Toys R Us, a multibillion, Fortune 500 has something in common with Gelb Music, a privately owned music store in Redwood, Ca. These distinct market players — one sells toys to children and the latter, instruments to musicians — are global retailers; and both recognize the value of selling internationally on eBay.
Retailers of all sizes, like Toys R Us and Gelb Music use eBay, a top 10 global retail brand, to reach buyers beyond U.S. borders. eBay is an international marketplace with worldwide sites in 27 countries through the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and 149 million active buyers who come from 208 countries around the world.
Numbers point to its strong international market performance: over 40 percent of merchandise sold internationally in the first quarter of 2015 came from the U.S., according to eBay. Because of its features and tools, eBay is an asset for companies looking to expand worldwide.
Feature #1 of Selling Internationally on eBay: International Site Visibility
International Site Visibility
When selling internationally on eBay, there are two ways to reach buyers around the world — one is by creating international listings. The feature, International Site Visibility, automatically creates listings in eBay markets around the world when a product is listed on either eBay.com, eBay.co.uk, or eBay.ca. By using this feature, businesses can increase page views by 92% and conversion rates by 40%, thus increasing net sales.
Currently, it is available only to eBay international marketplaces in the U.S., U.K, and Canada and costs no additional fee. To use this feature, retailers must meet eligibility requirements, such as having a Feedback Score of 10, offering shipping to the U.S., Europe, or worldwide, having a verified PayPal account, and more.
Note that when selling to customers in Canada, businesses do not need to use this feature if the listing is created on eBay.com, and they offer shipping to Canada, North America, or worldwide. These listings will automatically show up show up on eBay.ca with no extra charge.
For step-by-step instructions on how to access eBay’s international site visibility feature click here.
Listing on other international eBay sites
Another way retailers can list internationally is to create listings on other countries’ eBay sites. Here are helpful steps to do this:
- Go to eBay.com
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the American flag.
- Click the country your global retail company would like to list in
- Click “Sell”
Feature #2 of Selling Internationally on eBay: Global Shipping Program (GSP)
eBay’s Global Shipping Program
The second way U.S. retailers can reach buyers around the world is to make shipping available outside of the United States. eBay’s Global Shipping Program, launched in 2012 and available for no additional fee, makes shipping internationally easier for retailers. Retailers using the program send items to a U.S. shipping center that handles the international shipping customs and process from A-Z. This mitigates the confusing regulations around cross-border duties, taxes, customs, import/export restrictions — one of the biggest challenges in global retail.
GSP ships to 64 countries, and businesses can customize which countries they want to make the service available in. For example, they may choose GSP for products sold to European markets, but use a different carrier, such as USPS to ship items to Canada. Retailers also have the option of using up to 4 international shipping services, in addition to GSP.
There are many benefits to using the Global Shipping Program, some of which are:
- Retailers don’t have to determine if items are eligible to ship to other countries. Eligible items appear automatically to consumers in countries where these items are eligible.
- Retailers are protected from any negative feedback related to the Global Shipping Program, and such feedback is removed.
- Retailers are not responsible for the loss or damage of items that occur during the transit of items from the U.S. Shipping Center to the destination country.
Handling shipping on your own
Retailers can choose to handle the shipping process on their own. Retailers not using the Global Shipping Program can use up to five international shipping services. When shipping, they have the option of excluding shipping locations from their listings.
Retailers who prefer to ship internationally on their own are responsible for calculating shipping costs, considering import duties, taxes, and other related charges, as well as, communicating buyers’ responsibilities, and more. To learn more about international trade policies sand restrictions click here.
Feature #3 of Selling Internationally on eBay: PayPal Makes Receiving Payments Easier
When selling internationally on eBay, retailers are encouraged to use PayPal to receive payments from businesses. With a Premier or Business PayPal account, businesses can accept credit card and bank account payments from consumers in over 200 countries and in 26 different currencies. PayPal converts payments from customers worldwide into the business’ preferred currency, such as the U.S. dollar.
For services such as the Global Shipping Program and the International Site Visibility Feature, listing PayPal as one of the payment options is required. There are other options available to retailers if they choose not to use PayPal, or would prefer to use other services in addition to PayPal, such as:
- Skrill is available in 50 countries and has 40 different currencies
- Stripe accepts payments from around the world and in multiple currencies. Businesses have to be located in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, or the UK
- ProPay is available in 150 countries
Feature #4 of Selling Internationally on eBay: Other helpful Tools
eBay offers a number of other tools that may be helpful to retailers who are operating and/or expanding into global retail. These tools, outlined here, convert time, currency, and shipping rates.
- Universal Currency Converter: Self-labeled, the “world’s most popular currency tool,” businesses can use this to get interactive foreign exchange rate calculations for 95 of the world’s top currencies. Exchange rates are updated by the minute. To access the Universal Currency Converter tool click here.
- Time Zone Calculator: This tool, with time-zones labeled after 17 major countries in different regions of the world, helps businesses convert time. This is critical to know in order to schedule auction start and end times in international markets. To access the Time Zone Calculator click here.
- International Shipping Calculator: Retailers can use the international shipping calculator in listings, which provides information on how much it will cost to ship an order. Retailers can choose a carrier service, and designate a flat fee or variable fee, such as the customer’s location. Click here to view eBay’s Shipping Calculator.
Additional Resources on Selling Internationally on eBay
Selling internationally for retailers is complex, and eBay can help with addressing some of these issues, such as: customer reach, international shipping, customs & duties, currency conversion, and more. If your business is interested in expanding globally on eBay, here are some resources you may find helpful: