Friday, November 30, 2012

Ebay's Global Shipping Program - Bad for Sellers and Keeps International Buyers from your listings!

Have you heard of Ebay's Global Shipping Program?

I wrote this original post 6 years ago. I think ebay has improved the GSP program and hopefully doesn't charge outrageous prices anymore. I must say that a year ago I rejoined the program. Here's why:
I have always shipped internationally. I didn't get very many international buyers but I was a very part time seller. I did however have a few packages that I couldn't print postage at home for because of the specific country. It is a pain to ship from the post office, especially in the holiday season. I also had an $90 sale not show up at the buyers home. I had sent it international first class and the tracking ends when it leaves the US so I had no way to verify whether the item did arrive or not. Had I sent it priority, I would have been covered. The calculator doesn't always charge enough to cover the actual shipping so I gave up.

With GSP, you ship your item to Kentucky. Ebay takes over and is responsible from there.
I do however still ship to Canada with calculated shipping. It saves Canadian buyers a lot and I can still print the postage at home.

I have to admit that I haven't checked to see if the international buyers are still charged prices similar to the one below but I will leave this old post up in case it helps others.


 If you are a seller on ebay you probably have received an e-mail from ebay urging you to join this program. You should join this program only if you never want to sell to an international buyer again.

 It sounds like a good idea, they take care of the shipping and customs fees for you. Making sure the buyer receives their item. The only problem is, they charge your buyer the shipping fee you ask, their own shipping fee and 'import fees'. It often adds up to be more than the items cost.

 I did not know this until a buyer from Greece was interested in my item and started to make an offer, then she e-mailed me this message;

  I am interested in the dress you are listing. However, in addition to shipping cost you add "import charges" currently at $34.75 !!! Please note that: 1. above and any amount given by the he Global Shipping Program are totally arbitrary and false. In Greece we only may (or may not)have to pay applicable customs duties to the fixed amount of 3 Euro = $4-4.50. 2. $24.59 + $34.75 = $ 59.34!!! for a dress via Inernational Priority!!! (Not even USPS Express costs that much for a dress!!) 3. In addition this Global Shipping Program states that this alleged import charge $34.75 (amount confirmed at checkout)=This amount is subject to change until you make payment. !!!!! This mean that the buyer does not know how much the total shipping cost, and therefore the total sale price, would be...!!! Who on earth would buy something without knowing the cost.I believe this Global Shipping Program is meant for someone to profit over it.

 After asking her what she was talking about she copy and pasted what she was seeing on her end.

  By ticking on the ? box at the end of $34.75(amount confirmed at checkout) we get = This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees. This amount is subject to change until you make payment. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions" By clicking on the link "terms and conditions" we get to the page regarding Global Shipping Program, whereby it says that this third party company profiteering from this scheme, both at seller's and buyer's expenses, are Pitney Bowes and operated by a third party logistics provider. Pitney Bowes will oversee the sorting and processing of the GSP Item at the U.S. Shipping Center in preparation for international shipment.( search it under eBay makes it look like you the seller has opted out for this third party handling of the shipping process." Nature of the Program. Your seller (“Seller”) has chosen to make certain items, which your Seller has listed on, available for delivery outside of the United States through the Program (“GSP Item(s)”), along with certain parcel processing, domestic and international shipping, and customs clearance services (collectively, the “Services”) that are being offered to you by a third party global technology and shipping provider, Pitney Bowes Inc. (“Pitney Bowes”). The pricing that is displayed to you at checkout is inclusive of all shipping and import charges associated with these Services, as described further below."

 I tried to figure out how to opt out of this program, if you go to the FAQ is says to uncheck the box for the GSP when you list the item. I use Auctiva to list my items so this means I would have to list then revise each of my items before they received a bid. Huge waste of time this time of year when I am trying to list as many items as I can.

 I called Ebay and the operator took me through the steps to bulk edit my listings and remove the GSP from all items without bids or offers. She did confirm that I would have to take the GSP off each listing. I asked to speak to someone above her and stressed that it is bad business to ask sellers to join a program then refuse to let them unjoin. I asked her to put a request in for a change to the program and provide the option to cancel it.

Have you had an experience with the GSP? Or anyother ebay experiences, good or bad? I would love to hear them!


mia said...

Hello. I am Canadian. I have just come across this Global Shipping on Ebay. It is excessive charges and fees that we would never be paying. I buy clothing on Ebay; and in over 1000 purchases from the US, I have only had to pay fees/duty/taxes 2 times ( and then applied to have them refunded). Canada Customs and the Post charges NO added fees on anything below $20.00 ever!; and MANY other purchases are never charged fees. This option is SO unattractive. Me, and everyone I kbnow will NOT be buying from sellers who are using this. Canadian sellers are actually happy about this though ( can you guess why?)

Anonymous said...

The following from eBay's site concerns the buyer's charges:

"In the listing, the buyer sees an estimate of the international shipping charges and the import charge. During checkout, the buyer sees the final charges which include the item cost, the international shipping charges, and the import charge. The international shipping charges include any US shipping, as well as program fees, third-party international shipping charges, fuel surcharges, and processing and handling fees. The import charge includes applicable customs duties, taxes, and third-party brokerage."

Why would any buyer agree to all those extra charges? It's going to be, what, double?, triple?, the charge compared to if the seller just went to the post office? I don't see this "service" succeeding when every buyer wants items mailed as cheaply as possible.

Anonymous said...

Hey Fabulous Style, just wanted you to know that as a Canadian I have been just *not* bidding on any item with Global Shipping Program.

What you may not know is that for items over a certain size, Pitney Bowes Corporation gets $4.95 out of the so-called "Import Charges" (which aren't just customs duty and taxes, they include this front-end load to Pitney-Bowes)

Also, Canadians have been finding shipment through the GSP takes dramatically longer than it does when items are just sent using ordinary US Postal Service. I presume this is because items are first shipped to a Pitney-Bowes centre, hen get shuffled around and processed, then get bulk mailed.

So we're supposed to pay $4.95 to Pitney-Bowes to get slower service?

I don't think so.

Every eBay user I know here in Canada is boycotting listings that use the GSP.

Anonymous said...

Global shipping Program does not benefit U.S. sellers or we Canadian buyers. It only benefits eBay and Pitney-Bowes.

Seems most U.S. sellers are not aware of this. They see it as a convenience at their end and do not see these extra costs are at the International buyer's expense. Some do not even know they have opted in or know what GSP really is.

Boycotting U.S. sellers using GSP is not the answer though.

Instead contact them and ask they remove the GSP from the listing so you can bid and explain how it hurts both sellers and buyers. Explain how it benefits only Ebay and P&B making them more money at the expense of International buyers. Inform them of all the negatives about this scam service. Ask them to opt out of GSP. Mention they do not need GSP to ship Internationally. Also mention they should do a search about GSP to find out all the negative things for themselves.

Perhaps when more sellers realize how much International business they are losing because International buyers will not buy from U.S. sellers using GSP, more word will get around and more will opt out of the GSP scam.

The goal is to get this scam known and to increase business for both sellers and buyers. Many sellers do not search forums and do not realize there is a problem with GSP. The only real direct way is for buyers to contact sellers using GSP and try to get them to opt out.

As a side note:
I wonder how much if any of these import fees are sent to Canada Customs. I've heard some buyers have had to pay Canada Customs again because there was no paper work to prove import fees were paid. Could International buyers with experience receiving something from a seller using GSP tell us what import paper work was included, if any.