Whether you’re thinking about starting your own business on this platform or trying to find a way to manage your eBay sales efficiently, the eBay Global Shipping Program is a topic worth knowing.
For sellers, the eBay Global Shipping Program offers a range of benefits, including simplified customs procedures, eBay international tracking, and reduced costs. For buyers, the program offers a transparent and reliable shipping process, ensuring that they receive their purchases quickly and with minimal hassle.
This article will explore the eBay Global Shipping Program in-depth, providing you with everything you need to know to take advantage of this helpful shipping solution. We’ll cover the basics of the program, including how it works, its benefits, and any potential drawbacks. We’ll also provide you with tips and tricks for using the program effectively, as well as important information on shipping regulations and customs requirements. This article will help you confidently navigate the complex world of international shipping, regardless of your experience selling on eBay.
12. Q&A section
What is the eBay Global Shipping Program (GSP)?
The eBay Global Shipping Program, or eBay’s GSP, is a service providing sellers with eBay international shipping services.
Under the Global Shipping Program, you only need to ship your item to the UK/US shipping center once you sell it. Then eBay will do the rest and handle the actual delivery to the buyer.
Thanks to the eBay Global Shipping Program, international shipping responsibilities are divided between the seller and the shipping center. The seller has to get the package to the respective shipping center, and the shipping center is responsible for processing and delivering the package to the final destination.
The GSP handles multiple issues connected with the delivery: international postage, packaging, customs, export and import charges. It’s as easy as that! But let’s talk about the details.
How to sign up for the Global Shipping Program?
In order to sign up for the eBay Global Shipping Program, a seller must have a seller rating of standard or above (check the seller levels and performance standards) and comply with all applicable laws and regulations under the eBay User Agreement.
Eligible? Now let’s go through GSP’s requirements and limitations.
eBay GSP: Requirements and limitations
Before you decide to list an item for sale in another country, you need to make sure that the item can, in fact, be legally sold in that country and that the item itself meets eBay requirements.
First things first – check if you can sell your items to a particular country under the GSP. Laws differ from country to country, so it’s better to make sure international shipping is available. As of the first quarter of 2023, the list of eligible countries includes:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Greece||Paraguay|
|Barbados||Hong Kong||Reunion (French)|
|Belgium||Iceland||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Cayman Islands||Kuwait||Sri Lanka|
|Croatia||Macau||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Cyprus||Malaysia||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|Denmark||Malta||United Arab Emirates|
|Dominica||Martinique (French)||United Kingdom|
Eligible items and shipping exclusions
You should check whether you can ship to a particular country under GSP and verify that the item fits eBay criteria and is eligible in size, weight, etc.
Items listed in restricted categories, for example, can’t be currently sold and delivered with the help of eBay’s Global Shipping Program due to certain export limitations or shipping provider restrictions. It means that eBay merchants can’t sell heavy equipment, gift cards and coupons, real estate, tickets, etc.
There’s also a list of prohibited items that can’t be shipped using the GSP, which includes such items as currency, liquids, plants, cosmetics, etc.
In order to qualify for eBay international shipping, the Global Shipping Program also has requirements for the item:
- The item has to be physically located in the US/UK (you’ll need to post it to the shipping center);
- The item must be listed for sale in a supported category on eBay.com;
- The delivery address must be a street address or residence, not a PO Box, FPO, or APO address (with some exceptions);
- The item mustn’t exceed maximum weight and dimensions;
- The only accepted payment method in your listing should be eBay Managed Payments;
- For certain countries, the sale price of your item (excluding shipping and handling) mustn’t exceed a set threshold.
📌 Note: You can check the complete list of restrictions and requirements on the eBay Global Shipping Program page in the block “Eligibility”.
📌 Note: If your item or country isn’t eligible for the eBay Global Shipping Program, you may still be able to ship it internationally yourself.
eBay GSP cost
- If you’re an eBay seller and want to join the program, you might be wondering what the eBay GSP cost is. Good news – there’s no fee for joining.
