Shopping Discussion

Inflated International Shipping on Ebay

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  • Mar 27th, 2020 6:27 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
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May 26, 2006
1240 posts
238 upvotes
Toronto

Inflated International Shipping on Ebay

So I recently purchased an item on Ebay for $6.70 US (DVD case size), and shipping was $18.97 US. When the item arrived, I saw it was sent USPS First Class, which I sensed was nowhere near ~$19.00 for that size. I messaged and inquired with the seller, and he said he only received $4.30 for shipping, which is about what the actual shipping charges were (I called Ebay and they stated $4.69). I had called Ebay because I was wondering where this almost $15.00 in additional shipping charges went. Turns out that goes to the Global Shipping Program, which just seems excessive to me....especially on an item that cost <$5 to ship and cost less than $7 in the first place. And there can't be 200% duties either.

Anybody have any further insight into this? At the very least, just thought I'd make people aware. I was fine with the initial shipping charge because the total price was in line with what I was willing to pay, but definitely put off hearing that much of the shipping didn't even go to the seller.
22 replies
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
15690 posts
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Oakville
Did you know it was that much when you bought it? Or was it added after? Seems like a handling charge or something, but if you were happy with the price then what's there to complain about? Maybe offer the seller more to send it personally, and pay directly with paypal instead of through ebay if they're marking up shipping too much.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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If it was shipped via Global Shipping, the $4.30 only covers shipping from the seller to Pitney Bowes. From there, they bring it over the border and give it to Canada Post which incurs additional costs.
There would be no taxes due to the value of the item.

International shipping isn't cheap, especially when Canada is involved.
[OP]
Deal Addict
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May 26, 2006
1240 posts
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Toronto
death_hawk wrote: If it was shipped via Global Shipping, the $4.30 only covers shipping from the seller to Pitney Bowes. From there, they bring it over the border and give it to Canada Post which incurs additional costs.
There would be no taxes due to the value of the item.

International shipping isn't cheap, especially when Canada is involved.
Thank you, this makes a little more sense and I suspected there was more to it. Just didn't add up initially when the seller said they only received $4.30 for shipping and I paid $19.
Member
Mar 20, 2011
301 posts
211 upvotes
Langley, BC
In future, it's worth messaging sellers beforehand and asking if they will ship directly to Canada instead of using the GSP. Usually much cheaper that way,
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2013
540 posts
267 upvotes
CanadaJimmy wrote: In future, it's worth messaging sellers beforehand and asking if they will ship directly to Canada instead of using the GSP. Usually much cheaper that way,
Wise words...

Don't get me started on the eBay Global shipping program.

I ALWAYS contact U.S. sellers & explain to them that the eBay Global shipping program is a burden to foreign buyers.

I ask them if they can simply ship to me directly.

Some of our American friends will comply with my wishes.

Others - many of the eBay lifers think they have to ship via the Global system.

They don't have to at all. But eBay has a lot of them "brain washed" so to speak.

It is always worth the little bit of extra effort to try to have it shipped directly to you.

Always.

That's what they did in the old day.

Cut out the eBay bogus middle man.
Deal Guru
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Sep 1, 2005
12121 posts
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Markham
Since you're in Toronto, you could use a company like Cross Border Pickups. You would've been liable for HST plus around $10 for their fee.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 28, 2005
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Ontario / Quebec
unclefester wrote: Wise words...

Don't get me started on the eBay Global shipping program.

I ALWAYS contact U.S. sellers & explain to them that the eBay Global shipping program is a burden to foreign buyers.

I ask them if they can simply ship to me directly.

Some of our American friends will comply with my wishes.

Others - many of the eBay lifers think they have to ship via the Global system.

They don't have to at all. But eBay has a lot of them "brain washed" so to speak.

It is always worth the little bit of extra effort to try to have it shipped directly to you.

Always.

That's what they did in the old day.

Cut out the eBay bogus middle man.
Ebay global shipping can also work to your advantage.
Friend of mine bought a top of the line laptop from a US ebay seller via the global shipping program and the global shipping program fee was less than what she would have paid in HST had she have it shipped directly.
When I researched that a bit because we were suspicious that something was fraudulent, I found out that the customs and sales taxes collected by Canada are some token amount for those large lots of merchandize; nobody checks item for item to see if there is duty and at what rate and/or if there is HST or just GST or no sales tax at all.
But what people like most is that the items just shows up at the door - no surprises with extra fees or anything like that.
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2012
813 posts
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Victoria
You just figured this out? People have been complaining about the GSP since it started.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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CanadaJimmy wrote: In future, it's worth messaging sellers beforehand and asking if they will ship directly to Canada instead of using the GSP. Usually much cheaper that way,
Am i the only one that has never found anything I'm going to purchase that's been cheaper shipped direct over GSP?
Someone mentioned in another thread about a low value shirt which was valid, but for anything I've purchased (usually $20+ and not fragile but not "cram into an envelope")
The only downside to GSP for me is speed. But I'll take cheap over fast usually.
unclefester wrote: Don't get me started on the eBay Global shipping program.

