Global shipping programme

Helping you reach more buyers

Reach millions more buyers

The Global Shipping Programme is an easy way for business and private sellers to reach millions more buyers with minimal changes to your current processes.

The Global Shipping Programme works by automatically showing international tracked postage costs on your eligible listings to prospective buyers in other countries at no additional cost to you. Your items will be available to buyers from selected EU and non-EU countries.

Eligible accounts will be automatically enrolled into the Global Shipping Programme from September 2014 onwards. You’ll be notified in advance by email and you’ll have the option to opt-out if you don’t think it’s for you. Any existing postage costs or country exclusions remain in place – the programme doesn’t override them.

How it works

  • We’ll notify eligible sellers when listings are being enrolled into the Global Shipping Programme.
  • International postage charges are automatically shown on your listings and paid in advance by your buyer.
    You only pay for postage costs to the UK Shipping Centre, where your parcel will be processed for international delivery.
  • When one of your items sells, you simply post it to
    the UK Shipping Centre using your usual postage service.
    The address is automatically provided as the ‘Post-to’
    address for the order. The address includes a unique
    identifier code
    . This is so the UK Shipping Centre
    can identify your item - always include this code
    on your label.
  • Once your item arrives at the UK Shipping Centre, the item is sent to your buyer via a fully-tracked international postage service.
  • You can opt out of the programme at a listing, country or account level at any time.

Learn More

All handled for you

You simply post within the UK and everything
else is handled for you.

Countries included

Millions more people around the world will be able to buy from you.

International tracked postage costs to the following EU countries will be shown on your listings: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

International tracked postage costs plus applicable customs charges will be shown to buyers in the following non-EU countries: Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and USA.

If you have excluded any of the above countries on your listings via your selling preferences on My eBay, your preferences will remain in place.

Seller protection

With the Global Shipping Programme you’re protected in several ways:

  • Automatic 5-star rating for postage and packaging charges when you provide free domestic postage to the UK Shipping Centre.
  • Automatic 5-star ratings for postage time if you meet certain conditions.
  • You’re protected from negative or neutral Feedback and ratings lower than 5 stars due to loss or damage to your item in international transit, or delayed delivery.
  • You won’t be responsible for loss or damage by third-party carriers once your item is in international transit.

Learn More

Returns

Returns are not handled through the Global Shipping Programme.

Private sellers -
If a buyer contacts you directly, we recommend
working together to resolve the issue. You don’t
have to accept a return if the buyer has simply
changed their mind, but any buyer claim for Item
Not as Described will be processed subject to the
eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection in countries without eBay Money
Back Guarantee.

Business sellers -
Your UK returns policy will be displayed and
applied to EU buyers. Under the EU Consumer
Rights Directive (2011), EU buyers can withdraw from
most distance transactions with business sellers
within 14 calendar days without penalty and
without giving any reason. Read more about
managing international returns.

All sellers -
If your buyer asks you for a refund on their purchase, you’re only expected to refund the cost of the item
and what you charged for domestic postage. We’ll
take care of refunding the international postage
charges for sending the parcel to them, if applicable. Please handle any return postage costs directly with
the buyer, depending on the reason of the return.

General

What is the Global Shipping Programme?

The Global Shipping Programme is an easy way for business and private sellers to reach millions more international buyers without having to deal with international postage. Instead, simply post your item to the UK Shipping Centre, where your items will be processed for international delivery. Your item will be sent to your buyer by a fast, reliable international tracked postage provider who will also handle any related customs or other import charges (where applicable for buyers in non-EU countries).

The Global Shipping Programme works by showing international postage costs on your eligible listings to prospective buyers in other countries at no additional cost to you. Your items will be available to buyers in selected EU and non-EU countries.

What if I already offer international postage for my domestic listings (basic international selling)?

For countries where you don’t yet offer international postage, you could consider using the Global Shipping Programme. You can use your existing providers for some countries, and use the Global Shipping Programme for others. If your listings qualify and the relevant countries are eligible, we’ll be in touch with you about taking part. If you want to enrol now rather than waiting to be contacted, you can do so.

What if I already list directly on other international eBay sites (advanced international selling)?

The Global Shipping Programme isn’t right for you at the moment. You should continue to arrange your own international postage for the countries you sell to.

