Don't Opt-in to Ebay's "Global Shipping Program" – It's bad for business!

avoid ebay global shipping program bad

Alright, so for those who have been buying or selling on eBay will probably know what the “Global Shipping Program” is all about. For those who have never heard of this new program please look below which has been taken off of eBay’s site:

The Global Shipping Program simplifies selling an item to an international buyer. All eligible listings for sellers who qualify are automatically included in the Global Shipping Program. Here’s how it works:
-List your item.
-Your item sells to an international buyer in an eligible country.
-You ship the item to a US shipping center.
-International shipping experts manage the international shipping and customs process and send the item to the buyer.” –

For video game collectors, eBay is the go-to site for all rare and interesting items. If there’s that hard-to-find item, I bet you’ll be able to find it on ebay with the right amount of patience and dedication. Ebay’s “saved searches” tool definitely helps you find what you want instead of scrolling through their auctions daily. I’ve been able to find everything I ever wanted on eBay (with the exception of maybe 2-3 items). Hardcore collectors obviously utilize, but most of the items on yahoo find it’s way on eBay sites. With that said, particularly for me since I’m in Canada, and I assume the same goes for every other country abroad, is THE site to check. 90% of my collectibles come from, from US sellers. So what does the eBay Global Shipping Program do for international collectors? Let me explain:

On the side of the US Seller, this program is like a dream come true. You create an auction, sell your item globally and reap the benefits. Someone from Canada, or overseas wins the item, all the US seller has to do is ship their package to a US shipping center and the rest is history, while that shipping center does the dirty work. Now lets see the side of the buyer (Canadians, Mexicans, South Americans, Europeans, etc…). On top of the high shipping cost we also have to pay import charges upfront. So that means we pay eBay who then gives a cut to Pitney Bowes since they handle the courier service. Why does this suck? Because of this example below:

ebay global shipping program bad AVOID
I wanted to bid on this nice Super Mario 64 telephone. As you can see, starting bid is $9.99 US ($12.96 CDN), with a shipping charge of $26.14 US ($33.91 CDN). So I’m already at $46.87 CDN if the bid stays at $9.99. Since I didn’t bid on it yet the starting price will be more. So I’m looking at around $50+. On top of it now, I have to dish out $19.04 US ($24.70 CDN) on top of my price. Why does this suck? Because specifically in Canada the rules with Canadian customs is that anything below $20 value will not have any added custom fees. So technically if I won this auction at $11 US, that’s still less than $20 CDN and I shouldn’t be paying anything. But eBay has become a little greedy. They saw an opportunity to utilize shipping centers getting Pitney Bowes to act as the middle man and charge duty tax at auctions close. So even if I won this item at $21 CDN I would have to technically pay 12% tax in Canada to get the phone. So $21 x 12% = $2.52 CDN in taxes I would owe the government. This is not even CLOSE to the $24.70 CDN that eBay/Pitney Bowes is charging me. On top of that, it’s VERY RARE when Canadian customs even charge a fee on a $50-$100 item, and I’ve ordered 1000’s of items in the US so I have to be credible no?

Now what’s the point of this? Why should US sellers care? Well, what eBay and Pitney Bowes fail to understand is that the video game collectors don’t dish out money like it was nothing. We calculate every penny, we make sure we get a good deal, and we try to save as much as we can. I don’t speak for all gamers as there are some well-to-do collectors out there, but I believe I speak for most. So because I have to pay an extra $24.70 for nothing when I know I wouldn’t be paying that at the door, I simply passed on this auction. So instead of the US seller seeing my participation in raising the bid, I turned and looked the other way. This means less profit margin for the seller of the Mario phone, and less international sales on in general. You do not know how many times I had to email a US seller asking him/her to opt-out of this ridiculous program. On one side is does make life a little easier for US sellers, but on the other side there’s a loss of business due to many international collectors simply not bidding on an item, especially when the item is $9.99 US and we have to pay $19.04 US on duty tax as in the scenario mentioned above. The program totally stinks for everyone that doesn’t live in the US. I could just image someone in France or Spain who on top of it all have to pay higher shipping costs + duty taxes. If you’re an eBay US seller and want to have more sales, I guarantee you that you will have more by not participating in the Global Shipping Program. The only downfall is that it will take you 2 more minutes to fill out a customs form lol. CRAZY!!!!!!!!!

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Comments 9

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  1. I couldn’t agree more with this… As a fellow Canadian, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to request a seller change from the Global Shipping Program, almost always with met resilience and me unfortunately having to pass. It’s not even like they charge it upfront and refund the difference; it completely smacks of greed.

  2. I understand your frustration but for years I’ve been selling from the US and I promise you anytime there was ever a problem it derived from an international buyer. It’s more involving than just filling out a customs form. First when you post your auction you gotta go through lists of countries and check off a bunch of them that are known for having the most scams so I’ve taken the time to do that just to reduce the risk. After all, it’s the scammers that have ruined ebay and made it into what it is today.