I ALWAYS contact U.S. sellers & explain to them that the eBay Global shipping program is a burden to foreign buyers.

I ask them if they can simply ship to me directly.
I'm the exact opposite. I basically never buy unless it Is GSP.
It is always worth the little bit of extra effort to try to have it shipped directly to you.

Always.

That's what they did in the old day.

Cut out the eBay bogus middle man.
Maybe it's the stuff I buy, but since introduction I've never actually had anything that's been cheaper shipped direct over GSP.
I had this argument with someone in another thread once:
viewtopic.php?t=2211710&p=30666213

Most of the stuff I buy is either heavy or expensive though.
I do have to admit that low value stuff (ie old RAM) is cheaper because they usually just postage stamp it. But that doesn't count.

Once you get into paying brokerage territory it's almost never cheaper since GSP is essentially free brokerage.
That and GSP is pretty cheap to begin with for shipping.

UPS is DIRT cheap for shipping, but you get killed on brokerage.
DHL is acceptable for brokerage, but you get somewhat killed on shipping.
USPS is the better for brokerage, but you get absolutely killed on shipping.
GSP is the best for brokerage (usually nothing or even less than nothing because they tax weirdly) and the best on shipping.
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2013
540 posts
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death_hawk wrote: Am i the only one that has never found anything I'm going to purchase that's been cheaper shipped direct over GSP?
Someone mentioned in another thread about a low value shirt which was valid, but for anything I've purchased (usually $20+ and not fragile but not "cram into an envelope")
The only downside to GSP for me is speed. But I'll take cheap over fast usually.


I'm the exact opposite. I basically never buy unless it Is GSP.



Maybe it's the stuff I buy, but since introduction I've never actually had anything that's been cheaper shipped direct over GSP.
I had this argument with someone in another thread once:
https://forums.redflagdeals.com/viewtop ... p=30666213

Most of the stuff I buy is either heavy or expensive though.
I do have to admit that low value stuff (ie old RAM) is cheaper because they usually just postage stamp it. But that doesn't count.

Once you get into paying brokerage territory it's almost never cheaper since GSP is essentially free brokerage.
That and GSP is pretty cheap to begin with for shipping.

UPS is DIRT cheap for shipping, but you get killed on brokerage.
DHL is acceptable for brokerage, but you get somewhat killed on shipping.
USPS is the better for brokerage, but you get absolutely killed on shipping.
GSP is the best for brokerage (usually nothing or even less than nothing because they tax weirdly) and the best on shipping.
It must be the stuff you buy...

On what planet does it make sense to invent & then introduce a 3rd party - a middleman - to fully immerse themselves in transactions that for years were simply between buyer & seller & expect to have things turn out cheaper?

Global shipping was introduced as a new revenue stream for eBay and its shareholders.

That's pretty obvious to a lot of us...
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
13001 upvotes
unclefester wrote: On what planet does it make sense to invent & then introduce a 3rd party - a middleman - to fully immerse themselves in transactions that for years were simply between buyer & seller & expect to have things turn out cheaper?
On what planet is everyone else living on where it's cheaper to ship direct via couriers?
International shipping is expensive. The paperwork to handle international shipping is expensive.
Said middleman takes 2 cheap options (domestic to domestic) and links them together.
Global shipping was introduced as a new revenue stream for eBay and its shareholders.
That doesn't mean it's also not great for customers (at least in some circumstances, it's not 100% always cheaper)

The hilarious thing is that Chitchats does the exact same thing.
Have you ever tried mailing something to the US? Canada Post is ridiculous.
So someone (Chitchats) set up a service where you give it to them domestically, they take it over the border, then use extremely cheap domestic to domestic shipping to get it to your destination.

Not all middlemen are bad.
That's pretty obvious to a lot of us...
(Again, based on what you buy) I don't think it is because I've never seen anyone else do the math behind it.
Hell most people don't even understand international shipping when they get their surprise bill at the end of the month for brokerage.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
13001 upvotes
I found another example of something I'm going to buy

GSP:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/264063256569
https://www.ebay.com/itm/143148644354

Standard:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/183498405356
https://www.ebay.com/itm/323022100314

GSP is cheaper to ship with by a few bucks on the front end.
The item price is high enough that it'll trigger couriers and paperwork.
It might pass through USPS/Canada Post, but you're basically gambling at this point. I've paid on $40USD before.
So you can pray they'll ship via USPS AND they ignore it (since they don't say who they ship with) or you can get screwed by a courier.

Factoring in taxes and shipping, I'm basically betting $4 that "regular" shipping will result in additional costs. ($12 GSP + $6 taxes vs $14 shipping + $Unknown)
If you decide to gamble, you save $4 if you win or you pay an additional $16 ($10 paperwork plus $6 in taxes) if you lose.

Let's say this was a price point I buy regularly. That means I have to get lucky on 3/4 shipments to "break even".

