This post is dedicated to one of the easiest, yet often overlooked methods for growing an eBay business – selling on eBay local sites.
When I consult eBay businesses, one of the first things I ask is usually – Do you list on other eBay sites, ones beyond your local eBay?
Most times, the answer I get is something like – “No, I don’t know how to register / list on other eBay sites”.
In this post, I’m going to share how we more than doubled our eBay sales simply by listing on international / eBay local sites, and how you can do the same to grow your business by selling on eBay worldwide.
Why list on eBay local sites?
For us, being located in Israel is mostly a disadvantage because of the following:
- We need to ship overseas – which is time consuming and expensive.
- We have no neighboring countries we can trade with
- Most importantly, there are no eBay local sites. By default, Israeli merchants are allocated to eBay.com – the biggest eBay site.
Having no eBay local site, Max and I were forced to sell on international eBay sites like – eBay.uk, eBay.de, eBay.fr, ebay.com.au etc..
This fact drove us to discover exciting markets on eBay worldwide sites. In fact, we always found eBay.com to be the least attractive one. The competition is fierce and the price wars are shrinking the profit margins to virtually non-existent.
To support my point, check out the post I dedicated to a research regarding eBay international sites – Top selling items on eBay. This research will give you a taste of what the business on international eBay sites looks like.
Like I mentioned above, most eBay sellers who have a national / eBay local site don’t look beyond it and only list locally. At best, sellers indicate that they ship internationally, but don’t actually create dedicated listings on other eBay local sites thus missinga huge opportunity to grow their business.
How we doubled our business by selling on eBay international local sites
eBay’s latest data shows that ~59% of transactions on the platform are international.
By offering international shipping, you significantly increase the chance of getting a sale. However, there’s much more you can do on the international front.
We managed to more than double our eBay sales by creating dedicated listings on eBay local sites (which means login to a local eBay site and creating a listing from that site, versus creating a listing on ebay.com).
Let me explain the difference between indicating that you ship internationally and creating dedicated listings on an eBay local site.
I searched eBay.com.au, the Australian eBay site for a specific golf club, here is what the results looked like –
Three things to notice here:
- eBay separates listings that were listed on a eBay local site from listings that were listed on other, international, eBay sites.
In this example, the results you see are from US sellers who indicated that they ship to Australia.
- eBay automatically converts prices for listings that were not listed on the local site.
Again – these are USD prices that eBay converted to AUD.
- Listings created on an eBay local site appear first in search results, while other listings appear further down the search which means decreased visibility.
Advantages of listing on eBay local sites
From the above, you can clearly see that creating a dedicated listing on an eBay local site gives you some major advantages:
- Your listings will appear above ALL foreign sellers on search results.
- Your prices will look natural / round in the local currency to the local customers.
So, now that we understand the “Why?”, let’s discuss the “How?”
How to create listings on eBay local sites
There is no need to create new eBay account in order to use an eBay local site!
It’s pretty straight forward – you can use your existing eBay user id and password to login to ANY eBay local site.
So, for example, if you are registered on eBay.com and want to list locally in the United Kingdom, simply go to eBay.co.uk and login with your existing eBay credentials –
There are differences between the interfaces of different eBay sites, but those are pretty minor.
Please note that you can only have one selling manager and store subscriptions, so if you are subscribed to these features on eBay.com, they will not be available on other eBay sites.
In our case – once we identified that our target / main market was in fact the UK eBay site, we opened a new dedicated account for our UK business – and subscribed to an eBay Store from eBay.co.uk, thus enjoying the discounted listing and final value fees for transactions made in the UK.
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Ok, but what about non-English speaking eBay local markets?
I absolutely love the non-English eBay sites! They usually have much less competition and much higher prices thanks to the language entry barrier.
It’s not really that complicated though – if you know the menus of eBay.com, you will find your way on eBay.de without speaking German.
Let me show you –
Here is what the interface looks like on eBay.de, “Mein eBay” is “My eBay”:
Here is what it looks like from inside –
You can see that it looks just like the English sites and that you don’t really need to speak German to be able to find your way around eBay.de
How to choose the right category on a non-English eBay site
It might be challenging to choose a category in a foreign language. The method we use to overcome this is simply searching eBay for similar items and seeing which categories are used for them.
In this example, I’m looking to list a golf club on eBay.de. I searched for “golf” and clicked on a listing I recognized as being for a golf club (based on the image).
Once inside the listing, I see the category and can now easily choose it when creating a listing of my own.
How to create listing descriptions for non-English eBay sites
This is the tricky part. We started by listing in English, but quickly discovered that our sales went up when we translated the listings to local languages (German, French, Spanish etc…).
Here is what I suggest for each of the following scenarios:
When listing generic items
If you’re selling a generic item (Like Garmin car GPS), the manufacturer will usually have a description in other languages on their site. You can use that for your listings.
When creating one fixed-price listing
If you list one or only a few listings that generate most of your sales – you can go to fiverr.com and invest $5-10 to get your description translated from English (Fiverr is a very popular platform for micro jobs).
When selling Used and unique (non generic) items
I would not recommend investing in translating each and every item’s description. You should start by listing in English.
When you get to the initial transaction and sales – focus on professionally translating at least the static parts of your listings description, your policies, about us, etc…
Key takeaway: It’s better to have a proper English description than a broken foreign language description translated by Google translate. It will probably look fishy to a local customer.
How to provide customer service on non-English eBay sites
When you get a message in a foreign language, you can simply translate it using google translate, or you can use browser add-ons that will make it even faster for you.
It’s usually ok to reply in English! Don’t hide behind your listings, make sure that your listings state you are from outside of that local country.
In the rare cases when your customer doesn’t understand basic English, it’s ok to use google translate – this is not publicly advertised and, as long as you provide the info your customer needs, he will be happy, even if your “German” is in fact “google translate”…
Listing locally on international eBay sites is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient tactics to growing your eBay business.
You don’t have to copy all your listings to another eBay site, Start with a sample of items – list your best sellers on some eBay local sites, start with the “low hanging fruits”, list on other English speaking eBay sites as well.
If that goes well – advance to other markets!
Here’s how we’ve done it:
- We first listed everything on eBay.com
- We then took our two best sellers and listed them on another English speaking country – eBay.co.uk
- Once we saw that was going well, we listed on eBay Australia (English speaking country).
- We then decided to go for a non-English speaking country and our first choice was Germany as it’s one of the biggest eBay international sites.
- After we started seeing sales in eBay Germany we went all out and listed on eBay France, eBay Italy and eBay Spain.
The fact that there is a language barrier should not scare you. If you’re a good merchant – you will make a French customer as happy as a US one!