For the past few months eBay has been testing a new service with an international logistics provider that would make it easier for auction sellers to be able to offer international shipping and increase cross-border sales.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported on the trial eBay was testing with logistics provider Pitney Bowes which they started in August. Currently sellers on eBay handle everything related to shipping themselves, and as a result only about 40 percent of sales listings offer international shipping options. In the trial program with Pitney Bowes eBay sellers send their merchandise to a domestic P.O. box where it is received and prepared for international shipment. eBay will automatically show domestic and international shipping costs, along with customs fees and duties, while also listing the sale on localized international eBay sites greatly reducing the complexity and responsibility for the seller.
While little is currently known about eBay’s international shipping experiment it does signify the importance of cross-border trade in eCommerce. Global and cross-border eCommerce sales continue to grow year after year, but many auction sellers on eBay have not addressed the international market due to increased shipping costs and hassles with returns or tracking. With eBay’s international shipping program trial the sellers will likely pay a little more for cross-border shipment had they done it all themselves, but the added convenience can lead to many of the site’s sellers now offering international shipment options who had not before. For eBay it means more sales and cross-border sales by connecting buyers and sellers from different countries with less friction.
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