- The buyer is charged the costs for all the services provided by the GSP. The buyer’s total amount is based on the final price of the item, domestic shipping charges or shipping charges to the Global Shipping Center, eBay’s calculated international shipping, eBay’s calculated import duty and taxes, and any other amounts you may charge the buyer. For example, if the package was sent via USPS Priority Mail, eBay will collect any additional amount due on behalf of USPS.
- The costs are fixed and added to the item’s price upfront, so each buyer sees a personalized amount they have to pay depending on the country they want the item delivered to. The sales tax isn’t included.
- As a seller, you only have to pay the cost of posting the item to the shipping center. There aren’t any eBay shipping fees involved. However, standard eBay selling fees apply, including the international fee.
Is the eBay GSP 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.
With the eBay Global Shipping Program, sellers and buyers can monitor where their item is at all times.
When posting packages to a shipping center, sellers mustn’t forget to add the usual tracking details. The reference number on the label is needed to identify the package upon arrival at the center. When the package is identified, the tracking number is converted to a Global Tracking number that can be used by both the seller and buyer to track the box until it reaches its final destination with the help of eBay international tracking systems. eBay buyers are also protected in case the parcel is lost.
Unfortunately, eBay’s GSP doesn’t handle any returns processes – eBay sellers must deal with such problems on their own.
To avoid being caught off guard, it’s best to have your own return policy. This way, in case something happens, your customers know what to expect, and you know what to do.
Basically, you’ve got three options:
- If the item isn’t costly, it might be wise to write off the cost and refund your customer, rather than ask to send the item back.
- If the item is expensive and you want it back, you may use international parcel carriers like FedEx, UPS, DHL or TNT to mail the return or book a courier. The item will be returned securely, but it might cost you a considerable amount of money.
- If you have high and costly international returns, consider using international returns services. The price isn’t low, and the returns aren’t handled quickly, but this is a good option.
Now that you’re familiar with what eBay’s GSP is, what it offers and what its limitations and restrictions are, let’s have a look at how it actually works.
How to use this program?
As you may remember, to access the GSP, you must be a US/UK seller with items listed on ebay.com and ebay.com.uk, respectively.
The general flow of eBay’s GSP looks like this:
1. Once a store is registered for the eBay Global Shipping Program, a seller can adjust the settings by selecting ‘Sell internationally with the Global Shipping Program’ in the International Postage section to show items to the international customers immediately. The items will appear in applicable countries. The standard eBay and PayPal fees will be applied to the sale prices. Buyers will be able to see the estimated price (including shipping and other costs) for each listing.
2. An international buyer purchases an item from your eBay store with the Global Shipping Program and pays the full estimated price.
📌 Note: You can choose how to implement the eBay Global Shipping Program for your items. There are 4 options:
- You can offer the GSP on all new eligible listings.
- You can offer the GSP on any new single listing.
- You might edit a single existing listing to offer global shipping under the GSP.
- You might edit multiple existing listings to offer global shipping under the GSP.
📌 Note: Under eBay’s GSP, all international postage charges (including, but not limited to, shipping costs, duties, and taxes) have to be paid for by the buyer. Estimated delivery dates are automatically added to the listings by eBay.
3. Once the item is sold, the seller posts it to the GSP shipping center in their country (the USA/UK). The shipping center checks the package, processes it, provides packaging, and adds a Global Tracking number. Thanks to the tracking info, the parcel becomes visible for international postage services, and both sellers and buyers can monitor the delivery end-to-end.
📌 Note: Unlike Amazon FBA, eBay’s Global Shipping Program doesn’t handle inventory for its sellers. Check out our article, ‘How to Start an Amazon FBA Business: Keys to a Successful Online Store’ to learn more about the Amazon FBA service.
4. The global shipping center takes care of the customs process, calculates the final import charges and delivers the parcel to its final destination.
Global Shipping Program tips
Tip #1. Customize your GSP preferences
You can customize your GSP preferences by country by choosing the countries you want to use the program for. For example, you can ship your items to Australia using a standard carrier of your choice and deliver items to other eligible countries with the help of the GSP. Use the eBay international shipping section to customize your shipping options globally. Adjust the program to your preferences and make sure you satisfy your customers’ needs.
