|Tue Nov 6 2012 11:59:56|
Would Listing on International Marketplaces Help Your Sales?
By: Julia Wilkinson
You may already be shipping some orders to other countries via sales on eBay's or Amazon's US sites, or other US marketplaces with global reach. But what about listing your inventory directly on international marketplace sites in those countries? Could your products be missing out on significant sales because you are not listed where these international buyers live?
Nowadays there are many options for sellers who want to get their products seen in Spain or featured in France. And big marketplaces such as Amazon are encouraging sellers to think outside of their own country's box, as it were. To that end they recently launched a free "Global Selling with Amazon" Guide, available from here in Seller Central, or via http://amzn.to/Tt3XpZ. And just yesterday they launched FBA for Canadian sellers, which Ina wrote about here.
I'm wondering how many of you sell products that you think have global appeal, and do you think you would sell more if you listed your items directly on these marketplaces? Aside from establishing there is demand for your products in a certain marketplace, there are suddenly other business concerns to think about, such as any international product restrictions, international tax issues, and whether you'll need to translate your products' descriptions into, say, German.
In their Global Selling with Amazon Guide, Amazon points out that "many product listings are already translated into other languages," and you can use the listings tool to search the Amazon catalog to see if your product is already listed in the desired language. If it is not, however, you do need to translate the listing yourself. This may mean hiring a translator, or enlisting the aid of a multilingual friend; Google Translate is known to produce some translations that, while they may be helpful, they can also be awkward and even funny.
A while back I wrote about what people in foreign countries want to buy; things like Disney items had strong demand in Canada, and Harley Davidson and Under Armour brands were reportedly popular in the UK.
How about you? Do you plan to dip your toe in the waters of foreign seas? Or are you already listing on international marketplaces now, and what has your experience been? What have your biggest barriers been? Post a comment here!