eBay’s Global Postage Program – A Seller’s Perspective

It’s been a fair while since I wrote anything about the GPP and I didn’t want anyone to think that it had gone away. I’ve been conscious for some time that everything I’d written up to this point had been from the perspective of the non-US buyer, and I’ve gone into some detail (and several posts) around my thoughts and experiences on this relatively new service from eBay US!

However I’ve been eager to see how things work from a seller’s point of view, so I recently contacted Pittsburgh Sports to see if they could be of some assistance.

I’ve had several boxes of Baseball cards from Pittsburgh Sports since the GPP came into play and have been really happy with the way the GPP process has worked along with the service that they have provided!!

So I contacted them by email and fired off a few questions in their general direction about their experiences and thoughts, as an eBay retailer, on the GPP and how it fits into their business.

Firstly I’d like to thank Sean Bennett at Pittsburgh Sports for all his help, time and patience with this. Sean has highlighted that with a simple and friendly level of customer service the whole experience of buying and selling on eBay can be rewarding for all concerned, and when done right, will keep buyers coming back for more.

If anyone is interested in picking up some reasonably priced boxes of any type of sports card then you could do yourself a favour and visit Pittsburgh Sports’ eBay Store and have a look around. You never know you may spot yourself a real bargain!!

So, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of the questions I sent to Sean along with his responses!

Disclaimer – If any of you have come along expecting another Frost/Nixon interview then you’d be best served looking elsewhere. I don’t think there’s any chance that I’ll quitting my day job any time sooner and pursuing a career in investigative journalism, lets put it that way 🙂

Me: Have you previously shipped internationally and did you have any issues before the GPP was set up?

Sean: Yes, customers would consistently be shocked by the amount of duties and taxes owed. GPP seems to take the guesswork out of the equation

Me: How did you find out about the GPP?

Sean: Our ebay account rep recommended that we sign up to simplify international shipping

Me: Have you sent much overseas through the GPP?

Sean: Yes

Me: Do you have a rough approximation as to your ratio of domestic to international business and have you seen an increase in international purchases since the GPP came into play?

Sean: It’s 95/5 percent and yes, about a 1 percent difference so far

Me: Have you sent any low cost items?

Sean: Yes, low and high end items

Me: Have you sold many single, low cost items through the GPP? e.g. a single card for around $5-8?

Sean: Zero, shipping on those cards is cheaper to go regular USPS

Me: How does the process work, from your point of view as an eBay seller, in terms of working out shipping costs? How are shipping costs set?

Sean: We offer free shipping to the US so since we have to ship to and eBay international shipping center in the us our shipping costs remain the same.

Me: See the image which contains a screenshot of what international buyers see on your listing. I’ve highlighted a couple of areas and wondered if you had any control over these amounts? I suspect that you don’t since you offer free domestic postage. It could well be that these are the shipping charges that eBay applies to any GPP listings (same for the import duty amount). At a guess you’re probably not even aware that these go on, I just wondered if you were alerted to this at any part in the listing process?

Sean: We have zero control. It is interesting to view

Me: What would you say to other seller’s thinking about opting in?

Sean: Its a great option

Me: How does the GPP work for you and fit into your business?

Sean: It has helped us grow internationally and you will see more companies going that route moving forward

Me: Is the added security of shipping to a domestic address, handing over the responsibility of shipping internationally to Pitney Bowes, something that appeals?

Sean: Yes. Any way to increase international business I’m a fan of

Me: What would you say is the best thing about the GPP?

Sean: No extra paperwork

Thanks to Sean for his input with this! And I’m sure you’ll agree I doubt very much we’ll be seeing a Pulitzer heading my way at any point in the near future.

There are a couple of Sean’s comments that I found quite interesting and I’ll be addressing these in my next post (either tomorrow or the day after) when I’ll start bringing my thoughts together to form a bigger picture of what I’ve learned about the GPP so far, and what it all means for international buyers!

If you are a US seller or an international buyer, who uses eBay on a regular basis, and you had more questions about this whole process for Sean then let me know and I’ll send them his way!

Thanks, as always, for your time!


6 thoughts on “eBay’s Global Postage Program – A Seller’s Perspective

  1. I know I’ve been avoiding all the sellers who use GPP, as a buyer in Australia. We don’t get charged taxes on any imports under $1,000 in a fairly well documented government policy, yet GPP seem to be charging 10-15% of the price in ‘import duties’, on top of shipping that’s about twice the price of UPS for orders of a few boxes.. As you say, for single cards they’re not competitive at all.

    I used to live in the UK, and was rarely stung their either, so unless things have changed in the last 8 years or so the prices shown in your screenshot for that Topps box also seem high.

  2. The GPP is a rip off! I paid $79 duty up front on a $689.00 car part.. then had to pay near that again when they arrived… uhhhh

    Canadian and other international buyers stay far far away…

    1. That sounds a bit odd if you paid what you needed to up front.

      When the part arrived was it sent via the third party or straight from the seller?

      And what sort of fee did you have to pay upon receipt of the item?


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