Save money when selling on Amazon EU

Webinterpret are well known for translating eBay listings, but what’s less known is that they offer the a similar service for Amazon. Webinterpret say that whilst selling on international Amazon sites can potentially double your income, about 3% of this revenue is lost due to foreign currency exchange commission. However, the good news is that there are ways to cut this commission charge by half, meaning more of the net revenue from your international sales actually belongs to you.

Willem Rowies – Director of Strategic Partnerships whose main responsibility is setting up partnerships with other e-commerce industry providers that Webinterpret clients can benefit from, explains how their latest partnership can save you money:

International revenue reduced by 3%

Webinterpret is a platform that enables you to sell internationally in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia amongst other countries. In fact, for anywhere you are prepared to sell, they can offer a solution that enables you to immediately increase international sales and dominate international marketplaces with listings – as it helps foreign buyers to find your products by creating active localized listings in foreign marketplaces. This will push your listings to the top of foreign search results because they will be built with keywords and descriptions specific to foreign local marketplaces, thus increasing your international market share, and potentially generating millions in new revenue.

However, if you calculate how much more you would earn from selling internationally, you will soon figure out that it is not quite as good as you first imagined because when the money generated from international sales is transferred into your local GBP account, charges are applied through the exchange rate and these charges eat into your profits. As a result, you will end up receiving up to 3-4% less from your sales after it is converted into GBP.

The additional drawback relating to the exchange of foreign currency occurs when buying stock from abroad. Transfers made through a regular bank are subject to a 2-3% charge and high transfer costs. This means that when buying stock from abroad, you also end up paying more GBP which increases the cost price.

However, there is a solution to the problem of foreign exchange – e-tailer Collection Accounts – multiple bank accounts located in the countries you sell in! This solution enables you to bring money home from online marketplaces in source currency without converting it and maximize your international sales proceeds.

Keeping your revenue as high as possible

Webinterpret have partnered with Currencies Direct to help you save money when selling internationally. While Webinterpret enables you to sell wherever you desire, Currencies Direct helps by removing some of the challenges that exchanging foreign currencies present.

Sellers who decide to expand their online businesses by starting to sell internationally with Webinterpret, are now able to transfer their money back to their bank accounts in GBP with a commission rate of just 1-2% instead of the normal 4% taken by standard transfers made via the international marketplaces.

This, in turn, means that you are now able to offer products at lower, more competitive prices as you have the guarantee of a wholesale exchange rate and minimal transfer fees.

Now, selling internationally can be even more profitable

Now you get to grow your business into foreign markets with Webinterpret whilst holding on to more of the revenue generated through your international sales with e-tailer Collection Account.

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I and many other sellers had made extremely bad experiences on Ebay with Webinterpret. I would advise any interested seller to check on google for input by other seller regarding Webinterpret before taking this solution. Google: Webinterpret problems Maybe it has advanced in the last 6 months but I can confirm that I had talked with about 15 other sellers on Ebay who used this solution and left within 2 months and there was problem followed by problem. So please be aware of this before jumping in.

Chris L • 12th January 2015 •

We've used Webinterpret for a couple of years now, and whilst they are not perfect, we are generally very happy with them.

Leno • 12th January 2015 •

You must be the exception, i would never recommend them even for a free trial. Trust pilot 1 Star rating percentage = 78.1% 15 out of 19 reviews are negative, my conclusion is that most people review webinterpret to express their dissatisfaction, and of the people that think that webinterpret is ok or good, it obviously is nothing special to bother leave a sparkling high praise review. The positive reviews are 1-2 sentences long, the negative ones are paragraphs or essays.

Kieran • 12th January 2015 •

I would not touch webinterpret with a barge pole, agree with Chris L, very poor service when i used them up until about August/Sept last year, so quite recent. Not only is their service offering poor, the sales teams are pushy, the translations on ebay are all computer translated except the title which they also managed to mess up on some products. They have no telephone customer service, only email, yet they do have a telephone sales team who are pushy, they are good at trying to get you to sign up and retaining you, not so good when you have a problem. And a note about Amazon translations specifically, they are Extremely Slow at providing Amazon translations, they claim this is because they do the whole translation with a human translator which is fine, but it took 1-2 months to see any listings start to come through and all that time we were paying the subscription fees and commision on listings that were live. I would recommend getting translations done yourself via a translation company, turnaround time for a single listing i get is 1 hour or less and if you are smart with how you write your english descriptions you can use the same translations for multiple products by simply changing the colour translation or quantity etc. Translate a few of your best sellers first on something like 1 hour translations or Transfluent which has a free magento plugin to translate your magento store products, monitor the return on investment (sales from translated listing) to see if it is worth continuing with. NO COMMISSION if you do it yourself. It costs us about £8.00 for a translation typically for our length of title and description but if it is a reasonable seller then it does not take long to get your £8.00 back, 100 sales have cost you £0.08 to obtain per sale, future sales have no commission. If you do translations in bulk with a professional company you will probably be able to get a discount or get it cheaper but we are happy to target our best sellers for now one at a time. Would not recommend losing more of your revenue to webinterpret, in my opinion they do not add enough value for the amount they charge, the overal offering is poor. Stay away and keep hold of your profits. P.S. Amazon were trialing a translation service in the US, i think it is chargable but may be worth a look if it makes it over the pond.

