Overview of eBay's shipping policy

Setting up a clear and detailed shipping policy ensures a better shopping experience for you and your buyers.

A shipping policy is one of the three business policies that sellers can set. The other two being the payments and returns policies. Payments and returns policies are relatively simple to set. But when determining your shipping policy, there are more things to consider due to nature of cross border selling.

Shipping policy allows you to set things like:

  1. What shipping service you are using (eg. Economy or Expedited)
  2. How much you are going to charge for shipping
  3. Where you are shipping to (Or which country you are selling to)

Before you start setting the shipping policy, it is best to plan which countries you are selling to. You will need to familiarise yourself with the shipping options and costs of those countries so that you can determine the appropriate shipping fees to charge your buyers.

You can get the shipping rates from logistics providers such as DHL, FedEx, Pos Malaysia and Quantium Solutions.

Since eBay does not control shipping within the marketplace, sellers have the option to use any logistics services that suit them. However, it is important that you choose a reliable shipping service to ensure your item is delivered safely and on time. Sellers have to make certain the packaging is secure and well protected during it’s international journey.

Here are the basic criteria you need when choosing a logistics provider:

  1. End to end tracking with tracking number – proof of delivery will ensure seller protection against INR disputes
  2. Reputable logistics providers –  with a long standing reliable record of on time delivery

When choosing the types of services in the shipping policy, there is a long list to choose from. However there are only 3 that you should focus on for international direct shipping.

There are 3 main service types that can be used by cross border sellers:

  1. Economy Shipping from outside US / Economy International Shipping
  2. Standard Shipping from outside US / Standard International Shipping
  3. Expedited Shipping from outside US / Expedited International Shipping

The main difference between these 3 is the delivery timeframe. Choose the one that aligns best with your shipping provider’s terms.

For example: Use Expedited Shipping if your provider is DHL Express as they offer delivery within 4 business days.

For a better shopping experience, provide faster shipping when possible.

Tip: If you plan on using economy shipping, set it as ‘free shipping’ and allow ‘optional upgrade to expedited’. This gives your buyer a faster delivery option.

Handling time is the timeframe you will need to prepare the shipment before handing it over to your logistics partner for the first scan.

You can set an appropriate handling time to ship the item. The best suggestion is no more than 3 days.

Setting a shipping rate is another way for you to further customize your shipping rule. You can use this feature if you find the regular shipping settings unsuitable.

For example: Setting different shipping costs for individual countries.

Here you can exclude countries or areas that you don’t want to sell to.

Tip : For selling in the US, you may want to exclude Alaska/Hawaii, APO/FPO, US Protectorates due to higher shipping costs. If  these locations are important markets for the item you are selling, you can set a separate shipping cost.

You may also want to exclude PO Box addresses as due to safety reasons, many logistics companies will not ship here.

Before you create your shipping policy, you should plan out your shipping strategy:

  1. Where are you selling to? The US, UK, Australia, etc.
  2. Will your shipping be free or charged separately?
  3. Are you charging different shipping fees for different locations?
  4. Do your listings have items that fall under different weight brackets? This may incur different shipping costs.
  5. Have you familiarised yourself with a variety of logistics providers shipping terms and charges?

How to create a shipping policy

Watch step by step video on how to create your first shipping policy. As each seller may have different shipping options and ship to different set of countries, you may customize it based on your needs.


Before you start creating your policy, you will need to know your logistics costs. This way you will know how much you should charge based on location. During the policy creation keep your logistics rate card handy.

You should plan out your shipping strategy:

  1. Where are you selling to? The US, UK, Australia, etc.
  2. Will your shipping be free or charged separately?
  3. Are you charging different shipping fees for different locations?
  4. Are you charging a flat rate or segmented shipping costs based on weight brackets?

Tip: If you are a new seller, keep your policy simple. Set 1 country at a time and expand to more countries as you develop your shipping strategy.

Here are an example of a shipping policy:

  1. Plan : Shipping to US: Economy FREE, Expedited with fee.
  2. Name the policy : Shipping to US FREE, Optional + AU, UK, TH
  3. Description : For most of my listings

Shipping Rate Table

A Shipping Rate Table allows you to further customise your shipping settings.

  1. Go to ‘Shipping Rate Table’ in your shipping policy. Choose whether you want to set Domestic (US) or International. (This example guides you on International)
  2. Click ‘Create Rate Tables’.
  3. Set a table name and choose ‘Set Shipping Rate by Item’.
  4. Depending on which shipping service you are using, you can add region/states and set the shipping cost. Keep in mind that a shipping rate table does not support additional item costs. This means, if a buyer buys more then 1 quantity, the shipping cost will multiply.
  5. Then click ‘Save’. The shipping rate table will be saved for you to apply to any shipping policy. You can create multiple shipping rate tables for different usages.

Q: What if I have the same country inside and outside my shipping rate table?

A: If it is conflicting, eBay will follow the country inside the shipping rate table.

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