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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2747 - February 24, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 5

eBay Urges UK Policy Makers to Help Sellers Export Goods

By Ina Steiner
February 24, 2012

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eBay UK is urging policy makers to do more to provide advice to businesses on how to sell overseas. The company said the damaging impact of the Eurozone crisis and domestic inflation on sales has led to half of online businesses expecting to rely more on export sales more in the future, and 60% of online businesses claiming to have exported more since the recession began in 2007.

A survey of more than 1,000 online businesses conducted for eBay UK by FreshMinds found that two thirds (58%) expect the Eurozone crisis to directly result in a slump in export opportunities, and one-fifth expect China to be the most important export market after Europe by 2013.

In a press release issued on Thursday, eBay UK said half of the businesses questioned identified friends and colleagues as the most useful sources for providing advice on how to sell overseas compared to only 7% that said they would contact the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and 6% that would turn to UKTI - the Government's main export arm.

Rather than seeking advice from specialist organizations, 59% of businesses turn to retail platforms such as eBay for advice on international trade.

One third (34%) of low exporters are likely to see the complexity of legal and regulatory regimes as a barrier to boosting export sales, compared to less than a quarter (23%) of high exporters. In addition, a lack of trust in foreign shoppers is a concern for 42% of low exporters compared to only 24% of high exporters, and almost twice as many low exporters (24% versus 13%) see a lack of understanding of foreign markets as a hurdle when selling outside of the UK.

Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director of eBay, said cross-border trade represented a massive economic opportunity for the UK, and said, "Government and policymakers must do more to ensure services and organisations are equipped to provide expert advice on exporting to all businesses, but especially to those businesses that haven't given it a go before and are often held back by a simple lack of understanding."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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