Where will my listings be seen, I ship internationally?There are many factors to consider if you wish to open up your listings to more buyers.
This article deals with how to get your existing listings seen by as many international buyers as possible, vs cost and effort, and looks at what a buyer sees when logging on to various Ebay sites.
I am writing from the point of view of a seller normally listing on Ebay.co.uk .
I have focussed this article firstly on countries with Ebay sites in English, or selling predominantly items described in English.
UK buyers, when searching on Ebay UK, see items in the UK, and items from outside the UK where the seller has listed on ebay.co.uk, or listed on ebay.com with international site visibility to the UK.
Items listed on other sites that have not upgraded are relegated to a lower international section of the page, only shown if there are few UK results.
Ebay.comThe US has a population of 315 million, about five times that of the UK's 62 million.
In addition, many buyers from other countries look on Ebay.com, for some of the following reasons :
- their country has no Ebay of its own;
- their local ebay is so small it displays Ebay.com results by default;
- their country's own Ebay displays poor results;
- for expatriates who may find Ebay.com a suitable site to use if they are already familiar with it.
So, if you want your items to be seen in the main search results of ebay.com, think about the following :
- upgrade your most popular listings for international visibility on Ebay.com and ebay.ca;
- list directly on Ebay.com (may cost more and you cannot do backwards visibility to the UK)
- offer free shipping internationally, and/or fill in all the international shipping sections of your listing with postage prices to all zones (even if free, list postage explicitly as £0.00);
- state within the listing that you ship worldwide - if you have space you can even add this to the listing title or subtitle;
Ebay sites in English, showing your UK listings in main search results (if you specify international shipping)- Ireland, www.ebay.ie .
The Ireland market is less than 1/10 the size of the UK.
You can list on the site directly but the site already includes UK listings in its main results, just make sure you specify shipping to Ireland.
I have sold quite a lot of items to Ireland simply by quoting international shipping.
- Singapore, www.ebay.com.sg , shows international results in the main listing results
Having said that, I have not received that many orders from Singapore.
Market less than 1/10 size of UK.
Countries with Ebay sites similar to the UK, showing local listings primarily:- Australia, www.ebay.com.au , population 23 million (about 1/3 that of the UK).
Your international listings are only shown where there are few local listings and presently no upgrade for Australia.
Listing directly is possible, but can be expensive.
I have sold quite a number of items to Australia simply by quoting international shipping.
- Canada, www.ebay.ca (English and French versions, total population 35 million, 2/3 of which speak English primarily)
Fewer orders than I might have hoped for, probably because the main listing results show all items listed on Ebay.ca AND Ebay.com which include shipping to Canada.
So UK items don't get much of a look in! You may be ok for speciality or niche items.
Upgrading to US/Canada site visibility may help but it seems a vast sea of listings for a relatively small population.
- Malaysia, shows international listings in a panel beneath local listings.
- Philippines, shows international listings in a panel beneath local listings.
Countries with Ebay sites in English that do NOT display Ebay UK listings at all.- India, www.ebay.in
It is very hard to list on this site directly without being resident or having some presence in India.
International listings are NOT shown, hence I have received virtually no orders from India.
They do not seem to look at other eBay sites, or maybe they are restricted from using other sites because Paypal is not commonly used there, and is very restricted.
New Zealand, uses Ebay.com
- New Zealand, typing www.ebay.co.nz now converts straight to www.ebay.com
(Trade Me is most popular in NZ but you cannot just sell into there from outside NZ).
I have had hardly any sales to NZ. Three sales in two years out of my thousands of sales.
Why? Shipping is quick, usually 5 or 6 days. NZ population 4.5 million.
Where do New Zealanders shop for their imported items?
Population less than 1/10 size of UK
Ebay International MarketThis group of countries have Ebay sites that show listings only from ebay.com, ebay.co.uk, and ebay.de .
You cannot list directly on these country sites.
- Czech Republic
This is a big potential market - and there is no extra cost to including your listings on these Ebay sites.
To get exposure in these markets, you must list international shipping rates to Europe, and you must NOT use the Immediate Payment option on your listings.
I have removed many of my immediate payment requirements since learning this.
However I still list my very cheapest items with Immediate Payment because I hate chasing up tiny payments.
Bear in mind if the buyers do not perform a search in English they may not see your items.
There are a range of languages here, but it may be worth adding in some titles with German keywords? I have not tried this.
Here is Ebay's help page : Selling on the eBay International Market
Fully-fledged Ebay sites in other languagesThere are quite a few Ebay sites in other languages, some of which have a big local market.
Your usual listings may sell into these markets.
It may also be worth exploring dedicated listings in the local language with locally-used keywords.
This is much harder and may cost more than the revenue it may bring - but may well be worth testing if you stock items not available locally.
Many of these sites will show Ebay UK listings in the main search results, so you do not necessarily need to list on the local sites.
Ebay sites in other languages that show UK results in the main search (as at time of writing)
- France (www.ebay.fr , in French)
- Netherlands (www.ebay.nl , in Dutch)
- Belgium (www.ebay.be , in Dutch or French)
- Italy (www.ebay.it , in Italian)
- Poland (www.ebay.pl , in Polish)
- Spain (www.ebay.es, in Spanish)
- Switzerland (www.ebay.ch , in German)
- Hong Kong (www.ebay.com.hk , in Chinese)
Ebay sites that show UK listings as part of the International listings below main results :
- Germany (www.ebay.de , in German)
- Austria (www.ebay.at , in German, main listings from Ebay Austria, Germany, Switzerland, additional international listings in section below)
Ebay sites that do not show listings from Ebay UK at all :- Argentina (in Spanish, local listings only, Ebay ID not compatible, no sign of UK listings here)
- Brazil (in Portuguese, local listings only, Ebay ID not compatible, no sign of UK listings here )
- Mexico (www.mercadolibre.com.mx , in Spanish, Ebay ID not compatible, no sign of UK listings here)
- Turkey (www.gittigidiyor.com , in Turkish, no UK listings visible at all, Ebay ID not compatible)
- Taiwan (http://www.ruten.com.tw , no sign of my listings here)
- Thailand (www.ebay.co.th , in Thai or sea.ebay.com in English (South East Asia), I couldn't find UK listings here)
- Vietnam (http://chodientu.vn/ebay , Vietnamese, doesn't look at all compatible, no sign of UK items here, takes an age to load)
- Korea (www.auction.co.kr, in Korean, I can't find UK listings here)
- China (www.ebay.cn , in Chinese, a bit out of my depth here, does not seem to show UK listings)
I hope this guide is useful to you when considering selling to international buyers. If so, I'd really appreciate your Yes vote below.
I have written a separate article on the pros and cons and practicalities of shipping here : Shipping Overseas - a Seller's Guide
And I hope to provide more guides relating to international shipping soon.
I have written other Guides, if you are interested in reading them you can see a list of all my Guides here