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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Oct 24 2012 20:44:54

What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
eBay is piloting a new program for U.S. sellers to help them ship goods overseas. We broke the news of the new eBay Global Shipping Program in August, and this week, we spoke to Rafael Zimberoff, Product Manager for ShipRush, to learn more about the program and what it means for sellers.

eBay is piloting the program with a subset of sellers, and according to Rafael, the program will remain opt-in. The big carrot to using the program is international visibility, coupled with ease of use - no more customs forms, no more worrying about duties and taxes. The seller simply sends international orders to a domestic address where Pitney Bowes, on behalf of eBay, handles the international leg of the package's journey.

One of the biggest challenges will be to see how a U.S. listing that charges full price, domestic and international shipping along with duties and customs stacks up against listings from domestic sellers on eBay's international sites. Unless it's a hard-to-find item in, say, Germany, then would a U.S. product really be less expensive than a product sold by a German seller once you factor in all those extra costs?

Other areas sellers will be looking at closely is the issue of returns and of feedback ratings. In today's podcast, I asked Rafael about these issues and others to try and get a handle on the program from a seller's point of view.

Rafael also shared his thoughts on yesterday's news from eBay about Fedex, and he shared some shipping tips for sellers.

It's well worth readers' time to read about the Global Shipping Program and listen to the podcast. Then let us know what you think of the program and if it will work for you.




Comments (47) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: rqtball This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Oct 24 21:15:45 2012
Sounds like it might be great but I could think of a million questions of how it works.

does it replace us sending the items to canada or anywhere else? with first class international doubling that could be a good thing

does the buyer pay domestic charges considering we ship to a domestic address?

how does PB make money if they have to ship from US out of the country?

sounds too good to be true which means it probably is

Scott
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: bookwhisperer This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Oct 24 22:01:53 2012
I've read the particulars on the program and it sounds great if you're worried about loss or stolen items.  This hasn't been an issue for me.  The program states that you agree to have the sold item  at Pitney Bowes (Connecticut) within 4 business days.  Now if you have already calculated standard shipping into your item price (free shipping), then you have to raise the price to accommodate for expedited service to meet the contractual obligations of the Global Shipping program.  This in turn would price my items out of inventory as they would loose their competitiveness.  Moreover, looking at another aspect-- imagine what the buyer is paying. Exempting the cost of international shipping there are at least a half-dozen added fees.  One of them is a referral fee to eBay.  I'm really on the fence about this -- I'm more in favor keeping buyer costs down.

Ina,  Do some investigation on this ''Fast and Free'' program eBay is pushing.  They have added a graph to the seller dashboard, and it scares the heck out of me. I among other sellers feel this may be a ''Strong arm'' tactic to stay in the Top Rated seller program and still receive discounts.  Again, opting into such a program would price a good deal of inventory out of the market.  
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Oct 24 23:28:20 2012
I can't imagine this would help me as a small seller of lower priced goods. International customers will either pay the new rates or they won't buy. I can't imagine they will get a "great deal" from Pitney Bowes. Sometime i will listen to the pitch, i would much rather read it.
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Oct 24 23:30:30 2012
I guess its time to once AGAIN revisit this topic.

OK here we go - Im gonna list em off since theres a few.

#1) Lets all realize that this isnt for a sellers benefit. Its being done to capture and become dominant in the one area Amazon is weak in - international commerce. Only a very few people are approved to ship internationally on Amazon and eBay feels they have the upper edge.

#2) As RIC says in his other posts - the fees, customs, duties etc are being added to eBays gross numbers - padding them and using them as ''income'' when they plainly are not. Kudos to RIC for being exactly correct on this issue.

#3) What does this do to eBay who illegally collects that extra 50 cents for UK visibility? You get the same visiblility no matter what (or lack of it in most sellers cases) but Im guessing the extra hidden fees that PB will share with eBay will more then make up for it - but will it be eliminated from listings or will eBay just ''forget'' and steal it?

#4) eBay, when illegally prompted by large manufactorers, VEROs listings for items they dont want sold out of the USA (like Denon for example - where in the EU, thier prices are %200 higher then in the US) - so how will that policy of VEROing people still work. If you only list something and make the sale but DO NOT ship it (PB does) how can you be VERO'd?

