Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Jan 20 2013 21:31:15

eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

By: Kenneth Corbin

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In the months and years ahead, sellers can expect to hear a steady diet of news from eBay about its efforts to expand into overseas markets, opening potentially lucrative new sales opportunities in countries with increasingly affluent and Internet-connected populations.

Already, eBay has established a strong presence in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia, but efforts to crack the emerging markets with major population centers have been moving more slowly.

Sure, news has been trickling out about the company's incremental progress in the international market - a PayPal trial here, a milestone in mobile apps there - and CEO John Donahoe lately has been bullish about the opportunities in emerging markets, particularly in reaching consumers via mobile devices. But where was the overarching strategy?

We were curious. So we got in touch with eBay International and spoke with global communication director Steve Milton about the company's designs on emerging markets, specifically in the heavily populated BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Milton made it clear that eBay, as it looks to build its business in foreign markets, has the twin goals of providing buyers in those countries with a reliable, consumer-friendly shopping experience, while also expanding sales opportunities for its sellers in the United States and elsewhere, who have historically had limited access to those markets.

What was striking about Milton's outline of eBay's strategy for China, in particular, was how easy the company is trying to make the process for U.S. sellers. In November, eBay announced a deal with Chinese ecommerce company Xiu.com to act as a conduit for U.S. sellers and Chinese buyers.

Milton explained that Xiu.com will provide top-to-bottom logistical support, but it will all be on the back end, unseen by sellers. That means that a seller could process an order and not even know that it's ultimately bound for China.

An order will come in with a domestic shipping address - that will be to a warehouse, where Xiu.com will then relay the merchandise to China and handle the local delivery. That's on top of the company's responsibility for payment processing and currency conversion, language translation to display listings in China, and oversight of customer service, including returns.

Now what works in China (if it works, and a big "if", at that) might not become the model for Russia and Brazil, where eBay is also looking to expand its operations. (India stands alone among the BRIC countries as an established eBay business, a "going concern," as Milton put it.)

Each market is different, to be sure, but a common thread is that all of the BRIC countries represent an enormous opportunity for U.S. sellers.

Click through to read our full report in Monday's newsletter on eBay's plans to open markets in the BRIC countries for imports, and let us know about your experiences selling overseas, along with anything you think eBay has done well or could do better in the international marketplace in the comments section.

See eBay Sees Huge Potential in Emerging Markets: Part One and Part Two.

About the Author
Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects since 2007, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here.




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Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 20 22:17:16 2013

It's almost laughable, we used to sell to all of those countries regularly other than China until ebay's drive for free U.S. ship, a move we had to make in order to avoid DSR dings by U.S. buyers but international buyers for the most part couldn't wrap their head's around a discount we attempted in every way to educate them on. Then it was ebay's interference with the international ship calculator which displays incorrect rates for multiples and also doesn't include our minor handling fee for every item as it should, instead only item #1 as well as improper availability of services displayed as an option for packages that can't go via those venues due to weight limitation.

Finally, those are the countries where members almost to the last are constantly asking that customs documents be falsified.

Our international sales dropped 80-90 percent as a result of the moves related in paragraph #1.

Get a life ebay albeit a small life, you're done, pack it in.

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Jan 20 23:06:39 2013

I do sell internationally and wish ebay's global shipping program wasn't an all or nothing.  At least that is what I understand it to be. Some items I would like to ship directly on my own without the program. Also, insurance will cover only until the plane lands in several countries including Russia. If anything goes wrong, ebay passes all blame onto the seller. Instead of ebay supporting their customers, the seller, they are quick to throw them under the bus.

''Milton explained that Xiu.com will provide top-to-bottom logistical support, but it will all be on the back end, unseen by sellers.''  I am pretty sure sellers are tired of everything being unseen. I know ignorance can be bliss but in ebay's case sellers know what they don't see and know can hurt them.

If ebay wants ANYTHING to work, they need to work on getting sellers to trust them. Sellers want to know that ebay has their back and not look for a knife instead.

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 20 23:44:38 2013

AMEN!

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: happyharry This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 20 23:50:33 2013

We have been international sales only on eBay since 2001, our help from ebay has been ZERO …in fact a big fat ZERO.

We have lost numerous accounts down to idiotic ebay policy’s (the BBE being the worst and always due to situations not under our control) and of course dumb buyers who want items for almost nothing but won’t wait the shown delivery guide before giving idiotic “when will my item arrive” feedback 3-4 days after purchase on a delivery guide of 2 weeks????...we dont even make new accounts anymore thats how un-important ebay has become to us.

