Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 4 2013 18:38:58

Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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Some sellers just don't want to deal with international sales, so eBay created a program designed to take at least some of the headaches away. But sellers, beware - if you click to accept eBay's new User Agreement beginning July 1st, you could be "opting in" to the Global Shipping Program (GSP) without realizing it.

eBay warned of this back in April, but at the time, could not provide me with screenshots of what the process would look like. eBay had said it was adding provisions to its UA about the GSP, and users who hadn't yet opted in to the program could opt in by accepting the User Agreement.

But apparently the implications aren't obvious to all. Some sellers are learning that their listings are now available to international buyers. And apparently, their eligible listings are automatically showing a checkmark next to them, which the seller can uncheck if they don't wish to make those listings available to international sellers through GSP.

Sellers can opt out of the program, however, as some have learned by visiting the eBay discussion boards and asking their fellow sellers.

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore pointed to FAQs for additional information. One such FAQ states:  

If I am an existing seller, does this update to the User Agreement mean that I have to agree to have my items sold through the Global Shipping Program?

No, you are not required to sell through the Global Shipping Program. The update specifically states that, unless you have previously opted into the program, eBay will not make your items available through the program unless and until you indicate your desire to take advantage of the program. If you decide to use the Global Shipping Program, simply accept the User Agreement in the form of an electronic click-through, when it is presented to you at log in.


I don't recall eBay ever using a User Agreement update in this way, and it seems clearly designed to increase adoption of the Global Shipping Program - eBay's not showing it to all users. The GSP program itself isn't necessarily "good or bad" - it really depends on the seller and the types of items they're listing, and if they want to expose themselves to the risks of selling internationally.

Monday's Newsflash newsletter provides additional information. Let us know if you've had any confusion over the way eBay is implementing this "opt in" program.




Comments (26) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Aug 4 19:47:48 2013

More lies, more secrets.

More bait, more switch.

As I recall if a seller selected not to opt in, the next page seen was the Close Your ebay Account page.

So the best choice was not make a choice.

Ebay claims the reason it taxes shipping charges is to reduce exorbitantly high shipping charges to create a "better buying experience."

Yet in many cases using the GSP ebay itself charges unconscionably high shipping/customs charges thereby resulting in more unpaid items when buyers discover they're going to pay $70.00 to the ebay/Pitney Bowes conspiracy syndicate for a $20.00 item.

THIS is a "better buying experience?"

Ebays seems to think so. After all, buyer will blame the seller and decimate the seller's star ratings and feedback which is the secret underlying strategy of this criminal shipping program.

Watch for lawsuits if ebay makes the Global Shipping Program and Managed Returns mandatory.

They have NO legal standing to compel their use because they're ONLY A VENUE.

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: Duke This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 4 20:12:05 2013

I haven't been opted in, but recently China, Hong Kong, and 10 other countries show blocked on my listings.  Yet they're not selected on my Blocked Country list.

Do I need to enroll in the GSP to ship to those countries?  (Really annoying, since I've been shipping eBay items worldwide for over 10 years.)

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: ConsumerAtLarge This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 4 20:13:04 2013

Absolutely Ming - especially when you consider their Misleading User agreement that seeks to waive all liability as a venue, while manipulating buyers and sellers like an e-commerce slumlord.

How does Ebay's constant interference with the buy/seller transaction/relationship, reconcile with their BS user agreement?  

3.1 Online Auctions. Although we are commonly referred to as an online auction web site, it is important to realise that we are not a traditional ''auctioneer''. Instead, our Site acts as a venue to allow members to offer, sell, and buy just about anything, at anytime, from anywhere, in a variety of formats, including a fixed price format and an auction-style format commonly referred to as an ''online auction''. We are not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers. As a result, we have no control over the quality, safety or legality of the items or content posted by users on the Site, the truth or accuracy of the listings, the ability of sellers to sell items or the ability of buyers to buy items. We cannot ensure and do not guarantee that a buyer or seller will actually complete a transaction or act lawfully in using our Site.  

