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What You Don’t Know about eBay’s Global Shipping Program

Late last year, an eBay seller took to the social site Reddit to announce the discovery of a purported “scam and theft ring,” whereby items bound for buyers overseas sent through the Global Shipping Program weren’t making it past a processing facility in Kentucky, and were then resurfacing on another eBay store under nearly identical listings.

The seller claimed to have recently “lost a $500 item from eBay’s Global Shipping Program,” and then discovered the same item being resold by an eBay seller with the name GreatStuffCheapPrices.

Suspecting theft, the seller dug up seven listings believed to have gone missing, only to resurface on the GSCP store.

As it turns out, eBay has a more benign explanation for the situation.

“On occasion, items are unable to be shipped internationally through the Global Shipping Program due primarily to size, but also to import/export restrictions,” eBay spokesman Ryan Moore said.

“In the rare cases that an item cannot be shipped internationally, eBay will compensate the buyer through eBay’s Buyer Protection policy, while the seller will keep their payment from the buyer if no fault is found,” he explained.

“In addition – and as outlined in the terms and conditions – participating sellers in the Global Shipping Program have given eBay and Pitney Bowes (eBay’s global shipping and technology partner) the right to dispose of or liquidate parcels that are undeliverable. In turn, eBay utilizes various means to coordinate the disposal of items that are undeliverable, and some of these items may be re-sold by a third party on eBay or other venues in order to recover a portion of the costs of buyer reimbursement.”

Moore stressed that items that are deemed undeliverable through the Global Shipping Program are infrequent, and noted that “considerable measures are taken to educate sellers on item eligibility,” pointing to eBay’s eligibility guidelines for the program.

“We do notify sellers and buyers in the rare event that an item arrives at the U.S. Shipping Center and cannot be shipped forward,” Moore said.

Several of the sellers mentioned in the Reddit post could not be reached or did not respond to inquiries about the listings. One seller, however, seemed to shrug it off as a condition of doing business through eBay’s Global Shipping Program.

“They quote the buyer shipping, we ship it to a place in Kentucky and they forward it to the customer. If anything goes wrong we aren’t responsible, they refund the buyer and we don’t see the item again,” the seller told EcommerceBytes.

There’s more to this story – comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Kenneth Corbin on Linkedin
Kenneth Corbin
Kenneth Corbin
Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects since 2007, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn.