A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Merchants who list on Amazon could now sell and ship their products internationally through the Amazon website. Today, I thought I would discuss eBay’s Global Shipping Program. A program sounds both strangely similar and yet different to Amazon’s international selling program.
As you already know, part of the problem that many sellers have with shipping items internationally is that there is often no way to track an item once it leaves your hands. This means that while the package is making its long journey from here to there, its safety is entirely in the hands of the post office. You then typically have to bite your nails and wait for about 10 days to two weeks. You will then either get the good news that your package arrived safely or the bad news that the item is missing.
When you use eBay’s Global Shipping Program, however, you simply ship the package to one of their US shipping centers and they have the responsibility of mailing it for you. Although it still has to arrive safely to the shipping center, once its there you are no longer responsible if the package gets lost or is damaged when they ship it for you.
While this all sounds well and good, keep in mind that the program is still sort of in a testing phase right now and there are quite a few restrictions that you need to know about. First, there are a lot of item categories that currently don’t meet the Global Shipping Program requirements. Antiques are out. Jewelry is out. Pottery, sports memorabilia and quite a few collectibles — all not part of the program. Although they do provide a restricted list, they also tell you that the list is not exhaustive and if you get a warning about a listing, then it is not allowed either.
There’s also quite an extensive list of restricted items you can’t send, but that list has been in place for a long time, so that is nothing new. As an example, you should already know that you can’t send animals, human body parts or plants. Ebay also doesn’t want you sending furs, tobacco and guns. So, as I said, it is still the standard list.
Ebay has also limited the countries that the Global Shipping Program will send to. On the approved list are: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.
You should also know that the items that can be sold and shipped through the Global Shipping Program have to be located in the USA, can’t weigh more than 66-pounds, or be longer than 66-inches. Items you send also have to actually be listed as an item on eBay.
At the moment, eBay is making sellers “opt in” if they want to use the program. You have to actually go to “My eBay” and then change your Shipping Preferences. Once you do this, however, your item will get international exposure and as I’ve mentioned before, international selling is a good thing. If this new program works out for eBay, the comfort of knowing you’re not responsible for the item once it’s on its way, might just turn out to be a good thing too.
About our Guest Blogger
This guest post is by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio.