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The Great Ebay issues with Global Shipping

Updated on September 3, 2013

Global shipping


what is Global shipping

Selling on ebay has become difficult with their global shipping program. The program appears to be automatic if you are using turbo lister. The issue came to the forefront when I had three items sell internationally to a customer in China. I have never shipped to an international location unless I authorize a bid by an international customer who emails me with a request to bid. I provide them with information that the item is not returnable. I also cannot guarantee delivery, although in my experiences thus far, the few I have had, delivery has been made and customers very satisfied.

Shipping via USPS has worked very well and takes care of customs and duties. With Global shipping, both the seller and the buyer are charged for the service.

According to Ebay's description of the program shown below. The program is automatically applied to all of our eligible listings. This is possibly true even if you as a seller has not noted you will ship internationally.

  1. The Global Shipping Program is automatically applied to all of your eligible listings. Your listings are shown to buyers around the world.
  2. 2.Import charges and international shipping costs are calculated automatically and collected from the buyer at checkout.
  3. 3.When an item sells to an international buyer, you just ship it to the US shipping center. The program takes it from there.
  4. 4.Follow best practices to boost your success

The dilemma this has caused is I have three items I sold to a Customer in China which I wasn't aware of until I went to invoice. Global shipping does not allow an invoice to be sent as Ebay sends out the invoice. Ebay in setting up the program didn't consider international buyers buying more than one product. The issue for the customer is they are invoiced for all three items separately. This means shipping rates, customs and duties are higher for the customer. Under normal circumstances shipping USPS would have allowed me to ship the product to China US mail all in one box, customs and other fees identified with the USPS documentation. Insurance is available through USPS for many shipments offering protection for shipments if paid for by the customer.

My buyer indicates they haven't received the invoice Ebay supposedly emailed. There is no way for the seller to see what has occurred except through emails asking why they can't buy it through the normal channels that have worked. Even in my discussions with ebay customer service, little is known on the status of the payment. They indicate there is no way to send a new invoice to include a timeframe for payment. This leaves the seller in a tough position.

The catch 22 is ebay doesn't have a way out of this predicament I am in except to ask the buyer to cancel the transaction then invoice through paypal which means we go outside of ebay to complete the transaction. Customer service actually indicates this is frowned upon and if used we still must guarantee delivery.

The products I sold are stuck in limbo unable to sell to a customer who is willing to pay for the items. The customer who bid and could pay for it was not able to win the item because ebay automatically assumed I as a seller wanted to use Global shipping.

The only reason this would be considered is with added costs, ebay adds to their profit picture adding value to their stock all at the expense of the users and the customers.

Customer service has told me I can take the hit if I want to go ahead and cancel the order myself and relist. I am stuck, the customer is stuck and ebay continues to make changes for profit without considering the entire picture and the effect it has on their customers.

I am writing this to inform others of the issue with the hope of a change by ebay to consider the impact of not fully implementing a program that isn't one automatic and two considers all aspect of the business.

We all might opt out of Global shipping and continue to be sure what listing you do create are US only making it easier with less risk of a loss because ebay hasn't totally put together a plan that works.


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      4 years ago

      Thank for this article.

      I am in Germany and want to buy an item from a US-seller and have it sent to a person in Florida. US shipping is free for the item (book).

      I'm stuck with eBay's global shipping which does not provide for a change of shipping address.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I gave it a try to... one bitten twice shy. After finding unexplainable discrepancies between amounts charged and where they went to, My seller and I decided not to use ebg. Charges were already paid though.

      Zero response regarding a refund from ebay, paypal or pitney bownes.

      Terrible business communication. Can't help using the "S' word. (scam)

      My advise to buyers and sellers is stick to straight USPS service. Never had a problem with them before and charges were reasonable. At least on small items.

      Steer clear of ebay global and pitney bownes I say.

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      5 years ago

      Regarding the Ebay GSP, it is another huge cash grab thought up by Ebay, and affects both sellers and buyer's.

      This is my experience, as a buyer in Canada, buying from US sellers.

      The GSP is wildly inconsistent, and the import fee's being charged are ridiculous. ( criminal imho, as they verge on 30% + )

      Quick comparison. I purchased an item that was $16 from 1 US seller, NOT in the program, and clearly stated $7.95 for USPS 1st class shipping. I received my item in 5 business days, and that is exactly what i paid.

      Same day, bought another item from a US seller, in the GSP. It was $16. BUT shipping stated was $16.95 ! Bit the bullet and bought anyway. The GSP then charged an additional $13 in import taxes, which is wrong, we in Canada don't pay any duty's/taxes/import charges on items under $60. ( in practise, this is more like $100 when through USPS ) So, 1 item i paid $7.95 to get it shipped, the other item, same price, i paid $30 !! Oh, the 1 i paid the ridiculous $30 for ? It took a week longer to get to me.

      This program is a scam, and a rip-off by Ebay.

      I have sent 3 letters to Ebay, asking for explanation's and justification's for their charges. Haven't received a single word back.

      How about some more ?

      A guitar for $2300 is listed, with the GSP. Their outrageous fee's for this to be shipped - $136 for shipping, $535 for import fee's !! So almost $700 !!! I can then contact another guitar seller, who will ship to me USPS, insured, with tracking. The cost ? Shipping charges are about $85. The import duty's/taxes are about $300, for a total a bit under $400. That is a $300 difference, and i can almost guarantee i will get it faster as well. Where are these charges coming from ?

      I think we know where the "extra" charges are going. ( and it is not to the seller, that is for sure )

      I have had close to 100 items shipped to me from the US in the last year, through USPS, and have not had a single issue or problem.

      Ultimately, if the listing has GSP as the method for ship, i no longer buy from them. So the seller has lost potential customer's. ( and there are a lot exactly the same as me ) Do a search of Ebay shipping rip-offs, and you will find list after list of people no longer willing to buy if the GSP is used, because they were ripped off when it was.

      Ebay should be ashamed of this cash grab, but that is there modus operandi now isn't it. Once they have sucked every fee out of the seller they can, they see how they can screw the buyer. Why billions in profit isn't enough, it always has to twice that etc., is there motto.

      And ultimately, i truly hope it ends up costing them big time. ( but i think we all know the only one's that suffer are the seller's, and buyer's as well )

      I would be happy to supply hundred's more examples, and its comical at times when the same sellers listings have huge variants in the amounts charged by the GSP.

      It needs to be ended, and for good. There is no responsible, or reasonable explanation for it.

      Thank you for your time, hope i have illustrated a bit how it works for Canadian buyers at least.




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