What payment methods can I offer for international listings that use the Global Shipping Programme?

PayPal is the exclusive payment method currently accepted, to allow the buyer’s payment to be split between you and Pitney Bowes - the global technology and international postage provider who will manage the UK Shipping Centre.

Will listings available to international buyers on eBay show import charges?

Yes, items offered to non-EU buyers through the Global Shipping Programme will show the import charges upfront (shown separately from the item price), so there are no unexpected charges for your buyers to pay when their purchase is delivered. No import charges are payable by EU buyers.

Do items post faster internationally through the Global Shipping Programme?

Items that post through the Global Shipping Programme generally arrive within 3-5 days in EU and 7-10 days for non-EU destinations after departing the UK Shipping Centre. The estimated delivery date shown to buyers is the sum of the estimated time it takes for your item to reach the UK Shipping Centre and the time it takes to reach the buyer’s international address after processing. Typically it will take slightly longer for parcels to arrive with your buyer, however packages sent via the Global Shipping Programme benefit from professional customs processing, which helps to minimise any delays at customs.

How will I know when and where to post the item?

You should send your item to the UK Shipping Centre after you've received a ‘Cleared Payment’ email from PayPal. When you purchase and print postage from eBay or PayPal Labels, the UK Shipping Centre will be automatically set as the ‘Post-To’ address. If you don't use eBay or PayPal Labels, be sure to upload tracking information (where available) manually, include the full unique identifier code on the address label (available on the View Order Details page), otherwise, simply mark the item as dispatched in my eBay to let your buyer know that the item is on its way and send your package to the UK Shipping Centre.

In all cases, the Post-to address includes a unique identifier code in the second line of the address. This is so the UK Shipping Centre can identify your item - always include this code on your address label.

Will I be able to see my buyer’s address?

Yes, your buyer's address will be available in the View Order Details page. You must not post to the buyer's international address. Simply send your item to the UK Shipping Centre.

Enrolling into the Global Shipping Programme

Will my account be automatically enrolled into the Global Shipping Programme?

If your account is eligible and is selected for automatic enrolment into the Programme, we’ll let you know by email.

Will all sellers be automatically enrolled into the Global Shipping Programme?

No, only selected sellers will be automatically enrolled into the programme. Sellers who don’t currently sell internationally and haven’t specifically excluded other countries are being selected for automatic enrolment.

Is GSP mandatory?

No.

If my account is selected for automatic enrolment, how will I be notified?

You’ll be notified by email on the day that your account is enrolled. This notification will be sent to the registered email address on your eBay account. Approximately 2-3 days after you receive the enrolment notification, your eligible listings will begin showing international postage costs to buyers in other countries at no additional cost to you.

How do I opt in to the Global Shipping Programme if I’m not being automatically enrolled?

You can opt in to the Programme from My eBay > Postage preferences on an account, country or listing level.

If I don’t want to take part in the Global Shipping Programme, what should I do?

Sellers who are being automatically enrolled into the Programme can opt-out at any time after enrolment. Sellers who have opted their own account into the Programme can change their settings at any time after enrolling. There are three ways that you can manage your participation in the Programme:

  • Exclude or include individual listings – suitable for sellers who want to list some of their items using Global Shipping Programme, but don’t want to list all of them. Manually choose which listing you want to be part of the programme by either ticking or un-ticking the box relating to Global Shipping Programme.
  • Exclude countries – if you don’t want to sell to certain countries, you can exclude them and the Global Shipping Programme won’t show postage costs to these countries. Read more about how to exclude countries below.
  • Exclude account – if you don’t want to sell any of your items through Global Shipping Programme, you can opt your account out of the Programme entirely by following these instructions:
    1. Go to My eBay > Account > Site Preferences.
    2. Click the Show link to the right of the Postage Preferences section.
    3. Click the Edit link to the right of Offer the Global Shipping Programme.
    4. Click Opt Out.
    5. Review the information. If you still wish to opt out, click Continue to opt out.

How long does it take for opt-outs to be processed?

If international postage costs haven’t started showing on your listings yet, opt-out is usually effective within a few hours. It can take up to 72 hours to remove listings which are already showing international postage costs through the Programme and you can’t remove the Global Shipping Programme from listings which have pending bids or a pending best offer.

