How To

Using the eBay Global Shipping Program

  Shipping internationally adds a substantial complexity to any business.  To help address this, eBay has added a new Global Shipping Program (GSP) for sellers on the US site allowing sellers to ship domestically but ultimately deliver items to international buyers.  This can make international expansion and cross-border trade much easier to implement.  For a seller that has never sold internationally, this can be a great way to expand your business and bring in new customers without substantial changes to your existing shipping processes.

 

Background


 
The eBay Global Shipping Program was added in late 2012 to help US-based sellers deliver packages to international buyers.  Because of the complexity of international shipping requirements including address format and customs forms, many sellers were unable to support international buyers.  Through the Global Shipping Program, eBay and their partners can offload those additional tasks for international shipping and allow the seller to focus on their existing domestic shipping processes.  eBay and their partners then take the shipment to complete the international leg of the delivery to the recipient, completing all of the appropriate forms and customs payments for delivery.  As part of this program the buyer includes payment for the customs duties as part of the checkout process, so there is no additional surprise charge when the items arrive.  Both the domestic and international leg of the shipment are tracked as part of the transaction, with tracking information available to the buyer and seller in the eBay transaction details.
 

Listing Items with Global Shipping


 
The Global Shipping program is very easy to implement -- just select the Global Shipping option on your Posting Template and items will be listed with the Global Shipping option if they are approved for the Global Shipping program.  Before you do this the first time you must go to your account at eBay and accept the terms for the Global Shipping Program and enable your account for Global Shipping-enabled listings.  Note that once you have accepted these terms, eBay will only accept four international shipping options when listing your items because one slot is reserved for Global Shipping.

Select the Global Shipping Program in your eBay Settings

 

Once enabled in your eBay settings, you can then specify on the posting template if Global Shipping should be used on these listings.  Most users can use one of the specified options, but if you need to control the option from each individual product then select the Template Tag option.  If the Template Tag option is used, the valid values that are accepted are either 'Yes/No' or 'True/False' or 'On/Off'.  If you are using Global Shipping for all or none of the items on this posting template, just select the appropriate option instead of using a template tag.

Select the Global Shipping Option on the Posting Template
 
Note: Global Shipping cannot be enabled on your listings until the terms and conditions have been accepted at eBay and the feature is enabled in your eBay account.  Global Shipping requires that PayPal be the only payment method on your listing in order to support the buyer checkout and payment process.

Once enabled at eBay and on your Posting Template, new listings will automatically be listed with the Global Shipping option enabled.  If you have Revise Listings enabled, open listings associated with this posting template will also be updated to enable Global Shipping for the listing.  International Shipping is not required, but can be provided if desired.  If international shipping is provided, then it will be used in conjunction with the Global Shipping countries to determine the destinations supported for shipping.

Items listed with Global Shipping go through a secondary review after any listing or revision to ensure they comply with the requirements for the Global Shipping program.  This may take a few minutes to complete, so for a short time after listing or revising a listing the Global Shipping destinations may not appear on the shipping destinations.  If the item fully complies with the regulations and policies for Global Shipping then the options will be added after validation.  This is an internal eBay process and must complete to ensure the item can be supported before allowing any international buyers to purchase the item.

Purchasing Items with Global Shipping


When an item has been listed with Global Shipping and has been approved for the program, then buyers from the GSP approved countries outside the US are allowed to purchase the item.  If an international buyer purchases a GSP listing, they proceed through the standard checkout and payment process.  They provide their final destination address and eBay calculates a combined domestic and international shipping rate along with custom duties to give the buyer the total for payment.  This is done transparently to the buyer and is automatically included in the checkout process.  The buyer's payment is split between the seller (for the item and domestic shipping charges) and the GSP system (for the international shipping and custom duty charges).
 

