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Grow Your eBay Business and Make More Money selling on eBay by Looking Overseas

December 11th, 2006 by Skip McGrath

The drop of the US dollar versus the British Pound and the Euro makes eBay US goods a bargain for Europeans.

My daughter-in-law just returned to England to visit her parents for the holidays.  I got an email from her and she was complaining at how expensive everything was because the US dollar has fallen so low against the British Pound. Then today I was reading a newsletter for eBay UK sellers (UK AuctionLine) and they mentioned the same thing as it relates to selling on eBay.  Their buyers are finding bargains on eBay US and their sellers are having problems selling to the US.

In the past year the dollar has fallen in value against the British pound (GBP) and the Euro (Eur) more than 12% and it is down almost 30% against these two currencies over the past two years.  When the dollar falls it makes it more expensive for us to purchase goods from overseas using dollars, but it also makes our goods less expensive to those who can buy in Pounds and Euros.

If you don’t understand currency fluctuations that is OK.  Let me put it in simple terms.  Someone working in the UK is paid in GBP. Most of the rest of Europe uses the Euro.  Just like us they have expenses for food, living transportation and so on. And they usually have a little extra money for shopping.  Lots of people in the UK and the rest of Europe shop on eBay. 

Lets say someone in London wanted to buy one of my Starbucks City Mugs.  Currently I list one of my most popular mugs with a a Buy-it-now price of $29.  That is GBP 14.80.  But a year ago that same mug would have cost GBP 16.57.  If someone in France was buying that mug it would cost Eur 21.89 today, but a year ago it would have cost Eur 24.51.

Most US e-commerce web sites will not ship overseas. So at the moment, eBay US is the place for Europeans to hunt for bargains.

There are two ways to offer your goods on eBay internationally.  You can actually open an account on eBay UK or eBay Germany, eBay France, etc., or you can list your items on eBay US and specify which countries you will sell to in your listing. The second way is much easier and except for the UK, unless you can read and write in French or German perhaps the only way to go.

When you list an item on eBay’s Sell Your Item Form, there are some check boxes that come up when you get to the shipping part of your listing.  All you have to do is check the boxes for the continents and countries you will sell to.  Now when someone in one of those countries searches on their home-country site it will also show results from eBay US.

There are some problems and pitfalls with selling internationally but most of them are exaggerated.  We have been selling overseas for the past five years.  Yes we have had a couple of transactions go bad, but we have also made a lot more money than we would have if we had only sold domestically.  Overseas buyers will often pay far more for an item that they will here in the US. 

I don’t have room in the blog to cover all the ins and outs of selling overseas, but if you want to start selling on eBay overseas, click here to read some really good information from eBay to help you get started. My daughter-in-law, Lissa, recently wrote an article about creating internationally-friendly listings for AuctionBytes that you can read here.

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