Tip #2. Bring in free shipping
You’ll gain an automatic 5-star detailed seller rating for shipping costs if you provide free internal shipping. Offering free shipping can be a powerful marketing tool for your business, but it’s important to carefully consider the costs and logistics involved to ensure it’s a sustainable strategy for your bottom line.
Tip #3. Respond quickly
If you handle the order, upload the necessary tracking info within 1 business day, and the parcel is accepted at the shipping center within 4 days after payment, you’ll gain an automatic 5-star seller rating for shipping time.
Tip #4. Provide items’ details
Specify additional relevant info about an item in the listing in advance – weight, dimensions, country of origin (if known) and streamline customs processing.
Tip #5. Track your package efficiently
Tracking your package is an important part of ensuring that it arrives on time and in the right place. Upload the tracking info or create an eBay shipping label to know exactly where your package is.
Tip #6. Clarify return policy
Having a clear and fair return policy can help build trust with your customers and ensure their satisfaction with their purchase. Specify your return policy in your listing (both international and internal, if there are some differences).
Tip #7. Ship in bulk
If one customer orders several items, ship all items in a single order in one package. Shipping in bulk can be an effective way to save money on shipping costs, especially if you’re a business that regularly ships a large volume of products. Ship the item only after the purchase was made.
Benefits of the Global Shipping Program
The eBay Global Shipping Program lifts the weight of dealing with customs, fees, and all the other charges off eBay merchants’ shoulders. The service does everything, giving merchants more time to focus on growing their international e-commerce business.
But what features of this service benefit eBay GSP users most?
Here’s the list:
- The GSP provides prompt access to markets. Accessing international markets isn’t easy for all e-commerce businesses. There are many regulations to follow if you want to sell globally, and keeping up with requirements may be quite a task. The eBay GSP is free, fast, and easy to understand, making it a perfect choice for e-commerce business owners just starting this journey.
- There are no fees for joining the eBay GSP. Joining the program is free. Take the first step and get access to millions of buyers online from any corner of the world.
- The GSP is convenient. eBay international shipping tracking is as easy and accessible as internal options. After joining the program, merchants don’t have to deal with customs, fill out numerous mundane forms and keep in mind various requirements and rates. The merchants delegate the calculation of taxes, charges and the organization of international deliveries to eBay’s GSP. Send the item to the shipping center, and the program will handle the rest.
- Global shipping with the GSP entails less risk for buyers and sellers. The service protects both sides. For example, under the eBay GSP, if the package gets lost or damaged during its shipping route, the seller isn’t liable for this situation.
- Shipping with the GSP is transparent. eBay international shipping costs are automatically added to the listings. In other words, you get the full picture of the shipping costs, including duties and taxes, upfront. The amount you get is final.
- The GSP is efficient. If you’re shipping your items globally with the eBay GSP, it saves you lots of time. You don’t have to spend hours on shipping and customs clearance – it’s fast and easy because all the duties are reported and paid in advance.
While some merchants say that eBay has some of the best conditions on the market when it comes to international shipping, other people aren’t that enthusiastic about the GSP and therefore, express some concerns.
Global Shipping Program Problems
Despite undeniable benefits, the eBay Global Shipping Program may not be the perfect delivery solution for every seller. There are some catches that eBay sellers must know.
Let’s see what problems sellers can face when shipping items with the eBay Global Shipping Program:
Shipping exclusions for packages
As it’s already been established, you should check if your items are eligible and if you can ship them to a particular country. Under the eBay GSP, your parcels may face restrictions on the size, weight, value, destination country and address, and type of items shipped.
Slower shipping center delivery times
No matter how organized, predetermined and prepaid the shipping process with the eBay Global Shipping Program is, not everything always goes as planned. The expected delivery time might be extended.
Selling and buying small items might be too costly
The postage costs provided by eBay GSP have been known to be disproportionally high for shipping small, lightweight packages.
- What’s more, the import tax has to be added to all parcels on top of shipping fees. With all those costs adding up, smaller items with lower value become either too costly for customers or unprofitable for sellers under the GSP. Sometimes the costs aren’t commensurate with profits.