Shipping Items with Global Shipping


After a buyer has purchased a GSP item for international shipment, the order will process normally.  A domestic address will be imported with the order information and marked as paid for fulfillment processing to continue.  Fulfillment addresses will have a format with a special Reference Number to allow the GSP warehouse to reprocess the package for delivery to the final destination.  An example address:
 
John A. Smith
Ref #ORAAA000000090304008
1850 Airport Exchange Blvd, Suite 400
Erlanger, KY  41018
 
Note that this address could change at any time to support alternate or additional fulfillment centers.  The Name and Reference ID value identifies the original recipient and allows for reprocessing to deliver the item to the final recipient.  Once shipped to this address, mark the order as shipped and include the tracking information so that can be provided to the buyer.  When the GSP facility receives the package and forwards it to the buyer a second tracking record will be added to the eBay purchase to allow for further tracking during the international shipping leg.
 
 

Common Questions about the Global Shipping Program



Why is Global Shipping not available on my eBay listing?
Global Shipping is only available on certain classifications of items.  After an item is listed or revised, eBay checks the details about that individual product to ensure that it is approved for the Global Shipping Program.  This includes the category, but also details about the price of the item and certain characteristics about the individual product.  In addition, the seller must have opted into the Global Shipping Program and selected Global Shipping for this listing.  If all of those are valid then the item will be enabled for buyers from the countries supported by the Global Shipping Program.  This review may take a few minutes after initial listing or any revise, so you may need to wait some time to review the GSP status on items after adding the feature or submitting a new listing.  If an item is not approved for GSP then the additional destination countries will not appear in the shipping information.  There is currently no feedback explaining why an item was excluded from GSP.
 
How can I see if a product is GSP eligible?
There is no way to see if an individual product is eligible for GSP, nor any way to see the reason it was excluded from GSP when requested.  A list of ineligible categories and ineligible items is included in the Terms and Conditions for the program.  Review the Item Eligibility section of the eBay Terms and Conditions for the Global Shipping Program for more details on eligible and ineligible products.
 
Are weight and item dimensions required for GSP?
No, but that sending that information is highly recommended. If you don't send that information, eBay will guess the weight and item dimensions. If your product's weight or item dimensions are close to the cut-off for participation in GSP, eBay tends to guess conservatively and could reject your item. Additionally, providing weight and item dimension information will allow eBay to more accurately calculate the shipping cost. That is to your advantage as a seller since eBay is likely to charge more when calculating shipping costs for an item where it has to guess weight and item dimensions.

Is it possible to get the original international address information?
The original international address information is available in the billing address fields on the order.
 
Is this the only domestic address that will be used?
At this time, yes.  It is highly likely that in the future additional addresses may be used as part of optimizing package processing and delivery to specific destinations and those could be added without notice.  Applying specific rules to this address could be risky if additional addresses are used in the future.
 
Do I need to make any changes to my fulfillment integration?
The ChannelAdvisor implementation was designed to be seamless with your existing integration to minimize friction with your existing processes.  The information required for GSP is integrated into the existing address structure already used for your other transactions.  As long as you process the name, both address lines, city, state, and ZIP code when processing an order then you will have the entire address information needed for GSP.  Please note that the Reference ID information is extremely important and must be completely included on the package in order to deliver to the ultimate recipient.  If your processing system cannot support an address line of at least 35 characters you have the possibility of losing information and will want to consider increasing the length of that field in your fulfillment systems to handle all addresses accurately.  (While the current Reference ID length is just 25 characters as given in the example above, it could change in the future based on changes in the eBay ID format.  The API notes a length of 255 characters for the address lines.)
 
Is there any flag on the order to denote that it is a Global Shipping Program order?
Not at this time.  This may be something that is added in the future.
 
Can I refund before shipment if I cannot ship the item?  How do I refund the GSP charges since those were never paid to me in the first place?
Yes, you can refund the complete purchase.  If you refund the transaction in full, eBay will detect that the transaction has been refunded and that the shipment was never sent, so the GSP and custom duty charges will be refunded as well.  This is completely automatic when the original item purchase is refunded.
 
How do I handle returns?
You can handle returns the same way you do today.  While it may be a bit more complex for an international buyer, you can have them ship the item back to you to complete the return transaction.
 
Do I have to offer international shipping to participate in GSP?
No.  GSP can be your only international shipping option, and any non-US buyer will have to be in one of those supported countries to purchase your item.
 
