Posted by Alex Jackson on July 08, 2016
The answer is a definitive maybe and we will explain. Ebay’s global ship program originally launched in 2012 was designed to simplify the overly complicated process of global shipping. If you have ever had to ship internationally on your own you probably know what a confusing pain it can be. Indecipherable forms, high shipping costs and the risk of your package being damaged or lost can put anyone off the idea of offering global shipping. So in steps eBay with their shipping partner Pitney Bowes and simplify the process, now just select the countries you wish to offer shipping to (up to 102 as of May of 2016) set your domestic shipping rates and that’s it when the item sells you simply ship to Pitney Bowes and they handle the rest. The appealing part of the global ship program is its simplicity ship to a US based warehouse and that’s it, your responsibility for the shipment ends when it arrives to Pitney Bowes. After that if there is an issue they are responsible for the loss or damage. Sounds too good to be true right? Well maybe depending on your perspective. Many eBay sellers have pointed out the fact that the rates can be quite steep making their goods for sale less competitive with other merchants that have opted out of the global ship program so this could potentially hurt your sales for more price sensitive goods. Another issue is that combined shipments are not possible with the global ship program quite irritating if a high percentage of your customers are used to doing combined orders. Opening and repackaging of goods is not uncommon either possibly leading to damages or loss of items. Not to mention that many international buyers grew accustomed to saving on shipping charges by combining orders together. Most bizarrely reports of items being confiscated because they are restricted from export for one reason or another being resold on eBay! Both the buyer and sellers were refunded but the actual items would show up on eBay days after the auction. Crazy right? Why would I ever consider using this service you might ask? Well despite the naysayers’ complaints and accusations the service does actually work pretty effectively for the bulk of the transactions. While it is far from perfect is it easier than manually handling global shipments? Yes absolutely and for the casual seller the benefits might well outweigh the potential drawbacks of the program. In summary it is best to weigh your options if you specialize in high turn low dollar items this may be hurting your sales but for lower volume higher dollar items it may be a good option for grabbing some new international sales.