Whether you are selling on eBay or just thinking about starting your own e-commerce business on this platform, the eBay Global Shipping Program is a topic worth knowing.
The ability to ship your products internationally is what may help you scale your online business. However, there are merchants who might not be so positive about it.
So, what do you need to know about the eBay Global Shipping Program before you embark on this journey to make sure that your business will benefit? Let’s find out in this article.
What is the Global Shipping Program on eBay?
Under the Global Shipping Program, all you need to do is ship your product to a shipping center in your own country. Then eBay handles the actual delivery to the buyer.
The eBay Global Shipping Program divides the responsibilities between two parties: the seller and the shipping center:
- The seller: responsible for getting the package to the shipping center.
- The shipping center: responsible for processing the package at the shipping center and delivering it to the buyer.
How to sign up for the eBay Global Shipping Program?
eBay Global Shipping Program centers handle all issues connected with international delivery to the buyer:
- International postage
- Export/import charges
The eBay Global Shipping Program opens up new markets to online sellers around the world. To apply for the eBay GSP, a merchant’s eBay store rating should be at least Above Standard and comply with the eBay regulations and laws.
The eBay Global Shipping Program: Countries and Products
Since there are specific restrictions under the eBay Global Shipping Program you need to get accounted with the list of eligible countries to where you can sell your products:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Greece||Oman|
|Brunei Darussalam||Israel||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Dominican Republic||Malta||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Ecuador||Martinique (French)||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|El Salvador||Monaco||United Arab Emirates|
There are restrictions on the size, weight depending on the buyer’s country. You can check them on the eBay Global Shipping Program page in the block “Eligibility”. There are lists with the items and categories not to be sold under the eBay GSP.
📌 Note: if your item or country is not eligible for the eBay Global Shipping Program, you may still be able to ship it internationally yourself.
How to use the eBay Global Shipping Program?
The general flow looks like this:
- Once an eBay store is registered for the Global Shipping Program, sellers can adjust their settings to immediately show their goods to the customers internationally.
- An international buyer orders an item from your eBay store with the Global Shipping Program.
📌 Note: You can choose one of four options for implementing the eBay Global Shipping Program to your items.
- Offer the Global Shipping Program on all new eligible listings.
- Offer the Global Shipping Program on any new single listing.
- Edit a single existing listing to offer the Global Shipping Program.
- Edit multiple existing listings to offer the Global Shipping Program.
📌 Note: eBay automatically adds all of the international postage charges (including shipping costs, duties, taxes) to be paid for by the buyer and estimated delivery dates to your listing.
- The merchant sends the ordered item to the GSP shipping center in their country. The center will provide packaging, add a unique identifier code for your parcel. Now under the Global Shipping Program it will be visible for international postage services, implying that sellers will be able to track their goods delivery end-to-end.
📌 Note: It differs from Amazon FBA storing inventory in their fulfillment house. Check this article to know more about the Amazon FBA service.
- The shipping center takes care of the customs process and completes the delivery to the final destination.
Benefits of the eBay Global Shipping Program
The eBay Global Shipping Program is aimed to open doors for eBay sellers to international e-commerce and take advantage of not having to deal with customs, fees, and international sales tax calculations. Everything is done by the service on behalf of the merchants.
What features of this service will be the most beneficial to eBay GSP users?
Here is the list:
- Quick access to markets. Not all e-commerce businesses have easy access to international markets. Global online sales come with a lot of regulations to follow. But the eBay GSP is one of the steps that is free, fast, and easy to take for e-commerce business owners to start this journey.
- No eBay Global Shipping fees. There are no enrollment fees for merchants and a ready market with millions of buyers online from any corner of the world.
- Convenience. The eBay Global Shipping Program makes international shipping as simple and efficient as local delivery. eBay GSP participants don’t have to deal with customs, fill out numerous mundane forms. For the sellers, there are no extra duties or taxes to calculate, or international deliveries to organize. The most time-consuming and difficult part is done by eBay on the merchants’ behalf.
- Less risk for buyers and sellers. Both sides of the sale get protected by the official platform’s service. For example, under the eBay Global Shipping Program, if the parcel gets lost or damaged during its shipping route, the seller is not liable for this situation.
- Transparency. The costs for international shipping are automatically added to the listed goods. So all costs including shipping, duties, and taxes are provided upfront. No hidden eBay Global Shipping Program fees or other surprises upon delivery.
- Efficiency. Using the eBay GSP can be less time-consuming, and shipping and customs clearance should be fast and easy because all the duties are reported and paid in advance. All operational processes of international selling, such as customs, import or export charges, and tax, are taken off merchants.
The eBay Global Shipping Program: Tracking
Under the eBay Global Shipping Program you can monitor where the shipment is at all times and it will show you the progress of the shipment from the time it leaves the warehouse to when it is delivered to the buyer’s address.
The buyer gets protection in case of the parcel being lost and can track its route with the help of international tracking systems via eBay GSP. The uploaded tracking number is converted to a Global Tracking number that can be used to track the product.
The eBay Global Shipping Program Problems
Despite all the benefits, the eBay Global Shipping Program may not be the perfect delivery solution for every seller.
