eBay’s Global Postage Programme – How It Worked For Me

Another day and here’s me banging on (again) about the Global Postage Programme (GPP) that eBay set up recently to streamline the process for the purchasing of items from US sellers for international buyers!

If you haven’t read the previous posts then you can do so by clicking any of the links below, all of which are in chronological order of when they were published…

The Light at the End of the Tunnel for International Postage…?

eBay’s Global Postage Programme – An Update

eBay’s Global Postage Programme – Another Update

With me so far..? Cool!!

Well I’ve already purchased my first item through the GPP and it’s been delivered safe and sound to my door (or, to my place of work but let’s not split hairs)!

I got hold of a retail box of 2012 Topps Heritage Baseball for $40.00 from pittsburghsportscards and here’s how it all played out…

26th October 2012 – Paid for the cards through PayPal

The transaction is broken down as follows:

1. The final cost of the item

2. The postage that the seller charges to ship to the destination in the US

3. The extra amount that is paid by PayPal directly to Pitney Bowes to cover the cost of the import tax, postage and whatever admin charge they impose

29th October 2012 – The seller dispatches the cards to the US location

Packaging as sent by the seller to US location

Date Unknown – The package is dispatched to the UK

These delivery notes were attached to the back of the package…

Postage Documentation

Date Unknown – The package arrives in the UK

A sticker is applied to the original address label with the forwarding address information on. This appears to have been sent from a location in South Derbyshire which I assume is where the package was shipped to from the US

Package with forwarding address details

8th November 2012 – The package is delivered to me!!

So in total that’s 14 days (or 10 business days) from when I paid for the cards to when they were delivered, which I’m pretty happy about!!

And the best thing?? No hidden charges! Everything was done up front without the worry of the extra charges from the Royal Mail or anything else that UK Customs might want to add!

All in all I’d say my first experience with the GPP gets a huge ‘thumbs up’!!

Difficult to say at this stage whether it’s going to be a resounding money-saving success for UK buyers but it’s a promising start.

If, as reported, eBay are to make this mandatory for all US sellers who wish to ship internationally then we’ll see how things develop from there. Hopefully we’ll see more and more sellers jump on board, widening their own customer base and at the same time widening the range of options available to us buyers!

For sports card collectors in the UK and Europe this could finally be the breakthrough we were after in our ongoing quest to get boxes of cards at more competitive prices!!


10 thoughts on “eBay’s Global Postage Programme – How It Worked For Me

  1. Well, there’s no doubt that your first run at this new system was successful. I still have some worries however. I’m concerned at this idea of ebay making the system “mandatory”. Mandatory at what level? Right down to single cards?

    Knowing ebay’s past record, I can easily see them enforcing a mandatory requirement on dealers to send outwith the USA via this system right across the board – regardless of the size or value of an item. If that happens, it’ll be great for those who buy higher value items, but will royally screw those who go for single cards or lower value items.

    My other worry (knowing how many American dealers think) is that if ebay make any system mandatory, dealers who currently ship abroad will simply stop doing so, perhaps because they simply can’t be bothered or because they will rebel against what they will see as yet another “rule” being forced on them by ebay. Personally, I think this new system could potentially see the number of dealers who are currently prepared to ship abroad go down.

    Sorry to be a bit of a stick in the mud about this. I honestly want to see this new system work. I really do. I just don’t have faith in ebay setting about doing it in the right way.

    1. I am not at all happy with GPS. I believe it to be a total rip off. . I recently contemplated a US mfg tool BIN $150. The shipping would have been $21. Int’l USPS priority plus $57.58 GPS. That is an import charge of ca 35%. The most Canada Customs can charge is 15% into Nova Scotia [the highest rate in Canada], 12% into British Columbia and 5% into Alberta – that is if the Customs man even bothers to charge. I will not even consider listings with the ‘wonderful’ GSP feature – no chance! I have been selling internationally – in fact 95% of my sales are international – and have had no significant problem. If a package sent to Moscow is lost, as recently the case, the postal insurance pays off . I get a second sale, with the post office paying the ticket! ebay has been screwing the seller for years and now it is the customers turn…. If ebay and Pitney Bowes do it to me, they could at least kiss me…..

      1. Thanks for the input Desmond!

        You’ve just confirmed something for me that I was concerned about for some time. It looks as if eBay are applying a blanket import duty charge across the board for ALL international buyers no matter where they are in the world.

        I’d mentioned previously that different countries have different rates of import tax – some very small, others not so! Here in the UK it’s 17.5% on anything above 15 GBP (which is approx 23 USD with the current exchange rate). In Australia there’s no import duty for anything less than 1000 AUD!

        The GPP works OK for packages sent to the UK because of the low threshold and higher rates of tax. In other parts of the world, as you’ve highlighted, it doesn’t work anywhere near as well.

        Ebay really need to look at how they apply their charges if they are to make the GPP a feasible way of carrying out international trading!

        Thanks for highlighting this for us!!

  2. Well Done for experimenting with this new system and I, for one, am really glad that there were none of the ‘hidden charges’. What you pay upfront is the actual price. When do we get to see the contents?

  3. The mandatory aspect left me slightly concerned as well. This new system works great for higher value stuff (like boxes) but smaller items, such as individual cards or small lots/team sets could easily suffer from the new rules (as Glenn pointed out). My main concern is that for these smaller items, having to ship them through an intermediary will see even more of a hike in postage costs.

    My initial thought was that this wouldn’t apply to smaller values items that won’t incur any duty but, after giving it a bit more thought, realised that that would be impossible to manage for eBay as different countries will have different thresholds for when import tax kicks in.

    But, this new system hasn’t really found it’s footing as of yet so there’s plenty of room for it to evolve. I’m remaining casually optimistic about this whole endeavour, despite eBay’s track record in the past!!

    As for the box itself, I’m probably going to put them on eBay as packs – make my money back and use any profit to invest in more boxes. My longer term strategy is to raise enough to get the odd case in every now and then which will hopefully mean I can bring the price down on boxes and packs to make life better for all of us. My buddy up in Redcar (and sometime contributor to this blog) has already bought 3 pks off me so this prompted me to sell the rest on.

    Although it will take a stupid amount of effort to stop from caving in and breaking open the rest of the box 🙂

  4. I’m confused – if I wanted to buy a guitar for a 1000 bucks from a US seller and got it send to Europe (to one of the eligible countries) I wouldn’t have ot pay the taxes and import duties?

    1. If you bought the guitar under the Global Postage Program then you’d pay the import tax up front, calculated when you check out through the eBay listing.

      Unfortunately there’s no way to avoid the extra tax unless you risk it not being added when it enters the UK

  5. This was interesting to read. Good to know the system does work. Just made my first purchase through a seller using this and after three weeks waiting and a message/tracking number to say Citipost UK will deliver the item I’ve had a further automated email to say the item was damaged in the eBay ‘international shipping hub’ and was ‘too heavily damaged to forward on.’

    Am now awaiting a refund which should come through in the next ten days. Confused as to email to say it would be delivered and then no delivery and a refund so my experience wasn’t quite as good as yours. Fingers crossed my bad luck was a one off.

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