If I opt out, will I have to do it again for new or Good til cancelled (GTC) listings when they renew?

If you opt out from My eBay at account level, all your existing and future listings will be excluded from the Global Shipping Programme, so you will not have to do it again for new or GTC listings.

If you’ve only opted out at individual listing level, any new listings will automatically be included in the Global Shipping Programme. If you have excluded a GTC listing the exclusion will remain in place when it renews.

When you list an item, you’ll be given the option of whether to include it in the Global Shipping Programme.

How GSP Works

Which countries are included in the Global Shipping Programme?

International tracked postage costs to the following EU countries will be shown on your listings: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. International tracked postage costs plus applicable customs charges will be shown to buyers in the following non-EU countries: Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and USA. If you've excluded any of these countries on your listings via My eBay, your preferences will remain in place.

How do I exclude countries that I don’t want to post to?

  1. Go to My eBay, select the Account tab and then Site Preferences.
  2. Click Show on the Postage and packaging preferences.
  3. Click Edit next to the Exclude postage locations from your listings option.
  4. Select the countries you don’t wish to post to.
  5. Check Apply to all current live listings if you choose.
  6. When you’ve finished, click Apply. With postage exclusions, we'll block buyers from purchasing your items if their primary delivery address is in a location you don't post to.
  7. Your selected postage location exclusions are used as the default for all future listings. You can make listing-specific changes to these default settings at the time of listing.

I want to exclude countries from only some of my listings sold via the Programme. How do I do this without blocking Global Shipping Programme on all my listings for that country?

Go to My eBay > Site preferences > Shipping preferences > Exclude shipping locations from my listings

Can I make a single listing available to buyers in countries that aren’t covered by the Programme?

Yes. Set the Global Shipping Programme as the first international postage option for your account. Then select an additional postage method for countries that aren't included in the Global Shipping Programme.

How do I know which of my listings are included in the Global Shipping Programme?

To see your Global Shipping Programme listings, select Selling in My eBay and go to the Active Selling section. Select Global Shipping Programme. You may have to use the arrow key to scroll sideways to see the Global Shipping Programme option.

Do I need to provide any new or additional details about an item when I use the Global Shipping Programme?

We recommend that you specify the weight and dimensions of the item to increase the accuracy of the international shipping cost quote. You can either specify the weight and dimensions in the ‘Add P&P’ section using the advanced selling tool or you can include them in the Details section of your listing. In addition, if you know the country of manufacture, commonly known as ‘country of origin’, for your item, include it in your listing and also on your packing slip. If you don't know the country of manufacture, customs charges will be calculated by the global technology and international postage provider (the organisation which runs the UK Shipping Centre) based on the information in your listing and historical information for similar items.

How can I update my Global Shipping Programme listings in bulk?

You can use the eBay bulk editing tools or, once you've enrolled in business policies, you can apply the Global Shipping Programme to eligible listings by including it in your postage policies. If you use a third-party listing tool, contact your third-party provider. If you have your own proprietary tool, contact either your eBay account manager (if you have one) or the eBay Development Programme for more information.

Do I need to include the time it will take the UK Shipping Centre to handle the item when stating my handling time?

No, you should state your handling time as you do now for domestic (UK) orders. Your handling time to post the item to the UK Shipping Centre will be added to the other elements used to calculate the estimated delivery date displayed to buyers.

How is the estimated delivery date determined?

The estimated delivery date is based on several elements, including: (1) your handling time, (2) the estimated domestic transit time based on the first domestic shipping option you've selected, (3) the UK Shipping Centre's handling time, and (4) the estimated international postage time from the UK Shipping Centre to the buyer’s location.

What are the maximum weight & dimensions for my item?

  • The item must not weigh more than 30kg including packaging.
  • The package must not exceed 125000 cubic centimetres as measured by (length x width x height) and any single dimension of a parcel must not exceed 120 centimetres. For example, both 50cm x 50cm x 50cm and 70cm x 20cm x 30cm are acceptable sizes.

Are there any restrictions when using the Global Shipping Programme (size, weight, category limits, and restricted items)?