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 4 20:37:38 2013

The problem with Ebay's global shipping program is that Ebay sets the cost of shipping and they add to the cost an estimated custom charge and possibly a small handling charge for the shipper at their warehouse. When adding Ebay's estimated custom charges to the post office's outrageous 50% increase for international shipping this past January; I found I had no sales from ebay's global shipping program.

On 1 of my smaller accounts I tried Ebay;s program for a week and within a few days I had 2 separate buyers message me to ask why I'm charging so much. Instead of my normal rate of $20 for 1 record to Europe and Asia, Ebay's global shipping rate was $24.75, so I had no sales and dropped it when the week ended.  Ebay came up with a good idea but the post office's huge rate increase combined with Ebay's lack of common sense has appeared to ruin it.

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Aug 4 20:47:28 2013

Two questions:

1) How many sellers will CHOOSE to leave eBay forever (both as a seller *and* a buyer)?

2) How many sellers will be FORCED to leave (eventually) when this change is fully implemented?

BONUS QUESTION:

** Is this what eBay wants? **

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Aug 4 23:28:50 2013

When the GSP was first announced, eBay detailed around a dozen different fees that the buyer would be forced to pay if the seller used the service. I'm a seller who tries to ship at the lowest postage amount possible for my buyers, and I'm sure there are many others who do the same. So it amazes me that eBay thought this would be a good idea to force its sellers to use a service that no buyer is going to be happy about.

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sun Aug 4 23:46:25 2013

Don't forget the GSP items are shipped in bulk to destination countries and any import tariff/GST/VAT that might usually be not collected on items under a certain value, will undoubtedly have that amount included in the shipping cost as the bulk consignment may exceed the non-taxed shipment value, and even if the shipment gets through tax free, eBay/PB aren't going to refund anyone for that amount ...

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.”—Mark Twain ...
Now I understand how the Ho managed to get to the top … http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Aug 5 00:07:04 2013

@ iheartjacksparrow

Unhappy buyers = low star ratings and negative feedback

Low star ratings and negative feedback = reduced or eliminated seller discounts and possible loss of powerseller status

Reduced or eliminated seller discounts and possible loss of powerseller status = short term higher profits for ebay and continued erosion of its buyer/seller base

Short term higher profits for ebay and continued erosion of its buyer/seller base = long term decreased profitability and continuing user migration

Long term decreased profitability and continuing user migration = termination of current management team and their millions in golden parachutes further decreasing ebay profitability

Termination of current management team and their millions in golden parachutes further decreasing ebay profitability = Bainification endgame


Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 01:23:16 2013

I sell an item world wide that ships PACKED WEIGHT at 6 OUNCES.

The regular old First Class shipping for this to most countries comes in at about $12

I had a buyer who decided to scam me on the item due to ebay's new absurd "requirement" that we obtain a DELIVERY CONFIRMATION for ALL shipments or basically we agree to GIVE the item AND the postage cost away.  Our large Regional PO claimed that the "Numbers" on the Customs Form WERE the Delivery Confirmation Numbers---however;  they were NOT.  So lied to AGAIN by a DIFFERENT Ho.  Sigh.

So I went to the main PO and asked about the options.  They claim that the ONLY way to ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY GUARANTEE that anything ever gets TO a buyer with DELIVERY CONFIRMATION is to send that 6 OUNCE package via GLOBAL EXPRESS MAIL.  At a cost of $60.00

Please note--this item has a BIN of $45 on it!

For First class REGISTERED--which the PO insisted MUST be scanned at ALL points--the cost would be $13.95 PLUS an ADDITIONAL $14 for the REGISTERED portion--so approx $30 for that $45 USD item!!!!
And they can't guarantee that the receiving country WILL scan the item--any more than they can on a Global Express as it is OUT OF THEIR HANDS!!!!  And some countries don't HAVE an agreement with the US so you CAN"T get Del Confirm for them at ALL!!!!

