eBay International Growth Forecast 2013 to 2017

Q&A with eBay’s Hannah Hardiman – Selling Internationally

In this interview with Hannah Hardiman who is responsible for B2C Seller Marketing – Cross Border Trade at eBay, Hannah answers the common questions for advanced international selling on eBay.

Questions About Advanced International Selling on eBay

Hit play on the video below to listen in:

The Questions & Answers Covered

Here are the questions & answers provided by Hannah. Matt has also added in his own comments below each reply to see how it affects you & your business.

Why should I go through the effort of customising my listings for international eBay sites?

Hannah Hardiman eBay

On a basic level, customising your listings for international selling helps increase your sales.

Our research shows that sellers who list directly on our international sites generate up to 8 time more revenue per listing.

This is compared to sellers that simply offer international postage for their domestic listings.

Your listings also enjoy better visibility in search. Creating a more enjoyable shopping experience also likely means higher sales conversion.

Matthew Ogborne
It’s the statistic that Hannah shares here that is most curious “8 times more revenue per listing” when items are listed directly on to the international sites.

So even though you can pay extra for the international exposure upgrade, you’re far better off if you list locally in that country (by 8 times!).


Do I need to open a new account to sell internationally? And do I need an international address?


Hannah Hardiman eBay

No, you don’t need to open a new account or have an international address.

You can sell internationally from your existing eBay account, using your current business address.

Matthew Ogborne
YAY!

On a serious note, to list internationally if you have no software in place, you would create the listing by going to the site you want to list on to and create the listing there.

For example if you’re a UK seller and wish to sell on eBay Australia, then you would go to eBay.com.au, sign in and list your products using the sell your item form on the eBay.com.au site rather than eBay.co.uk.

If you are using or want the software that you’re using currently to list internationally, look out for the ability to enable other international eBay sites.

This does vary from provider to provider (some don’t support this option at all). In M2E Pro this is built in and you can easily enable one or more of the 23 major eBay sites by going to “Sell on eBay >  Configuration >  eBay Sites” and then enabling the sites you wish to list to directly on.


Will I be charged additional insertion fees for selling internationally?


Hannah Hardiman eBay

This depends on the type of eBay Shop subscription you have.

With an Anchor Shop subscription, you can list for free on most of our international sites.

A Featured Shop subscription allows you to list for free on many of our European sites and at a discount on many other international sites.

Have a look at our international selling hub for more information about Shop subscriptions – we’ll share the link with you at the end of the video.

Matthew Ogborne
If we put the international selling aside for a moment, the number of listings you have on eBay is the main reason why you would want to upgrade your eBay shop subscription level as there is a huge difference in the fees between having & not owning eBay store.

If you check this page on eBay’s UK Seller Centre you’ll see the price differences between the insertion fees between an Anchor and a Featured eBay store. Also note that you only get 2,500 free listings for eBay USA & eBay Canada and then it’s $0.05 per listing (about 3 pence).


If I create a new listing on another eBay site, is this a duplicate listing?


Hannah Hardiman eBay

As long as you list in the local language, your new listings on our international sites won’t be classified as duplicate.

If you do list the same products on eBay.co.uk, just make sure your listings don’t offer delivery to these countries as well.

Another good reason to translate your listings is to help increase your sales. Just as you search for items in English, your buyers search for items in their native language.

By listing in the local language, you increase the visibility of your listings.

Matthew Ogborne
The key point here from Hannah is that you should avoid having the same titles and also to disable the international shipping options for the listings that you have both on the UK site (assuming that’s your native eBay site) and the international sites that you have listed to.

This can be tricky depending on what sofwtare tool you’re using to manage your eBay listings, look out for the ability to create separate shipping profiles and a huge tip here is to name those profiles aptly, so you know which profile does what.

An example of a great name to call the shipping profile would be “Royal Mail + International – No AU”, you’ll then know that it’s got Royal Mail options, it’s set up for international delivery, but Australia (the AU part) is removed.


How can I translate my listings?


Hannah Hardiman eBay

If you don’t speak your buyers language, there are 3 ways to translate your listings:

1. Use a free online translation tool. You can also use these services to help you answer questions from new buyers.
2. Outsource translation to a specialist service. Or,
3. Work with a listing creation service that can list your items as well as translate them.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you focus on creating quality titles in your buyers language.

This can help your listings to appear higher in search results.

Matthew Ogborne
Here are two free translation services that are available, Google Translate & Bing Translate.

These are pretty good for most product descriptions, however remember that your listing titles are the #1 reason why your products are found in the first place, so ideally these need to be translated by a human or at least checked by a human afterwards.

On the topic of outsourcing, there are massive economic disparities across the world, so what £10 means to you in the UK, could mean £20 (or wayyyy more) to someone in a different country. Myself & Dave are working on the ultimate guide to outsourcing, so you can learn from the mistakes we’ve made and this will be released in the new year (2014).


If Im listing on an international eBay site, which delivery option should I select?


Hannah Hardiman eBay

When listing on our international sites

you can choose delivery from abroad under the domestic postage options.

Here’s a useful tip. By using a tracked postal service or electronic delivery confirmation, you and your buyer have visibility around order status and delivery date.