Yes, there are restrictions. For example, to be eligible for the Global Shipping Programme, an item:

  • Must be physically located in the United Kingdom
  • Must be listed for sale on eBay.co.uk
  • Must meet the following size and weight restrictions:
    • The package must not weigh more than 30kg.
    • The package must not exceed 125000 cubic centimetres as measured by (length x width x height)
    • Any single dimension of a parcel must not exceed 120 centimetres
  • Must not exceed a price of £1,500 (or £800 for items sold to buyers in Russia).
  • Must not be otherwise ineligible, illegal, hazardous, subject to export restrictions, or otherwise prohibited on eBay. Remember that some items may be permitted to be sold to buyers in some countries but not others. Please see the seller terms and conditions for complete details.

As the seller, you are ultimately responsible for your compliance with all applicable laws and regulations under the Global Shipping Programme. Please see seller terms and conditions. If an auction item results in a winning bid in excess of £1,500 (or £800 for items sold to buyers in Russia), a message will be sent to the winning buyer to contact you directly to make alternate postage arrangements, as the item will not be eligible for the Global Shipping Programme. Sellers will receive a notice at the end of the auction through the "send invoice" process and will be responsible for arranging alternative international postage and UK export rules, regulations, and procedures apply.

Do listings for items that post through the Global Shipping Programme look different to buyers?

Yes. On the search results page, buyers will see additional information including the message “Customs services and international tracking provided.” On the view item page, buyers will see import charges (where applicable for non-EU buyers). On auction listings, the charges will be estimated based on the current highest bid. At checkout, buyers will see the full price, including any import and postage charges.

The symbol below will appear on listings which post through the Global Shipping Programme.

Global Shipping Programme Symbol

Payments and Fees

Does it cost anything extra for sellers to use the Global Shipping Programme?

There are no additional eBay fees for sellers to use the Global Shipping Programme.

Will I always be paid in Sterling (even from international buyers)?

Yes payments will be paid to you in Sterling. You’ll be charged a fee by PayPal in addition to your current domestic fees as you are selling cross border. This fee is known as a cross border fee and depends on location of the buyer. Your buyers will be charged a currency conversion fee by PayPal when they pay in their own currency (this is standard practice when buying internationally on eBay).

What will the transaction look like in PayPal?

Global Shipping Programme transactions are seamlessly integrated with PayPal. Your buyer will go through checkout once and PayPal will split the buyer's payment between you and the global technology and international postage provider. You'll receive the full item price plus the domestic postage charges and the balance will be transmitted to the third party global technology and international postage provider. For complete details on this process, please see the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions for sellers.

Do I need to change anything in my PayPal settings?

No.

How are eBay final value fees (FVFs) calculated?

Final value fees are charged in the same way as a domestic transaction on eBay.co.uk. The FVF charged will be charged at the UK rate on the item price plus the domestic portion of the postage, i.e. the cost of you sending the item to the UK Shipping Centre. You won’t be charged a FVF on the international portion of the postage cost or any import charges.

Can I offer combined postage discounts?

At this time, seller-specified combined postage discounts aren’t supported by the Global Shipping Programme. However, a combined postage discount for the international leg of the delivery will automatically be applied during checkout when the buyer places all items in their shopping basket prior to making a purchase.

Can I use “Send Invoice” or “Request Total” for Global Shipping Programme orders?

No, "Send invoice" and/or "Request total" will not be available for Global Shipping Programme orders.

How are postage charges calculated for the international leg?

The international postage charge your buyer sees is derived from a number of factors, including the buyer's location, package weight and dimensions. A network of postage carriers will be used to provide fast, reliable and trackable services. Carriers will be selected depending on their suitability for sending your item internationally. For more details, see the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions for sellers.

Where does my buyer see the applicable postage and import charges (if applicable)?

Import charges are estimated for non-EU buyers on the view item page and are not finalised until checkout. The amount shown at checkout is the total price the buyer will pay, including item price plus the total postage and import charges. For additional information see the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions for sellers.

How are the import charges calculated for non-EU buyers?

Import charges quoted to non-EU buyers are derived from real-time proprietary estimates of applicable import charges by the third party global technology and international postage provider and include applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage, and other fees. These charges are calculated based on a number of factors, including the item price, total postage price, postage weight, package dimension, country of manufacture, and item classification. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions for sellers.

