The rise of the internet and e-commerce means that the marketplace for business has drastically grown over the last few years. Where most businesses in the past have been limited to only selling to customers in close proximity, with people being able to access websites or online marketplaces such as eBay, we are now seeing business selling to people from all corners of the earth.
For people to be able to expand internationally on eBay, they have set up a special global shipping programme which makes it easier for businesses with their selling worldwide on eBay.The Issues around Shipping Worldwide
Whilst it may seem like a great way to expand your business, trading globally on eBay or on your own website is necessarily that straightforward. Of course there are the extra shipping costs, but there are also new laws, rules and regulations, taxes with regards to international trading that you might not have thought of and that you will need to get your head around.
EBay`s Global Shipping Programme
Being aware of the potential issues that businesses face trying to grow their business across borders, eBay have come up with their Global Shipping Programme. It means that companies who are selling globally on eBay have a low risk, high reward solution to their global shipping quandaries.
According to eBay internal reporting system, businesses who are trading worldwide on eBay though their global shipping programme have noticed up to a 15% increase in sales.
The shipping programme works in a number of ways for businesses with cross border trade on eBay:
- Free to join – The programme is free to join, meaning that there are no hidden costs. The seller is responsible the cost of getting the items to the central distribution centre in Kentucky, but after that the buyer will pay for the programme fees – which include international trading costs as well as import charges.
- Choice – You have a potential almost worldwide audience if you use the eBay Global Shipping Programme. There are about 101 countries at present which make up the programme giving you a potential extra 70 million customers all over the world – according to eBay. If, however there is a country, region or continent where you don`t want to trade, you can easily block out these areas of international trading on eBay.
- Ship to One Place – Once that you are signed up to the Global Shipping Programme, you send your goods to a central, Global Shipping address in Kentucky and from there the goods are dispatched across the world. You don`t have to pay any of the extra shipping fees or international trading charges, as this will be charged to the buyer.
- Forms, tax and logistics – These all come along with international shipping, but not with eBay`s Global Shipping programme. EBay will deal with value added tax, filling in forms, and other logistics, so that you can rest assured that things are being done properly, in time and allowing you to concentrate on selling as many products as possible.
- Tracking – Both you and your customer can also have more peace of mind as both parties can track the progress of your order from the receipt at the distribution centre until it is in the hand of the customer who ordered it.
It is easy for most US based businesses to be eligible to use the eBay global shipping, but they need to meet the following criteria:
- You need to have a US Seller rating of `standard` or better.
- You must be within the laws rules and regulations on the eBay `User`s Agreement`
- The item must be in the US and listed on eBay
- The item must be listed in a category which supports the Global Shipping Programme
- A street address must be provided – although PO Boxes are acceptable in the following countries:
Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates
For the best Results…
- The package must be within the maximum weight both in scale and in volume for that country
- The package must be within maximum dimensions for that country
- The item`s sale price must be under the maximum sale price stipulated for each country (see http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/shipping-globally.html).
- The item must not be ineligible, illegal, hazardous, subject to export restrictions, prohibited by eBay, or prohibited by the Global Shipping Program. See the eBay User Agreement and the Global Shipping Program policies and FAQs for complete details.
EBay have given sellers some tips to help them to get the most business and get their international selling on eBay as effective as possible:
- Your international buyers will see an estimated delivery date of the amount of time that you will take to dispatch the item, the time that it will take to get to the central delivery centre and for the item to then be shipped to them.
- Make sure that you add your international returns policy.
- Create a shipping label on eBay to be able to properly track the item.
- Think about offering free domestic shipping to get a 5-star detailed seller rating for shipping cost.
- Upload your tracking information to eBay.
- Give specific weight and dimensions details to avoid potential delays and problems.
- Don`t combine orders – each should be packaged separately.
- Only send the item(s) once the payment has gone through.
Selling items to an international audience is an excellent way to grow and expand your business, and with eBay it is even easier and more practical. By following the tips and guidelines you can allow eBay to help you to open up a whole new world of business for you and your company.
If you have any questions about how to use eBay for your business, shipping items internationally, eBay`s Global Shipping Programme, or need help with your business`s web design and digital marketing, get in touch with Studioworx either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone +44 (0)1482 659362 or the website (https://www.studioworx.co.uk).