EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3043 - April 15, 2013     1 of 5

eBay Blocks International Bidders from US Media Categories

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eBay sellers began reporting problems with international exposure beginning in early April. One seller told EcommerceBytes the problem began for items listed after April 4th in Media categories but only for listings from U.S. sellers who don't use eBay's optional Global Shipping Program.

Sellers noticed that their listings began including "involuntary shipping exclusions" appended to the shipping section of their listings. The Countries excluded are: Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Latvia, Thailand, Romania, Russian Federation, Vietnam, South Africa, China.

Another seller told EcommerceBytes she had called eBay a few times, but "Nobody knows a thing. Finally was cut off."

She said many sellers are unaware of the problem and said she would not have known of the problem if buyers hadn't contacted her telling her they were blocked from bidding on her items. A seller on one of eBay's discussion boards wrote, "I sell books, and I'm getting emails from my customers asking me what's going on."

Some sellers are debating whether it's a glitch or whether it's an intentional ploy to force sellers to join the Global Shipping Program (GSP). eBay created its new Global Shipping Program to make international trading more transparent for buyers and easier for sellers. With GSP, U.S. sellers send international orders to a U.S. hub where Pitney Bowes processes and sends the items to the international buyer. There's no additional cost for using the GSP program at this time.

eBay sellers writing to EcommerceBytes and posting on the boards say they have been contacting eBay for a resolution to the problem with no success and not even an acknowledgement of the problem.

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

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