How are import charges estimated when the purchase price isn’t known yet (for auction- style items or Best Offer buying formats)?

For Auction-style listings:

  • Buyers will see the charges based on the current bid
  • When buyers place a bid, import charges will be based on their maximum bid, but this may change depending on what the item actually sells for

For Best Offers:

  • Buyers will see the charges based on the offer amount
  • When you send a counter-offer, it will be based on the counter-offer amount
  • A final calculation cost will be shown at checkout

How does my buyer’s payment break down and where can I find these details?

The Order Details page will show a breakdown of the item price, postage charges, and import charges paid by your buyer.

How can my customers get a receipt showing the import/customs duties they have paid?

Your buyer’s PayPal receipt will show any import or customs duties paid. If they would like to receive proof of import documentation, they can obtain this from eBay Customer Support.

Posting through The Global Shipping Programme

Which service should I use to send my item to the UK Shipping Centre?

You can use whichever postal or courier service that you would normally use to send to a UK address. As always, we recommend you use a tracked service if it makes commercial sense to do so.

Can I use the eBay label platform for posting the item?

You can use eBay or PayPal Labels to purchase and print your postage label to the UK Shipping Centre. If you use a tracked postage service then a domestic tracking number will be generated and automatically uploaded. Upon arrival at the UK shipping centre, the package will be processed and labelled with its international destination label.

Do I need to print an international label?

No, you just need to print the label for the UK Shipping Centre, which is the Post-To address and includes a unique identifier code in the second line of the address. This is so the UK Shipping Centre can identify your item - always include this code on your address label.

How do I package a multiple-item order when posting to the same buyer?

If your buyer buys multiple items from you as part of the same transaction, you can package the items together in the same box. However, if the same buyer makes several purchases (multiple transactions), package and post each item separately to avoid customs related complications. Follow best practices when posting multiple items and boxes.

Who runs the UK Shipping Centre?

Pitney Bowes is the global technology and international postage provider, and will manage the UK Shipping Centre.

What happens to my package at the UK Shipping Centre?

Pitney Bowes will oversee the sorting and processing of your package (which may involve opening and re-packing your item) and will arrange for international postage of your buyer's order. Your parcel will also be checked to ensure it can be delivered to the destination country; parcels which cannot are classified as 'undeliverable' (see below). Learn more about what happens at the UK Shipping Centre.

Will every parcel be opened at the UK Shipping Centre?

No, not every parcel will be opened. The UK Shipping Centre may open parcels in the following circumstances:

  • If the parcel does not identify country of origin, it will be inspected for country of origin identification.
  • If the order is for a multi-quantity of a single commodity, quantity of contents of the parcel will be verified.
  • If the order is for a commodity that is restricted, the parcel will be opened for investigation.

I sell delicate/breakable items which require special packaging to ensure they are not damaged in transit. How will my items be re-packed when they reach the UK Shipping Centre?

Not every parcel will be opened, but if it is, Pitney Bowes will ensure it gets repackaged appropriately.

What happens if the item is damaged during transit?

Every parcel shipped through the Global Shipping Programme is insured from the point it is safely received in the UK Shipping Centre. The parcel insurance cost is included in the total price that the buyer paid for shipping through the programme. If the item was damaged in the UK Shipping Centre or in international transit, we’ll cover the loss or damage to the buyer and you’ll keep the money from the sale. Any defect arising from a resulting buyer claim will be de-scored if it was lost or damaged after arriving safely at the UK Shipping Centre.

Under which circumstances would an item purchased through the Global Shipping Programme be considered 'undeliverable'?

Possible reasons include but are not limited to:

  • The item is restricted from export or import
  • The item is overweight or over-sized
  • An incomplete or invalid delivery address
  • Payment from the buyer has not been received
  • The order has been cancelled
  • The item was damaged at the UK Shipping Centre

Please note that if an auction-style listing ends with a final price, excluding postage & packaging, of more than £1500 (or £800 for Russia), you're responsible for arranging alternative international postage, including compliance with applicable UK export rules, regulations and procedures.

You may want to review the restricted categories and prohibited items that are not eligible for shipment through the Global Shipping Programme.

What happens with payments for ‘undeliverable’ items?

