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eBay Encourages Cross Border Trade with New Seller Protections

It can feel risky to accept orders from overseas buyers thanks in great part to language barriers and untested postal systems, so it’s not surprising that there are many countries to which online sellers would rather avoid shipping packages.

But in its aggressive push to increase cross border trade on its site, eBay is taking what sounds like extraordinary measures to give sellers an incentive to ship internationally despite their possible reservations.

“Now, as an added incentive to offer your items to international buyers,” eBay wrote, “we have extended extra protection for your seller performance from international shipping delays, any time you sell to a buyer in one the following countries.”

The countries ranged from Argentina to Zambia, but excluded Canada, Australia, and most European countries – the full list is found in the eBay announcement.

So what kind of protection is eBay promising?

As of November 5, 2014, whenever a buyer from one of the 34 countries listed makes an eBay Money Back Guarantee request for an item not received, leaves negative or neutral feedback, and/or low detailed seller ratings for ship time, eBay will automatically remove these transaction defects (so long as the transaction has no other defects and you have resolved any issues promptly with your buyer).

The move is unprecedented and shows the priority eBay is placing on international sales, which Bay noted had grown 27% for eBay Inc. in the third quarter of 2014 (presumably that includes large brands selling via eBay Enterprise). The company said that represents nearly a quarter of the total volume on its site.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.