Kieran • 12th January 2015 •

Regarding losses due to Amazon's currency commission / exchange rate. World first offer an ecommerce product for Amazon, they provide an EU bank account for your Euro sales and a US Bank account for your USD sales. They offer a more competitive exchange rate when you come to change up your sales into pounds sterling, if you foriegn currency is worth more than £1000 GBP there are no fees with this product, you choose when to convert it so you can leave it to build up or take it out as soon as Amazon have paid it, generally the more money you have to change up the better the rate will be. World first are a fantastic company to use and come highly recommended, we use them for all of our currency converting needs.

Kieran • 12th January 2015 •

We use them and the rate is a lot better than Amazon's. It's just a shame we cant seem to use them with paypal as their rates are terrible too and we loose at least 2% on each transfer.

fusion • 12th January 2015 •

Terrible terrible company. Lost me £1000's in sales and kept over £600 of my money. I would never recommend this company to anyone!

Teresa Parslow • 12th January 2015 •

We are currently using them with a free trial on eBay UK. It's called the "European Sales Booster" and seems to be some sort of trial paid for by eBay, as we have been with them since 30th October and no mention of billing or signing up. I believe the "European Sales Booster" is invite only. However, The listings are definitely translated by machine, and I personally think they are simply using Google Translate as I get the same results when I translate one of my listings. The translations are VERY POOR and I get countless messages from eBay members in France, Germany etc telling me the listing makes no sense and if I can show them an English version so they can translate themselves. No Telephone support whatsoever. You cannot call them, and E-Mails take days and days to get answered. Sales team are pushy, rude and seem to have no idea how eBay works. The ONLY good thing I have found with this company and the ONLY reason I am still signed up is the foreign listings they create are synchronised somehow to my English listings so that the stock duplicates, and prices go up or down as per the exchange rate and the prices on the English listings. If I can find another company that does this, I will leave Web interpret tomorrow. It's such a shame as their is such a huge European market, yet the listings don't make sense once translated.

LJ • 12th January 2015 •

Third party warehouse management software such as storefeeder, linnworks, channel advisor, eseller pro and many more all manage stock, so if you create an english listing and create a french listings and sell a unit of stock from either listing the software will automatically update all listings to the new stock level regardless of language or website it is on, so i do not see that as much of an advantage to anyone operating a third party software tool, many ebay sellers do. Regarding currency, again i am sure some third party tools will operate a currency syncing for your euro or usd listings but to be honest we do not bother, we add a small buffer to the price to allow for reasonable currency fluctuations, our third party tool also allows bulk export of prices and import of prices which update to the channel, so if there was a crazy movement of currency value (think russia) then we can simply do a quick excel formula to recalculate our prices and import them again which update to the listings. We tend to have fairly static retail style pricing and currency gains and losses are just part of business, we are grateful for getting the foreign sale, a small currency loss can surely be no worse than paying webinterpret commission.

Kieran • 13th January 2015 •

For example, USD has ranged between 1.68 highs and 1.50 lows for a couple of years now, normally it operates within a smaller range, that works out to roughly 10% currency movement. Webinterpret charge something like 5% for tech and 10% for other cateogries, they do offer discounts for certain packages etc but it is likely to be between 5% and 10% roughly, that is the same as the currency fluctuation of recent years so you could add a 10% buffer to your prices and save money or choose a median conversion and accept the small gains and losses. Automatic syncing of currency to the exchange rate is great but is it really worth it for the cost? Remember than when selling outside of the EU you are usually not paying VAT so that is a buffer right there, you can do a straight conversion to USD and would have a 16.66% vat buffer because you may not have to collect / pay VAT for US sales when distant selling from the UK (disclaimer - please check your VAT situation with HMRC - Do not rely on my advise when working out your own VAT responsibilities).

Kieran • 13th January 2015 •

Thanks for the advice and suggestions, much appreciated. At the moment webinterpret are doing all of this for free and it is not a trial period. They have done this since end of October last year, and no mention of signing up etc. It seems to be funded by eBay to boost sales in European countries, so if they are going to list and translate (Albeit badly) for free then any extra sale is a bonus at the moment. Of course long term, I have no intention of staying with them as they are an atrocious company, but if they are going to translate and synchronise my listings for free I would be stupid to say no. So far I have made 200+ sales through foreign listings, so that is 200+ extra sales generated, for no effort my end. If eBay decides to stop funding it, and webinterpret want to start charging me then I will stop immediately. P.S - Can anyone suggest a company that translates listings using human translators?

LJ • 13th January 2015 •

Hi LJ Please watch out for Webinterpret listings, I had some listed in wrong categories which meant that I got account warnings from Ebay. Furthermore I had listed economy postage to extend the delivery expectation time, Webinterpret listed as standard postage which means buyers in Australia were expecting their items in 5 days. These are just a few problems, Webinterpret was the worst experience ever. Once the free Trial is over they will use mafia methods to try to talk you into going to their paid plan. Basically you can list on other ebay sites yourself with out Webinterpret. Their transations are just done electronically, so google translate at a higher price. Please have a look at some of your listings by Webinterpret. Do a reverse translation back to English and you may get a few nasty surprises. Good luck...

Chris L • 13th January 2015 •