How to maximise Cross Border Trade sales

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Patrick Smarzynski is the co-founder of WebInterpret, a leading e-commerce internationalisation software provider. WebInterpret have helped hundreds of e-sellers boost their international sales during the last few years and Patrick offered to share with you some of the best practices they have learned in a three part series.

These tips have become even more relevant following eBay’s latest seller update announcing that sellers will be able to access free insertion fees on all eBay Europe sites from November this year.

Part 1: How to increase international sales effectively on eBay

Part 2: How to list on foreign eBay sites

Part 3: How to maximise results and keep them sustainable

Part 3: How to maximise results and keep them sustainable

When you are listing abroad using the ‘Active Way’, you can either list all your items on one or more foreign eBay sites or you can list just a selection of your items on a few foreign eBay sites. Pareto’s 80/20 rule applies to the GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) for most eBay stores where 20% of your listings will most of the time account for 80% of your GMV. Therefore, instead of simply listing all of your items on one or two foreign eBay site, it is advisable to list your top selling items on a multiple foreign eBay sites.

Also different elements of your listings need to be re-evaluated.

Listings Optimisations:

– The Title of your listing should not only be translated, but take into account popular local keywords. Even other English speaking countries have different names for similar items.

-The Categories structure used by the different eBay sites are not the same. Beware of choosing the wrong category for your listing. This can not only result in your item not being found by sellers but may also generate an eBay policy breach.

– The Price you enter in the foreign listings will have to be in the local currency. Bear in mind that prices will need to be updated as soon as possible to reflect changes in exchange rates between the different currencies. Also, you have to increase your prices by 2.5% to cover Paypal currency conversion fees.

– The Shipping options. You have to exclude shipping to countries in which you are already listing to prevent duplicate listings. For instance, if you are a UK seller and you list on eBay Germany through one account, you have to exclude shipping options to Germany from the UK listing and exclude shipping options to the UK from your German listing. This way UK buyers will only see UK listings, and German buyers will only see German listings.

– The Item specifics: The item specifics answer most questions buyers may have, so make sure to select the maximum number of matching item specifics.

– The Description: Translating the whole description professionally is not usually mandatory to generate sales however, for some eBay sites like France it is.

– Communication: Communication is a key part of your DSR (Detailed Seller Rating). Therefore, the best thing is always to communicate with buyers in their local language. In this case, auto-translation is not an adequate solution and often results in a less satisfying experience for the buyer.

Webinterpret Insight:

Remember, you don’t have too much room for error. For instance, if you list your item in the wrong category or if you don’t exclude the proper shipping options and thus generate duplicate listings, you will receive an eBay policy breach warning that can result in lower visibility for your items in search results or even your account being suspend.

We advise to take care to be compliant with all the specific rules and requirements of each country in which your items are listed.

For instance, block forbidden items specific to each country and brands that do not allow you to sell their products in certain countries. Also override some parts of your listings if they are in breach of certain eBay policies in a certain country (email address on or additional payment method).

That’s why we recommend that you don’t take any risk with your eBay account, and why we recommend that you do not manage your cross border selling on your own or with a traditional translation agency. Consult with a partner such as WebInterpret that has expertise gained through experience and the tools to allow you to progress swiftly and safely as an international eBay seller.

We hope this guide helps you develop your online business. Stay tuned for the next guide on how to boost your international sales on Amazon.


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