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The Beauty of the Global Shipping Program with eBay & Pitney Bowes

by Saad Alam | July 10, 2013 | 31 Comments

Global Ecommerce can be challenging Sellers want a simple, convenient and reliable solution to ship their goods around the world. Buyers want fast shipping and tracking at a low-cost. They also want to know how much it is going to cost.

Sounds easy, right? Not so fast…

Cross-border shipping adds a layer of complexity. Sellers need to calculate import/export fees and duties and meet country specific regulations.

That’s the beauty of the Global Shipping Program (GSP). It simplifies selling to an international buyer. All the seller needs to do is list the item on eBay, wait for a buyer to purchase the item, and then ship the item to a U.S. shipping center. From there Pitney Bowes, the international shipping experts, manages the cross-border shipping and customs process for them.


International selling should be as easy as 1-2-3, and with GSP it can be!

Let’s look at the steps involved with cross-border transactions via the Global Shipping Program. On the front-end, our system classifies the item being sold — is this a doll or a dollhouse, a laptop or a laptop case, a DVD or a DVD player? This is a critical step that drives the rest of the process, especially for cross-border transactions.

There are a lot of restrictions on the types of goods that can be imported or exported to different countries. Plus, there are carrier restrictions. It can be complex. Our system can screen out potentially problematic transactions before they occur; helping sellers avoid the potential for a bad customer experience.

All of this happens in real-time, behind the scenes when a seller lists their item using the Global Shipping Program. The landed cost engine provides the international buyer with the total cost,  including  duties, taxes, and shipping charges, during check-out, so there are no surprise fees upon delivery.


International buyers know the exact cost up front, and are able to track the package’s progress and delivery.

Once the item is purchased, our compliance portal takes the initial classifications and creates fully compliant international classifications valid for import and export.

The seller sends the item to the U.S.  Shipping Center to be processed and once the inbound parcel is received and inspected, it is turned into a fully compliant international outbound parcel. Packages are inspected to better ensure they arrive safely and on time, and include specific information for quick customs clearance such as country of origin, height, length, depth and weight.


Pitney Bowes and eBay take care of the complexities for you.

From there, we work with a network of best-in-class customs brokers, delivery agents, carriers, and a number of partners to get the package to the buyer cost-effectively and with a high degree of reliability.

Through the entire shipping process, buyers and sellers can view the progress of the package.

That’s a quick look behind the scenes of eBay’s Global Shipping Program. The complete picture below shows how Pitney Bowes works behind the scenes as the seller and buyer experience a simple transaction.

The Beauty of eBay's Global Shipping Program

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  • Rich Vernadeau

    Sellers, with the new exciting Global Shipping Program,
    Pitney-Bowes can open, unwrap and repackage your item after it gets to
    Kentucky, ship it wherever it is going out of the country and as an
    added bonus- guess what? If the item gets lost damaged or broken on its
    way to the buyer, YOU THE SELLER get the exciting DSR dings and the
    negative feedback, never ebay or Pitney-Bowes!

  • Karen Baby

    . It’s NOT hard to ship overseas and after a couple of times it’s a piece of cake, the USPS ships you all your supplies FREE all you have to do is securely wrap your package again with their supplies, weigh your finished package with any forms you may need to add like a clear envelope to put the forms into, fill out the pre made forms from the USPS, pay your low shipping fee you can use paypal, print your label put it on the package and have your mail carrier pick it up. Global express comes with delivery confirmation I always use it and ship all packages myself.

  • Michael Voge

    There is a BIG problen with the customs documentation. The buyer will not receive any customs documentation with the result that sometimes he will pay customs twice! I had this problem wit ann item and loste more then 400 Dollars.
    To ship with the Global Shipping Program is not smart. Not for the seller and not for the buyer!


  • Thomas F

    How do i track the packet?