Matthew Ogborne
Do check the prices very, very, very carefully with your carrier as there is a massive difference in pricing when it comes to traceable and non-traceable delivery and see what works for you best.


Will negative feedback about delivery times affect my Detailed Seller Rating?


Hannah Hardiman eBay

Your international sales are rated on a regional basis, for example France, Spain and Italy, and don’t affect your Detailed Seller Rating in the UK.

Here’s another tip: if you’ve resolved a dispute with a buyer, you can ask them to remove negative feedback.

Matthew Ogborne
Phew!


How do I manage returns from other countries?


Hannah Hardiman eBay

Returns depend on the country you’ve listed in.

As a business seller, you have to meet distance selling requirements for the country you’re selling to. Make sure you inform buyers about their right of withdrawal in your returns policy.

You’ll need to refund buyers for the item price and original postage costs for most Buy it now purchases if they withdraw from the purchase within the allocated time period.

Make sure you also meet obligations to buyers for faulty and damaged items.

Matthew Ogborne
This really needs expanding upon as there are caveats all over the place on this topic.

We’ll see what we can do over the next few weeks on this topic for you.


Final words from Hannah


Hannah Hardiman eBay

For more information and tips on selling internationally, check out our international selling hub, or ask a question on the international trading discussion board. Happy Selling!

Matthew Ogborne
Thank you Hannah for sharing this with us.

Summary

The key take-away is that if you list locally on the international eBay sites is that you’re likely to see 8 times more revenue per listing. That’s a whopping difference and while more work to create the extra listings for each site, we now know that the effort is now worth it.

In the below image you’ll see the online market size for 2012 and also the growth rate forecast for online retail 2013-2017 across the globe:

eBay International Growth Forecast 2013 to 2017

International selling or Cross-Border-Trade as you’ll hear bounded-around goes a lot deeper than just these tips, over the next few weeks as suggested above, myself & Dave will locate & interview more experts on this topic for you.

In the meantime you can hear two successful eBay sellers Universal Fashion and FreeStyleXtreme that were interviewed recently and cover their success on eBay selling internationally.

Matt & Dave

About UnderstandingE

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Compared to 2nd Generation software providers you could save thousands of pounds each year.

You can start today for free,  we’ll show you how and there are over 60 video guides waiting for you:

1 reply
  1. Richard Meldner
    Richard Meldner says:

    We used to have a product we sold over 200 units per month on Ebay on eBay Motors (US), eBay.ca, eBay.fr eBay.co.uk, eBay.de, and eBay.au for nearly 3 years. For about 1 of those years we also had it listed on eBay.it, eBay.at, eBay.it and eBay.ch.

    As a US based seller, we sold the majority of this item from the US site with at most about 30%-35% on the remaining sites. Of the international sites, .ca and .co.uk represented about 50% sales and .fr .de and .au about 50%. We found that the UK site indexed better for any European country that did not have their own marketplace such as Greece and many of the eastern block countries.

    The 4 marketplaces in Italy (Title in Italian and listing in English), Austria (Title and listing in German), Switzerland (Title and listing in German) and Ireland just did not generate enough interest (questions and sales) to keep the listings alive. We had significantly more Irish customers from the UK site, significantly more Swiss and Austrian customers from the German site then from each respective marketplace. Most of our Italian customers bought on the US site… The French site did well despite the fact the title was the only thing in French and attracted several customers from Belgium as well.

    We dropped this product because margin erosion and and while the sales numbers were good, at less then 3% profit per box after all fees, shipping, etc. it did not make much sense. If we had continued with this item, we would still use the 5 marketplaces as I do believe they added sales, but not 8X as much in sales.

    I will also say that selling on international marketplaces can have some interesting other challenges. Obviously this maybe a bit more for a US based seller as a European seller would have less of these, but would apply to a European seller if selling to Australia or US.

    1. Assumption by buyers that the product was local to the marketplace (not coming from the US despite stating so in the listing in bold red letters). Sometimes some buyers felt surprised they had to pay import duty. I will have to add that Canada and most European countries seemed to be more inclined to actually collect the small amounts for this item, while we never had a single complaint from Australia. It seems they like the US (based on personal experience buying products in Europe and having it shipped to me in the US) don’t generally bother trying to collect a few Dollars from the recipient.

    2. Constant updates to pricing to match fluctuations in exchange rates.

    3. Warranty Claims. In our case the manufacturer took care of the entire warranty process including international postage if necessary. They basically uses a system of trusting the user that something was wrong based on troubleshooting by email and would send out replacement parts if necessary.

    In all I believe it is important to consider selling on other Ebay marketplaces if the product is right.

    I don’t think for most sellers it makes much sense to blast out listings of their entire product line on all marketplaces as there are challenges to consider, the most common being the exchange rate and maintaining pricing. While in general I would say for a UK based seller, the fluctuations to the Euro are not as much as for a US based seller, but if a UK seller is considering Canada, US or Australia, that seller will have to really keep an eye on the exchange rate at least twice a week.

    If the list of products on international marketplaces is large, then some sort of Excel sheet of running listings to map home currency prices to foreign currency prices based on current exchange rate would probably be needed. The results could be easily updated to Ebay via M2E. Since I am new to the Magento/M2E combination, maybe there is a clever way to do it within that…?

    Richard

    Reply

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