If you haven’t noticed, recently it seems like it’s getting a little easier to ship internationally through both Amazon and eBay. Amazon’s FBA has a new “global export program” and eBay has a “global shipping program” that they’re currently testing. It seems both companies have decided the only way to expand globally is through their sellers, and if the benefits are being passed onto us in the form of savings and easier shipments, I’m all for it!
Amazon FBA has had their global shipping program, but it was only available for books, music, movies and other media until recently. Recently, they have expanded the program to most categories (except grocery and gourmet food) within your inventory. All you have to do to become eligible is change one setting on your FBA account…it doesn’t get much simpler than that! On your FBA inventory page, at the top right, you will see a button with an option to click to sign up for global export, select fba global export from the next page, upload your signature, and you’re good to go! You will want to keep more inventory on hand though, because with shipping to a much bigger market becoming par for the course, you’re very likely to see an increase in sales.
As far as the eBay global shipping program, I’m sorry to say that I cannot tell you how to sign up for it yet because, well, it isn’t an option yet. Technically, it hasn’t even been announced, even though most folks know it’s coming soon, thanks to our favorite blogs and the site itself, which ran a blog about it, then pulled it a few days later. Our friends over at EcommerceBytes were able to get a copy of it and were so kind as to post it here. Supposedly, with this program, a seller can ship items to buyers in other countries with little to no concern over issues like customs, duties and taxes, shipping regulations and restrictions. The main benefit to this service that I can see is that eBay will be working with Pitney Bowes for the international shipping and once the package is out of the country, it’s their responsibility. They are in control of everything from the cost, customs, delivery and reporting back to eBay. Hopefully, this new service will launch soon so that we can all reap the benefits. Until then, I guess we will just keep our fingers crossed and pray that only people within the US order from us.
I’m all for companies making it easier on us to ship internationally. In the past, the hassle of having to deal with all the complications made it almost not worth it to ship internationally. Here’s hoping that these changes will be effective in taking away some of the stress involved in the process. What are your thoughts?