Let’s see what problems sellers can face with the eBay Global Shipping Program:
1. Restrictions for parcels. As mentioned above, not all items will be eligible and not all countries will be eligible either. Under the eBay GSP your parcels may face the following restrictions:
- On the size, weight, and value. Under the eBay Global Shipping Program such restrictions vary depending on the destination country. For US sellers, the maximum weight is between 66 and 150 lbs and the maximum length between 66 and 118 inches. Most countries allow a maximum value of $2500, but can be as low as $200.
- On the type of items shipped. As with regular eBay listings, there are restrictions on the type of items that can be listed and shipped, such as illegal or hazardous items. Additionally, some categories of items can’t be included in the eBay GSP, such as smart watches, gift cards and tickets.
- On the destination address. For most destination countries, the buyer must have a physical address, rather than a P.O. Box.
2. Slower delivery times. Despite the fact that with the eBay Global Shipping Program every part of the cross-border shipping process is predefined and prepaid, not everything always goes as smoothly as expected. Delivery time frames can be extended.
Here’s why this can become a problem:
- The online shopping market is overflowing with quick delivery offers. More and more buyers are getting used to same-day delivery and don’t like to wait. Merchants need to carefully weigh up the demand for their product and how quickly their competitors can deliver.
3. Too costly for selling small items
The eBay GSP postage costs have been known to be disproportionally high for shipping small lightweight items.
- Don’t forget about the import tax on all parcels to be added on top of shipping fees. Under the eBay Global Shipping Program with all costs adding up, low value, smaller items become either too costly for customers or unprofitable for sellers.
- The eBay GSP uses flat rates to charge for their international postage services in order to streamline their process. It means buyers will not get the best price for something of low value and lightweight. So why order if they can get the same product locally?
- Under the eBay Global Shipping Program, combined postage is not available. It means that each item must be shipped individually and paid for separately and buying more goods from your online store becomes in some cases disadvantageous for customers.
The eBay Shipping Program: Returns
Unfortunately, the eBay Global Shipping Program doesn’t handle any of the returns processes. As an eBay seller, it is your responsibility to take the problem and solve it.
Understanding the requirements of the countries with which you trade, even via the eBay GSP, is really important. The best option here is to prepare your own policy for returns so that customers will know the flow of the process beforehand if anything happens. You can do it either through third parties or just decide on further actions with the customer one-on-one: maybe to refund the customer without returning the item.
The eBay Global Shipping Program: Cost
All costs for the services connected with the eBay Global Shipping Program are fixed and added to the price of the listed item upfront.
So, the customer pays the total of:
- The seller’s usual selling price
- The seller’s usual domestic shipping (if it is not free)
- eBay’s calculated international shipping
- eBay’s calculated import duty and taxes
Is the eBay Global Shipping Program profitable for the seller and beneficial for the buyer? It depends on the type of product. So the best advice for e-commerce sellers here is to analyze your customers’ demands and competitors’ offers as well.
The eBay Global Shipping Program Tips
GSP tip #1. You can choose the countries you want to use the eBay Global Shipping Program for. This way you can create a perfect eco-system for you and your customers.
GSP tip #2. Keep in mind that all your shipping exclusions apply to eligible listings under the eBay Global Shipping Program.
GSP tip #3. Gain automatic 5-star detailed seller rating for Shipping Cost providing free domestic shipping.
GSP tip #4. Gain automatic 5-star detailed seller rating for Shipping Time uploading tracking information within 1 business day.
GSP tip #5. Specify the package’s weight and dimensions in the listing in advance.
GSP tip #6. Ship the item only after the purchase was made.
Bottom Line: Is the eBay Global Shipping Program worth it?
The eBay Global Shipping Program can open access to international markets for many online sellers.
In other words, the eBay GSP is an extremely useful opportunity, but it’s not for everyone. On the one hand, it can initiate sales growth and faster development of e-commerce businesses. On the other hand, however, merchants should take into account slower delivery times. Also it is important to add a competitive edge to your offers so as to attract international customers.
One more thing that global online sellers should be aware of about the eBay Global Shipping Program is that with international sales come international payments.
- Accepting multicurrency payments with fluctuating exchange rates
- Increasing difficulty of inventory tracking
- Necessity to connect more payment gateways that will be convenient for different clients worldwide
Obviously, as your e-commerce business expands into additional markets, it becomes increasingly challenging to account for your online sales with all these nuances considered. Here is where Synder comes in handy.
Synder provides a unified solution for e-commerce businesses that helps to gather and process the sales order data from multiple channels and securely reconcile them in accounting. Try Synder now. It’s free to test!
Q & A section
What is the Global Shipping Program on eBay?
The eBay Global Shipping Program, or the eBay GSP, is a service providing eBay sellers with the possibility to ship their goods internationally.
How to sign up for the eBay Global Shipping Program?
To apply for the eBay GSP, a merchant’s eBay store rating should be at least Above Standard and the store should comply with the eBay regulations and laws.
Is it possible to track the shipment?
Under the eBay Global Shipping Program you can monitor where the shipment is at all times. You can receive real time updates on the status and location of your package starting from the moment it leaves the warehouse to the moment it is delivered to the buyer’s address.
Does eBay Global Shipping Program handle return processes?
Unfortunately, the eBay Global Shipping Program doesn’t handle any of the returns processes. As an eBay seller, it is your responsibility to promptly identify the problem and solve it.