In all of the years I have been shipping items WORLDWIDE including to Mongolia;  Iraq (during this war)  Israel; Australia;  Tasmania;  New Zealand;  Brazil;  South Africa;  Ecuador and most of Europe and Greenland and Iceland (and I ship to Finland regularly for a family friend and to my sister in Thailand)---I have NEVER,  Please read that again--N.E.V.E.R. had a problem with International shipments.  

However since now ebay has made a system where anyone with a little "Front Money" can buy pretty much anything from ebay sellers and either REFUSE to pay the "required" Del Confirm postage fees OR count on the absurdity to have sellers decide to take the risk--ebay has created a whole NEW class of scammers.  Along with a little collusion with the PO of course in telling customers that the numbers are GOOD for TRACKING--until of course--they are NOT!

Now I have "Learned my lesson well"  and have--in direct violation of ebays own "rules"--posted a "fractured" email address on my listing;  have made several mentions that potential overseas customers MUST contact me in advance OR I will cancel their bids;  made mention of the absurd USPS costs;  AND when contacted by potential ebay overseas buyers I am "encouraging" them to use "Alternative shippikng methods" ie they agree to buy the item DIRECTLY from me and pay that "cheap"  $12 First Class postage and get their item and are HAPPY.

Do I have a twinge of conscience about doing this?  Hell no.  ebay has FORCED sellers into subterfuge again and again.

So far this week I have had two potential buyers contact me.  One asked for postage to the UK.  Wehn I explained all of this he then said--WEll I prefer to purchase theur the USUAL SYSTEM--as long as you keep the price LOW.  Did I not JUST explain WHY I can no longer DO this if they insist on using ebay?  So--never heard again.  Now I have another one and using a different approach so we shall see.  Suspect tho that most will either not "get" what I am saying or place a bid and get mad.  

I surely cannot expect a buyer to pay either the $60 from the USPS for Global Express nor the $30 or so for Registered First Class OR whatever absurd  amount Pitney Bowes might charge.

Two things occur to me:::::

How do we find out HOW MUCH Pitney Bowes IS charging for these items?   So we can make an informed decision???

And::::

Do we ALSO need to pay for Delivery Confirm AND the postage to KENTUCKY???  Who pays for THAT little Chunk 'o Change????

Like most of ebays crack headed ideas--not exactly.  Did the Ho really take an ENTIRE "Thinking Day" to come up with THIS hot mess???


What a WASTE of time.

 

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 02:19:02 2013

@ comet

I suspect you too will learn that buyers are suspicious of sellers offering direct deals or different shipping options other than what ebay shows on the site. The Ho has made buyers distrustful of sellers so they are on edge.

We used to do between 35-50% international but gave up on it completely on Jan 27th this year when the rates went way up. Been doing only domestic since and don't plan on going back, good riddance is all I have to say.

Every once in a while someone will beg us to send an order overseas and almost every time, we are reminded what a pain it is to ship out of the US.

Where is my item? The tracking doesn't show its location!!! If it doesn't get here soon I'm going to file a paypal claim! It goes on and on.

The global shipping program is designed to make money for ebay with little to no liability, sellers are still fully liable so why bother?
I'm certainly not that disparate for sales to have to put up with all the headaches international shipments bring and this global shipping program has crazy insane shipping , vat, duty and taxes. Few international buyers will be happy with that FUBAR shipping process.

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 02:48:53 2013

They can shove their International crap where the sun don't shine. I''l be darned if I am ever forced to sell where I don't care to.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 05:57:58 2013

Last I listed an item , you could check off an exclusion list.  I take it that doesn't mean a thing anymore?

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by: bunnspec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 07:39:17 2013

The execs at ebay couldn't market their way out of a gold mine,, That being said, the ebay of pre'08 the mine was being regulated; the ebay of pre '06 the mine was going full blast with new veins being tapped and the revenues were rolling in-happy dances all around and even Meggie got into the spirit by saying "a monkey can run this train"

The ebay of post '08 the exposed veins are being sold off to benefit the execs ONLY and many veins have been sealed off, with the panic setting in at HQ about WTF is going on.... as I said, they couldn't market their way out of a gold mine...