  • Wendy

    This program is a huge RIP-OFF for Canadian buyers. BOYCOTT sellers who use it!! You pay fees and taxes that you would almost never be charged if the seller sent it the normal way. The truth is that it is rare for a parcel to be “caught” at customs. I know because I have had hundreds of parcels sent to me from the US. They also can open your parcel and re-box it in a smaller package, putting your item at risk of damage. As far as the tracking goes, even first class mail coming from the US to Canada now gets full tracking with delivery confirmation. This has really cut down on eBay buying for me with so many sellers getting sucked into this RIP-OFF!!!!!!!! SELLERS don’t use this program if you want to sell to Canada, because many of us have BOYCOTTED it!!!

    • Yvonne Mallard

      Wendy check out the Internet for petition(s) found one on Change

  • Diamond Nights

    Shenanigans! I’m calling “Shenanigans!” on this whole Pitney Bowes/eBay shipping program. I’m an American expat now living in Sweden so I know exactly how long things should take to arrive from The USA to Europe….and if and when Sweden will charge me import duty.

    Pitney Bowes not only made the seller who I bought a used $25 CD Box Set off of collect $16 in import duty from me, but they are now closing in on an entire MONTH since I paid for this, yet I have no box set in my hands.

    First of all, it takes 7-10 days to get a package from USA to Sweden and secondly, I should not have to pay any import duty on an item less than 500 Kronor ($75).

    There is no “real” tracking number provided by Pitney Bowes to the eBay seller or buyer. It just seems to be a Pitney Bowes internal number that is not recognized on the USPS or Sweden Posten websites (All normal packages from America have “US” at the end of tracking number, but this one is all numbers.

    It’s also funny that through eBay the tracking says a delivery attempt was made to me….at 11:17pm on a Saturday night! We don’t have Saturday mail here in Sweden and the normal mail comes between Noon and 2:30pm. So I don’t buy this “delivery attempt” claim whatsoever (where is a package pickup slip if that is true, too?).

    I will never, ever make the mistake of buying anything from an eBay seller who uses Pitney Bowes. You pay unneeded fake customs fees, it takes 3-4 times as long as regular mail, and they flat out lie about the whereabouts of your package!

    Caveat Emptor indeed!

    • Simon Edwards

      I’m in the same boat… Attempted delivery and carded recipient… Absolute bollocks, and this was at 3.52! Yeah right? And guess what… No card, because it never happened. I too will boycott any seller using this useless money grabbing postal service. It’s a joke! And not a funny one.

  • James Foreman

    Yes I had the same problem. I bought an item on Ebay from a seller using the GSP worth about $AU40. I was charged an “import duty” which was totally wrong as all imports under $AU1000.00 are duty free. Trying to chase the error up through Ebay(Pilipino call centre) was a complete waste of time. After several attempts I delved deeper and contacted Pitney Blowes who promised to get back to me within 48hours……and of course that didn’t happen! About 2 weeks later I received an email which was a pile of information on import duties and fees, none of which applied to me. It was send basically to drown a person in non-relevant bullshit and hopefully piss them off enough to give up……..and it worked!! It is nothing more than a corporate scam to fleece buyers of a few extra dollars! DO NOT BUY from sellers who use the GSP!!

  • Angus B.

    What a waste of “MY” time and “MY” money … your GSP (does not stand
    for Georges St-Pierre
    as he can deliver a knock-out punch), your program slows delivery,
    not to mention packages being opened ( yep great idea – let the user
    know by leaving a calling card – so nice of you to mention that the
    parcel was checked …lol. I’ve contacted sellers I deal with on a
    regular basis and told them, no more of my business if you deal with
    P-B’s GSP. Some have now opted out. Ah, yes, I second Wendy’s comment
    … its a RIO-OFF for buyers and its going to hurt sellers when it comes
    time to give feedback especially when grading shipping times and
    shipping COSTS – I don’t think they are going to appreciate the
    feedback. And finally, as an example of how your program slows down
    delivery. I purchased, from the same supplier 2 items, both were
    and picked-up on the same day by FedEx one they had to ship VIA GSP
    had been listed previously with GSP as the shipping method). the other
    item was shipped through FedEx as sole carrier (not 3 or more as is the
    case with GSP) – surprise surprise
    – I received the one shipped directly to me through FedEx (only) yesterday, as for the other one, well I’m still trying to track it down. As
    for saving $$$$ – the sole carrier was cheaper … go figure. DO YOU
    even read our feedback?