If a Global Shipping Programme item that has been purchased by a buyer and accepted by the UK Shipping Centre is not eligible for the programme or can’t be sent to the buyer, you may keep the buyer’s payment. eBay will refund the buyer. You don’t have to reimburse the Global Shipping Programme fees for this refund.

What does the Global Shipping Programme do with 'undeliverable' items?

'Undeliverable' items will be retained or disposed of as appropriate. For additional information about lost, damaged, and 'undeliverable' items, see the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions.

How will my buyer and I know that the item was deemed 'undeliverable'?

If an item sold through the Global Shipping Programme is classified as ‘undeliverable’ after being accepted at the UK Shipping Centre, eBay will send you an email to let you know. We’ll also communicate with your buyer and, subject to any applicable terms between eBay and the buyer, will provide a refund to your buyer. You won’t be responsible for reimbursing eBay for this refund, and the item will be disposed of appropriately as an ‘undeliverable’ item.

What if I want the 'undeliverable' item back?

At this time, items that are deemed as 'undeliverable' won’t be returned to you.

How long will my package be at the UK Shipping Centre before it’s posted internationally?

In most cases, once your package arrives at the UK Shipping Centre, it will be on its way to the international destination within 1 business day.

How does tracking work for the Global Shipping Programmes?

End-to-end tracking is available through two tracking numbers: (a) The domestic tracking number which corresponds to your delivery to the UK Shipping Centre (if you use eBay or PayPal Labels, this information is uploaded automatically as long as you choose a tracked postage service) and (b) the global tracking number used for the international shipping leg. As always, a domestic tracking number will be generated and automatically uploaded when you use eBay or PayPal Labels. An international tracking number will be generated once the package is processed at the UK Shipping Centre. This will allow you and your buyer to track the package status from the UK Shipping Centre to its final international destination and will be emailed to both you and your buyer.

Customer Service

Can an international buyer contact me through My Messages?

Yes, buyers can always contact you through My Messages to ask questions. If your buyer contacts you to find out where the item is after it has been received by the UK Shipping Centre, refer them to the tracking details on My eBay or ask them to contact eBay Customer Support.

What if the buyer contacts me about an 'undeliverable' item, even though the Global Shipping Programme has contacted them?

If an item that was sold through the Global Shipping Programme has been accepted at the Shipping Centre, but later been classified as ‘undeliverable’, eBay will communicate with your buyer and, subject to any applicable terms between eBay and the buyer, will provide a refund to your buyer. You won’t be responsible for reimbursing eBay for this refund, and the item will be disposed of. No further communication on your part is required and if you feel necessary you should refer the buyer to eBay Customer Support.

Who should my customers contact if they have a query about the amount they have paid in import/customs duties?

eBay Customer Support.

What happens if a buyer contacts me to say that the item was damaged on receipt when I know I packaged it carefully enough to prevent damage?

Please refer the buyer to eBay Customer Support. As long as the damage to the package took place after receipt of parcel at the UK Shipping Centre then we’ll refund the buyer the full amount owed to them and you’ll keep the proceeds of the sale.

Refunds and Returns

How are returns handled for items that were sent through the Global Shipping Programme?

Returns from international buyers are not handled through the Global Shipping Programme at this time. Your sales through the Global Shipping Programme are excluded from the UK Managed Returns process.

Private sellers - If a buyer contacts you directly, we recommend working together to resolve the issue. You don’t have to accept a return if the buyer has simply changed their mind, but any buyer claim for Item not Received or Not as Described will be processed subject to the eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection in countries without eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Business sellers – Your UK returns policy will be displayed and applied to EU buyers. This means that if you offer free returns to UK buyers, this will extend to EU buyers too. Under the EU Consumer Rights Directive (2011) which came into effect in June 2014, EU buyers can withdraw from most distance transactions with business sellers within 14 calendar days without penalty and without giving any reason. If you don’t want to offer free returns, you can specify buyer pays or control which of your listings are available to buyers through the Global Shipping Programme and which aren’t. You can customise your settings to exclude individual listings or countries, or exclude your account from the Global Shipping Programme eBay may also choose not to display your returns policy to non-EU buyers. For non-EU buyers, we encourage you to communicate directly with them to work out a returns arrangement and solution. Read more about managing international returns.

