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Ebay Buyers Beware Global Shipping Program.


Polarboy
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Hi Guys, This may be old news to some but I have just discovered first hand the pit falls of the Global Shipping Program used by ebay and paypal. For buyers outside of the states what can happen is that you can buy a lot on ebay and pay the price and postage in one transaction  and be charged an addition postage cost by third party Pitney Bowes. This Pitney Bowes charge is never referenced in the sale or cheeckout process it just turns up in your paypal summary without you ever agreeing to it. Another downfall with the GSP is that sellers using it can't combine shipping on multiple sales ( so you could buy 6 minimates in the same transaction and they will arrive in 6 boxes with 6 postage charges and 6 additional Pitney Bowes charges). A lot of sellers display the GSP logo on their sales pages but this doesn't seem to always be the case, so short of asking every seller if they use the scheme there doesn't seem to be anyway to be 100% sure what you will be paying.

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Looking into it further i came across this

https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/Disputes-and-claims/I-have-been-charged-18-from-pitney-Bowes-inc/td-p/628337

which one of the responces about 3 quarter of the way down seems to indicate it's hidden in the terms and conditions somewhere. But its still a disgrace.

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This actually is old news and seems to form two camps in every forum I visit.  I understand all the issues with it and if I were a buyer outside of the USA and was faced with the disadvantages the GSP carries, I probably would just not buy from that seller.  It seems that simple to me.

As an occasional seller, I appreciate the benefits of the GSP.  People often claim that shipping outside of the US can't be difficult because it is not difficult to ship outside of their own country.  Well, I am here to tell you that it is a pain in the ass.  I have never been flat out ripped off (yet) over a foreign transaction, but there have been some close calls that would have been totally eliminated for me using GSP.  For example, I sold a vintage action figure for a substantial amount of money to a fellow in the UK.  Tracking out of the USA really only shows that it was shipped, but rarely anything once the item leaves the USA.  Three months go by and the guy did not get his item and is understandably upset.  Without using the GSP, I was threatened with having the funds taken back from me but I didn't do anything wrong and had proof I shipped the item.  Long story short, the item finally showed up and the buyer saw that I did in fact ship right away and the item was just held up by UK Postal System.  Happy ending.  I dodged a bullet there, but what about the next time?  Using the GSP, once the item leaves my hands and goes to the Postal Office, I am safe from loss.  If the item gets lost during transit, the GSP pays out to the buyer and both parties are protected.  Yes, the GSP costs more in shipping for the buyer and there could be tariffs, but shipping outside your home country is more expensive anyway.  If it makes the item too expensive, pass it by.  You don't have to like it.  I don't like paying sales taxes in the US, but its just part of deciding to buy or holding off for a better deal.

That said, there is no excuse for hidden fees.

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Yeah I hadn't heard that it could be hidden. On the Canadian eBay portal, there's a GSP notice right under the price/current bid, and there's an estimate of their import fee (based on the current bid if it's an auction) listed right below the shipping cost. Looks like this:

Capture.jpg

Their import fee seems to cover customs plus some "handling," it's just annoying to have to pay customs on packages that would likely slip through without any charge in the regular mail. I just avoid those auctions like Shane said, but its popularity is one of the reasons I've cut back on eBay a lot.

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I offer free shipping as a sales tactic for all my auctions, and before I started using the GSP, some items cost so much to ship outside the country, I basically ended up paying to get rid of them, as opposed to making a profit.

I can't afford that. If I'm not going to make money, I'd at least prefer to give it away, since that doesn't cost me money. :confused:

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I can totally understand the benefit to the seller (apparently the scheme was instigated to encourage more US sellers to sell to foreign buyers) and I would be fine if we all knew where we stood before handing over cash. The person I am most upset with over the whole thing is myself for not showing due diligence and being caught out. Having said that I went back and looked at the sales where I have been charged fees and this is how they looked.

ebay04_zpsza4yz1zs.jpg

ebay03_zpsyo0zvonz.jpg

 

Oh well I guess I know what to look for now.

 

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I was doing the same as Tenime and got nailed with some shipping costs that ended up costing me money.  Shipping out of the US is hard to calculate in advance, especially if you are trying to use combined shipping.  Even shipping outside the continental US is tricky.  I have be nailed on shipped to Hawaii that ended up killing my sale.  I don't sell on Ebay to make money and can handle selling things for a loss sometimes, but I don't want to end up not only giving the item away, but paying out of pocket to ship it.

All that said, I understand the bad side of the GSP.  I imagine I have possibly lost sales over it, but I am okay with that.  It is a decision I have made.  But to be honest, I still sell to folks outside the USA all the time.  I just sent a Hot Toys part to Japan via GSP and got no complaints.

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43 minutes ago, Shanester said:

 I don't sell on Ebay to make money and can handle selling things for a loss sometimes, but I don't want to end up not only giving the item away, but paying out of pocket to ship it.

That.

Obviously, best case scenario, I make a profit, but I'm not trying to make it a career, like some people.

I see the downside for buyers, and every buyer who has expressed unhappiness with it, I have cancelled the sale & refunded their money.

But I can't afford to lose money myself.

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Huh, that's definitely weird Polarboy, not cool to spring fees on you after estimating $0, and the second listing specifically says USPS not GSP. I wonder if it's eBay not displaying the shipping info properly or something in how those specific sellers set up the listings. Either way, that's no good.

But yeah, not sure how you could even avoid that happening again in the future, I guess the only option is to request the seller cancel the sale like Tenime said.

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