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.