- The program charges flat rates for their international postage services to streamline the process. It means that buyers don’t get the best price for low-value and lightweight items. The initial price may be good, but it loses its appeal when combined with the postage cost. If the sellers can get the same item locally for a lower price, they choose not to order on eBay. Why waste money?
- The program charges fixed customs fees instead of calculating each particular country’s fees to save time. Sometimes the fee isn’t actually required but is still charged. Buyers may choose not to order items with the GSP delivery.
Returns aren’t handled
Under the GSP, returns are still your full responsibility. You need to have a Plan B in case something goes wrong. And good merchants know that organizing returns requires lots of time and additional resources.
Packages might be opened and inspected when they arrive at the global shipping center
There’s always a risk that items may be damaged, repacked in the wrong way, or destroyed altogether (eBay may liquidate the item if it’s deemed ineligible for delivery).
How to streamline selling globally on eBay with accounting software
Before joining the eBay Global Shipping Program, merchants must think about all the difficulties they might face. While GSP gives access to international markets and triggers sales growth and faster development, it also brings about additional challenges, such as handling multi-currency payments and calculating all the taxes and fees.
The more international buyers you have, the more difficult tracking transactions becomes. Thankfully, technology today allows you to delegate this work to a reliable software solution that can do this work for you. Synder Sync is a comprehensive accounting solution which manages eBay payments and synchronizes sales data with the highest level of detail, saving the transaction amount, description, date, and customer information. With many integrations available, Synder can solve multiple problems, even for the most demanding eBay businesses.
Synder eliminates manual work, saves a considerable amount of time and effort, ensures the accurate and error-free recording of transactions in different currencies into the books, simplifies the reconciliation process and much more. To learn about all Synder perks, join our webinar.
Discover the full potential of your business with the help of Synder – create a free account and take action today!
The eBay Global Shipping Program opens new horizons for both internal and domestic shipping. While it does allow merchants to sell without hassle and risk, there are limitations they have to consider. Before expanding to the GSP, merchants should thoroughly analyze eligibility, specifications, and sales data to lessen the risk of underperformance and damaging the relationships with their customers.
You’ll most likely find the GSP appealing if you have high-volume sales. However, if you’re a small business with few sales, you might want to calculate the rationality of shipping with the program. After all, it depends on the needs and goals of your eBay business. Think it through and make an informed decision!
Q & A section:
What is the Global Shipping Program on eBay?
The eBay Global Shipping Program, or eBay GSP, is a service providing eBay sellers with international shipping tracking.
What are the requirements for joining the eBay Global Shipping Program?
To apply for the eBay GSP, your eBay store’s rating should be at least above standard, and it should comply with eBay regulations and laws.
Is it possible to track the shipment under the program?
Yes, it is. Under the eBay Global Shipping Program, buyers and sellers can receive real-time updates on the status and location of their shipment thanks to a Global Tracking number assigned to the package while in the shipping center.
Does eBay Global Shipping Program handle return processes?
Unfortunately, eBay GSP doesn’t handle any of the returns processes. eBay sellers must deal with such issues themselves.
What is the cost for sellers?
Joining the program is free for sellers. However, some other eBay seller fees might apply. Buyers are charged all the costs associated with shipping the item.
Is eBay global shipping available all over the world?
No, it’s not. There are currently 106 eligible countries (internal or domestic shipping) however, with shipping exclusions.
Does eBay Global Shipping Program handle internal shipping?
Yes, it does. If you’re listing your item for sale in the USA, for example, and it’s sold under the GSP, your item is eligible for internal, or domestic shipping (to a buyer in the USA).
Do I have to send my items to a global shipping center?
Yes, you do. If you’ve joined eBay’s GSP and your listed item is sold, you have to send it to a global shipping center. The delivery to the final destination will be handled from there.
Can I handle shipping myself?
Yes, you can. Offering more than one shipping option is welcomed. eBay allows its merchants to handle shipping on their own. You may offer flat-rate shipping or use calculated shipping, depending on what you prefer.