International eBay UK sales up 49%

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The Times reports today that cross border trade from eBay UK is up 49% compared to last year. The weak pound coupled with eBay promoting cross border sales has seen export rocket.

It’s not just on eBay either, ASOS, the online fashion retailer, has seen exports grow 173% based on this time last year and is in the process of opening up country specific websites to meet the demand. Prices from UK retailers are discounted by about 25% for overseas buyers based on the current £ exchange rate.

If you want to take advantage of the buying power of overseas eBay users there are two ways to tap into the growing market:

1) List items on eBay UK as normal, but offer to ship to Europe, the US or the Rest of the World. As well as making your products available specifying overseas postage rates will ensure buyers know exactly what they’ll be paying.

2) Consider listing on eBay sites other than the UK. eBay.com, Ireland, Canada and Australia are the easiest as they’re all English speaking sites. eBay France and eBay Germany are also worth considering if you’ve got some basic language skills.

If you’re not shipping overseas consider why not – in the current economic climate any areas in which sales are growing simply can not be ignored.

9 Responses

  1. Hi Chris,

    thanks for highlighting the opportunities here.

    That growth could be even higher if the risk of low postage charge DSRs from overseas buyers was removed. We often send overseas at rates that are slightly lower than the actual cost to ourselves (and hope for a bumper auction price!), but our DSRs from overseas buyers are 4.3 compared to 5.0 from UK buyers. Our overall score is 4.8 so we’re not losing sleep – but if we were borderline (for the 4.6 to qualify for Powerseller discounts / 4.4 to meet criteria for ‘standard’ search standing) we’d have to think seriously about not selling overseas.

    If you have a very high percentage of overseas sales, then the Postage Cost DSR is not really a level playing field.

    eBaying – it’s bluddy complicated!

  2. it could be through the roof if it was easier for buyers in the USA to find items,

    when they can see items like antiques etc they certainly know how to spend money,

    the problem is it is quite hard for them to find fixed price listings

  3. Overseas sales certainly seem to be doing well at the moment, especially on ebay.co.uk. Sales on .com seem eratic.

    We use Crossflight for the majority of our overseas shipping and they’ve been excellent, both in cost and service.

  4. If we could get visibility on our shop items I would be happy. Having to use auctions is costing me dearly. When are eBay going to sort this out? I thought that www was an acronym for World Wide Web.

  5. #4 Would it be cheaper to promote your items via international search engines and not use auctions?

  6. Hi Pete, not sure what you mean. I pay eBay to promote my listings and would like them to show our listings on all eBay sites.

    CPC advertising does not work for use due to the low value product/ high click through rates on our keywords.

    We do ok on natural search & base to our website but the eBay US market has always been a good revenue source for us. Just annoying that eBay make it so expensive.

  7. For those of you wishing to try sales on multiple eBay sites, you may want to check out MerchantRun GlobalLink (www.merchantrun.com). MerchantRun GlobalLink allows you to easily copy listing data from one eBay site to another and supports multiple eBay seller accounts. In addition, GlobalLink allows you to revise active listings across multiple eBay sites and seller accounts. (Disclosure – I work at MerchantRun). GlobalLink makes it very easy to manage listings across multiple eBay sites and seller accounts at a very low cost (pay only for what you sell, no monthly/setup fees).

  8. I contributed to this article in The Times, and its certainly worth looking at your business model to make your listings more visible and attractive to buyers. One major thing to look at is shipping times to Europe. I use Interlink to Zone 1 Europe, and parcels can arrive in 2 working days to France, Germany, Belgium.

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