What happens if the buyer wants to return an item for an exchange?

You should arrange to send the replacement out using your own international postage provider. If you don’t want to do this, the only way to send a replacement item through the Global Shipping Programme is to cancel the transaction, refund the buyer and then ask your buyer to re-purchase the item to generate a new unique identifier code for the UK Shipping Centre. This is because the unique identifier codes used by the UK Shipping Centre are valid for one parcel only – if you send a second parcel using a code which has been used previously, it will be classed as ‘undeliverable’ by the UK Shipping Centre.

How do refunds work in case of returns?

If you accept returns, the way that refunds work depends on the reason for the return:

  • Buyer changes their mind – the buyer is responsible for sending the item back to you for a refund or exchange. You may either offer free returns or specify that buyers are responsible for the return postage costs. As for the original transaction, you’re responsible for the refund of the item and domestic postage cost only, i.e. the cost of posting the item to the UK Shipping Centre. For a refund of international postage cost please ask your buyer to contact eBay Customer Support and we will be responsible for refunding the buyers international postage cost, if applicable.
  • Item is not as described (seller fault) – you’re responsible for refunding or replacing the item and for refunding the domestic postage costs. eBay is responsible for refunding the buyers international postage costs.

What’s the Managed Returns process for sales to international buyers?

There is no Managed Returns process for international sales. The returns process is to be agreed between the buyer and seller. Read more about managing international returns.

Seller Protection and Seller Performance

How am I protected with the Global Shipping Programme?

Provided that your item arrives safely at the UK Shipping Centre, you are protected from any delivery- related defects, e.g. Item Not Received (INR), or Significantly Not As Described (SNAD) due to item being damaged in transit from the UK Shipping Centre. This also includes INR due to a parcel arriving after the estimated delivery date, provided that you sent it to the UK Shipping Centre on time.

You’ll also get automatic 5-star ratings for postage time when you post with same-day or 1-day handling, upload tracking information (or mark the item as dispatched) within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment, and the item is delivered to the UK Shipping Centre within 3 business days (or the stated domestic delivery time if lower); plus you’ll get automatic 5-star ratings for postage & handling charge if you offer free (a.k.a. postage included) domestic postage. Furthermore, you’re protected from negative or neutral Feedback and ratings lower than 5 stars due to loss or damage to your item in international transit.

Are international buyers protected by the Money Back Guarantee for items sent via the Global Shipping Programme, even though they are sent on to another address after the original delivery?

Yes, items sent through the Global Shipping Programme are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection in countries without eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Do transactions using the Global Shipping Programme count towards my seller performance rating on eBay.co.uk?

No, as always, only transactions with UK and Irish buyers count towards your performance rating on eBay.co.uk. Transactions through the Global Shipping Programme count towards your seller performance by region depending on the location of the buyer. The regions are: USA; Germany, Austria & Switzerland; and Global.

Will I be able to cancel a transaction?

As always, you may cancel a transaction upon mutual agreement with the buyer prior to posting the item to the UK Shipping Centre. However, once you've posted the item to the UK Shipping Centre, the package will be shipped to its final international destination.

As a seller, what is my responsibility if an item I've sold through the Global Shipping Programme is determined to be 'undeliverable' by the UK Shipping Centre?

If a Global Shipping Programme item that has been purchased by a buyer and accepted by the UK Shipping Centre is not eligible for the programme or can’t be sent to the buyer, you may generally keep the buyer’s payment. eBay will refund the buyer. It is important that you always comply with programme limits to ensure that the item that you sell is eligible for the Global Shipping Programme. Learn more.

If an item is deemed 'undeliverable', are my detailed seller ratings and feedback protected?

Yes, if after acceptance at the UK Shipping Centre an item isn’t, or can’t be, delivered to your buyer, eBay will remove any negative or neutral feedback associated with that item and eBay won’t count any detailed seller ratings that are left by your buyer for that item against your seller performance.

I list my items on eBay’s international sites through advanced international selling. I don’t offer international postage on my UK listings to avoid creating a duplicate listing on the foreign site. If my products are opted into GSP am I in danger of violating eBay’s Duplicate Listing policy?

Please ensure that you have excluded these countries from your listing on eBay.co.uk to avoid creating a duplicate listing. Your country exclusion preferences will remain in place and won’t be overridden by the Programme.