Can I offer my own international shipping options and also participate in GSP?
Yes.  You can offer shipping to additional countries not supported by GSP.  You need to decide whether you want to have GSP or your own shipping be the primary option when a buyer comes from that country.  For example if you offer shipping to Canada along with GSP, which method do you want used.  If you want to ship the item, then you will need to configure your eBay GSP options to select the option "Allow me to customize international shipping by country".  If you would like GSP to be used for all GSP-enabled countries first and only use your own fulfillment for additional non-GSP countries, you must un-select the option "Allow me to customize international shipping by country".  Once the GSP setting has been selected, you can then configure your shipping destinations that you support.
 
Note that GSP is considered to be one of your international options (even if not being used on the listing) and so users who have accepted the terms for GSP will only have their first four international shipping service options processed onto the eBay listing.
 
Can I block specific countries even when supported by GSP?
Yes.  Just configure the countries you want to block on your blocked country list .  GSP will not be enabled for the countries you have explicitly blocked, even if supported by the program.
 
How can I add additional countries to the GSP supported list?
Countries are added by eBay and their partners when technical capabilities support shipments to that destination country.  If you have a country you would like to see added, speak with your eBay account manager to encourage research into supporting shipments to that country.  eBay generally makes an announcement when a new country is added to GSP, so you can follow the eBay announcements to see that information.
  Shipping internationally adds a substantial complexity to any business.  To help address this, eBay has added a new Global Shipping Program (GSP) for sellers on the US site allowing sellers to ship domestically but ultimately deliver items to international buyers.  This can make international expansion and cross-border trade much easier to implement.  For a seller that has never sold internationally, this can be a great way to expand your business and bring in new customers without substantial changes to your existing shipping processes.

 

Background


 
The eBay Global Shipping Program was added in late 2012 to help US-based sellers deliver packages to international buyers.  Because of the complexity of international shipping requirements including address format and customs forms, many sellers were unable to support international buyers.  Through the Global Shipping Program, eBay and their partners can offload those additional tasks for international shipping and allow the seller to focus on their existing domestic shipping processes.  eBay and their partners then take the shipment to complete the international leg of the delivery to the recipient, completing all of the appropriate forms and customs payments for delivery.  As part of this program the buyer includes payment for the customs duties as part of the checkout process, so there is no additional surprise charge when the items arrive.  Both the domestic and international leg of the shipment are tracked as part of the transaction, with tracking information available to the buyer and seller in the eBay transaction details.
 

Listing Items with Global Shipping


 
The Global Shipping program is very easy to implement -- just select the Global Shipping option on your Posting Template and items will be listed with the Global Shipping option if they are approved for the Global Shipping program.  Before you do this the first time you must go to your account at eBay and accept the terms for the Global Shipping Program and enable your account for Global Shipping-enabled listings.  Note that once you have accepted these terms, eBay will only accept four international shipping options when listing your items because one slot is reserved for Global Shipping.

Select the Global Shipping Program in your eBay Settings

 

Once enabled in your eBay settings, you can then specify on the posting template if Global Shipping should be used on these listings.  Most users can use one of the specified options, but if you need to control the option from each individual product then select the Template Tag option.  If the Template Tag option is used, the valid values that are accepted are either 'Yes/No' or 'True/False' or 'On/Off'.  If you are using Global Shipping for all or none of the items on this posting template, just select the appropriate option instead of using a template tag.

Select the Global Shipping Option on the Posting Template
 
Note: Global Shipping cannot be enabled on your listings until the terms and conditions have been accepted at eBay and the feature is enabled in your eBay account.  Global Shipping requires that PayPal be the only payment method on your listing in order to support the buyer checkout and payment process.

Once enabled at eBay and on your Posting Template, new listings will automatically be listed with the Global Shipping option enabled.  If you have Revise Listings enabled, open listings associated with this posting template will also be updated to enable Global Shipping for the listing.  International Shipping is not required, but can be provided if desired.  If international shipping is provided, then it will be used in conjunction with the Global Shipping countries to determine the destinations supported for shipping.

