Just wanted to report a frustrating experience with eBay's Global Shipping Program. I listed a small lot of vintage paper souvenirs (notepad, brochures, map) from The Mirage Hotel in Vegas, including a large promotional postcard of Sigfried & Roy who performed there. My original listing also included 2 Mirage matchbooks.
I have almost all of my listings opted in to eBay's Global Shipping Program. Turned out a nice lady in Germany purchased this lot on July 6. When I saw that it was going overseas, I messaged her through eBay's message function to let her know the matchbooks would be prohibited for shipping via air, and offered to cancel the order if she wished.
She replied that she didn't really want the matchbooks, so just send everything else, which I did. The first class package to the Kentucky eBay clearing house was small and flat (9"x7") and 4 ounces.
I am truly dumbfounded at what eBay actually does at their Global Shipping warehouse - I thought they opened packages for possible inspection before they add custom forms or whatever else they do to get the packages onto their final destination - which, as we know, the buyer pays dearly for through the inflated shipping charges, custom fees, etc that eBay makes sure we sellers don't see how much padding they have for profit.
Tracking showed eBay Global Shipping Center received the package from Indiana to Kentucky on July 8. eBay sat on this package for 9 days, for no apparent reason. Today (17th), I got an email from eBay saying that my shipment is prohibited, will NOT be sent to the buyer, but they will refund the buyer and allow me to keep the payment, but the package will NOT be returned. WHAT?!?
I immediately messaged eBay for Business on Facebook, explained that there was nothing prohibited in the package, which should have been obvious by the flatness of the small envelope, and also pointed out the messages between me and the buyer that eBay clearly monitors, saying the matchbooks would NOT be sent.
The eBay FB rep was polite but said nothing they could do about it, that they just went by the listing title and at least I wasn't out the payment. The sale was only $15 so very minor in the grand scheme of things, but the Sigfried & Roy postcard was somewhat unique. It's just infuriating that eBay didn't even bother to look inside after holding it for 9 days.
I knew from previous Global Shipping experience that packages tend to sit there for weeks before moving on, but always thought it was because they were "doing something" with them. How naive of me. Makes me sad that the very nice buyer is now disappointed too.
Curious to know what happens to the items eBay "confiscates" from GSP.... do they resell or auction lots off locally?
Saturday Night Live's Gilda Radner character "Roseanne Roseannadanna": must have been talking about eBay when she said: "It's always something... if it's not one thing, it's another."
Note from the Editor
: In 2014 we wrote about what happens when eBay allows an item to be sold through the Global Shipping Program but is cancelled after the sale, as what happened to the reader above. See, "eBay Global Shipping Undeliverables End up Back on eBay." We're not sure if the identical practice remains in place today.