|Tue Feb 11 2014 07:02:42|
eBay Global Shipping Undeliverables End up Back on eBay
By: Ina Steiner
The theory behind eBay's new Global Shipping Program (GSP) is laudable - make it easy for U.S. sellers to list internationally without dealing with the hassles of international shipping. But there are a number of flaws in the program. One is that in some cases, eBay is disappointing global buyers: some items appear to be available to international buyers but, after being purchased and paid for, the orders may then be canceled.
eBay takes care of the buyer and seller in such cases. However, it then has a third party relist those undeliverable items on eBay - and they have no qualms about using the original seller's photographs, title, description and pricing.
In the case of one-of a kind collectibles, disappointed global buyers are likely to have their search saved as they continue to look for items to add to their collection. What must they think when they see the SAME EXACT ITEM for sale on eBay a week or two later?
Some of this could be avoided if sellers knew that items they had listed for sale were being advertised as being available to ship internationally. But some sellers don't even know when eBay has placed them in the GSP program. One seller explained how this is possible in a recent Letter to the Editor, and it is a common complaint. This experienced eBay seller had no idea eBay was making his items available to overseas buyers. Given that sellers are responsible for what they export, this presents a huge problem.
On eBay's page describing GSP eligibility, it writes, "The item must not be ineligible, illegal, hazardous, subject to export restrictions, prohibited by eBay, or prohibited by the Global Shipping Program." But if eBay opts the seller into the program without their knowledge, how can the seller turn off the GSP setting on items that are ineligible?
See more in today's Newsflash story about how eBay disposes of Global Shipping Program rejects.
UPDATE: Here's another challenge for sellers who choose to use eBay's Global Shipping Program. Preparing items for international shipment requires different packaging than sending domestically. The seller who wrote this letter to the editor said sending fragile items overseas would require extra packaging - but eBay GSP charges international buyers the same shipping and handling costs as domestic buyers.
In further conversations with the seller, she said, "For example the new USPS boxes would survive domestic shipping but never survive international shipping and (this is from personal experience) so you have to purchase or use extra packing materials." She has since removed all items from the GSP program. Over 500 items listed under multiple IDs - "To go thru and double check packaging is way too much work for one person," she said.
UPDATE 2/14/14: See eBay to Expand Global Shipping Program Beyond the US.