit: I made a mistake. This particular buyer is from Norway

The funny thing is, his email read

"hi, i just placed the order. please do as we agreed to declare it to 40 usd. thanks"

I never agreed to anything🤔


  • +8 votes

    Aside from loss in insurance, I'm sure it's some kind of fraud that authorities could ping you for (slim chance, I know).

    Just don't do it, not worth the potential drama down the track


      On the bottom I put the low amount they want, and in the insurance section I put the full amount. No issues.


    isn't that all I will get back?



    Correct. They are likely asking so as to limit their import duties.

    Up to you how to proceed, but if you can somehow make explicit the risk and that you won't be held liable for any $ beyond the value they choose to insure at should the item get lost/damaged by post, then go for it.


      Hard to do this legally and in a way that's really enforceable. I'd ship to an Australian address in that case (sidestepping import duties issues entirely) and have the buyer organise their own international shipping.


      I can understand Europeans asking the question (I've had it asked from me many times and I've said no due to me insuring it for the right value) but I believe the US limit is way above $300 USD, something like $2k or above.

      So its odd they are asking.


        Actually I made a mistake. I was looking at another sale's address. This particular seller is actually from Norway.

  • +1 vote

    $2000 is the limit of USA free tax, please correct me if I'm wrong. For European countries I think around 20 euroes thus around AUD 32. If you don't insured, regardless how much you declared in case if lost you get nothing anyway. But if you insured, you need to declare to actual value or at least to the amount you insured.

  • +1 vote

    Tell them to send you the money by Western Union so they can't claim anything - then there should be no risk to you.


      Actually not a bad idea this - transfers the risk to the seller, but it's them asking in the first place.


    Are you sure they are legit ?

    I’d personally cancel the sale and tell them no overseas purchases.


      i get that asked all the time with my international shipments on ebay. I tell them it will void insurance but they always happy to take the chance


    If you've received all the money, isn't issue then on the buyer? Eg. If they don't receive it, they'll need to lodge claim etc and all they'll get is the US$40?

    You in the meantime have your $300.

    Unless of course, ebay and/or paypal etc intervene to claim the money back…. hhmmm….


    The buyer has asked to cancel the sale if I can't value it at $40.


    Ok, I just sold another item worth around the same value, this time to a buyer in the UK. They are now asking me what courier I will be using because some are guaranteed to charge him import tax.

    I'm worried that if I tell him, he'll ask me to cancel the sale. WHY CAN'T THEY ASK BEFORE BUYING? I clearly state in the listing that import taxes are the buyer's responsibility.

    Anyway, I'm thinking to just post it tomorrow, and then say it has been posted already, so they can't back out. My worry is, can they choose to decline the package if they don't want to pay the duties when it arrives? If so, it would be sent back to me and I'd lose money yeah?

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