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Another Round of eBay Global Shipping Program Opt-ins

eBay continues to place sellers into its Global Shipping Program on an “opt in” basis in what to some sellers must feel like a game of whack-a-mole. The latest case of opting sellers into its program came this week when sellers reported receiving a letter from eBay.

eBay informed the recipients that it had “noticed” they have listings that would be a great fit for the program, telling them it would automatically enable all of their GSP-eligible listings “to help make it easier for buyers in up to 64 countries” to purchase their items.

Sellers who don’t wish to join the program must remain vigilant, as eBay repeatedly gives itself permission to place sellers’ listings into the program, such as the “mini” Global Shipping Program it announced as part of the Fall Seller Update.

For some, the eBay Global Shipping Program is a good way to boost sales by opening up to international markets. But many sellers have concerns, and there are nuances that make it tricky for sellers. In this eBay thread, for instance, a seller explained:

I had a listing which I was not aware that was available for global shipping. A person in Russia Federal purchased the item and when I go to print my label for USPS Priority Mail it indicates the total weight of the package is 2 oz. I am wondering how that information was obtained because nowhere on my listing does it state that it weighs 2 oz.

Other sellers explain they need to pack fragile items differently if the item is being sent overseas, which could result in them being short-changed on shipping and handling costs if a product is sold through the program.

Many sellers are also concerned they might get in trouble if eBay sends items abroad that are against Federal law. One seller of computer parts said he lacked confidence in eBay’s GSP program: “eBay is notorious for their system glitches and as such, I will NOT take a chance that an eBay glitch will leave me with legal problems which eBay will neither defend nor will they aid me financially if a violation occurs.”

Other sellers have cited their items are advertised with excessive shipping and duties costs on eBay’s international marketplaces, with some reporting that overseas buyers have told them they would not purchase their goods if offered through the GSP program due to higher costs.

We also reported on eBay GSP “rejects,” cases in which eBay is unable to identify items as ineligible for international shipment until they arrive in eBay’s partner Pitney Bowes’ warehouse in Kentucky and are then liquidated.

The fulltext of this week’s letter from eBay is published on the EcommerceBytes Blog. You can learn more about the program on the eBay Global Shipping Program website.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.