    • Simon Edwards

      I doubt they read it…. They’re too busy sucking up our cash.

  • Trace

    There is no beauty in the Global Shipping Program. Excessive shipping charges and ridiculous “import charges” where there normally would be none. I avoid GSP sellers like the plague.

  • Rob in Canada

    Join my petition here:


    Ebay’s Global Shipping Programs’ only use is to illegally gouge and steal money from non-US customers. Any time an American Ebay retailer sells an item to someone outside the USA, some company called Pitney Bowes blindly adds a %15 charge to the item’s final value, on top of the sellers shipping and handling fees, for no apparent reason. It’s nothing but a scam and Canadians are tired of being taken advantage of!!


    It has nothing to do with shipping or handling. We know this because the seller takes the item to a USPS Post Office, the same as they always did. There is no way USPS would know to forward this particular piece of mail to some third party handler, as opposed to any other piece of mail. They simply deliver this item as they do any other item, for the normal rate. As well, this has nothing to do with taxes or duties. Pitney Bowes just blindly adds a %15 fee to any item’s final price, regardless of the item’s tax eligibility. In many cases, there is NO TAX to be charged on a particular parcel, however this does not seem to make any difference.


    Ebay and Paypal. Shame on you for allowing PITNEY BOWES to money-grab your customers. This should be illegal, but unfortunately we will have to sue Ebay, Paypal and Pitney Bowes for fraud in a class-action lawsuit. It is horrendous that a company allows a third party to steal from their customers like this.

  • Krusty

    Who wrote this Ebay? The program is a total ripoff! MOST items are duty free thanks to “free trade”! Many items can be “bubble envelope’d” with a few stamps and DONE! Their program is a scam and only benefits them…..why else would they be so hot on it?

  • Gwyn Pritchard

    Hi, I ordered a magazine from ebay. when it arrived the idiot at the inspection centre had used a knife to open the package! The front cover of the magazine has been damaged. Who can I contact?

  • Saqib Shafiq

    very slow in delivering. its been over a week and I have no clue where my item is. I have recieved item in about 4 days on a further journey than this with no import charges its all just a waste of time and money just so ebay paypal and pitney bowes could profit on. dont they make enough profit as it is ripping people of on sellers fees. this is the first and last time im using this service.

  • David

    Dont boycott sellers that use this Global Mess shipping… JUST ASK SELLER TO REMOVE GLOBAL SHIPPING PROGRAM. For my case i never receive a simple mouse pad, because Pitnew bowes and ebay they claim that the fault was in mexico.. not their fault… So for my next purchases i ask sellers. they remove global shipping.. and minutes later i buy with normal USPS postal.. all items in the normal way arrive my home at mexico without problem.. (yea we have to be patience because USPS and Mexico Postal service are slow… but arrive sooner or later)

  • Jan Tunälv

    Same thing here as for the American expat living in Sweden. I too live in Sweden and have a package which just arrived for which I have to pay customs duties and V.A.T. And another package en route. Why didn’t I find this blog before I bought?. Now I will be out of pocket twice at a total cost of more than $ 150.- extra. Definitely the last time I purchase from someone using the GSP.

  • David Busi

    I was very surprised at the substantial extra charges from ebay. I complained to the seller who did not understand what I was talking about. I sent her the two invoices. We cancelled the order. The extra charges were like $26 for nothing. She had my email and I had hers and we completed the transaction with a correct ebay invoice for the correct amount free of the rip off. These extra charges for taxes and customs are BS as the items I was buying are not subject to any charges and they come to my door as such. She was asked to ship to Kentucky now she ships direct to toronto and ebay gets zippo which is what they deserve for trying to rip me off. The cost of the item was $36 but by the time ebay finished it rose to over $70 darn near double what the auction called for. Not going to happen again EVER…

  • Yvonne Mallard

    My comments are gone that I posted last night I wrote many questions?