    Second I have to file through shipping related questions from international buyers and there’s always a lot of them. “Will you ship here? How much to ship here? How long to ship here?” More time off my watch. Problem is there are affordable shipping options from the US but they don’t offer any kind of tracking or insurance. The ones that do cost way too much. People want to negotiate the shipping and it’s not negotiable. The buyer wants to save a few bucks but my bottom line remains the same. If I agree to ship using a cheaper service I’m inheriting all the risk because ebay policy if anything goes wrong it’s the sellers fault, end of story. I can’t even leave negative feedback if someone tries to rip me off.

    Third, the biggest problem for me is if I make an international sale I have to go to the post office to physically hand the package to the clerk. I don’t know about Canada but here in the US the post office is an abomination. Long lines and only one or two people working no matter what location you go to. Guaranteed 20-30 minutes you’re going to spend in there. So if you have a traditional M-F work schedule you can forget about going to the post office until Saturday. Just what I want to do on my Saturday. If I sold my item domestically I can just drop it off in any mailbox anytime.

    So if you’re like me you’ve stopped selling internationally altogether because the added time and potential risk to complete the transaction usually isn’t worth the benefit of an extra bid or two. I imagine many other sellers have done so as well forcing ebay to come up with this program to maintain their global appeal. Bottom line, the good international buyers have to saddle the cost of theft and fraud from the bad ones. I think this is good for business in that if ebay can remove the stigma of international sales you will have considerably more auctions available to you. Of course ebay is the big winner here. They net a larger fee off the seller and add a few bucks to that from the buyer. Screw ebay.

  3. It’s even worse to Australia. Truly ridiculous shipping charges, and we pay no tax on anything under $1000.

    So say a boxed NES game actually costs around US$15 to send to Australia, with tracking. But eBay using this GSP garbage quotes $26 – and that’s only because the seller has free domestic shipping! If they charge $5-10 domestically, it’s now $35-40 to send to Australia!

    On top of this, it’s very, very slow. Basic Airmail from the US to Australia is under two weeks, sometimes under a week. GSP shipping crisscrosses the US first, then is super slow after that, and I had an item take over a month!

    Then when it arrives here, eBay uses Fedex’s budget service. So they literally hold you item for a few days to slow it down because eBay didn’t pay for their premium service (and Fedex need to differentiate their premium service as the fast one). And Fedex only ships in business hours, and eBay only ships to your paypal address, so if you work, you have to arrange to pick up the item at the fed depot.

    So after paying $40 to ship an NES game, after a month of travel, I have to take a 30 minute drive to get my game!

    Finally, there have even been reports of GSP repacking items. Certainly the extreme amount of handling that occurs (the parcel goes through 8-10 shipping centres on its run!) has lead to some of the most beat-up packages I’ve ever received.

    If I’m very interested I ask the seller to skip GSP. If they won’t, I un-watch.

    Ebay can go to hell.

  4. I agree with the hassle of international shipping, but I disagree with removing it completely, because when I would sell on eBay, I would sell world wide regardless of the hassle. It’s awesome connecting and being able to help collectors all over the world. So a lot of time shipping rates would be very high, but doable, and I didn’t mind. Sure there’s more risk, but it’s the same as if I order from Germany, Australia or China. I don’t want to cut off anyone’s chance of getting something from me, not really fair. I’ve shipped thousands of stuff world wide, never had a bad experience ever internationally, only with a buyer in the US who clearly defrauded the system and another con artist from Canada. I never had a problem internationally with an individual, it would always be post office related, never the person. But I specifically remember two times from the US and one time from Canada, the Canadian one was the worst, a fellow Canadian being a piece of **** because I didn’t want to end up selling the item for less, and this was another collector, you figured he’d have the bro code thing, but nope, didn’t care, won another auction, and purposely left negative feedback and I didn’t even ship the item out LOL…. ebay 99% of the time isn’t dumb when you open a case and are right, but in this example, they did let the con artist win.

  5. I have never paid anything duty fees or importing charges in 10+ years of buying on ebay.

    So yeah I’ve never bought anything from GSP sellers, and never will.

    Sometimes I message the seller when I really want a game and get this :

    They have NO IDEA WHAT THE GSP IS.

    Everybody got opted in when it was never complicated to sell internationally before, I’ve done it over 50 times!

  6. Shipping with the GSP and shipping yourself in the exact same thing.

    Here is what happens when you use the GSP :

    – You put the item up for sale
    – Box the item
    – Print labels
    – Drop it off at the post office.

    Here is what happens when you DON’T use the GSP :

    – You put the item up for sale
    – Box the item
    – Print labels
    – Drop it off at the post office.

    It’s exactly the same thing, insurance and tracking are pennies more with USPS, buyers don’t mind those, but they mind being extorted money to grease PB’s hand for no reason, especially when Ebay is disguising PB shipping and handling charges as Import fees. P&B don’t even mark the package with anything that says the “import charges” have been paid, because

    1. They aren’t import charges
    2. P&B are not a courier service, they do not have the authority to confirm or deny that federal taxes have been paid.

    It’s a barely legal racket.

  7. apparently they’re forcing people from UK to use this too now. i could agree more. except that to fill customs form takes just 10sec 😛

Don't Opt-in to Ebay's "Global Shipping Program" – It's bad for business!

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