Items listed with Global Shipping go through a secondary review after any listing or revision to ensure they comply with the requirements for the Global Shipping program.  This may take a few minutes to complete, so for a short time after listing or revising a listing the Global Shipping destinations may not appear on the shipping destinations.  If the item fully complies with the regulations and policies for Global Shipping then the options will be added after validation.  This is an internal eBay process and must complete to ensure the item can be supported before allowing any international buyers to purchase the item.

Purchasing Items with Global Shipping


When an item has been listed with Global Shipping and has been approved for the program, then buyers from the GSP approved countries outside the US are allowed to purchase the item.  If an international buyer purchases a GSP listing, they proceed through the standard checkout and payment process.  They provide their final destination address and eBay calculates a combined domestic and international shipping rate along with custom duties to give the buyer the total for payment.  This is done transparently to the buyer and is automatically included in the checkout process.  The buyer's payment is split between the seller (for the item and domestic shipping charges) and the GSP system (for the international shipping and custom duty charges).
 

Shipping Items with Global Shipping


After a buyer has purchased a GSP item for international shipment, the order will process normally.  A domestic address will be imported with the order information and marked as paid for fulfillment processing to continue.  Fulfillment addresses will have a format with a special Reference Number to allow the GSP warehouse to reprocess the package for delivery to the final destination.  An example address:
 
John A. Smith
Ref #ORAAA000000090304008
1850 Airport Exchange Blvd, Suite 400
Erlanger, KY  41018
 
Note that this address could change at any time to support alternate or additional fulfillment centers.  The Name and Reference ID value identifies the original recipient and allows for reprocessing to deliver the item to the final recipient.  Once shipped to this address, mark the order as shipped and include the tracking information so that can be provided to the buyer.  When the GSP facility receives the package and forwards it to the buyer a second tracking record will be added to the eBay purchase to allow for further tracking during the international shipping leg.
 
 

Common Questions about the Global Shipping Program



Why is Global Shipping not available on my eBay listing?
Global Shipping is only available on certain classifications of items.  After an item is listed or revised, eBay checks the details about that individual product to ensure that it is approved for the Global Shipping Program.  This includes the category, but also details about the price of the item and certain characteristics about the individual product.  In addition, the seller must have opted into the Global Shipping Program and selected Global Shipping for this listing.  If all of those are valid then the item will be enabled for buyers from the countries supported by the Global Shipping Program.  This review may take a few minutes after initial listing or any revise, so you may need to wait some time to review the GSP status on items after adding the feature or submitting a new listing.  If an item is not approved for GSP then the additional destination countries will not appear in the shipping information.  There is currently no feedback explaining why an item was excluded from GSP.
 
How can I see if a product is GSP eligible?
There is no way to see if an individual product is eligible for GSP, nor any way to see the reason it was excluded from GSP when requested.  A list of ineligible categories and ineligible items is included in the Terms and Conditions for the program.  Review the Item Eligibility section of the eBay Terms and Conditions for the Global Shipping Program for more details on eligible and ineligible products.
 
Are weight and item dimensions required for GSP?
No, but that sending that information is highly recommended. If you don't send that information, eBay will guess the weight and item dimensions. If your product's weight or item dimensions are close to the cut-off for participation in GSP, eBay tends to guess conservatively and could reject your item. Additionally, providing weight and item dimension information will allow eBay to more accurately calculate the shipping cost. That is to your advantage as a seller since eBay is likely to charge more when calculating shipping costs for an item where it has to guess weight and item dimensions.

Is it possible to get the original international address information?
The original international address information is available in the billing address fields on the order.
 
Is this the only domestic address that will be used?
At this time, yes.  It is highly likely that in the future additional addresses may be used as part of optimizing package processing and delivery to specific destinations and those could be added without notice.  Applying specific rules to this address could be risky if additional addresses are used in the future.
 
