124 million potential buyers visit ebay sites worldwide, either through and on the 14 country bespoke sites. Buyers from 208 countries without an ebay site see a buy-only version of ebay.com optimised for their location. When these international buyers visit ebay.com, they can only see listings that offer postage to their country.
Amongst these countries, there are:
- Smaller European markets with the potential for selling internationally, such as Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden
- High-potential emerging markets, such as Russia
Active visitors on eBay sites are:
- USA: ~47m
- UK and Ireland: >18.5m
- Germany: >17m
- Australia: >5.5m
- France: ~4.5m
- Italy: ~3.5m
- Spain and Portugal: ~2m
- Russia: 1m
More than 200,000 British companies have enjoyed great success on ebay, since it launched in the UK 15 years and many of those have been successful exporters.
One of these successes is Thingimijigs, a husband and wife team based out of Burnley, Lancashire. Rachael and Colin White started out ten years ago using ebay as a platform as it was an inexpensive place to showcase their branded gift sets for children.
They quickly found out to keep the overheads down by using the generic store page to save on ebay’s listing fees. They also use the flat monthly subscription fee as they have a very large product list. In 2014 they achieved more than £500,000 worth of sales using ebay’s virtual shop platform. Thingimijigs now generate 40% of the total business from ebay and 60% on their own website. A strong web sale presence and ebay have even got the products to Australia and the USA.
Whilst it is fairly easy to market products to ebay’s international buyer audience, it’s still essential to consider business best practice when it comes to selling internationally:
- A defined delivery strategy
- Language and cultural barriers to customer service
- Sales tax and customs charges
- Returns’ costs
- Local laws
- Time zones