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eBay: Global Postage Programme
Shirrif
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Has anyone noticed eBay's latest postal tie-up: the "Global Postage Programme". It appears that as well as your normal postage (say $17 for some book from the US) you also need to pay (at checkout) another fee, termed "Import charges".

I just recently won a book (from a US seller) for $12.95. The postage was quoted in the listing as $13.95 (--pretty good I thought.) But when I went to checkout I had to pay another $4.37 --bringing the total to pretty much what USPS would have charged anyway. I'm also pretty sure this wasn't visible during bidding.

More incredible is the fact that this charge is winning bid (value) dependent. With the book I purchased this was pretty small. But take an auction for about $50 that I'm currently watching (here). The "postage" is $17.30; but the "import charges" are already running at $18.45!!

Any sellers have any experience of this? And, does everyone agree this is a titantic con? I can't see me bidding on any items where the seller is using this facility.

BH




Posted on: 2013/4/4 14:27

Edited by Khaml on 2013/4/15 13:02:18
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Ebay: Global Postage Programme
Home away from home
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That sounds horrible and makes me not want to bid on any international items on eBay.

Khamûl, is this for all international items?

Posted on: 2013/4/4 14:56


Re: Ebay: Global Postage Programme
Shirrif
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If you look at the auction I've highlighted you can go in & read a bit about what it actually is. Yes, it's only really to do with international shipping. There are plenty of US auctions (I'm in the UK, as you know) I'm looking at right now who are just quoting normal postage; nothing unusual. However I only really noticed the "Global Postage Programme" the other day; then I saw the auction I highlighted (which I would have been interested in) with it too. The potential charges are horrendous. It would totally destroy international buying if everyone goes in for it wholesale.

BH

Posted on: 2013/4/4 15:04
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Ebay: Global Postage Programme
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I sell internationally often on ebay and just noticed the global postage option the other day. From what I could tell, after the sell completes rather than simply mailing the item directly to the buyer myself, I would send it to an ebay global shipping center where they would then mail it overseas for me. My guess is ebay has had issues with some sellers not knowing how to get an appropriate tracking number on international shipping. When I buy from the UK and they ship to America, USPS picks up the tracking number without any problem. However, most shipping methods from America to another country via USPS will provide tracking only up to customs and not the whole way. This means some evil buyers can simply claim they never got the item and get their money back because the tracking information is incomplete. It is an OK plan for my grandma who would have no idea which shipping method to choice, but it is pretty useless if you know then ins and outs of USPS and which delivery method will be sufficient to prevent an ebay claim against you.

Posted on: 2013/4/4 20:04


Re: Ebay: Global Postage Programme
Shirrif
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Sorry, that doesn't really explain why eBay are levying fees as a percentage of auction price. The ABAA & other book groups have, at various times, used methods of bulk posting before; this isn't new. However this was to save money & to provide competitive prices for bulky books, etc. This scheme, although in principal the same, entirely negates any cost saving by levying these charges dependent on the price paid at the proverbial hammer.

As you say, USPS already have facility for tracking & signatures for international posting --but it certainly won't cost this much. If you bought/won an auction for $200 you'd be paying (going by the auction I cited) $70+ in "Import charges" as well as postage!! Utter, utter nonsense. Who the hell is going to pay this?

There is also the problem of this not being disclosed by the seller in the listing. I think sellers are going to find people simply not paying up at the end of the transaction. I can see no advantage to this system for the buyer or the seller, therefore I question why anyone would use it.

BH

Posted on: 2013/4/5 7:24
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...



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