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January 07, 2013

Easy International Shipping with eBay's Global Shipping Program

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Over the last few months eBay has been piloting a new shipping program to make it easier for US-based sellers to ship goods to international buyers.  Many sellers find this to be a complex and time-consuming task, and buyers can have extra challenges with customs charges upon arrival.

The Global Shipping Program (GSP) at eBay streamlines this process for both by automatically including all shipping and customs charges in the buyer's checkout purchase total and reducing the seller's effort to a simple domestic US shipment.  And, all of this is at no additional charge to the seller or buyer.  Best of all, ChannelAdvisor fully supports GSP and we've worked with eBay to get early access to the program for our customers.  

GSP utilizes experienced international shipping operators to handle the international leg of the shipment.  The seller delivers the package to a domestic US address where GSP takes over.  Included in the shipping address is a reference number that uniquely identifies the package and directs the package along to its final international destination.  Filling out customs forms and declarations along with international tracking are all included with GSP.  Any customs payment is already included since the buyer paid it at checkout, which could mean that the buyer receives the item even faster because it can be delivered immediately and will not be held awaiting customs payment.  Once the seller has shipped their package to the domestic address, everything else is fully automatic.  The seller's shipping-related Detailed Seller Ratings are protected, and will not be responsible for loss or damage during international transit.

While GSP is easy to use, there are some restrictions involved.  Only certain categories are supported, and within those categories some product types are excluded.  These are detailed in the eBay Terms and Conditions for GSP, so be sure to review those to ensure your products are eligible and are not in one of the restricted categories.  These restrictions are based on a combination of factors including international shipping regulations, various import/export restrictions, hazardous materials, and other restrictions that may be placed by certain countries.  In addition to the category restrictions, there are also weight and dimensional limits on products that can be shipped via the program.  It is important that sellers read and understand the selling eligibility criteria when joining GSP.  If your item qualifies for GSP you can easily reach millions of additional buyers in the 18 international countries currently supported, with more to come in the future.

We've worked with eBay to have all ChannelAdvisor sellers enabled for early access to the Global Shipping Program, so you can use it today!  Listing items with GSP just requires you to take two steps:

Once those changes are applied, your existing open items and new listings will be enabled for GSP, and will become available to buyers from those additional international countries once the items have been reviewed and approved based on the GSP rules and restrictions.  After approval, which is usually complete within an hour, the eBay item will be updated to show the additional countries and shipping rates supported by GSP.  When an international buyer purchases one of these items they pay for both domestic and international shipping along with any customs duties that may apply.  eBay will provide you with a domestic shipping address for the package including a special reference code to identify its final destination.  Package the items and ship them normally and everything else is automatically handled for you.  At ChannelAdvisor we've designed the GSP fulfillment components to easily fit in with your existing shipping process and require no changes on your part – just ship to that address exactly like you do for any other purchases.

More details and information about the program are available on the ChannelAdvisor Strategy and Solution Center page for the Global Shipping Program.

Blog post by Marshall Smith, ChannelAdvisor Technical Lead, eBay


For more information about how you can sell internationally, check out our Retailer's Guide to International Expansion

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