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Why don’t you use eBay UK’s Global Shipping Programme? (GSP)

By Dan Wilson August 31, 2017 - 6:43 am

Our recent video on eBay’s Global Shipping Programme (GSP) has elicited some lively comments online and been viewed well. You can find the video here and below.

And today I received an email from a befuddled viewer about the GSP: “It sounds too good to be true.” She opined.

I’m rather of the opinion that the GSP is one of the few entirely brilliant ideas eBay has ever come up with. Check out the video. But, in short, you can opt in and sell your goods to dozens of countries around the world. Buyers cover the additional shipping and you just need to ship your parcels to the Northants depot.

And there are protections in place regarding losses and feedback. Basically, just as long as you get the parcel to the warehouse in the UK, you’re sorted. It really is that simple.

Now, one of our more considered and also sceptical commenters on Tamebay, who I’ve heard from for the better part of 20 years is Northumbrian. He/she/they have commented on posts I’ve made even when I was a young Pink and under the eBay dollar on the official eBay discussion boards. Praise isn’t given lightly and change is approached pragmatically. Approval is given only when it’s unequivocally deserved.

The commentary given by Norf (as he/she/they have been lovingly known to me, Chris and (previously) Sue, for many years) is the answer I gave to my enquirer.

Quoth Northumbrian: “We were always critical of GSP, then gave it a try. Once you get your head round the constant complaints from the ill-informed or naive, and buyers wanting shipping discounts and cheap shipping it simply is unbeatable international shipping using eBay. Plus delivery times have improved 10 fold from what they were. In addition we feel it has increased our international sales and prices realised.”

That is high praise indeed. I’d like to see some improvements. It would be appropriate that sellers know quite what buyers are paying in shipping because they could, if they wanted the brainache, do a better deal. But it really is a clever scheme. Why aren’t you using it?

  • 4 weeks ago

    We don’t use the GSP, even though we do sell to select european countries. The biggest stumbling block for us is the handling of international returns. Ink & toner cartridges can be cumbersome and expensive to return

  • 4 weeks ago

    I was reluctant at first but I would highly recommend Gsp. I love it.

  • Ratso Restorations
    4 weeks ago

    I had given up with international shipping on Ebay until they introduced the GSP due to awful shipping service and lots of supposedly undelivered parcels.

    Once they came up with the GSP I read up and signed up within the first day. I`m only a one man band selling restored cycle parts but it`s my only income and the GSP has increased my sales by around 20-25% and I have NEVER had one customer complaining of non-delivery since using the GSP. I would have to agree with tamebay that this is one of the (very) few great ideas that Ebay has come up with in my ten years of using it. Recommended to all!

  • northumbrian
    4 weeks ago

    cor fame at last,

    • 4 weeks ago

      B-)
      Don’t let it go to your head northumbrian.

  • CG
    4 weeks ago

    We used to send all our items international tracked and signed and avoided GSP for a long time. We decided to give it a try at the start of the year and swapped over completely. No issues whatsoever with it. International returns have dropped massively. I think we’ve had two INRs all year and eBay went in our favour on both as delivery attempted more than once on both occasion. Customers are fine and everything is upfront. We’ve found our international sales have increased off the back of it. Only issue seems to be German buyers who for some reason can’t check out internationally on mobile and it gives a default message saying we don’t ship to Germany so we have to direct them to the desktop site.

  • JohnR
    4 weeks ago

    If you go on Order details & click additional buyer information, you can find out what the buyer has paid in postage & customs to ebay.
    GSP has always been good to use & since the change of GSP centre location, items are now getting to Australia in a week & Europe in 4 days from us dispatching the item.
    The only negative is explaining what GSP actually is to ebay customer service & customers, but once they know all runs smoothly.

  • James
    4 weeks ago

    The main reason we don’t offer it is because we send most items untracked and at a much lower cost to customers. Therefore the deal is a better one for the customer overall.

    Does anybody know if you can swicth it on for any areas we don’t post to, such as South America?

    • Auto-Bits
      4 weeks ago

      Yes you can. There is an option in site preferences under Account. Go to GSP, edit and tick Customise international shipping for some locations.

      Any country with postage specified in a rates table will override the GSP. Any not ticked in the rates table will go with GSP. Best to test on one listing first.

    • James Taylor
      4 weeks ago

      Thank you so much. And regarding the eBay shipping rates tables, how do you set the rates in eBay as I cannot find them anywhere?

      (This is what forced us down the road of fixed rates on an item by item basis.)

  • Stephen
    4 weeks ago

    The cost to the customer – I work for one online company but also setup my own side business. When I first setup I added GSP to my listings rather than my own postal charges for international… For a £1.99 sticker, it charged a customer in France £8.00 for delivery!

    Once the order came in I chucked some freebies in for the customer as I felt bad and also setup my own (untracked) shipping costs on all the listings…

    • northumbrian
      4 weeks ago

      for a cast iron guaranteed get your purchase or get your money back deal
      Gsp is a bargain for the buyer, we only wish ebay educated and informed buyers that delivery ,terms conditions were were not in our control,
      if pitney bowes /ebay introduced a domestic service with the same conditions / terms of service, we would sign up immediately

  • 4 weeks ago

    GSP was fine for us – until eBay removed all our products from the programme without informing us. We only found out there was a problem when a repeat customer from Australia asked why we had stopped selling internationally.

