eBay encourages sellers to look to international trade for growth

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eBay wants more sellers to look at cross border trade as a means of growing their business. It claims that the deepening Eurozone crisis has damaged confidence and by looking further afield to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, Indioan & China) and CIVETS (Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa) countries,  sellers can weather the storm.

A recent survey of 1000 eBay sellers revealed that 37% expect BRIC countries to become more important in 2012 due to continued economic stagnation in Europe. 27% recognise that they need to look further afield to the CIVET countries. In the last 12 months over half (59%) of online businesses have exported goods to Russia, and a fifth expect China to be the most important export market after Europe by 2013.

Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director, eBay, said: “In today’s connected world, businesses no longer need to rely on one market for their income.  International trade is more accessible than ever and online businesses in particular are perfectly placed to make the most of selling overseas.

“Cross-border trade represents a massive economic opportunity for the UK, and we know that over half of high exporting businesses (59.3%) are confident about the next six months compared to only two fifths (40.7%) of low exporting businesses.  Government and policymakers must do more to ensure services and organisations are equipped to provide expert advice on exporting to all businesses, but especially to those businesses that haven’t given it a go before and are often held back by a simple lack of understanding.”

13 Responses

  1. What ebay don’t give are the percentage of sales to these countries that result in disputes.

    And what type of product offered on ebay UK are these countries going to be interested in?

    Not Plasma TV’s or iPads surely?

    One issue is the massive import taxes of some of these countries. My buyers from Argentina and other south American countries for example request that multiple purchases are shipped in several packages to avoid import duties. And then there is the VAT side. All additional work and cost which ebay don’t mention.

    And of course paypal charge extra fees for the payments from these countries and for overseas payments generally.

    If ebay did not charge fees on VAT and if they reduced fees for those sellers who offer worldwide shipping as an incentive and as some form of recompense for the extra work, payment costs, and risks involved then more may be interested in worldwide sales.

    On a positive note we can accept that eBay have improved visibility for those who want to ship worldwide however as it is ebay itself put a lot of hurdles in the way of the exporter which bluntly put sellers off.

    How about ebay UK offering a 50% discount on FVF’s for 12 months on all overseas sales as an incentive for sellers to have a go?

    At least then ebay could say that they were serious about increasing export activity and leading the export drive by example.

  2. And then of course I forget the ebay feedback global DSR situation.

    eBay could waive the impact of this for 12 months also so that it becomes more of an experiment to see how overseas buyers rate UK sellers and shipping services and then review things on the basis of the data that has built up.

    As it is global DSR’s can hurt overseas sellers who are already taking bigger risks anyway.

  3. Is ebay for real? Really!

    When it comes down to it, what does ebay know about selling?

    Their income is from selling space on a website, not products.

  4. at least 50% or our sales are exports we love it
    all we want ebay to do is make our items visible we will do the rest

  5. We love export too and do a fair bit of it to countries we choose where we have no communication problems and are dealing with genuine buyers.

    There is no profit in shipping to places where you are likely to lose both the goods and the payment; nor is there any profit in selling from a venue which is actively eager to enable buyer fraud.

  6. Being an international seller is hard enough to established domains and it’s a constant struggle to hold ratings in line. For me selling to Brazil, for example, is impossible, I would have refund after refund and ratings would plummet.

  7. I export around 65% of the collectibles I sell, from Jordan to Fiji and beyond… but not Russia, as everything gets stolen in their postal system and I’ve had claim after claim. In my experience South America is a better bet than Russia for safe exporting.

    Slightly off topic, just had my quarterly thing from eBay with a message from Patrick Munden that suggest that eBay want me just to sell fixed price stuff…

    Dear Patrick, I give eBay thousands of pounds each year for the right to use your site, how I do it should be down to me, please stop preaching and help sellers rather than trying to get everyone to conform… without auctions, eBay will lose all the specialist sellers.

  8. Patrick makes reference to a statistic that 63% of sales globally are fixed price and makes a claim that this is because “the majority of shoppers come onto the site looking for an item to purchase immediately”

    I personally am not so sure about this.

    I would also question the statement that “without auctions ebay will lose all the specialist sellers”. Surely it is more about specialist buyers than sellers?

    Without auctions ebay may loose these. Now the real question is does ebay want these specialist buyers?

    Or does it see its growth coming from mainstream activity?

  9. Very good point… I should have said buyers as well.

    I sell stuff that might only be of interest to half-a-dozen people (or less) worldwide, mostly there’s no agreed pricing and if two or more buyers decide they REALLY want it, then the prices can get astronomic… more cash for ebay and more cash for me.


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