3 min article

International purchases and shipping for buyers

You'll find items from all over the world on eBay. International sellers can send items to you through regular shipping services, or they may use one of eBay's shipping programs.

When purchasing from an international seller, keep in mind that shipping can sometimes take longer and cost more than buying from a seller in your own country. If you have any questions about shipping, contact the seller before you go to checkout.

Where to find the cost of international shipping

You’ll find the estimated cost of shipping in the Shipping and payments section of every eBay listing. You’ll also see the shipping service the seller offers and where the item will be sent from, as well as a list of countries the seller ships to.

Listings also include an estimate of customs and import charges, if applicable. The charges you see on the listing aren't final until you pay for the item at checkout. For example, if you change your delivery address during checkout, or if the applicable import rules change before you complete your payment, the charges could change.

The final cost you’ll need to pay to have your item delivered will be confirmed at checkout.

Buying from sellers using eBay International Shipping

If your seller is shipping your item through eBay International Shipping, you'll pay for postage at checkout. You can choose to pay for customs charges, import fees and taxes either at checkout or when your item arrives. You'll see the following options at checkout:

  • Pay import charges now – select this option to pay all taxes and duties at checkout
  • Defer import charges until delivery – select this option to pay all taxes and duties when your item arrives

If you complete checkout and pay for more than one item from the same seller, the shipping will automatically be combined if the items are eligible. If you're paying import charges at checkout for some items in your order and paying import charges on delivery for other items, your shipping won't be combined. Combined shipping is also not available for auction-style listings.

Once you've completed checkout, the seller will send your package to the shipping hub, and from there it's shipped to you. Tracking is automatically added so you can track your order from the hub to your door.

Items sent by eBay International Shipping can be returned up to 30 days from the delivery date. If you need to return an item, go to our Return an item for a refund page.

International purchases are covered by eBay Money Back Guarantee as long as all other eligibility requirements are met. Learn more about eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Buying from sellers using the Global Shipping Program

If your seller is in the UK, they may send your item through the Global Shipping Program. If they are using GSP, you'll see the Global Shipping Program logo on the listing.

Benefits of the Global Shipping Program for buyers:

  • You’ll pay all shipping, taxes, and import charges up front, and you won't have to pay any extra charges when your item is delivered
  • Tracking is always included so you can track your item right to your door
  • International deliveries made through GSP include customs clearance so you don’t need to handle any extra paperwork

Once you’ve paid for your item, the seller sends it to the global shipping centre. From there, it's sent to you.

When you pay, your payment will be split into two transactions:

  • The first payment goes to the seller to cover the item price and any domestic shipping costs to send the item to the global shipping centre
  • The second payment covers the international shipping cost and any import charges, if applicable

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.

Items purchased through GSP can’t be delivered to P.O. Box numbers or APO and FPO addresses.

Buying from sellers using other shipping services

If your seller sends your item through an international shipping service instead of an eBay shipping program, you'll pay for the cost of delivery and VAT, if it applies, at checkout.

However, you may still have to pay any necessary customs, import fees, and taxes when your item arrives. Either your seller or their international shipping service will manage the customs forms.

Customs and import charges

As a buyer, it’s your responsibility to check which customs and import charges may apply, and to pay them. These import charges are generally based on the item's price, weight, dimensions, and country of origin, as well as any taxes, duties, and fees added by your country. 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.

Import charges include
  • Sales, goods, and services
  • Value added taxes
  • Duties
  • Tariffs
  • Excise taxes
  • Other amounts assessed or levied by any government authority in connection with the importation of goods into the applicable country of importation
  • Third party brokerage fees (including advancement and disbursement charges as well as customs brokers’ handling and filing fees)
  • Penalties
  • Classification charges associated with the assignment of a Harmonized System (HS) classification code
  • Charges for export compliance screening and verification and the assignment of an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)
  • Charges relating to the management of variances between the quoted import charges and actual costs

Import charges are in addition to the customs duties and taxes imposed by country tax and customs officials.

When you’re buying items from overseas, there may be restrictions on certain items in your country. Find out more in our international trading policy.

You’ll find the estimated cost of shipping in the Shipping and payments section of every eBay listing. You’ll also see the shipping service the seller offers and where the item will be sent from.

Was this article helpful?

Related help topics