From the Base to the Ace of International Selling

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Joined: Apr 19, 2010
From the Base to the Ace of International Selling
1 Dec 2014
Forecasts say that in 2015 there will be around 144.7 million digital buyers in UK, DE, IT, FR and ES alone. It would be madness to miss opportunities such as these - said Alexandre Desesmaison, Senior Customer Success Specialist at WebInterpret. Nevertheless, despite the fact that profits are assured, many online retailers who sell on eBay or Amazon abstain from selling on foreign markets. We asked Alexandre what every online retailer should do in order to begin cross border trade effectively. Following these steps recommended by this specialist will lead you to successful international sales - even if it is completely new to you now.
Use keywords in descriptions, top quality images, well-written and honest descriptions of your items. Remember that your buyer’s decision is based on what they think they will receive. Even a small difference between the item they order and the item they receive may increase your defect rate that is supposed to be below 5 percent of your total transactions during the most recent evaluation period on eBay.
To have your item listed on a foreign market you have to set the shipping costs for this item. However obvious it may sound, many forget this step, which means that their items can not even be listed on foreign markets. Define as well whether setting free shipping will be worth doing. For example, if the item you are shipping requires special treatment because it is fragile, the shipping price will be higher. At this point you may decide to refrain from the free shipping option because it would make your total item price uncompetitive.
Blacklisted items
Find out if the items you sell are on the list of blacklisted items in each particular country. Sometimes, even if you are allowed to sell something in your domestic market, you are not allowed to sell it in other foreign markets.
Foreign markets
Carry out market research and decide where exactly you want to list your items. Probably Australian buyers will only buy the winter coat you are listing there if they are planning to visit their family in the UK for Christmas. We do not think (but may be wrong) that the entire Australian population will be travelling to the UK for Christmas so you may have difficulties selling winter coats in Australia in December.
Postage costs
Negotiate the best postage costs with your courier. Postage costs will affect the price of your items (and their competitiveness). Do not forget to set the shipping options for those who can wait longer for the item they are buying (the cheaper ones) and for those who must have it now (expensive ones). Keep in mind as well that your carrier, who might be very competitive domestically, might not be so for international deliveries, so you might want to look around for best international rates or decide to use other solutions such as eBay’s Global Shipping Programme.
Selling internationally can be expensive, more expensive than selling domestically when it comes to marketplace fees and currency exchange. You have to keep an eye on what it costs you to reach these foreign buyers and adjust your pricing accordingly. Yes, you will be selling abroad but you need to be profitable and still be going next year.
eBay Shop
Choose the one that will be best for your sales volume. In order to pay lower or no eBay insertion fees at all, you need to be subscribed to a featured shop or an anchor shop. If you have more than 200 listings in Europe or more than 60 listings in Australia, a featured shop subscription offers the best value. If you have many more listings and are listing, for example, 650 listings in Australia, an anchor shop subscription works out to be the best value.
Customer Service
Make your customers love not only your items but the way you do business with them. The happy ones will recommend you to their friends. The unsatisfied ones will make sure none of their friends buy from yo

[Last edited: 1 Dec 2014]
Dublin, London, Frankfurt, NYC Ireland
Kudos: 62
Joined: Nov 3, 2013
Re: From the Base to the Ace of International Selling
2 Dec 2014
Very good post! It can really open up your business profitability to start selling into new markets, especially when market trends mean you can make more selling in one market over another.

I think your points about researching the market are massively important. It's so easy to get really excited about launching into a new market and dive in headfirst without proper planning or looking into the details. Like you mention with the coats, geography plays a big part in the products you list, but it is also important to look into whether there may be cultural barriers to your product entering the market. It is something that may not be overly obvious from the outside initially, and even not glaring for the first few months, all you'll see is a low sales figure and think that the market isn't viable.

A quick Google search can turn up tons of companies who have failed at trying to enter a new international market, purely because they didn't properly research and made a few assumptions that turned out to be wrong.

With a bit of research you can make sure that every time you start selling in a new market, you will see success

xSellco 1
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