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Aug 5 09:09:05 2013

I think it is up to the individual to determine her/his options for accepting the Global Sales option.

For my niche area, international shipping counts for about 10-15% of my business. I've had very good customers for over 10 years in the UK, Australia, France & New Zeland & have shipped to South Africa & Russia (with fingers crossed). Once I've had a shipment lost in Germany where the customs can take 3 weeks - but the person never received it - chalk it up to doing business - it was an over $150 item. I've had multiple items sent to California where they were aggregated to shipping to Japan - that I liked. Just ship to that address & forget about it. I'm sure the ultimate customer in Japan was pleased. Sort of like Global Sales, but without me getting involved.

If I have an item under 4lbs, you're durn tootin' that I offer the buyer the 1st class package option vs Priority Global.

Who trusts eBay anyway? And which constitutional scholar wrote that user agreement? My god! I've seen shyster lawyers & amulance chasers behave in a more ethical manner.
Obfuscation is the leading cause of banging your head against a hard surface.
@bunnspec
eBay might not be able to market their way out of a gold mine,
but,
They have the gold mine & the sellers got the shaft!

Peace

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 10:09:49 2013

Having been in the transportation business, we found that shipping mulitple packages in bulk to foreign destinations is extremely lucrative.  The shipping agent buys bulk space on an airline with shipping charges a fraction of what an individual will pay to air mail one package internationally.

eBay is reaping large profits, and Pitney Bowes is reaping large profits at the sellers' and buyers' expense.  Instead of helping sellers with shipping discounts to increase sales for sellers, eBay's MBA's have found another way to extort large profits from sellers.

My sales, until the January rate hike, to Australia and the UK were 25% of my business.   Now, foreign sales account for less than 3%.   So please excuse me, this 13 year veteran eBay seller  has a date with a lawn mower to make a few bucks.

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 10:24:01 2013

This could confuse sellers who are busy and they opt in to the new user agreement thinking if they do not they cannot sell on ebay. Ebay is counting on that, people not reading all the fine print. I will say it again, why do you feel it is necessary to be deceitful and dishonest ebay? Is it really beneficial for you to do this? Tell sellers to either opt in or opt out in their site preferences.

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Aug 5 10:40:06 2013

comet asks: "Do we ALSO need to pay for Delivery Confirm AND the postage to KENTUCKY???  Who pays for THAT little Chunk 'o Change????"

According to the TOS, "Your buyer is responsible for ... your domestic shipping charges to ship the GSP Item to the U.S. Shipping Center; third party international shipping charges to ship Buyer orders from the U.S. Shipping Center to the designated delivery address; fuel surcharges; charges for selling, general, and administrative expenses, hardware, software development and licenses, operations, and hosting by Pitney Bowes; charges from third party parcel processing service providers and for the management of the parcel processing service providers and related software systems; charges relating to the management of insurance for lost or damaged items; charges for operational expenses associated with short-term loss recovery and the management of variances between the quoted Shipping amount and actual costs; and any referral fees paid by Pitney Bowes to eBay for referring you to the Program."

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 11:44:03 2013

I recently had a customer from Russia and the post office requires me to now go directly to the post office to purchase postage for Russia, and I cannot receive my discount for postage so it was unaffordable and I lost lots of money on one item to Russia.  That is directly the fault of the USPS, so I had to block Russia just because I cannot print the postage and get my discount at my home/business.

Perminate Link for Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales   Accepting New eBay User Agreement Could Opt You into Global Sales

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 13:15:34 2013

Hey Phil and Ming- take a look at what Toledo maude added- interesting.
MH  

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by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 5 14:18:39 2013

I quit shipping internationally several years ago due to the high shipping costs and the high ''problem'' rate - item not received (requested full refund) or item not working properly (partial or full refund). With the new higher international shipping costs and the ebay FVF on the shipping cost, it is just not worth shipping internationally.

If ebay requires me to sign up for the GSP, I will not be selling on ebay any more.

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