EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 180 - December 03, 2006 - ISSN 1528-6703     2 of 8

eBay Selling Strategy: Creating International-Friendly Listings

By Lissa McGrath

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Earlier this month, AuctionBytes Newsflash reported that 70 percent of visitors to are from outside the U.S. (See "International Visitors Drive eBay Traffic," More and more international buyers are turning to for their purchases because of the variety of items, better prices, and exchange rate. This means that sellers on who make their listings international buyer-friendly are more likely to get sales from this market. provides a service that allows sellers to display a map showing all of their international transactions. CEO Brian Lawe said showing potential shoppers that you are an active international seller builds confidence in buyers from other countries. New users can get a 90-day free trial of the service at There are a number of other things sellers can do to increase their appeal to international buyers, according to Lawe.

  1. Before you post a listing, imagine you are a buyer from another country using English as a second language. Does your listing title and description still make sense?
  2. Many European countries use Metric measurements (kg, cm, mm, etc.) instead of Imperial (lb, oz, inch, etc.), so make sure to specify both.
  3. Clothing sizes overseas are very different from in the U.S. If your garment shows multiple sizes, make sure to include them all in your listing. If not, display a converter table that shows the different sizes for each country (you can find these by searching on Google, or any other search engine).
  4. Consider having a separate eBay ID for international sales.
  5. Offer many types of shipping at an affordable rate. Shipping is not the place to increase your profits for international sales.
  6. Post auctions directly on the local sites for other countries to catch buyers who don't check There is less competition on the local sites, so you can often get higher final values.
  7. Go to for tips about international selling, shipping, services, and more.
  8. I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said "England and America are two nations divided by a common language." This is very true. Make sure you know the spellings for certain words, like Jewellery, colour, etc. that are different in other English speaking countries. Europeans learn the British spellings not the American ones when they learn English as a second language. You can check by writing it in MS Word and changing the language to English U.K. then running a spell check.

About the author:

Lissa McGrath is the author of three eBay books, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to eBay" 2nd Edition (Alpha, 2010); "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to eBay Motors" (Alpha, 2008); and "20 Questions To Ask Before Selling On eBay" (Career Press, 2006). She is also the editor of eight other eBay books.

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