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eBay International Shipping Program to Debut

Global Shipping Program to open to millions of sellers soon.

It’s official; the eBay international shipping program rumored to debut in September is a done deal and will be available to sellers soon.

The marketplace officially announced the launch of its Global Shipping Program on Thursday, noting that a small group of sellers is testing the eBay international shipping program and that it will be available to millions of merchants “in the months ahead.”

With the new program, participating U.S. sellers would send their international shipments to a shipping center in the U.S., and the center would take care of the international leg of the shipping process.

Sellers would only be responsible for the domestic leg, and would not be liable for loss or damage done to items once they leave the U.S. shipping center, eBay notes.

“Once your item arrives at the designated U.S. shipping center, the Global Shipping Program then takes care of all facets of international parcel processing,” eBay’s announcement states. “[It will] complete customs forms, remit applicable import charges pre-paid by your buyer [and] ship the package on to the buyer—with full end-to-end international tracking!”

“Buyers will see the total price of the purchase during checkout, so they won’t be surprised by additional taxes or duties

Shipping charges with no surprises

eBay is said to be partnering with Pitney Bowes, a company that provides business communication software and mailing systems and services to customers in more than 100 countries, for the new international shipping program. Bowes will determine the cost of shipping items internationally; the shipping method used to get items to their final destinations and will charge an import charge for shipments.

eBay says the new program is good for sellers and buyers.

“[Buyers will] see the complete and total price of the purchase up front—during checkout—so they won’t be surprised by additional taxes or duties when the item arrives,” the announcement notes.

The new eBay international shipping program was expected to be announced in September. EcommerceBytes broke the story in August.

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About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • ThereTheirTheyre

    I like the sound of this!

  • Terry Matz

    I’m in Canada..if for some reason my ebay seller ships via UPS, I will ALWAYS get charged a “brokerage” fee of about $25, plus all taxes and duties on the item. So a $10 purchase could end up costing me an ADDITIONAL $35+ dollars. But when sent via postal USPS, the $10 parcel sails right through 99+% of the time with NO ADDITIONAL FEES.
    The statement …” so they (buyers) won’t be surprised by additional taxes or duties when the item arrives” says it all. The carrier will make money and the governments (wherever they are) will collect fees from duties and taxes….all ADDITIONAL fees paid by the buyer. To me, this will only further reduce the number of purchases made on ebay from international sellers…how badly do you want something that will end up (potentially) cost you a surcharge of 200+%?

    I sure hope this remains an “optional’ program and does not become a mandatory money grab (like the fees now charged sellers on postage).

    • Susan

      It can’t reduce my international sales ~ If not for the program, I wouldn’t be able to offer any international shipping whatsoever.

      Since I enrolled, I have had a lot of international sales, and the shipping costs are much lower than I could have offered. Somehow, eBay is charging less, not more, than I could. BUT . . . It sounds like you’re talking about items that can ship 1st Class International, and I don’t sell anything that small or lightweight.

      When you check the price to ship an 8-pound umbrella stand to Australia, my USPS shipping cost would be an outrageous $64; eBay is shipping it for under $30, including import fees. Obviously, the program has been a major boost to my sales.

      If it makes you feel better, sellers are not being forced to use the program, and actually can offer global shipping PLUS their own international options. Or they can use it on some items and not on others. Therefore, it sounds like buyers will have the best of both worlds, if sellers take advantage.

  • Ben

    I am using this now, so far seems to work well

  • Susan

    I’ve been using eBay’s new Global Shipping for the past two weeks, and it’s been fabulous. My sales are up about 35%, and so far everything has gone off without a hitch. The new program is available in a limited number of categories & on items under a certain size, and only about half of my items are eligible. So that business increase is

    I haven’t figured out how they calculate the international shipping cost because I offer free or reduced flat-rate shipping on everything, so my listings do not include a size
    or weight. But . . . Not my problem!

    Plus . . . I have items on sale with free domestic shipping. Despite the marked-down shipping, eBay still charges the buyer – and pays me – my normal domestic shipping
    cost. And they don’t charge me a FVF on it! (I’m thinking that’s probably a glitch they’ll eventually resolve, but in the meantime, I love it.)

    I stopped offering any international shipping a long time ago because it was entirely cost-prohibitive. EBay is charging a lot less than I could, so however they do it, more power to ’em.

    My only concern is this: eBay says we are responsible for damaged packages only on the domestic leg, and they’re responsible for damage on the international leg. But if a buyer reports an item arrived damaged, there won’t be any way of knowing WHEN the damage occurred. I have a pretty good idea how THAT will work out, so I’m just keeping my fingers crossed.

    At this moment in time, I’m thrilled with the program because it has opened the world to me. And it’s the first time in years eBay has made a change that actually helped instead of hurt me. So in this particular case, as of right now, way to go, eBay!

  • Stephen

    The full tracking feature is much over due. All it took was a buyer in another country to make a false claim they never received a $10- item ( plus $20- to ship it ). Paypal would later swoop into your account take the full $30- away and refund the buyer. So the buyer gets free stuff and free shipping!!! Plus you were out the eBay and paypal fees to do the transaction. I will be watching this very closely. And yes UPS charges big fees even to ship from USA to Canada

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