How about refunds on ALL extra fees our INTERNATIONAL postage generates…we don’t mail anything domestic...never have and CS have never answered our question about the unfair postage fees AND POSTAGE CAPS on us...just some cr@p about increase sales with free postage???? ARE THESE PEOPLE INSANE.

Ebay forget it you are 3rd rate compared to Amazon

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: happyharry This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 20 23:55:19 2013

LOL just re-read the article:

Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Postage/Customs clearence times to, Brazil 4-10 weeks, Russia up to 3 Months, India up to 8 weeks and China 10-21 days

Until ebay sort out the Negative FB over customs clearence you would need to be Brain dead to even consider these markets...I know  

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: Truk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 21 00:07:00 2013

Ya know if ebay could i'm just say'in if they could just fix the search here in the USA ,yea.......
I'd be good

That'L work for me

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jan 21 00:12:28 2013

Forgot to mention, insurance is not covered for items going to Brazil and I think Russia also. If you do send anything of value to these countries, send it registered mail. All still a gamble.

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: Sales Smith

Mon Jan 21 01:10:50 2013

We avoid shipping to Brazil because of the long customs delays and the fact parcels rarely receive location scans once they leave the US. Customers have become wary and are inclined to require a lot of “nurturing” to help them feel secure about their items eventually arriving. Even express mail is slow there.

Never sold anything to China, they don’t seem to buy from US sellers, not at all- zero and the same thing goes for India. I think we might have sent one item to India in twelve years but I can’t even remember if this is true.

Russia, now here’s a marketplace we’re all interested in getting in on… not! As mentioned above, even the insurance companies won’t insure parcels to many locations due to rampid theft.

Can't ebay do something more significant that bring their sellers more ways to get hosed? Does everything they come up with have to be a raw deal for their sellers?

Until all the various postal services unite and develop quantifiable standards such as regular scans INCLUDING in and out of customs, international shipping will be avoided my many. Since profit is so tight these days, many sellers can not absorb the losses so they sell in safer marketplaces.


I agree with “bitbybit”s comment about ebay needing to prove to their sellers that they can trust them.

They can open up every marketplace on the globe but if ebay keeps feeding sellers the swill while looking the other way when things go bad, they shouldn’t expect to gain much from opening these marketplaces. Don't think it will do much good for the buyer experience either, ebay is just too toxic.

If anyone has ever come here wondering why so many sellers complain about ebay- it boils down to one thing- we just can trust ebay one iota. There are only so many lies one can take and most of us are way beyond believing or trusting anything ebay comes up with. Sad but true.

Has anyone here ever shipped a parcel to China?

It appears the route between the US and China is only one-way. Besides, what are we going to send- the same crapola which originated there?

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jan 21 02:09:46 2013

eBay can make all the moves they want to make shipping internationally easier for USA sellers...

While they are doing it they can COUNT US OUT.

eBay has yet to do a satisfactory job growing sales here in the good old USA.

eBay management ignores input from sellers, but they want us to help them grow international sales with our inventory?  I think not.

Unless and until they pull out all the stops here at home by; removing all the selling obstacles they have erected, implementing drastic policy changes to better protect sellers, reducing seller fees at both eBay and PayPal, and prove that eBay culture has changed so that sellers are no longer considered "noise" by upper management,  I will be damned if I will help them grow their overseas sales with my inventory.






Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 21 02:50:15 2013

The U.S. Post Office will not Register or insure mail to any of the BRIC Countries. So anyone shipping to any Russia, China, Brazil or India would have a good chance of donating their items to Ebay's new charity locations.  

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Jan 21 07:56:45 2013

It's too bad... the industrial repair parts that sold well for me here in the 2000's (before industry went completely overseas) would probably sell well, as replacement parts to these countries.

But  like others have said: I simply cannot take the chance on mailing them off a cliff, so ''NO''  until the supply chain is hermetically sealed end-to-end.

Hell, I'd rather continue to sit on a 40-foot trailerload of 'em!

I would wager that high (or even full) item exposure is a part of this program. What foreigner would tolerate Best Match even for a minute?

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: Here We Go Again This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 21 08:33:37 2013

As usual, more lies and deception. Anything to make eBay look "good."  
Sellers are leaving in droves, the great items you could find 24/7 are not here anymore.  
As someone mentioned, selling to Brazil or Russia is like donating your items and then of course having to pay a fee for that donation.
eBay is grabbing at straws.  I predict a slow death, and they'll fight, lie and spin all the way.

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: GazLanNaThai This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 21 12:58:44 2013

Oh Ina,

I am so disappointed that you've been caught drinking the kool aid with eBay.

