eBay calls for sellers to have voice in future trade deals

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eBay has today released new data highlighting the contribution of UK small and medium sized businesses to UK exports, and is calling for their voices to be heard in future trade negotiations. Frankly, here at Tamebay we couldn’t agree more. What sellers generally want is to be able to sell anywhere in the world with the minimum of fuss and that means high de minimus thresholds so that consumers aren’t stung for import duties and taxes along with the minimum of goods where import is restricted in different countries.

“I run an interiors boutique and a large proportion of our sales are international, with the majority going to Europe, so understanding what exporting could look like in future is important to me.
Brexit has brought a lot of uncertainty. At the moment exporting within Europe is easy and affordable but we don’t yet have detail on how that could change in the future.
Right now it feels as though small businesses aren’t involved in the decisions that are taking place. I would like to see the collective voice of small businesses be better heard in the debate over what might happen next.”

– Jade Oliver, Founder of Heavenly Homes & Gardens and eBay seller

The data, which is drawn from the 200,000 UK-based SMEs trading on eBay, shows that in the past 12 months, almost two thirds of eBay’s UK-based sellers have exported products internationally – and export sales have grown more than 25% in the past five years.

The top three export markets for UK SME sellers on eBay – who are connected to millions of buyers in more than 190 countries – are the USA, Germany and France, while Ireland, Italy and Australia also make it into the Top 10 in terms of money spent.

The products generating the highest spend globally are mobile phones, watches and laptops – although the top products differ considerably in the top three markets. Electric hair removal devices take the top spot in UK exports to the USA, Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners are the number one item in exports to France, and exports to Germany are dominated by digital cameras.

Some of the more unique popular UK products exported internationally from the UK include weed killer to France, Warhammer games to Australia, and CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays to the Philippines, which is the country that has seen the biggest growth in export sales from eBay UK in the past 12 months, with exports growing at over 20% year on year.

eBay is publishing the data to highlight the contribution Britain’s hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs make to the UK export market – and to make sure that this emerging story of SME-driven international trade is fully understood by policymakers and trade negotiators.

With Brexit scheduled for the 31st of October, eBay is calling for the voices of these entrepreneurial exporters to be heard in debates over future trade deals and for small business to be fully represented in any post-Brexit trade delegations.

“The debate about business in Britain has often ignored the contribution of UK small businesses to international trade. When it comes to the big issues like Brexit, trade deals, and Britain’s economic future, small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the economy, should have a far greater voice.

The reason we’re publishing this data is to show there are small businesses up and down the UK working hard, day in day out, to grow and build their businesses. Through eBay, many have become international exporters for the first time and been able to access new markets. It’s high time the voices of these entrepreneurs are heard.”
– Rob Hattrell, Vice President, eBay UK

We’re not sure how the government will engage with eBay sellers, but eBay have a history of getting a representative delegation of merchants in front of government officials – they have a government relations team who handle this – and Liz Truss has already voiced her support to eBay:

“SMEs are a great driver of the UK’s export success, and this data shows that. It’s more important than ever for British firms to take advantage of the global appetite for quality British products to grow their businesses and create jobs for their local communities.

We will continue to support our SMEs to trade around the world now and after we leave the EU on 31st October and sign new trade deals with our international partners.”
– Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade

Top ten SME export markets in terms of money spent are

  1. United States
  2. Germany
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. Ireland
  6. Australia
  7. Spain
  8. Sweden
  9. Norway
  10. Netherlands

Top five product categories exported globally from UK SMEs via eBay

  1. Mobile and smartphones
  2. Wristwatches
  3. Laptops and netbooks
  4. Music records
  5. Trainers

43 Responses

  1. 31st October is the start of PEAK trading for many of us. 90% of my E-commerce sales go into the EU. So many good marketplaces are are now available.
    Over the years this is the market I have built my business on. It is simply been more profitable than concentrating on what is a “race to the bottom” UK domestic market.
    Liz Trust just blows hot air and her Government have been a constant hinderance, she will still get her bloated salary and backhanders from her Tory paymasters. Meanwhile I cannot invest in stock in time for PEAK as I do not know if I can sell it. We are under time constraints to get the products delivered and if they are put into customs it makes as uncompetitive overnight compared to similar firms in say Germany or France.
    Am afraid this Right Wing Tory Government does not even notice SMEs. It is only interested in the big fat Corporates ( the very types who have caused the massive inequality just like in the USA and leads to lunatics like Trump in the Oval Office and things like Brexit)…the actual route problem.

  2. 90% of my sales goto to Chinese sellers. That’s my voice, maybe actually make them pay their tax first, rather than screwing us over as has been the case for just 10 Years in not more.

    Maybe if eBay Page 1 wasnt 90% Chinese listings id care.

  3. Between 650 MPs and 750 MEP’s they could not come up with something that worked for everybody, so how is giving a voice to 200,000 SME’s going to add any clarity, with them all wanting different things from a deal?

    Unfortunately it takes two parties or more to do a deal, the EU do not want us to leave and are being obstinate to try and force us to stay.

    People say we can’t leave without a deal, the EU refuse to do a deal that works for us, so the only option is a No Deal.

  4. Reality is due to the mass domination of Chinese sellers in the UK. A lot of UK based sellers rely on EU Sales to survive.

    The UK Government (If you can call them that) has said they will not stop EU imports, and Chinese imports won’t be affected.

    So now, We lose our EU Sales, our lifeblood due to no action on VAT evading sellers for over a decade laundering money through Hong Kong and everything else remains the same.

    Great environment to run a business, sell you all down the dole que.

  5. Ebay should get their own house in order before engaging with others. This isn’t about ebay caring about it’s sellers… it’s about fear of lost revenue for them.
    Funny how they suddenly get all vocal when they could lose income, but it is fine to stay mute on the the constant scams that affect sellers yet leave ebay with their fees!

  6. Based on the only data I have so far, my ebay sales in October for overseas will be virtually zero rather than more like 15%.

    If once again the can is kicked down the road again until next year, then again next year to later in the year – every time I may well be hit with another month or more of zero international sales.
    Which won’t get made afterwards. They are lost sales.

    Leave, don’t leave. But this kicking the can down the road expecting something to change in a few months that hasn’t in almost a year is costly.


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