Selling internationally can seem like a lot of hassle, but eBay’s Global Shipping Programme aims to make it easy and stress-free to sell items to international buyers. We take a look at how the Global Shipping Programme – eBay GSP – works and how it can affect your Seller Ratings.
What is eBay’s Global Shipping Programme?
eBay’s Global Shipping Programme enables you to offer your eBay listings to international buyers without having to ship to foreign countries yourself. Items you list on eBay.co.uk will be available to buyers outside the UK, who will be able to pay for international postage and any necessary customer clearance services when they checkout, but all you as the seller have to do is post the item to eBay’s UK parcel processing facility for them to forward it abroad.
How does the Global Shipping Programme work?
You need to be located within the UK and listing on eBay.co.uk to use the Global Shipping programme. To start using it you need to opt in within your account settings:
- Go to ‘My Account’
- Select ‘Site Preferences’
- Tick the box to ‘Use the Global Shipping Programme for new eligible listings’
When you’re listing items, under the ‘International postage’ section you need to tick ‘Send your package to the UK Shipping Centre’. Once the item is purchased by a buyer in another country, eBay will send you the address of a UK shipping centre and a unique reference code to include on the postage label (if you use the label that eBay provides it will already contain the code). You can then post the item to the shipping centre with your normal shipping service.
Item’s being sold through eBay’s GSP must weigh less than 30kg, be no larger than 125,000 cm³, and the longest side has to be under 120cm. Parcels have to be worth less than £1,500, or under £800 for Russia.
Payments for Global Shipping Programme items
There’s no additional cost for using the Global Shipping Programme, eBay Final Value Fees are the same as they would be for a UK buyer. Your Final Value Fees are charged on the item’s price plus the cost of postage within the UK, not on the international postage costs or any import charges.
When an international buyer makes a purchase they will pay as normal through PayPal, and then PayPal splits the payment between you and the international postage provider - you receive the full cost of the item and domestic postage.
International postage costs and import charges are calculated by eBay so you don’t have to add any additional information to your listings. An estimate of the import charges for non-EU shoppers will appear on the listing page but they aren’t finalised until the checkout; the charge will include all applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees.
Handling returns through the Global Shipping Programme
Your UK return policy will be displayed and applied to EU buyers; under EU law buyers have 14 days to say that they want to return an item. For non-EU buyers, eBay suggests that sellers communicate directly with buyers to work out a returns arrangement and solution. Exchanging items isn’t supported through the GSP so if a buyer returns an item for an exchange you have to organise the international postage for the replacement item yourself.
In all circumstances, eBay will be responsible for refunding international postage costs, while you have to refund the cost of the item and domestic postage costs. If the buyer changes their mind about the item and wishes to return it you have to specify that they are responsible for covering return postage costs. Find out more about eBay returns here.
Problems and feedback
Once an item is accepted at eBay’s shipping centre you aren’t responsible for any loss or damage. If a buyer makes an eBay Money Back Guarantee claim or a PayPal Buyer Protection case because the item isn’t received, or it is damaged in transit from the shipping centre you won’t be responsible for refunding the buyer.
eBay also offers protection against negative feedback and damage to your seller rating if you send items through the Global Shipping Programme:
- You will automatically have 5-star protection on postage and packaging charges if you offer free postage to the UK shipping centre. Ratings below 5-star for postage and packaging won’t count against your seller performance standards.
- You also qualify for 5-star protection on delivery time if:
- you have a same day or one day dispatch time
- and you upload tracking information within one working day of receiving cleared payment (or mark item as shipped if you’re not using a tracked service)
- and the item is delivered to the UK Shipping Centre within three working days.
- Buyers are able to leave feedback for items bought through the Global Shipping Programme, but eBay will remove neutral or negative feedback if:
- An eBay Money Back Guarantee claim was found in your favour.
- After acceptance at the UK Shipping Centre the item is not delivered to the buyer
- If a buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback but doesn’t make a Money Back Guarantee claim.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Global Shipping Programme
All international customs, taxes and any other charges are calculated and arranged for you through the shipping programme, making selling internationally a lot simpler. On top of that, once the item reaches the shipping centre you’re protected against any loss or damages to your item. You’re also protected against negative feedback relating to postage and packaging costs and delivery time that might otherwise affect your seller rating.
However, you can still be scammed by buyers when you sell something through the Global Shipping Programme and arranging returns and refunds can be a lot more complicated. It can also cost more in postage for buyers if they have to pay for domestic and international shipping, and it can take considerably longer for the item to reach a buyer. While a slow delivery time won’t affect your seller ratings, it may put off some international buyers from purchasing from you in the first place.