AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sat Mar 18 2017 14:42:46

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Would you pay $14 in shipping for a $6.99 purchase on eBay? Many people wouldn't. But eBay is charging buyers shipping costs that are out-of-whack for certain items thanks to its Global Shipping Program.

A seller in the US published a message from a shopper in Canada who was inquiring about a $6.99 item, which, by the way, offered free shipping for buyers located in the US.

"Just wondering if you would consider not using the global Shipping Program and just mailing them via USPS as it is showing 13.00 shipping to Canada when the actual shipping is usually around the 4.00 mark based on previous transactions. Unfortunately the Global Shipping Program is a huge scam which is partially why people are not buying on eBay as much as in previous years. If you could let me know either way that would be great, cheers."

eBay says the program removes any unpleasant surprises international buyers might encounter thanks to customs duties, taxes, brokerage, or other fees. It explains, "Import charges include certain fees, such as export classification, importation risk premium, and variance fees, which are assessed by the global shipping provider as part of the services provided by the Global Shipping Program. These fees are in addition to any customs duties and taxes imposed by country tax and customs officials."

But this line from the Canadian shopper is concerning at a time when every sale matters: the Global Shipping program "is partially why people are not buying on eBay as much as in previous years."

What do you think? Should sellers be able to set up business rules to exclude items from the Global Shipping program if they are below a certain price point, or to buyers located in certain countries? Are other changes warranted? How well does the program work for you?




Comments (41) | Permalink

Readers Comments

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 18 16:59:42 2017

Ebay's Global Shipping program is a complete scam, charging ridiculous rates to the buyer and leaving the seller holding the bag if anything goes wrong.

There's no justification for this extreme greed and outrageous profiteering on Ebay's part, and no doubt it has chilled international sales.  

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 18 21:01:08 2017

Shipping overseas parcels has been in the ballpark of 14 bucks for a while now except Canada. In addition to that every global buyer who uses GSP on ebay gets taxed too

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 18 22:24:00 2017

Major scam!

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 19 00:39:24 2017

OTOH, I actually had a potential Buyer ask if I would ship USING the GSP!!  He truly believed the price would be cheaper than if I mailed it myself!

I politely set him straight, or at least I thought I did, but he did not buy.

I guess uneducated people are everywhere.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Mar 19 03:33:12 2017

The Canadian buyer is mistaken.  It is NOT Ebay's fault that a FCP to Canada for 1-8 Oz costs roughly $14.  That is USPS that set that pricing NOT Ebay.  

You can't use the price of an item to determine if the shipping costs are outrageous or not.  The price of the item has NOTHING to do with it.  Shipping has always been by weight.  So a 99cent item that weights 3oz is still going to cost far more to ship it that the price of the item itself.  One has nothing to do with the other.

I don't use GSP at all.  But what is cited in the article still isn't the fault of the GSP either if the items are being shipped USPS FCP international.  

The $4 shipping rate I am not familiar with.  I don't know what method that is, certainly not FCP International.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: blueribbon1844

Sun Mar 19 07:50:35 2017

Well it may still be in the ballpark for first class mail, but the statement in general, is the very reason international sales for USA sellers have dropped significantly. They have for myself at least. UK and Europe sales have disappeared completely from my sales, and the occasional South America sale is gone too. It get super pricey using the GSP with heavier and expensive items. I started using the GSP to avoid the random fraud and scam buyer, but that may outweigh the loss of sales due to buyers just not buying anymore.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: blueribbon1844

Sun Mar 19 07:54:53 2017

Also had issues with buyers using their own 3rd party drop shippers. So when a buyer goes around the GSP on an item, as a seller I am still liable, at least I was when I got negged from a buyer who did this, and eBay wouldn't help as usual. Maybe they have updated their policy by now.  

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 19 08:13:41 2017

I started using GSP way back in the beginning and in fact I was part of the pilot program!

I participated in it because 1) at that time it was cheaper then USPS 2) I didn't want to deal with "I thought duties/taxes were included in the shipping price you gave me and 3) it provided "Seller Protection".

Over time eBay itself killed GSP for me because 1) with Pitney Bowes taking a cut it became too expensive 2) with VEROs allowance of the fake violation called "parallel import violation" a lot of my items could not be sent anywhere (ps the USA isn't part of that treaty, VERO got it wrong as usual) and 3) eBay rolled back its Seller Protections with the program

So for me there is no reason to use the once stellar program - just more eBay greed and stupidity aka killing the house that's laying the golden eggs.  

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Mar 19 10:25:52 2017

WE NEED A NEW SELLING VENUE ! ! !
And we need to keep the Blood Suckers OUT OF IT ! ! !

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Mar 19 11:11:02 2017

I could never use the GSP as I'm too paranoid when it comes to packing my items for shipping. Knowing that PB re-packs everything before shipping to the recipient is a big problem for me.

And from the very beginning when eBay announced the GSP, the list of fees they were tacking on is outrageous. The whole thing sounds like another way for eBay to squeeze more money out of sellers' pockets.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Sun Mar 19 11:13:08 2017

I read of the horrors of the GSP from day one, and have never opted into it. First, it is not available everywhere, which wouldn't make it truly global. And eBay still does not accept all liability if there is an issue.

Also, I do not need to have a third party repackage and dissect my merchandise, and, in some cases, say the item is somehow not approved, and will never make it to the buyer.

It is much simpler to just mail directly to countries that have solid, non-corrupt postal systems in place. For instance, most any Asian country except Japan is a no-no. I buy third party insurance which insures International First Class as well as Priority Mail, and this small cost is paid by the buyer.