Business sellers

My Product Liability Insurance doesn’t cover me to sell some of my items in certain countries. How can I ensure that these items aren’t sold to international buyers or to buyers in specific countries, e.g. USA?

You can set up country exclusions for the specific countries where you cannot sell your item to. In this way, the Global Shipping Programme will not override your preferences.

  1. Go to My eBay, select the Account tab and then Site Preferences.
  2. Click Show on the Postage and packaging preferences.
  3. Click Edit next to the Exclude postage locations from your listings option.
  4. Select the countries you don’t wish to post to.
  5. Check Apply to all current live listings if you choose.
  6. When you’ve finished, click Apply. With postage exclusions, we'll block buyers from purchasing your items if their primary delivery address is in a location you don't post to.
  7. Your selected postage location exclusions are used as the default for all future listings. You can make listing-specific changes to these default settings at the time of listing.

Are consumer rights laws different in the countries covered by Global Shipping Programme?

Yes. As a business seller, you must meet distance selling requirements for the countries to which you sell. Read more about legal considerations when selling internationally.

Customers in the EU have the right to change their mind within 14 days and request a refund for the selling price, delivery charges and any import/customs duties paid. How is this refund processed by eBay?

In most instances business sellers are responsible for refunding the buyers of the selling price and cost of domestic postage only, i.e. the price you charged for sending the item to the UK Shipping Centre. If you have a free returns policy then you will also be required to pay the return shipping cost. We’ll refund the fees paid by buyers for the international leg, i.e. the international tracked postage cost plus any customs or other charges.

Who is liable for loss or damage to items sent through the UK Shipping Centre?

You’re responsible for ensuring that your parcel arrives at the UK Shipping Centre and are liable for any loss or damage until it has been safely received in the UK Shipping Centre. Once the parcel has been received, our global technology and international postage provider takes responsibility from there. Every parcel shipped through the Global Shipping Programme is insured from the point it is safely received in the UK Shipping Centre. The parcel insurance cost is included in the total price that the buyer paid for shipping through the programme. If the item was lost or damaged in the UK Shipping Centre or in international transit, we’ll cover the loss or damage to the buyer and you’ll keep the money from the sale. Any defect arising from a resulting buyer claim will be de-scored.

Will I have to pay VAT on items sold using the Global Shipping Programme?

As a seller, you are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the UK. You're also responsible for paying all fees and taxes associated with using eBay. Please review the eBay tax policy and eBay User Agreement for more details regarding your responsibilities as an eBay member.

How should I charge VAT to my customers who are buying through Global Shipping Programme?

The items sold under the eBay Global Shipping Programme are considered supplied in the UK, and therefore subject to UK VAT, until you have obtained proof of export documentation. In this case your sale may qualify for zero rating if the item is sent to a buyer outside of the EU.

How do I get ‘proof of export documentation’ from eBay?

Please contact eBay Customer Support to request proof of export documentation.

Can I apply any of my current carrier discounts?

Yes, your delivery to the UK Shipping Centre is the same as any other domestic delivery, and any of the carrier discounts you enjoy can be applied.

Is the contract of sale between buyer and seller or between buyer and eBay/Pitney Bowes?

The contract of sales is between buyer and seller.

Miscellaneous Questions

Is the Global Shipping Programme available through my mobile application?

Buyers can purchase Global Shipping Programme items from mobile phones when they are using the latest version of the eBay mobile buying application. At this time, it is not possible to opt-in to the Global Shipping Programme or exclude certain listings via the eBay mobile application.

Can I use the Global Shipping Programme if I use eBay selling tools, third-party tools or my own proprietary tool?

Yes, the Global Shipping Programme will be available to all eligible sellers using the following tools:

  • eBay selling tools: Sell Your Item, Turbolister, and File Exchange
  • Third party tools: We are working closely with our developer community to ensure the Global Shipping Programme will be available. Contact your third party provider for details.
  • Proprietary tools: If you have your own proprietary tool, either contact your eBay account manager or the eBay Developers Programme for more information.

Is there an international ‘Click and Collect’ service available through the Global Shipping Programme?

No.

Information updated and correct at 24 April 2015. E&OE.