    The eBay Help Desk staff did not know why this had happened. They checked all our listings but could not explain why the international shipping option had disappeared. They suggested we delete and relist all of our listings to try to overcome the “problem”! I’m too wise to fall for that, so I tried it on one listing. Still no GSP option.

    After escalating the problem, we discovered that all types of makeup are now excluded from GSP. We ship our non-toxic, non-flammable, non-liquid makeup all over the world through Royal Mail. Why eBay should suddenly decide it is too dangerous is a mystery.

  • Martin
    4 weeks ago

    I ship to many countries without problem, no excessive losses etc, and I mostly use untracked Royal Mail small packet account rates. I tried to investigate GSP, but eBay could give no info at all about the charges customers would see. I thought it a pointless exercise if you are simply increasing shipping cost to the customer, and liable to reduce sales. At the time I was told I was either in or out of the programme, but it seems this has now changed with the correct settings, so maybe it is worth looking at again for countries I don’t ship to.

    • CG
      4 weeks ago

      We’ve actually found the opposite to be honest Martin. We thought some of the prices looked a little high but a lot are willing to pay more in shipping through GSP (I think it’s because everything is included) and our sales have increased. The reduction in stress levels has been immense as you just need to be concerned about getting it to the depot in the midlands and then it’s hands off. Back in the day we used to do untracked and had a nightmare with places like Italy. Then we did tracked and signed and it was better but still not brilliant but this GSP has been an absolute godsend and I’m the biggest eBay cynic going. We normally shut off international very early for Xmas but this year we won’t have that worry, just the UK asshats to deal with.

    • northumbrian
      4 weeks ago

      if only royal mail said once received it was their responsibility to deliver, we may consider them again,

  • northumbrian
    4 weeks ago

    Plus sending international ebay sales via royal mail in future could be fun
    given ebays stance on contact details, and royal mails future requirements

    http://www.royalmail.com/business/services/sending/international-data

  • SAM
    4 weeks ago

    Too expensive and really super slow, plus I need to pay domestic post also so what is the POINT.
    A lot of our items just go international priority RMG and anything of value tracked quicker, better value, less hassles,

    • 4 weeks ago

      The point is, a lot of sellers (myself included) had stopped international sales entirely because it was too much hassle dealing with the additional workload and increased level of INR claims generated by international buyers.

      As most sellers will be offering free UK P&P on their items anyway, it is no skin off their noses if a buyer in France is happy to pay ebay another £8-£10 on top of that for what is essentially a forwarding service.

      The proof of the success of the ebay GSP will be if/when Amazon copy it or incorporate it into their FBA system. I think they will, because they’re missing out.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Does anyone know if GSP handles the dreaded combining yet ??

    • 4 weeks ago

      We get a customer that will want to purchase a charm bracelet and several charms and asks us to attach. From what I have read we are supposed to dispatch to the UK depot independently.

    • 4 weeks ago

      Looks like GSP doesn’t like jewellery and is on their prohibited list !!
      https://sellercentre.ebay.co.uk/business/global-shipping-programme#prohibited-items

    • Iggs
      4 weeks ago

      Led to believe that if you ask your customer to log onto .co.uk and add all items to basket it will combine shipping for them. I’ve had a few do it so it must work ok.

    • northumbrian
      4 weeks ago

      we ship hundreds of items of jewellery via gsp
      we think you are confusing the restrictions on blood diamonds and rubies, coral. ivory, gold bullion etc etc that some countries impose

    • 4 weeks ago

      Thanks Iggs, we message the customers a FAQ with that and other information.
      Some it works for and some it doesn’t, so it looks like they should be able to combine for GSP.
      ====
      Thanks Northumbrian.
      Ebay show “Jewellery, gold or any other precious metals (whether manufactured or non-manufactured) that are subject to carrier and/or customs restrictions”

      I may well go for it.
      Thanks for everyones help
      Kind regards Simon

  • Iggs
    4 weeks ago

    Got to say, I’m very pleasantly surprised that overseas sales have more than doubled since I ditched posting with RM and signed up for the GSP.

    I’ve had no hassle ( other than as mentioned above re Germany – didn’t know that was what was causing the issue – thanks ! ), NO returns, nothing but glowing feedback and, in all but a few cases, the GSP rates on my items are less than what I was offering myself via RM Tracked and Signed which wasn’t excessive to begin with.

    And on the domestic shipping front, I’ve never once sent an item tracked to the GSP, regardless of value, and never had one go missing.

    So all in all this is one ( probably the only ) eBay initiative I have nothing but praise for.

  • Leader of the Banned
    4 weeks ago

    It hinders multiple sales due to Immediate Payment Required which they have applied to my account without my agreement. If they would let us offer GSP as a choice alongside other postal options then I would use it. Why would you want your customers to pay postage on every item when they could be sent together for much less? It’s a no brainer for me.

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