Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Global Shipping Program

Happy New Year everyone ! Welcome to the future :-)

So today I wanted to talk about the global shipping program and it's pluses or minuses as seen by an eBay seller.  This is not to poo poo on the program but just to offer one mans perspective on it.

While the global shipping program has its positives there are also some major negatives as I will soon illustrate.  On the positive side you are basically selling to the entire world and are only being charged to ship to Kentucky, USA which is fantastic. You're getting a world audience for the price of domestic shipping. Also sometimes the things that we sell may not seem very attractive to people in the United States however that is not always true for people in foreign countries as they may see the things that we sell as exotic and that is certainly a positive.

So you may be thinking if everything you say is true then why wouldn't everybody want to jump on board with the global shipping program? Well there is one glitch with the global shipping program and it's called returns.  While domestically returns are rarely an issue they can be a bit of a problem when shipping to certain countries. 

 When a customer starts a return they have several options the first option is usually doesn't fit or changed mind and in this case the customer would pay for return shipping however there are more ominous options the worst of which is "item not as described".  Now just getting a not as described hit on your eBay account is not the end of the world as you can't always make all the people happy all the time, the old saying goes.

The problem comes in when a not as described hit comes from a foreign buyer because now not only do you have to refund the customers money but you have to pay the import fee plus shipping to get your items back into the United States from whatever country it's in. The higher the cost of the item the more it's going to cost you to get it back and this can be a problem if you don't have a lot of money in it.

I have not researched every country to see what it would cost to get specific dollar amount items back in the United States from certain countries.  The average import tariffs to the United States is 5% however the shipping cost alone could be pretty steep. So then I guess the trick is to make sure that whatever you're selling on the global shipping program is something you don't mind losing because it may cost too much to try to get it back and would be better to just let the customer keep the item and give them their money back.

This is the only solution I have come up with for using the global shipping program but you may have better ideas and if you do please share them.  I know for myself I would love to hear a better way of doing this and I'm sure there are others that would like to hear your suggestions as well so please feel free to chime in if you do have a better solution.


Countdown to Freedom -10 months and counting


  1. I don't ship international. There are 145 million ebay users. If half of them are in the US, that's a big enough audience for me. If they don't want my items, then they're probably not worth listing in the first place. I keep it simple and avoid the complications. I may miss a sale here and there, but I don't miss the headaches.

    1. I do like the international market but dealing with the returns is a headache.

  2. Has this actually happened to you? It could be a problem. But I think opening up your items to an international market far outweigh the cost of a possible return. No biggie. You'll make up for it with other sales that you might not have gotten without GSP.

    Countdown to Freedom? Is that retirement? Or to selling on Ebay full time? Do tell!

    1. Has not happened to me but did to a friend of ours. I never had even thought about it before that so it got me looking into the matter a little deeper. I love the international sales but everything we have listed for international is nothing i paid more than 5 bucks for so cutting loose of the item would be a fairly easy choice if it was going to cost me 70 bucks to get it back :-)

      LOL yep my countdown to freedom ticker is my countdown to going full time on ebay. October will be my last month working for the man ;-)