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 an eBay Global Shipping Program?
The eBay Global Shipping Program, or eBay GSP, is the service providing eBay sellers with the possibility to ship their goods to international buyers.
Under the GSP, the eBay shipping centers are operating, where merchants send their products to then be redirected to the international address of the buyer.
Why do sellers need the eBay Global Shipping Program?
eBay Global Shipping centers handle all issues connected with international delivery to the buyer:
- International postage
- Export/import charges
How does eBay Global Shipping work?
eBay Global Shipping makes new markets to online sellers around the world more available. To apply for the program, a merchant should have a good rating of their eBay store and comply with eBay regulations and laws.
The general flow looks like this:
- Once an eBay store is registered for the GSP, sellers can adjust their settings to immediately show their goods to the customers internationally.
- An international buyer orders an item from the eBay store with the Global Shipping Program.
Note: eBay automatically adds all of the international postage charges (including shipping cost, 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 it will be visible for international postage services, meaning that sellers will be able to track their goods’ delivery end-to-end.
Note: Unlike Amazon FBA storing inventory in their fulfillment house. Check this article to know more about the Amazon FBA service.
- The center takes care of the customs process and completes the delivery to the final destination.
Benefits of eBay Global Shipping Program
The 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 eBay GSP is one of the steps that is free, fast, and easy to take for e-commerce business owners to start this journey. There are no enrollment fees for merchants and a ready market with millions of buyers online from any corner of the world.
- Convenience. The Global Shipping Program makes international shipping as simple and efficient as local delivery. Merchants don’t havу to deal with customs, fill out numerous mundane forms, no extra duties or taxes to calculate on the sellers’ side, 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, if the parcel gets lost or damaged during its shipping route, the seller is not liable for this situation. More than that, the seller will still get a guaranteed 5-star review on their eBay store for shipping time.
- 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 fees or other surprises upon delivery.
- Efficiency. Using 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 involved with international selling, such as customs, import or export charges, and tax, are taken off merchants.
- Order tracking. The buyer gets protection in case of the parcel being lost and can track its route with the help of the international tracking systems, as all items shipped via eBay GSP are automatically tracked.
eBay Global Shipping Program Problems
Despite all the benefits, the Global Shipping Program may not be the perfect delivery solution for every eBay seller.
Let’s see what problems eBay sellers can face with the GSP:
1. Restrictions for parcels. 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. 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, items listed in some categories can’t be included in the 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 GSP 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. With all costs adding up, low value, smaller items become either too costly for customers or unprofitable for sellers.
- eBay uses flat rates to charge for their international postage services in order to streamline their process. It means the 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 GSP, combined postage with eBay 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.
eBay Global Shipping Program cost
All costs for the services connected with the eBay Global Shipping Program are known and added to the price of the listed item upfront for the buyers to pay as part of the total price of the product.
So, the customer pays the total of:
- The seller’s usual selling price
- The seller’s usual domestic shipping (in case it is not free)
- eBay’s calculated international shipping
- eBay’s calculated import duty and taxes
Is it 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’ demand and competitors’ offers as well.
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, it is an extremely useful opportunity, but it’s not for everyone. On the one hand, it can initiate the sales growth and faster development of their e-commerce businesses. On the other hand, however, the merchants should be aware of the slower delivery times and competitiveness of their offers to the international customers.
One more thing that global online sellers should be aware of 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. But Synder can help.
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!