I'll pay the $4.
Newbie
Aug 22, 2016
95 posts
33 upvotes
in and out of a vici…
Gmas wrote: So I recently purchased an item on Ebay for $6.70 US (DVD case size), and shipping was $18.97 US. When the item arrived, I saw it was sent USPS First Class, which I sensed was nowhere near ~$19.00 for that size. I messaged and inquired with the seller, and he said he only received $4.30 for shipping, which is about what the actual shipping charges were (I called Ebay and they stated $4.69). I had called Ebay because I was wondering where this almost $15.00 in additional shipping charges went. Turns out that goes to the Global Shipping Program, which just seems excessive to me....especially on an item that cost <$5 to ship and cost less than $7 in the first place. And there can't be 200% duties either.

Anybody have any further insight into this? At the very least, just thought I'd make people aware. I was fine with the initial shipping charge because the total price was in line with what I was willing to pay, but definitely put off hearing that much of the shipping didn't even go to the seller.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancillary_revenue
Sr. Member
Dec 15, 2015
689 posts
503 upvotes
Toronto
death_hawk wrote: If it was shipped via Global Shipping, the $4.30 only covers shipping from the seller to Pitney Bowes. From there, they bring it over the border and give it to Canada Post which incurs additional costs.
There would be no taxes due to the value of the item.

International shipping isn't cheap, especially when Canada is involved.
International shipping is very cheap. I ship across the world daily and don't tend to spend more than $10 CAD and that's shipped in a 9x6x3" box. I can ship from CAD to anywhere in the US for $5 in most cases.

Back to OP, I noticed the shipping costs were really high on some items as well, $30 on a $4 item that fits in a mailer. Was wondering what was up.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
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TheMaterial wrote: International shipping is very cheap. I ship across the world daily and don't tend to spend more than $10 CAD and that's shipped in a 9x6x3" box. I can ship from CAD to anywhere in the US for $5 in most cases.
Direct and tracked? I can't get out the door without spending $15 at retail. An account helps, but not by much (at Canada Post). UPS is much cheaper with an account, but $10 is still pretty hard.
I can hit that too with Chitchats, but that's leveraging USPS and a 3rd party.
I'm also talking about TO Canada, not out of Canada.
Sr. Member
Dec 15, 2015
689 posts
503 upvotes
Toronto
death_hawk wrote: Direct and tracked? I can't get out the door without spending $15 at retail. An account helps, but not by much (at Canada Post). UPS is much cheaper with an account, but $10 is still pretty hard.
I can hit that too with Chitchats, but that's leveraging USPS and a 3rd party.
I'm also talking about TO Canada, not out of Canada.
Yes, Stallion Express. I'm usually around the $4-5 mark, however sometimes around $8-9. It's actually more expensive to ship within Canada. It's just under $10 in most cases.
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Mar 28, 2005
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Ontario / Quebec
death_hawk wrote: On what planet is everyone else living on where it's cheaper to ship direct via couriers?
Well, I just received a package that was shipped from Carlisle, ON to Cornwall, On and UPS was cheaper than any one else including Canada Post.
Plus the package got here in one day.
And as I mentioned before, a laptop from the US via the Global shipping program was also cheaper than by regular mail.
Bottom line is that one can't generalize.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
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TheMaterial wrote: Yes, Stallion Express. I'm usually around the $4-5 mark, however sometimes around $8-9. It's actually more expensive to ship within Canada. It's just under $10 in most cases.
I've never heard of them. Not that it's important. I was mostly meaning the "large" couriers that everyone's heard of.
Do they actually do last mile for everywhere in the US?
Even if they don't that's still pretty cheap unless they're basically doing what Chitchats does.
krs wrote: Well, I just received a package that was shipped from Carlisle, ON to Cornwall, On and UPS was cheaper than any one else including Canada Post.
First off, I was talking about international shipping.
Secondly, UPS is for sure cheaper even internationally.
They only kill you when it comes to brokerage.
Hell I moved within Canada via UPS. Shipped 500lbs over 17 (I think) boxes for $100 and change insured.
And as I mentioned before, a laptop frovm the US via the Global shipping program was also cheaper than by regular mail.
That's my argument. GSP is generally cheaper than other methods.
Bottom line is that one can't generalize.
That too. There are things that aren't cheaper via GSP which I kind of covered.
Large and/or expensive things are generally cheaper, but again not always.
But everyone is making them out to be the devil with a large price tag which certainly isn't the case.
Sr. Member
Dec 15, 2015
689 posts
503 upvotes
Toronto
death_hawk wrote: I've never heard of them. Not that it's important. I was mostly meaning the "large" couriers that everyone's heard of.
Do they actually do last mile for everywhere in the US?
Even if they don't that's still pretty cheap unless they're basically doing what Chitchats does.
Technically USPS does the last mile. They drop is off at the boarder and USPS goes from there. Its basically the exact same at ChitChats. They only have one office kind of tucked behind the Wendy's on Woodbine in Markham though. They seem to be growing.

I do like ChitChats though because there is usually staff out front and they like to chat and are generally friendly. StallionExpress is a completely different vibe. They see you and close their door lol.

Ugh the large carriers do destroy us for pricing, thankfully I live in the GTA and these services are located a few blocks from my day to day offices.

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