The Global Shipping Program (GSP) offered by eBay is quite often overlooked. It can easily increase your sales by up to 50% or more with a few mouse clicks.
Whether you are under the impression it is complicated, not worth your time, or you are scared of scammers, I am here to dispel these myths and explain why you should be taking advantage of the Global Shipping Program right now.
As a United States seller, you should be excited to sell products on eBay’s international marketplaces such as Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, and the United Kingdom for starters.
There are just over 100 different countries you could be selling your products in with minimal effort on your end. An increased reach of your listings means an increased number of sales.
The Global Shipping Program is something you should really consider.
Who Can Opt In To GSP?
If your eBay account is below standard, you will not be able to utilize the insane reach of the GSP. You need to have an account above standard and meet some additional criteria to use this program. Some additional criteria to note are:
If This Seems Complicated, I Have To Disagree With You
If you were thinking that it is complicated to sell utilizing the Global Shipping Program, you probably feel validated at this point but that is where you would be wrong. If your listings do not meet the criteria for a certain country, they simply will not show up on that marketplace.
This means that, as long as you have GSP activated, all of the hard work of figuring out if you can ship somewhere is already done for you automatically. All you, as a seller, need to do is enable it.
Enrolling for GSP is really quite simple
You can opt in to and out of the Global Shipping program at any time.
Now that you are opted in, what do you need to do to ship internationally? What about all of the customs documents and other headaches you will need to fill out when shipping internationally?
Again, eBay does that for you. They have partnered with a company called Pitney Bowes which will handle the international shipping documentation. Simply ship your product to a Pitney Bowes processing facility in Erlanger, Kentucky.
Make sure to add the GSP reference number on your shipping label for a smooth transaction. The reference number will be given to you each time an international sales happens.
Will it cost me more money?
Well no, it will not cost you more money. It should be obvious that it does cost more money to ship internationally, but the seller does not have to pay for it. When an international buyer makes a purchase, all of the additional charges will show up for the buyer.
They will know exactly how much money it will cost to receive the product. Just like a domestic buyer does when they make a purchase on the eBay marketplace.
The caveat here is the PayPal fee will be different for international sales. Whereas you pay 2.9% + $0.30 (per transaction) for domestic, you will be charged 4.4% + a fixed rate depending on the country it is being shipped to. That fixed rate is comparable to the $0.30 you pay for domestic; you will not be hit with anything outrageous.
What if something happens to the package in transit?
eBay, or rather, Pitney Bowes has you covered yet again. As long as the product reaches Erlanger, Kentucky intact, any lost or damaged packages are not on you.
Pitney Bowes picks up the cost of the damaged goods and you will not lose your money. You should still pack up the product well so it will safely reach Kentucky, but beyond that, you are safe from any additional problems.
What about international returns?
That is a really great question, and I suggest, as well as do many others, that you do not offer international returns. If you are accurately describing and taking pictures of the items you are selling, you will rarely run into this.
Treat this type of transaction the same way you would a domestic sale. If you do for some reason have an international buyer looking for a return, it is honestly best to eat the cost and not have the customer return the product. You will quickly see how expensive international shipping is with a return.
Do not let this scare you away as the increase in sales dramatically outweighs the few returns you may have overall.
you should be utilizing GSP
It can seem daunting at first to open yourself up to the international market, but think about that for a second. You are opening your listings up to an international sale.
There are an abundance of products that non-US customers would love to get their hands on. While other platforms simply do not serve international customers or are very difficult and expensive, you have the availability to reach them through GSP.
I cannot recommend enough opting in to the Global Shipping Program, or at the very least to try it out. You will see an increase in sales volume which means an increase in your overall profitability with very little downside. Once you’ve given it a shot, you can confidently call yourself an international online seller.