Avoid Ebay's Global Shipping Program (GSP)


I have been an ebay user for +10 years now and I usually buy 3-5 items annually. I don't think I've ever had a bad experience until now, the first and last time I'll ever use Ebay's Global Shipping Program (GSP). The GSP covers those additional import charges like customs fees, duties and taxes. Ebay uses a company called Pitney Bowes to deal with the additional import charges.

I live in Canada and normally I ship items from USA to Canada via USPS. It is slow but reasonably priced for never getting dinged with a customs fee. USA and Canada have free trade, so there is no duty on most of what I buy. I only have to pay Canadian sales tax.

The first problem with Ebay's GSP is that you don't really know what the GSP will cost until you commit to buy. It is just an estimate. The estimate for my item was $21.22 USD. The sales tax on my item was $16.25 USD. I thought an estimate of $21.22 was reasonable ($16.25 + a small fee) I was eventually charged +$35 USD!

The second problem with Ebay's GSP is don't get one. Section 4.e states For GSP Items that you return to your Seller, you will not be eligible for, and you will not receive, a refund of any Program Fees that you paid to Pitney Bowes. It is reasonable that I should at least be refunded the sales tax I paid.

Ebay doesn't understand customers like me. I use Ebay to find deals. If I have to pay customs charges or Pitney Bowes charges, I will stop using Ebay. Shipping is already too expensive.

November 2013