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eBay Global Shipping Program... not just a nightmare for sellers...  
 

 
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United States
2710 Posts
Posted 12/26/2016   11:48 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
It sucks for buyers too.

I just got bitten by the eBay GSP, but as a buyer not a seller.

So I purchase a music CD from a seller in the UK, with shipping handled by the GSP. My first clue that the GSP was involved (I didn't notice the red flag "International Priority Shipping to United States via the Global Shipping Program" prior to purchase) was when my PayPal payment was split into two components: the 4 GBP + 1.90 GBP sent to the seller and 10.38 GBP sent to "Pitney Bowes".

The disc took almost 4 weeks to get to me, considerably longer than most other shipments from the UK. The eBay GSP might enable sellers to sell internationally while only shipping domestically, but it does buyers no favors...

So the disc gets here and it wasn't what was listed. What was listed was the multichannel SACD version, whereas what I received was the regular CD version. The seller said they just accepted what eBay "suggested" to them as being the correct version when creating the listing.

So I obviously want to return it and get my money back. The new returns model at eBay is that sellers are supposed to provide prepaid shipping labels for SNAD returns; buyers aren't supposed to prepay return shipping... but that doesn't work for international transactions. A person living in another coountry doesn't have an easy way to generate a USPS label.

So after speaking on the phone with eBay and communicating with the seller, they're just going to let me keep the item and do a full refund. Excellent!... not so much...

The seller provides a full refund at their end and eBay shows the return as complete... only because the GSP in the mix, the entire thing is farked up. When the seller did a full refund of 5.90 GBP (4 GBP for the disc + 1.90 GBP they received for the domestic shipping component), that triggered eBay as marking the refund as complete and the email said that the 16.28 GBP was refunded. See the problem yet?

Since the seller never received, NOR WAS EVEN AWARE OF, the 10.38 GBP GSP international shipping component of the transaction, nothing ever triggered the PayPal refund of the 10.38 GBP even though eBay's communications say that it was. THe only refund I received in PayPal was 5.90 GBP.

I've been on the phone with both PayPal and eBay this morning trying to get this sorted. I should be seeing the 10.38 GBP refund at some point in the next 5-10 days, but I spent well over an hour on the phone to get it.

So word to the wise: as a buyer, if you see the phrase "International Priority Shipping to United States via the Global Shipping Program" or similar wording on an international transaction, hit the back button and move on. It's just not worth the potential hassle.
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Valued Member
Canada
284 Posts
Posted 12/26/2016   1:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dutchman1948 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hence why I refuse to purchase anything on eBay from any seller that uses the GSP.

If it was sent regular, very seldom do you have to pay any additional import fees either.

It only protects the seller from international issues which eBay wants to increase sales and FVF's on shipping as well as lining Pitney Bowes or whoever else they use pockets and in turn Ebays.

It does absolutely nothing for the buyer at all!

I have seen idiot seller in the US selling stamps using the GSP and wanting 20+ dollars shipping to send them to Canada where I live.

eBay also has the glitch (as they call it) to automatically enroll sellers in the GSP without telling them.
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United Kingdom
2187 Posts
Posted 12/26/2016   4:21 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One if my better moves on eBay was to look at the small print when the autimatic enrolment in the GSP popped up. The labels for buyers' returns are a horror too - an unnecessary additional cost on something the seller is alreday losing on.
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United States
735 Posts
Posted 12/26/2016   10:10 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
On the other hand, the GSP program would be somewhat useful to sellers if it could be applied selectively on a listing by listing basis and if it could be applied to specific countries (the ones I don't want to ship to anyway). Since GSP cannot be applied selectively or only to certain countries, it is totally useless.

Because of the two ounce rate to Canada I have offered free shipping for several years. I started offering free shipping world wide for lightweight items because the one or two ounce rate for a StayFlat envelope (CD mailer) is less than the domestic USPS First Class Parcel rate. The GSP program could be useful for heavy items or stamps likely to sell for more than $400, but since it is not selective, I can't use it.

Finally, a little known disadvantage of the GSP is that the carrier (Pitney Bowes) or eBay is free to resell undeliverable items. I would have no reason to want to authorize some third party (not the buyer or seller) to resell copyrighted items. I am sure that other hidden issues lurk in the eBay GSP "agreement".

Requiring eBay stamp sellers to use the GSP program will end international sales of stamps on eBay more effectively than reinstituting the Smoot-Hawley tariffs against Canada, Mexico, Japan and the European Union. High USPS international First Class Parcel rates (with tracking) already disadvantage US based sellers. I hope eBay doesn't attempt to require international tracking for non-GSP users.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
906 Posts
Posted 12/27/2016   05:37 am  Show Profile Check duncanvr's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add duncanvr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
NOR WAS EVEN AWARE OF, the 10.38 GBP GSP international shipping component of the transaction


Most GSP sellers are unaware what happens with postage for GSP. I had one GSP seller arguing with me saying I never paid him the 10 pounds postage charge. I had to explain to him the process. If sellers are using GSP they should at least know how it operates.

