As an eBay seller, you have access to customers across the entire globe. And eBay’s statistics show that selling to international buyers can be an easy way to grow your sales. But since selling internationally involves customs, tariffs and taxes – all items that can seem complex, many sellers do not open their listings up to international buyers.
In response to these seller concerns and to help make the international sales process as simple as possible, eBay has created the Global Shipping Program. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
What is the eBay Global Shipping Program?
As a seller enrolled in the eBay Global Shipping Program, you’ll be able to sell internationally to buyers in many different countries, but will not need to ship your items to the international destination. You will only need to send your items to a shipping center located in the U.S. After you make an international sale, eBay will provide you a domestic address inside the U.S. to ship your package to. Once your package is received at the eBay warehouse, eBay will then reship your package to the international destination managing all the customs forms, duties and taxes for you.
If you’re apprehensive about selling internationally, this is the program for you. When you participate in the Global Shipping Program, you’ll:
- Expand your business internationally in a snap. Let eBay manage the logistics, such as navigating customs forms, duties and taxes for all packages going overseas.
- Be protected. Should your shipment become damaged or lost in global transit, eBay won’t charge you seller fees, and you’re covered under PayPal Seller and eBay Buyer protection plans, too.
- Be able to sell to customers in at-risk countries. If you’re interested in working with buyers in at-risk locations, such as Brazil, Italy and Russia, eBay is there to assist.
(Note there are extra costs associated with this service and some sellers worry that their international buyers may get scared away by the overall costs of the product.)
Deciding to sell internationally is a big decision, but it’s just the first step in the process of qualifying for eBay’s Global Shipping Program. You’ll need a seller rating of “standard” or higher, as well as a verified PayPal account and at least 10 Feedback points. Your first successful eBay sale must have occurred at least 90 days prior, and you will need to make sure you comply with the selling requirements of the countries with which you intend to work.
Next, make sure you meet the Listing Eligibility criteria outlined by eBay. As with domestic selling, dealing in certain items (for example, fine jewelry, nail polish, fossils, printer toners, and many other seemingly innocuous items; check here before listing) is restricted or prohibited.
The world’s a big place, and eBay deals with a lot – but not all – of it. Know which countries you can sell to by checking the list here. Make sure you refer to this resource often, as the list can change over time.
Setting Up the Global Shipping Program inside the eBay UI
Now that you’ve established that you’re eligible for the program, here are the steps to take to opt in.
- Visit My eBay after you log in.
- With your cursor on the Account tab, click down to Site Preferences.
- Select Shipping Preferences.
- Choose Global Shipping.
- Click on Join Now.
- Accept the Terms & Conditions.
Once you’ve finished with these prompts, the Global Shipping box will be visible on the regular selling form. If you use outside listing tools, be sure to set your account to sync with these eBay settings.
Shipping Made Simple
When you’re part of the program, shipping labels printed via eBay automatically print to ship to Kentucky, where the eBay Global Shipping Program is headquartered (it’s likely more centers will open in the future).
With your eBay-generated shipping label, your tracking information is automatically uploaded; if you choose to use a different method of making shipping labels, just upload the tracking number yourself onto the site. Using this tracking information, eBay will generate a global tracking number that you can access via My eBay and the Order Details page. Your buyer learns directly from eBay that the package is on route.
The Bottom Line
It takes a leap of faith to expand your business beyond borders, but there’s no need for trepidation with eBay’s Global Shipping Program behind you and your shop. Give it a try, and you may soon learn just how simple – and profitable – an international presence can be!