#5) %99 of the sellers who sell overseas cheat the system. They use USPS, under weigh and undervalue the packages and send them as GIFT as apposed to merchandise. eBay customers (who as it is, email all the time and ask sellers to value the items for way less then they are) are NEVER going to pay ''the full boat'' for those items. As soon as they see they have to pay full shipping prices (items weighed correctly), customs, duty, tarrifs etc - they will cancel the sale! They are used to getting that ''bargin'' and wont ''stand'' for full price. Of course this is what you get when your customer base is comprised of liers and cheaters.

#6) Its blatantly unfair to people on the left coast who have to eat the shipping upgrade to get thier items to PB in 4 days. Im on the EC so it doesnt effect me - but if you are in CA/AZ/WA/OR - your costs just went UP!

Its another 1/2 baked idea by people who never thought it all through!

Once again - eBay does without thinking!
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Oct 24 23:32:55 2012
Pitney Bowes isn't doing this for free. ebay isn't doing this for free. A seller still has to ship the item to Pitney Bowes. There is no way the buyer isn't going to end up paying more. Buyers will simply go elsewhere.  
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Wed Oct 24 23:57:08 2012
The following from eBay's site concerns the buyer's charges:

"In the listing, the buyer sees an estimate of the international shipping charges and the import charge. During checkout, the buyer sees the final charges which include the item cost, the international shipping charges, and the import charge. The international shipping charges include any US shipping, as well as program fees, third-party international shipping charges, fuel surcharges, and processing and handling fees. The import charge includes applicable customs duties, taxes, and third-party brokerage."

Why would any buyer agree to all those extra charges? It's going to be, what, double?, triple?, the charge compared to if the seller just went to the post office? I don't see this "service" succeeding when every buyer wants items mailed as cheaply as possible.
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Oct 24 23:57:19 2012
" Only a very few people are approved to ship internationally on Amazon and eBay feels they have the upper edge."

i sell in the book category on amazon, the problem isn't being "allowed"  the problem is that amazon doesn't give me anywhere close to the amount needed to ship a book overseas.  it can cost double or more what they give for a hardcover book.

i lost interest in this from the 4 day arrival requirement.  ebay limits my shipping to $4, not nearly enough to ship a book priority, in fact it doesn't even cover the media mail shipping i use now.
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 00:49:10 2012
@pace306 - thanks for the shout out to those of us on the left coast!  What a whammy this would be for us - shut down my sales to Canada in a heartbeat.

Either that, or they'll all leave me great FB with 1's because it's all MY fault their shipping just doubled.

Ah shucks, Ebay just can't stop helping me be successful.
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: rjs2006 This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 01:44:10 2012
Pace306, we do a lot of business in Japan and theres got to be  more than 1% honest sellers who arent shipping items as gifts or undervaluing the items. Any buyer who asks us to undervalue an item gets reported and we have actually been backed up by ebay on it. We charge a lot for shipping because of the tracking requirement and we never understate the value of the item for customs. We sell $500-1000usd items and we must be in the minority. To me, id rather not get caught up in lies and do what is right. The buyer knows that upfront. If they dont like it, they have no issues canceling the transaction. Theres got to be more honest sellers out there who do whats right. Or are there only a very few?
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Thu Oct 25 01:44:56 2012
@jacksparrow

That is exactly what I thought.  But then there are so many saying they would like it, so it made me think I must be reading something wrong.  But I just don't know.  This looks to me like it is going to be very expensive and just not fesible for most sellers.
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by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 02:03:31 2012
Another thing to consider (and hopefully someone can confirm).  Didn't I read that this new program does NOT include "used" "vintage" or "antique"  items?  What about handmade items with no UPC #'s, etc.
Isn't it pretty much limited to just NEW items?  PLEASE Correct me if I'm wrong.
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Thu Oct 25 02:22:32 2012
Logically, what guarantees will you have (or not have about lost or stolen items, etc) that you don’t already have if you dispatch the item directly yourself? None that I can imagine. It’s double handling and someone has to pay for that double handling and guess who that someone will be … Oh, and by the way, PB wants to make a profit on the transaction and eBay will be wanting its cut too … dream on guys … this is another of the cretinous Donahoe’s fevered hallucinations, as he steers his “Concordia” in close to the shore so that his friends can admire him strutting about in this captain’s uniform …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       
Thu Oct 25 06:22:28 2012
Sounds like one more hand in your pocket grabbing another slice of the pie.  
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 07:19:49 2012
We haven't shipped international including Canada in over two years. Fleabay could hand deliver our packages to customers overseas and we still wouldn't ship overseas. People overseas don't read or have an understanding of the english language.