I also experienced the same as what revenuecollector did with a full refund for the product but never got back the shipping charge to "Pitney Bowes"

Very early on I encountered problems with sellers using GSP / "Pitney Bowes" The first was GSP lost my item altogether in the "Pitney Bowes" warehouse and seller did not know where to chase up the missing shipment. The other problem is the extreme high courier charge "Pitney Bowes" uses to send stuff to Australia. I've mentioned this before it looks bad to have anywhere between $18-$51 postage charge to Australia for a small item like a stamped cover or a stamp. Its to the point where I now stick to a few good sellers who use postage charges of under $5 and send airmail. I don't bother looking at other sellers using the GSP. Frankly they are missing out on sales.

Now I see some sellers in England using GSP I start to avoid them to and stick to sellers that send airmail.

High postage is a killer of sales for sellers using GSP in the stamps category. It maybe alright for a high value item of some hundreds of dollars. But no way would I buy a $10 item with a $41 postage charge. Forget it!

I agree with dutchman1948 and refuse to buy from sellers using GSP.

"Pitney Bowes" selects the highest rate courier every time for orders to Australia. It has really affected the sales of GSP sellers I am sure. As a seller I will never use GSP & I only send airmail. I send airmail world wide at $2.95 and often free for bigger purchases in my eBay shop.


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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2160 Posts
Posted 12/27/2016   06:39 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As a seller, 50-60% of my sales are international sales. If eBay ever made the GSP program mandatory like they have with PayPal, it would be the ultimate deal breaker. I would just sell elsewhere. As cfrphoto mentioned, it would kill international sales.

GSP was sold to novice sellers who feared mailing things out of the country. It was eBay first move to fleece the buyers, since the sellers were already being squeezed hard. Unless you are mailing uber heavy objects, sellers and buyers just should avoid the GSP program like the plague. It's really not hard to mail a 1 to 3oz. letter rate shipment overseas, and the vast majority make it just fine. Less than a 1% loss rate and I've successfully mail things to Ethiopia, Haiti, Ukraine (the east half during this war), Egypt, Brazil and even Italy among many other places.
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3138 Posts
Posted 12/27/2016   07:16 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I highly doubt that eBay is making decisions based upon what is 'good' or 'bad' for either buyers or sellers. They are making decisions based upon cost. The issue with international sales is obvious, it is a support nightmare for them.

What would it cost to staff up and support world-wide logistical shipping questions? Lots of folks on this board defend out-sourcing, so why should eBay not out-source this to Pitney? I never saw anything in eBay's annual reports or mission statement that stated its goal was to become a global shipping company.

So their objective was not to develop some super-duper shipping solution, they needed a cost effective way to wash their hands of this logistical quagmire and they found it with the GSP. eBay's objective was to offer a solution with minimum cost to their shareholders.

If the GSP is awful, and my opinion is that it is just that, then at some point it will wither on the vine and die.
Don

Edit; Is not the real issue here 'tracking'? eBay wants to drive tracking on everything to avoid costly support calls and resolving disputes. (I bet the cost of handling and resolving disputes is a huge percentage of their costs.)
But no matter what eBay does, the cost of tracking is significant from the various shippers (USPS going up again in the next little while).
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Valued Member
Canada
110 Posts
Posted 12/28/2016   5:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oceanguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Like others here, I will never purchase for a seller that offers the item through the GSP again.

Usually I avoid any sellers that use this like the plaque because postage is so insanely high. Recently I had to order a Christmas gift through this program (specialty technical item for a musician) and this was the only way it was shipped. It still is not there a month later. Good news though, it arrived at GSP shipping centre a couple of days ago. If lucky, we may get it some time in early January.

It really makes no sense to charge more money for less service. Everything I have ordered from sellers using regular postal service has arrived and in good time. This whole program does not seem to be necessary. It is not good for buyers - reduces their selection of products, not good for sellers - reduces their number of customers, and not good for eBay as I am guessing it reduces their sales. Good for pitney bowes though - LOL! (maybe eBay has shares in that company?)

Sellers using it are missing out on lots of sales. It truly shocks me how some of the larger stamp sellers use this.
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United States
85 Posts
Posted 12/29/2016   10:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheRebel1861 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Same for me, I only ship my eBay items to the lower 48.
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Valued Member
United States
207 Posts
Posted 12/29/2016   5:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ekbustad to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Same for me, I only ship my eBay items to the lower 48.


No one else in this thread was advocating restricting sales to one's own country, just avoiding eBay's GSP program. You might be missing out on a lot of potentials sales by such a restriction. See, for example, Battlestamps post in this thread http://goscf.com/t/52230#453855.
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Valued Member
United States
85 Posts
Posted 12/30/2016   12:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheRebel1861 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure how we include quotes in our posts but the only reason I ship to the lower 48 is for my own sanity sake. I'm not a full time stamp dealer, I'm in the process of parting out a collection that has been in my family since the 1960's. Most of the stamps were collected in the 20's, 30's & 40's. The collection goes back to the 1847 issue 5C Franklin, which I will sell once I get rid of the excess inventory I have. If you see any of my prices way out of wack, let me know as I just want to get rid of the collection.

If your interested it's all on eBay under therebel1861, same as my name here.
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Edited by TheRebel1861 - 12/30/2016 12:05 pm
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