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International purchases and postage for buyers

When shopping on eBay, you'll find items from all over the world. If you buy from an overseas seller, they can deliver to you through regular international postage services, or if they're in the US or UK, they may choose to use eBay's Global Shipping Program (GSP).

International postage

When purchasing from an overseas seller, keep in mind that international delivery can cost more, and possibly take longer to get to you, than when you buy from a domestic seller. In some cases, you may also have to pay import charges.

If your seller is using eBay's Global Shipping Program, all the logistical challenges of international postage, such as customs clearance, will be taken care of for you. You'll pay any import charges up front, so you won't pay anything extra when your item's delivered. You'll also benefit from international tracking.

If your seller doesn't participate in the Global Shipping Program, you can still buy from them. However, how you pay fees and import charges will differ.

Customs and import charges

When you buy from an international seller, you'll often have to pay import charges. These charges are generally based on the item's price, weight, dimensions, and country of origin, as well as any local taxes, duties, and fees.

Buying internationally with the Global Shipping Program

When you see the Global Shipping Program logo, the listing will give an estimate of both postage and import charges. This includes everything from processing and handling fees, to international postage. You'll see the final charges when you confirm your delivery details at checkout, before you pay.

You need to use PayPal for GSP items, and your payment will be split into two transactions:

  • The first payment goes to the seller. It covers the item price and any domestic postage costs for the seller to send the item to the global shipping provider
  • The second payment goes to the global shipping provider. It covers the international postage cost and any import charges

After you've completed payment, you'll be able to see both the total cost and the amounts paid to the seller and the global shipping provider on the Order details page.

International sellers using the Global Shipping Program provide tracking when they send an item, while non-GSP sellers may not provide that option.

Buying internationally from non-Global Shipping Program sellers

If you're buying from a seller who isn't participating in GSP, your seller, or the international delivery company they're working with, will manage the customs forms and charge you for the postage at checkout. However, you may still have to pay any necessary customs, import fees, and taxes, when your item arrives.

Your seller might be able to give you some information about import charges, but before you bid on, or buy an item, it's a good idea to check with your country's customs office for more specific details.

When you're buying an item from a seller participating in the eBay Global Shipping Program, listings show an estimate of both postage and import charges. 

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