eBay Cross-Border Trade for US Sellers
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The world is getting smaller, and new buyers are now within reach!
Note: This blog post is most relevant for sellers based in the US. Click here for information specific to EU sellers.
Cross-Border Trade (CBT) is quite the buzzword lately, and sellers are becoming more interested in exploring opportunities in other countries...but it can be a challenge to know where to start. Fortunately, you have options - and we’ve tried to simplify these in the basic framework below.
The easiest way to start selling internationally is to do so via marketplaces. eBay and Amazon each have a global presence and they remove a lot of guesswork and risks when it comes to things like driving traffic and managing payments. We covered a lot of the Amazon opportunities in this Amazon International blog post, so this blog will focus on the opportunities on eBay.
There are 2 approaches a seller can take when selling internationally on eBay - “Passive” or “Active.”
Passive or Basic CBT
For sellers that may be resource constrained, the “Passive” or “Basic” approach might be the way to go. In this model, sellers simply offer shipping to as many countries as possible. This will enable limited visibility for your listings on international marketplace sites without the need to list on each site individually or translate product data.
Sellers who offer international shipping and accept PayPal will have their listings appear in the advanced search results (if a buyer clicks “show results from international sellers”) on eBay international sites in the countries where shipping is offered. Listings may also appear in default search results on those sites, but that is not guaranteed.
eBay also offers the Global Shipping Program, which is essentially a freight-forwarding program to allow sellers to ship international orders to eBay’s shipping hub in Kentucky - then eBay manages the remainder of the shipping and customs process from there, including showing the buyer the fully landed cost of the item. So, international buyers shopping on eBay.com will be able to purchase from sellers who may not offer shipping to their location and US-based sellers can fulfill those orders as if they were domestic.
Additionally, eBay offers the eBay International Market. This is a program where eBay automatically translates listings for items that can be shipped to certain countries where they have launched “buy-only” sites (meaning that sellers can’t list there directly). For instance, if a seller offers shipping to Russia, then eBay will translate the listings and make them available for purchase on eBay.ru.
Active or Advanced CBT
For sellers who have localized and/or translated product data and who may be more versed in international selling, Active or Advanced CBT may be a more attractive model. This approach involves listing directly on each marketplace’s international site in the local language and currency. Sellers will also be responsible for multi-language customer support.
When sellers list directly on eBay’s international sites, the listings will appear in default search results and are likely to have better visibility than passive listings. Sellers will want to seek counsel to understand VAT and other import/export requirements. For more details, check out this SSC page: Selling Internationally with ChannelAdvisor.
Blog post by Jenny Hock, ChannelAdvisor Product Manager