Worst customers are in Canada. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to higher shipping to listen to all the complaints it will generate. People overseas don't want to pay their VAT now. Its going to be interesting listening to all the complaints when you can't mark something as a gift and these clowns have to pay the VAT.
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 07:35:18 2012
RJS :) You are apparently one of the few honest sellers - great for you! Ebay needs more people like you!

I too sell alot to Japan - most off eBay at this point as I cant stomache giving them 1 thin dime more then need be. They get the first sale - but after that the customer is TRULEY mine!

I get 10+ emails about customs/duties a day, plus I'm in contact with alot of my competitors in the electronics field and they experience it too.

Countries like the UK and Brazil have horrendous taxes! Its gotten so bad that countries like Israel dont use the customs forms values - they look it up in a book printed by the government!

My point was - that if forced to pay the correct, entire amount - the customers will just abandon the sale at that point in the checkout. Unpaid strikes wont help, as people will just reopen under new IDs or seek out sellers who arent in the program.

If it was a genuine attempt to increase international sales and was done with some common sence then Id be all for it. But it seems (from reading the help page on it) that it wasnt thought out and it doomed to failure.

Like eBays managed returns program - they are King Midas in reverse - I ALWAYS opt out! (only g-d knows how much Id loose if I was ''in''.
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
by: Theresa This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 07:42:07 2012
@rjs  I do a ton of international sales and only ship USPS priority flat rate envelopes and never lie on customs forms.  So there are at least two of us left!!!
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by: jawarrior This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 08:38:14 2012
I ship nothing internationally if it weighs more than 4 lb. so I can use the less costly First Class International.  I have had only one customer ever say they did not receive an item, and it was a scam in Argentina.  They didn't say a word about the used camera until 7 weeks had passed.  Yeah, right! What customer would EVER wait that long?! So, I got their neg. FB when I told them they were beyond both my and eBay's protection period!!  Oh, well - I'll survive.

This new Global program sounds like an expensive, sales-robbing boondoggle that I won't even try because I know feeBay and their track record of screwing sellers just 'cause they can.  Right now they've reinstated my TRS badge, but no FVF discount!!  I meet every requirement, too.  See?  Just 'cause they can!
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Thu Oct 25 08:48:34 2012
Ed says: "Sounds like one more hand in your pocket grabbing another slice of the pie."

Bingo!
Perminate Link for What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers   What eBay's New Global Shipping Program Means for Sellers
This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
       
Thu Oct 25 08:51:09 2012
From the article referenced:  "PayPal will be the mandatory payment method for listings offering eBay's Global Shipping service."
and ... "The buyer pays all costs associated with the shipment at checkout so that there are no surprise tariffs or duties when buyers receive their orders."
Well I see some bright young minion has identified a fee source that was not being exploited.  Customs Duties and Taxes!  

Nevertheless, I see this as a good thing, especially if the seller responsibility ends at the Pitney Bowes location.  I can get my stuff to CT within 4 days.  Unfortunately, I see that my categories (Antiques, Art, Jewelry) are either excluded or restricted.  

I'm curious about how they will handle the shipping DSR.  Automatic 5* if the item arrives within the alloted time frame?  That would require some sort of scanning at the P-B location to receive the packages.  And I do hope the buyer will be restricted from leaving feedback or DSR's on shipping / packing / postage cost / or for damage incurred in transit.

I use Azon's global shipping  program within FBA and it's painless.  I only had to opt in and then upload a .jpeg of my signature for customs forms.  I wonder if eBay will require us to upload a sig too?
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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Oct 25 09:34:36 2012
I'm another one who never ''devalues'' items sold to International sales.  I used to get more requests to mark items as a ''gift'', but have gotten almost none of those requests in the last 3-6 months.

Of course, with eBay's ''rolling visibility'', I've also had 2 International sales all month (as opposed to almost 30% of my sales normally being International).  I imagine the rolling visibility would also account for 75% of my sales last week being to California and 2 small towns in North Dakota, and none to NY and NJ or International.  The week before, sales were Montana, SD and NY/NJ - none to California or International.  That's 15 or so sales a week (20% STR), not one or two.

If this keeps up, I guess I won't have to worry about this new Global Shipping Program, except for the one week every two months or so that eBay gives me exposure in Search out of the U.S.  One week out of 8 won't be leading me to this program, that's for sure.

Thanks, eBay, for your wonderful help to make my business succeed!  (Insert smiley vomiting emoticon here)
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