  • Jack

    Pitney Bowes in Kentucky is scum. Scum, scum. They open every parcel, they re-pack it with cheap newspaper not jiffy bubbles, they put in a cheap thin carton, they damaged over 200’000 parcels. Scummers, they are overwhelmed with a number of parcels coming, but shut their mouth otherwise they will lose the biggest contract iin their lifetime from eBay. They hired many cheap local scummers, they hate these sellers and buyers, they are careless about the stuff. Stop it ! Vote against it! Write your compliants and letters to eBay! Do not buy from sellers who signed up for this Global Shipping Program.

  • Konrad Checinski

    Hey Pitney Bowes, how about you open up a legitimate courier service with competitive prices to fedex and ups rather then piggy back scams to ebay to save your BANKRUPT ( didn’t you file for bankruptcy????????) ass?

  • glendoras

    Sorry, but it sucks. I’ve been buying 45′s from the US for years and never lost an item on it’s way to Sweden with Standard international shipping. Now I have to accept expensive Priority shipping which is totally useless for me. Also huge taxes on low value items. Thanks so fucking much.

  • rob

    this is the biggest pain in the ass I have ever seen in shipping. What would normally take 4-5 days to receive from the USA, now takes 10-20 days. and there is nobody you can call to find out what the hold up is. I have a package according to the tracking , that is customs cleared in Oshawa, on 3 days ago and according to the track 3 days ago the info was electronically sent to Winnipeg. And fro some reason there hasn’t been an date in 4 days now. So where the hell is my package.?!!!!!!!!

  • http://securtech.com SecurTech

    We are a large ebay seller of computer locks and iPad locks and have been using GSP for a couple months now. We were not aware that our customers were getting charged bogus import duties, having products repacked or waiting for much longer delivery times. In order to provide the best experience for our customers, we will stop offering this shipping option.

  • Alicia

    From Canada, I bought a lamp. The ebay invoice had three parts: purchase price,
    freight and tax. Seller received purchase price plus an extra that appears to
    be tax $ ; Pitney Bowes got the difference. Amounts did not reflect eBay’s invoice.
    Parcel was not delivered because it was “oversized”. I received full refund. I contacted ebay
    and the response was “well, you were re-funded.”
    The link for “oversized” does not work.
    Finally I spoke to someone on ebay who explained the “volume weight” is calculated y multiplying width, depth and length of the parcel and then dividing the amount by 166, and the result should be less than 66.
    When asked what happened to the lamp the answer was PB will dispose it trying to
    recuperate its cost.
    This is my first and last experience with this program.
    In my experience, I found the program to be overpriced and inefficient.

  • Ronald Norris

    HOW DO I TRACK THE PACKAGE??? The parcel arrived at Arlanger, KY, days ago from the seller but no information since on theshipping to Canada!! There isn’t anyway to check the status of the shipment. Shame on Pitney Bowes!! Poor organization!!

  • whitedingo

    I’ve recently had an extremely bad experience as a Buyer from Australia with this shipping company.

    I purchased an expensive guitar from an eBay Seller.

    The guitar was forwarded using GSP (not fully aware how obviously poor their lack of service is, and fees completely over-the-top), only to have the guitar delivery placed in complete limbo now!

    GSP claimed “restricted” import, but after checking with our own Customs and Import authorities, no such restrictions exist in Australia!

    No warning or anything, nor suggested an alternative shipper! Who has my guitar now? The Seller has not had it returned either!

    I feel like my property has been hijacked, stolen and I’ve been the victim of a scam!

    Why is eBay permitting this to happen to it’s users?!

    I still want the guitar.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation and managed to retrieve their property?!

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Anyone know if American Law Enforcement would get involved in these sorts of scams?!

  • Simon Edwards

    Useless system, false tracking info, slow, expensive…. Getting the idea? Never using it again.

  • CarlG17

    The new ebay global shipping sucks and is the worst thing ever. I don’t see how anyone can think it’s good unless they like paying more for useless crap. At least with the old shipping there’d be a 50% chance of the package going through customs witrhout having to pay VAT, now they reduce that ti 0% and make paying import duties a certainty, yay?

    No, not yay. More like, good bye ebay, you scummy scamming service. This is how old internet giants die, they simply start sucking.

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