It’s easy to forget that the web is ‘worldwide’! Here’s an often overlooked way to increase your online sales…
I am always amazed at just how many online sellers – particularly eBay sellers – don’t bother trying to expand their sales reach by using the most simple of strategies – and that’s by listing on other eBay sites – i.e. going international.
It’s really not difficult and will increase your traffic and sales many times over. In fact, this is probably one of the easiest, most effective ways to build traffic and sales.
Now, just to make things clear, by listing on other eBay sites I don’t just mean ticking the ‘Worldwide’ box on your shipping options! I mean literally translating your description into the appropriate language (where necessary) and listing your products on eBay.com, eBay.fr (France), eBay.it (Italy) or eBay.de (Germany) etc.
Your eBay ID is universal which means that you can visit any eBay site in the world and list your items for sale exactly as you would on eBay UK – how handy is that!
Unfortunately, eBay’s rules are such, that they won’t allow you to add international visibility via your UK listings for Buy It Now’s, although you can do this with auctions. So, for Buy It Now listings, going directly to the site you want to list on is the perfect way to get your products seen in other countries.
Don’t jump straight in and start listing your whole inventory on every eBay site you can think of though! It is definitely worth a test with one or two of your products on one or two sites so that you can see just how well this strategy will help you – and it can be advantageous in more ways than one.
Remember that even if viewers in those other countries that you list within don’t buy the product you have listed there, they will almost certainly take a look in your eBay shop and at your other listings and may purchase one of your other products, so this is a great way to increase traffic AND sales at the same time.
As I have said, listing on other eBay sites is simple, but there are a few things that you must get right in order to get the most out of it. After all, you will have to pay for each extra listing you add, so you need to ensure that you have the absolute best chance of making sales from these extra listings.
If you already have a great listing formula going keep the layout the same, so:
- Don’t change your listing format, but;
- Do emphasise your speedy dispatch and good customer service
- Do speak the language of the site you are listing on
- Ensure you have enough stock to fulfill extra orders!
I’ll run through each of these now in brief!
Don’t Change Your Listing format
You should already have a hot product on your hands before you start adding listings to other eBay sites because the chances are that if it’s not selling well over here, sales won’t improve massively over there – unless you are absolutely certain that your product is more in demand in certain countries compared to others!
So, once you are successful with a particular product on eBay UK, that’s the time to look further afield and start listing on the other eBay sites. What you want to aim for is duplication of your current eBay UK listings so that you are literally doubling your profits (then when you add your listings to a third site, you are tripling your profits and so on).
Imagine if you had 10 hot products and each of those was then listed on 4 different sites – what an impact on your traffic and sales that would make!
So, assuming that your listing is selling well in the UK, don’t change your description format at this stage. If it’s a formula that works, stick with it.
Listing on foreign eBay sites is exactly the same as listing on eBay UK except that the ‘sell your item’ form, ‘categories’, ‘submit’ buttons etc. will all be in the language of the site you are listing on. Simply log in using your usual ID and password.
The categories will be pretty much self-explanatory and in a similar order to eBay UK but honestly, it really doesn’t take much common sense to work it out.
Do Emphasise Your Speedy Dispatch And Good Service
When you list on another eBay site, the search results will show that your item is ‘From United Kingdom’ (or in the case of the German site ‘Ort: Grosbritannien’). This happens whether you list in English or the language of the country because your original listing has been submitted via your UK login.
With this in mind, it is important that within your listing description, or by way of adding a subtitle, you emphasise your fast dispatch and excellent customer service.
Why? Well, because your buyers are in Germany or France or whichever country you have chosen to list in and you and your product are in the UK and so buyers will want reassurance that you will post their goods promptly and offer them help and support with their order should they require it. This will give your buyers much more confidence to purchase.
Do Speak Your Buyer’s Language
I know that speaking your buyers language really works, because of something that happened to me a little while ago…
Don’t worry it’s a short story! I had found a really great product that I had thoroughly researched and knew would sell well in the UK. I listed 100 of this particular item on eBay UK but set my shipping terms to dispatch worldwide – as I always do. At the time, this was a 10 day listing and within 3 days I had sold the lot! But that’s not my point here…
The amazing thing was that about 80% of the buyers from my UK listing were from France and I got a lot of feedback in French telling me how amazing my product was!
It became obvious to me from the feedback comments and the amount of French sales, that French people couldn’t buy this product in their own country (don’t worry, it wasn’t illegal – it was just a kitchen gadget!) and so I ordered more stock and listed it specifically on the French eBay site – and what’s more I made sure that this time, the description was written in French.
Now, because I had listed it in France, and in French, I pulled in even more sales than the first time round, simply because my listing was written in my buyers’ own language and on their own site.
Although many buyers from around the world look on eBay UK, some won’t because they can’t speak English and don’t understand the descriptions or they just prefer to buy from their own country’s site. So, in listing this way, I had targeted the exact people that wanted my product.
So, how did I manage to translate my listing in to French? Well I used an online translation service. I used http://www.freetranslation.com and I recommend you go for the ‘professional’ translation rather than the freebies, as the freebie translations don’t always make complete sense!
If you don’t want to use the free translation website then here’s another way to get your listings translated, and actually this is often a cheaper way to do it. Go to http://www.elance.com, post your job and then wait for the quotes to come in!
Once you have got your descriptions translated, simply list them on eBay France, Germany or whichever site you have chosen and watch the sales happen! You will be able to see all your listings even if they are listed on other sites independently through Selling Manager Pro in ‘My eBay’ although your pricing will appear in Euros.
Ensure you have enough stock to fulfill orders!
Okay, this all sounds great doesn’t it. But I am am well aware that with expansion, comes extra costs and you may well now be thinking that if you are going to list your products internationally, you’re bound to need more stock to be able to keep up with the orders. And yes, this is absolutely true.
So how are you going to be able to afford to invest in much larger quantities of stock? I know from experience that traditionally, eBay sellers have struggled to get business loans for stock (been there and tried that!) which is not only very frustrating but also demotivating – especially if you are all fired up raring to go.
Just recently though, I’ve become aware that there is help available – in the form of a UK company called IWOCA. Now I’ve spoken with the IWOCA staff myself in order to find out all about their service and frankly I am very impressed with what they have to offer. If you’d like some more background info, they were featured in the Daily Mail last year but here’s what they are all about:
IWOCA will actually lend you up to £20,000 short term as a small business loan. You will need to be an established eBay or Amazon seller to qualify, as they will review your annual trading sales and your customer feedback scores before they give you an estimate as to how much they will lend you.
All the details are here
This won’t be for available everyone as you do need to have an online selling history already, so unfortunately it’s no good for start-ups, but if you are already established (even if your turnover is quite small) they aim to help you out where traditional banks and lenders simply won’t, so it’s well worth a look.