How to sell internationally on eBay

eBay is a global online marketplace that allows shoppers to search for an array of products, while also giving independent sellers an opportunity to build an e-commerce business of their own.
 
As of 2017, eBay has over 169 million buyers and it is one of the top online shopping sites in the United States. More than 100 million monthly visitors check out eBay, and the brand has also created one of the best mobile shopping apps in the U.S.1
 
For online sellers who want to grow their business and enter the international marketplace to take advantage of buying trends in various countries throughout the year and avoid stagnating profits, eBay could be a viable platform. If you are interested in learning how to sell internationally on eBay, the tips below will help you get started.

Sign up to become an eBay Seller

Before you can begin selling your products internationally, you need to set up your eBay seller account by registering with the website.
 
During the setup process, you will need to confirm your name and address, as well as your phone number. Then you will need to choose the automatic payment method that you will use to pay any required seller fees or Money Back Guarantee reimbursements. And the site also recommends getting PayPal Verified too. 
 
After your account has been set up and approved, you will be allowed to start listing and managing your inventory. But if you wish to work on an international level, you will have to take a few additional steps.
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Go the next step and start selling globally

To begin selling internationally on eBay, you will need to familiarise yourself with applicable laws in the countries in which you plan to sell your products. On top of that, you will be required to:
  1. Prove that your account is in good standing
  2. Be PayPal Verified with an active PayPal account
  3. Earn a minimum of 10 feedback points as an eBay seller
  4. Prove that your first sale was made over 90 days ago
  5. Read and sign the International Selling Agreement

List your products internationally

You have a couple of options when you are ready to list your items for sale globally on eBay:

  • List a product on another country’s eBay site by going to eBay.com, scrolling to the bottom, and selecting the country you want to sell your product in. Select “Sell” and then create the listing.
  • Utilise what is known as the international site visibility upgrade for your listing. This upgrade could be purchased in order to boost your listing’s visibility in relevant search results. If you are eligible, you will see the option to add this upgrade to your listing before you submit it, but there is a separate fee for every nation that you select. Be sure to also choose your preferred shipping option so that international buyers will know how much they will need to pay if they purchase your item.

Provided that your listings are set up in a manner that follows eBay’s guidelines, you can begin selling internationally. Otherwise, your listings might be removed and your ability to sell on the site might be restricted.

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Things to consider when listing your items

eBay leaves it up to you, the seller, to perform the appropriate research in order to avoid problems when exporting products internationally. So if you are planning on listing products for sale globally, you will be responsible for ensuring that every listing and every transaction complies with applicable laws both in your home country, as well as in the buyer’s country. This is why eBay strongly encourages its sellers to devote some time to learning about the laws at home and in the countries where they are hoping to conduct business.
All items sold must comply with applicable export and import laws. In other words, any products that you are planning on selling on eBay should be cleared to be shipped outside of your country. Certain products might require a special license, or they might be banned from export. In the same way, products that you sell should not encounter any issues when being imported into your buyer’s country, so it is important to check on restrictions. For example, some countries will not allow the importation of products in categories that include plants, foods, books, luggage, and clothing.  
 
Sellers can decide what countries they would like to ship to, and they can also select buyer requirements in order to exclude buyers from the nations that they don’t want to ship anything to.
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International shipping tips

If you are a seller who is located in the United States and you are shipping your products to eligible countries, you could use eBay’s Global Shipping Program. This allows you to ship orders to a U.S. shipping centre, where international shipping experts will manage the customs and shipping process for you.
 
However, even if you do not use the Global Shipping Program, you could use eBay’s calculator to determine the shipping expenses to any nation. You can provide details like your preferred method of shipment, the locations you’re shipping from and to, and the dimensions and weight of your package so that you can get the most accurate cost. Learn more about your landed cost.
 
International buyers will generally pay for additional costs that include customs clearance fees, taxes, and duties. These will vary from one country to another. To cover yourself, it’s important to specify in all of your international listings that the buyer will be responsible for paying additional fees that are not included in the item’s price or the shipping rate.

Bring your profits home

Whenever you sell internationally, you need to figure out how you will bring your money home. While other payment providers can hit you with high transaction fees and margins, OFX’s Online Seller account allows you to keep more of your earnings by helping you save up to 75% whenever you transfer your money into your domestic account.*
 
For additional tips and guidance on how to do business internationally the smart way, check out our Guide to Doing Business Overseas.
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Maintain your international eBay business

Once you get the hang of using eBay to sell your products around the world, you can sustain an international online business that will give you the opportunity to earn a passive, or perhaps even a full-time, income. 

*Average savings based on a sample of published transaction fees for cross border payments provided by Amazon and PayPal dated 8.24.16.  Quoted savings are not indicative of future savings. Occasionally, third-party banks may deduct a fee from your transfer before paying your recipient. This fee may vary and OFX receives no portion of it.

Sources:

  1. https://www.statista.com/topics/2181/ebay/  
  2. http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/sell-getstarted.html#create
  3. http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/international-trading.html
  4. http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/questions/sell_international.html
  5. http://pages.ebay.com/help/pay/ship-internationally.ht