Increase your auction profits by selling internationally


Increase your auction profits by selling internationally

By Michelle Jansen
Author: eBay PowerSeller Tips and Tricks

Keywords: eBay, sell internationally, Australian eBayer, go international on eBay, online auctions, eBay tips, eBay help

Summary: Increasing profit is what every online auction seller wants. No ifs. No buts. Why then do so many sellers cut out 90% of their customer base by not shipping to International destinations?  It's easy. It's smart and you can very quickly minimise any of the risks.


As an Australian eBay buyer and seller, I can conclusively state that if you open your auctions up to international bidders, you will get more bids. This will always translate into a higher sell price, which obviously means more dollars your pocket.

Nothing frustrates me more than wanting to buy something but having the auction state US bidders only!. Its plain and simple discrimination and for what reason? Im still trying to figure that out.

The only foreseeable hurdles are:

  1. Receiving payment. No problems. PayPal makes it very easy to accept international payments. Even $US cash is an option (in all our years and thousands of transactions, weve only had one or two cash payments go missing). There are other options too including secure credit card directly.

  2. Higher shipping costs. No problems. 99% of auctions state that the buyer pays shipping. And believe me, as an international bidder, I expect shipping to be more than stated if the item is in a different geographical location from me. Heck there are many times Ive purchased items internationally where the postage/shipping has been more than the actual item cost. You might wonder why Id bother. Simple. The total cost (winning bid plus shipping) is still a bargain to me. As a seller, I work out an international shipping rate based on the highest international rate and disclose that in my auctions. Then, I will inform the winning bidder if its a bit cheaper. That way, they are even happier if they save some money unexpectedly. 

  3. Extra paperwork. No problems. Use your normal postal service (they require less paperwork than logistics companies like FedEx). Then charge a bit extra for handling. It takes me about 30 seconds to fill in the extra paperwork. This can all be wrapped up in your disclosed shipping cost in the auctions. 

You have to remember that items have different values in different parts of the world. An item that might be considered common in your region may be a niche product on the other side of the world. But if you limit your sales to local ones, you miss out on a HUGE opportunity. I know if I limited my sales to local ones, I simply wouldnt make anywhere near the same money as I do by opening bids up to the whole world.

I trade under more than one eBay id and I help my husband out with his eBay sales. Our best sellers are almost always the items we can purchase locally at very attractive prices and sell internationally at high closing bids because overseas people value those items more highly than the locals. This is the whole beauty of eBay it is an international marketplace - and it still amazes me how many sellers limit their sales opportunities by not taking advantage of that simple fact.

So go international and boost your profits!

Copyright 2003 Michelle Jansen

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