And my insurer doesn't include places that are problem countries, so I have these on my blocked locations list. Have had zero complaints or lost packages (knock on wood).

Two main issues buyers have with the program are that their packages take much longer to arrive, and Customs charges are automatically added. In many countries, these charges are applied on a ''hit or miss'' basis. In other words, the package randomly is selected for further inspection, so there are not fees on every single shipment.

And there are other areas of the world which do not even have a Customs department. They are unnecessarily charged by eBay just the same. Racketeering is the word which comes to mind here.

If eBay would have a program that allows a seller to mail overseas for the same or less cost, ship to every location, and assume all liability for each package, I would use it.

But I cannot expect them to do this, since neither I or eBay wants to take the risk. The countries which engage in postal fraud are also to blame here.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 19 11:30:27 2017

It is a complate rip off to over charge a customer so much more than ebay pays. But we do it do I'd imagine..meaning everything you buy a discounted label off of ebay you are getting extremely over charged

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Mar 19 12:46:06 2017

@blueribbon1844

If your buyer is using a freight forwarder, then you would not be using GSP as the address in which you ship to is a USA address.  Ebay's policy hasn't changed on this.  Sellers are responsible to the address on the PP payment as the ship to address.

Once the freight forwarder ships it to any other address, the seller is no longer responsible for an INR or SNAD.  I don't know why your negative FB wasn't removed.  We would need more details on that to offer a helping hand if possible.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 19 19:58:14 2017

GSP is 100% Pitney Bowes.  They have taken over the global aspect of ebay.  Items that used to sell all over the world not do not even get shown in Russia, China, Thailand, etc. as they are blocked from visibility via Pitney Bowes and their alleged ''list of illegal items by country''.  Again, this is a one size fits all and not customized to the item you are selling and countries, etc.  Remember when a list of ''excluded'' countries appeared on your listings even if you sold to all countries.  The uproar from that forced ebay just to hide the list from view so you now do not know what is showing where unless you happen to travel to a country and see if your listings appear.  I travel globally for work and I can tell you they do not appear universally.  This is 100% due to Pitney Bowes and GSP.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 19 20:01:08 2017

I would love to see some proof that eBay and Pitney Bowes are actually submitting these taxes and customs fees to the countries they are allegedly collecting on behalf of...should this be somewhere in their financials?

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Mon Mar 20 00:37:27 2017

If GSP could be used selectively by country and by price, it might be useful. The program is of no value for lightweight or inexpensive items that can be shipped by First Class Mail International

Because tracking is used in the United States, it costs less to mail a stamp or color slide to foreign destinations. For expensive stamps, some countries are risky and would benefit from GSP delivery.

Also, terms and conditions related to resale of undeliverable items are not acceptable when copyrights are involved.

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: Lightning This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 20 00:38:24 2017

Maybe the shopper in Canada was asking about a trading card or similar thin, flat object.  That can be put in a First Class envelope with International postage attached.  There's no tracking, but with a $7 item the seller might be ok with that.  You can send 8 ounces for $3.75 postage, lower weights for half that.  Here's a link where that is set up in the USPS postal calculator: https://ircalc.usps.com/ExtraServices.aspx?country=10054&m=1&p=0&o=8&d
pb=0&mdt=2017/03/20%2008:00&mt=3&dok=XX&dvi=7

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: Vintagefinds This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 20 00:50:25 2017

If it were not for the GSP I would not be shipping internationally. I know it is very expensive process for the customer but they do have a choice not to buy..I had all kind  of trouble with Canadian shoppers prior to GSP.  GSP has eliminated all of my aggravation. I just ship to Kentucky. Ebay threw sellers off the site for over charging customers on  postage and make the ones who continue to sell pay a penalty on shipping so sellers just cannot win. All my sales indicate there are fewer buyers in the USA and internationally on EBay. Ebay will  survive but our business will not.  

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: Vintagefinds This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 20 00:51:32 2017

If it were not for the GSP I would not be shipping internationally. I know it is very expensive process for the customer but they do have a choice not to buy..I had all kind  of trouble with Canadian shoppers prior to GSP.  GSP has eliminated all of my aggravation. I just ship to Kentucky. Ebay threw sellers off the site for over charging customers on  postage and make the ones who continue to sell pay a penalty on shipping so sellers just cannot win. All my sales indicate there are fewer buyers in the USA and internationally on EBay. Ebay will  survive but our business will not.  

When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense   When eBay Global Shipping Doesn't Make Sense

by: connie t This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 20 01:09:40 2017

I removed all my listings from GSP program about 6 months ago. Try calling in to Ebay and ask what are the seller protections regarding returns and the return shipping possibly assessed to the seller. I called in 4 separate times to ebay and also paypal and no one could address the issue. Theoretically a buyer can return any item sold for up to 6 months (180 days) and even longer. A lot of my old buys and sold items still list the "return the item" in the drop down of the item after the 180 day period. And then on all returns ebay guides the buyer to choose SNAD. I just had a pair of shoes I sold early January returned and had to pay the return shipping to get the item back all while Paypal froze the funds. Well anyway do it yourself. Call and ask about a return of an item shipped under GSP and who is responsible for the return shipping and what cost is assessed to the seller. You may be forced to cover the entire cost of return shipping from the destination country. That might be a lot more than the original shipping cost to the US PB Shipping Center. When no one at ebay I spoke to could answer the inquiry nor cite any specific printed policy I had had enough. It is too much to acceppt such an open liability on a return from an item sold under GSP. Paypal will also give you the same run around. We have to accept returns on items sold for 180 days and longer. Ebay is no longer safe to sell on and I plan to end my store subscription when it is due next quarter. Not worth the time, risk or work on a rigged game.  

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.