Do I need to make any changes to my fulfillment integration?
The ChannelAdvisor implementation was designed to be seamless with your existing integration to minimize friction with your existing processes.  The information required for GSP is integrated into the existing address structure already used for your other transactions.  As long as you process the name, both address lines, city, state, and ZIP code when processing an order then you will have the entire address information needed for GSP.  Please note that the Reference ID information is extremely important and must be completely included on the package in order to deliver to the ultimate recipient.  If your processing system cannot support an address line of at least 35 characters you have the possibility of losing information and will want to consider increasing the length of that field in your fulfillment systems to handle all addresses accurately.  (While the current Reference ID length is just 25 characters as given in the example above, it could change in the future based on changes in the eBay ID format.  The API notes a length of 255 characters for the address lines.)
 
Is there any flag on the order to denote that it is a Global Shipping Program order?
Not at this time.  This may be something that is added in the future.
 
Can I refund before shipment if I cannot ship the item?  How do I refund the GSP charges since those were never paid to me in the first place?
Yes, you can refund the complete purchase.  If you refund the transaction in full, eBay will detect that the transaction has been refunded and that the shipment was never sent, so the GSP and custom duty charges will be refunded as well.  This is completely automatic when the original item purchase is refunded.
 
How do I handle returns?
You can handle returns the same way you do today.  While it may be a bit more complex for an international buyer, you can have them ship the item back to you to complete the return transaction.
 
Do I have to offer international shipping to participate in GSP?
No.  GSP can be your only international shipping option, and any non-US buyer will have to be in one of those supported countries to purchase your item.
 
Can I offer my own international shipping options and also participate in GSP?
Yes.  You can offer shipping to additional countries not supported by GSP.  You need to decide whether you want to have GSP or your own shipping be the primary option when a buyer comes from that country.  For example if you offer shipping to Canada along with GSP, which method do you want used.  If you want to ship the item, then you will need to configure your eBay GSP options to select the option "Allow me to customize international shipping by country".  If you would like GSP to be used for all GSP-enabled countries first and only use your own fulfillment for additional non-GSP countries, you must un-select the option "Allow me to customize international shipping by country".  Once the GSP setting has been selected, you can then configure your shipping destinations that you support.
 
Note that GSP is considered to be one of your international options (even if not being used on the listing) and so users who have accepted the terms for GSP will only have their first four international shipping service options processed onto the eBay listing.
 
Can I block specific countries even when supported by GSP?
Yes.  Just configure the countries you want to block on your blocked country list .  GSP will not be enabled for the countries you have explicitly blocked, even if supported by the program.
 
How can I add additional countries to the GSP supported list?
Countries are added by eBay and their partners when technical capabilities support shipments to that destination country.  If you have a country you would like to see added, speak with your eBay account manager to encourage research into supporting shipments to that country.  eBay generally makes an announcement when a new country is added to GSP, so you can follow the eBay announcements to see that information.
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Previous Comments


Looks good...

Might have to try this out! =)

I like the fact that the seller is just responsible to get the order to the USA location. But who handles the customer service after that? eBay?

Sat, 11/10/2012 - 14:01 - Sean Casilli

Customer service with the

Customer service with the buyer is still the responsibility of the seller.  The international shipping leg is the responsibility of the Global Shipping Program process, so if it is lost in transit that's beyond your control:

***
Note: If you purchase USPS insurance, it only protects you against any loss or damage to the package until it reaches the US shipping center. In addition, if you purchase signature confirmation when you ship your item, you'll receive a signature confirmation when the item is received at the US shipping center, not when it is received by the buyer. Although you're responsible for getting the package safely to the US shipping center, you won't be charged if the item is damaged or lost during international shipping.
***

 While it can be tedious, I strongly encourage you to review the eBay Terms and Conditions of the program before using it to make sure that you find those acceptable to your business.  They clearly cover the situations of lost packages, responsible parties, and limitations of the program.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:27 - Marshall Smith

GSP or Seller Fulfilled shipping

Is it possible to offer the GSP and my own shipping options on the same listing? How would I accomplish this?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 14:41 - Chaim Kutoff

You can set up your posting

You can set up your posting template to offer GSP and your own shipping options. However, the buyer won't get the option of choosing between GSP or your own shipping option for the same country. This is described further in the answer to the question "Can I offer my own international shipping options and also participate in GSP?"

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:53 - Angela Holly