eBay’s Global Postage Programme – An Update

Several days ago I posted a piece on a new scheme set up by eBay called the Global Postage Programme (GPP), designed to enhance the buying/selling experience for non-US buyers obtaining items from the US. If you wanted a read just click on this link.

This post gained a small amount of interest from this blog’s small readership, helped in greater part by Brent Williams who got the piece out to a wider audience through the wonders of Twitter. Brent has been trading sports cards on eBay for over 11 years and you can visit his eBay store brentandbecca’s 5-star sportscards or follow him on Twitter @brentandbecca

Anyways, since writing the original post I’ve found out a little bit more about the programme, details of which I’ve posted here and there, but I figured that it might not be a bad idea to collect it all together in one place.

The good thing about this programme for sellers in the US is that their main obligation is to just make sure that the item purchased from an overseas buyer as part of the GPP is delivered to the relevant address in the US, and Pitney Bowes (who eBay uses) then have the responsibility to ensure that the item reaches it’s international destination.

However, the best thing is that eBay sellers are still covered by PayPal’s Seller Protection Program.

For full details eBay sellers in the US can click on the link below and this will give you details on how to opt in and add the GPP as part of your auctions…

Using the Global Shipping Programme

From what I can gather, the GPP will works on a Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) basis where the onus is placed on Pitney Bowes for all international shipping obligations which includes bearing all the risks and costs (including duties and taxes).

This is FedEx’s explanation of how this whole system works –

Fed Ex on Duty Paid Shipment Regulations

I’ve become aware of other companies that offer this (or similar) kinds of service such as BundleBox, myUS and bongoUS.

You can also click here for information directly from the Pitney Bowes website.

I hope that this is of further help to you sellers in the US! The more of you guys that get on board with the GPP as part of your listings will go a long way to helping us guys in the rest of the world (or at least the countries covered by the GPP anyway) in getting items, such as boxes of sports cards, sent over at much more reasonable prices, without the worry of loads of hidden tax and admin charges upon delivery!!

I’ve just purchased my first box of cards through this programme (2012 Topps Heritage Retail, in case you were wondering), and I’ll give you a breakdown of the whole experience when the box arrives with me in the UK!!

Thanks for your time!!


5 thoughts on “eBay’s Global Postage Programme – An Update

  1. It’s a con to us UK ebayers. eg Cost of item = $10.79 (£6.95) P&P = $20.26 (£13.05) Import Charges = $4.37 (£2.82).
    Our own import charges doesn’t apply until £15.00 so where exactly has that import charge come from?

    1. Hi Mike.

      You’re right… Anything under our £15.00 threshold is completely pointless for the GPP in its current set up.

      In the example you’ve given above the import charge of $4.37 appears against all low valued items on eBay that are set up by the seller as part of the GPP. I’m assuming it’s the standard admin charge imposed by eBay through their party shipping associate.

      I was going to test it on a really low valued item to see if that $4.37 would disappear at the checkout stage of the transaction, but then the USPS price increases came into play and I decided against it. For all we know it may well vanish completely.

      The shipping amount that the seller charges covers the cost of shipping within the US and a small amount added on for overseas. The $20.96 seems a large amount but it depends on what the item is and how it fits into the standard USPS postage cost plan. At the end of the day we still have to rely on US sellers charging the correct amount of postage on their items.

      If you read through a couple of my other posts on the GPP I’ve put in some more details about how the costs are broken down. I don’t know if they help shed any light on things but the information was direct from eBay.

      I’ve purchased three boxes of cards so far from the same seller through the GPP and I’ve been very happy with how things have gone. I’ve made my peace with the idea of paying import tax because for me the alternative of being charged by customs AND by the Royal Mail is too risky, especially with the increased USPS charges that came in at the end of January!

      I’m awaiting some information from the dealer I’ve been using in Pittsburgh who’s going to give me some information on the GPP from a sellers perspective which will hopefully clear up some of the things that I still don’t understand about the whole process.

      I’ll post an article as soon as I get it through.

      My advice is stay away from low cost items that are being sold through the GPP and find other alternatives. I’d argue that the system itself isn’t a con to UK buyers, but the way that it’s structured for low value items needs to be looked at by eBay as it simply won’t work.

      The bigger ‘con’ in all this for me is the so-called ‘admin’ charge from the Royal Mail of £8.00 +… That’s what I really begrudge paying. In most instances the cost of the import tax is a lot lower than this admin charge.


  2. I always prefer not to buy from the US of A. Their prices are usually higher than the rest of the world. China & HK are my favourite selling locations.

    P.S. I support Obama-Care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s