Back in September I came across what I considered at the time to possibly be the light at the end of the tunnel for international postage, in a post that I called ‘The Light at the End of the Tunnel for International Postage…?‘ (see what I did there?)
In it I discussed eBay’s new Global Postage Program which was set up to make life easier for sellers in the US when shipping overseas. Have a browse through the original post for a low down on what the process is about and why I was excited about it at the time.
I’ve even purchased a couple of boxes of Baseball cards myself and they’ve both arrived in the UK safe and sound without any worry of extra charges by the postal service at this end!
I’m not going to go over the merits of this service on this occasion, however I just thought you might be interested to know that a couple of my posts were linked in a topic in the Blowout Cards forum called –
Now, I have a bit of an issue with forums in that for the majority of the time they provide a great arena for bashing around ideas and engaging in meaningful and sometimes heated discourse with strangers from across the world about the topics we all know and love… All well and good!
But on the other hand they also provide an arena for anyone to try and force their often narrow-minded, ill-informed ideas and arguments down other peoples throats, usually without any regard for the other posters that they are engaged with in the forum.
Please don’t get me wrong – I have no issue at all with people having an opinion and voicing it. It’s just sometimes there are better and more thoughtful ways of doing it without the need for insults and spite.
Well, bringing my little rant back round to the original point of this post, I just wanted to share some of the ‘insightful’ comments that some of the forums users have placed with regard to eBay’s Global Postage Program…
Firstly, BillInDallas wrote:
“I imagine international buyers will not like it at all as they are often hit with duties, and this system will ensure that any skirting of those duties is eliminated. Without the buyers, sellers will feel the effects. It could be argued that it could open more US based sellers to international buyers, but I think the amount of buyers and their purchases will outweigh new sellers and their sold items”
To a certain extent this is true. Let’s face facts, no-one likes to pay any extra than what they have to, especially when the proceeds are going to the government, but (and I can only speak from the point of view of a buyer in the UK) import duty or VAT isn’t always that much extra depending on the value of the item purchased. If you can get passed the idea of paying a small amount of duty or VAT then the whole process works a treat.
The biggest issue I have always had is the extra ‘admin’ charges that are added by the courier company that delivers the item to our door, whether it be a courier company or the Royal Mail. These charges usually end up being a lot more than the duty or VAT that gets added by Customs in the first place.
Moving on, jumbojohnny added:
“The best solution that I have found for International shipping problems = I don’t ship outside of the US”
Fair enough – sellers prerogative I guess… but at the same time I can’t help but feel that this attitude is a bit glib. Probably trying to make a point but it just comes across as a bit small-minded.
OK, if as a US seller you’ve been burned in the past by shipping overseas I can fully understand, but don’t dismiss international customers outright! Come on… there’s a whole market out there!!
The third offering is from gmsieb in response to jumbojohnny‘s remark and then regarding an earlier comment about the items that are sold being opened and inspected before being shipped overseas:
“This is the answer [not shipping overseas]. It is just not worth it any more. The buyers there always want deals. Get mad when the shipping is expensive. I can’t afford to be losing $20 bucks, so I was sending everything registered. What buyer wants to pay registered for a $20 card?? So they get upset and hurt my ratings. I lost my 20% discount because of this exact situation.
And now, the answer is to have some dude/chick in Kentucky (who knows how much about cards), open my package and inspect it??? No chance in hell. Way to much room for crap to go wrong. People complain about psa/bgs hurting their cards. Now someone who knows nothing of their value or how to handle them is going to check them out? This will get ugly so fast.
Oh dear Greg… You really do have your knickers in a twist over this one, don’t you? This is just the ill-informed type of response that always gets my back up. Plus you might want to use a spell checker or go over your grammar once in a while (I’m no wordsmith myself but I couldn’t resist)
Firstly Greg’s comments are all based upon speculation and hearsay from previous posts. People have read something, automatically jumped to the wrong conclusion, and then proceeded to tear into a process they clearly know nothing about or have had any experience of…
Secondly, what are these ‘deals’ that you’re talking about?? Everyone wants a bargain, for sure. A decent enough bargain with a decent shipping rate and you have one happy buyer. As before, I appreciate if previous transactions have been problematic, maybe cards have been lost in the mail? Who knows?
Thirdly, (now read my lips Greg) no-one in Kentucky is opening packages and inspecting the items before forwarding them on. With the two boxes I purchased neither box showed any signs of tampering and all the third party did was add a new mail label on top of the original one that the seller had put on.
For a system like the Global Postage Program to work it needs more people to buy into it first, as sellers and as buyers! I have no doubts that there are problems inherent in the set up but these will hopefully be recognised and be ironed out over time.
I’d be interested to hear if there are any other US sellers out there who have used the GPP and what their experiences are. This also applies to anyone else outside the US who has purchased something through the GPP. Let’s hear your stories!
I’m off now to unsuccessfully avoid reading some other forum comments and getting in a tizzy all over again…
See you next time!