eBay Expands Global Shipping Program, Feedback Still a Concern
By Ina Steiner
eBay is expanding its new Global Shipping Program (GSP) as it places a priority on growing its global and cross-border trade. The GSP program is designed to make international trading more transparent for buyers and easier for sellers by using Pitney Bowes to handle international orders on behalf of U.S. sellers.
eBay's GSP included delivery to 18 countries at the end of December, and in March, eBay added eight additional countries: Japan, China, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Sweden and South Africa. Beginning in late June, eBay will add another eight countries to the program: Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain.
eBay has been encouraging sellers to participate in the optional program and made cold-calls to sellers in the Spring, and it has also used pop-up messages to advertise the program when sellers list items for sale internationally.
While eBay protects sellers enrolled in the program from ship-time and ship-cost DSRs, sellers remain vulnerable to negative and neutral feedback from buyers dissatisfied with factors outside the seller's control. eBay told EcommerceBytes last month that the company was working to automatically removing negative or neutral feedback when such feedback could be attributed to the Global Shipping Program.
In a discussion about the program on a recent EcommerceBytes Blog post, sellers discussed the program. One seller said he decided not to participate in the Global Shipping Program because when he set up a few test listings, the costs were too high for international buyers. "It doesn't matter what eBay (feedback) policies are," she wrote. "If (buyers) think they are getting ripped off, they will blame the only person they are allowed to blame - the seller. Last I checked, buyers didn't get a FB/DSR form for eBay."
Another seller wrote, "As we can see, some buyers still leave a negative for shipping costs - even when they are clearly posted on a listing to see BEFORE they CHOOSE to buy the item. They can't seem to figure out how to vote with their feet if they think shipping cost is high."
Several sellers referred to the increased cost of international shipping, which may be eBay's biggest challenge in increasing cross-border sales.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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