You and I both know this would be at least the third time eBay has tried to break into the Chinese market, and they have been wittering on about Asia's "developing markets" since at least 2004 ... remember I was one of the eBay and PayPal pioneers in SE Asia and they crapped all over me when I got too successful for them to handle (before ebay.com.sg launched).

EBay trying to break into East and South East Asia is nothing new - they've been trying for at least 9 years and failed at every attempt.  The only reason they're using someone like xiu.com is to attempt to avoid the eBay name coming once again to the attention of Chinese officials on the ground there.

As for Russia and Brazil, I used to sell regularly to those, on eBay, until eBay froze out payment methods other than PayPal.  Eastern Europe/NW Asia, and South America don't like PayPal - the payment methods they do like have been outlawed on the eBay platform ... in fact it was at the start of that policy that my sales to those markets dried up on eBay, even though they continue happily on my own sites.

India?  Dead loss, don't even try selling there is my experience - and I've tried since 2003.

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jan 21 14:11:59 2013

Ebay is their own worst enemy. They only have to look in the mirror and all the destructive policies and rules against their own sellers to see where they lost millions, more like billions, over the years.

International countries don't particularly like the USA in the first place and ebay solidifies that view.

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 21 16:10:47 2013

Ummm let me get this right ... eBay crows about making sales to those countries, yet goes out of its way to stop/hurt/delay sellers who do try to sell there.

eBay & the Magic Post Office ...
1) ebays new global shipping program doesnt serve any of those countries ... if they were so interested in getting into those markets, why didnt they ask thier buddies in PB to help?
2) eBay removed express and priority mail to ALOT of countries .. way to go there eBay. PSSST I asked my local post office and they said they know nothing about any restrictions. They know nothing and eBay (in general) knows nothing - matching pair!
3) No one in China buys stuff from the US on eBay - its the reverse - and eBay knows it. In fact eBay went into collusion with USPS to get items out of China at less then what we would pay to get stuff there and lets Chinese sellers claim 1 day shipping/processing. COME ON EBAY - STOP LYING.

A good portion of my sales comes from international customers and eBay has NOT ever been interested in working with me - when theres a problem its ''chargeback city up to 6 months later''

This article is another BS propaganda piece sent out by eBays BS dept .... it reeks SO bad ....

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Jan 21 16:40:08 2013

@GazLanNaThai,

Don’t blame the Steiners for publishing the nonsense that habitually spews from the eBay Dept of Spin; they are simply the meat in the sandwich comprising the much abused eBay merchants and the, becoming more and more desperate every day, headless turkeys running around in circles in the eBay executive suite …

Still, your comment is an interesting insight into some of the poor decisions habitually being made by these incompetent, greedy, cretins—to the cost of all concerned … Your comment on PreyPal is particularly informative … Regrettably, people who think that they are in such positions of power are probably bound to act this way … That’s why businesses (and politicians) come, and eventually go …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jan 21 17:49:36 2013

Idiots.
All of those emerging markets have well established auction sites already.

Ebay tried to break into New Zealand and could not, and they will not in China or Russia

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jan 21 18:29:47 2013

When ebafia's ill conceived same day delivery farce and its pickup for consignment fleecing scheme fail, they can ship those branded vans to the BRIC countries and deliver our packages to buyers.

In most cases, this is the only way of reasonably assured delivery.

They can add Spain, Italy, and many of the eastern European (former Soviet satellites) to the list as well.

The problem is the postal and possibly customs services in the aforementioned countries suffer from the same flaw as ebafia does: criminal greed.

Pierre, The Ho, the ebafia BoD, and complacent stockholders destroyed their own nest and are now desperately looking to replace the billions in lost revenue they themselves are responsible for.

It will simply fascinating to see if ebafia can figure out a way of making currently unsafe countries, which represent most of the world both in terms of population and numbers, safe to ship to.

I'm guessing that this initiative is for primary benefit of Chinese sellers selling on the American site and his precious Diamonds so they can sell more to Russia, India, and Brazil.

Even in my most generous frame of mind can I imagine The Ho doing anything substantive to help small to medium US sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 22 18:22:04 2013

GIMMEABREAK!

Ebay: We are anxious for MORE of you filthy sellers to be ripped off MORE by dishonest buyers that we will not remove from the site.

Until ebay cracks down on international scamming, this is all just a bunch of Wall Street directed SMOKE.
More same ol, same ol,

Ebay: Sellers big and small cannot afford to be continually lied to and ROBBED by international buyers.
4-5 international buyers a month already STEAL from me and ENJOY MY ITEMS FOR FREE and you want me to INCREASE these intl. sales???
STEER ME MORE US BUYERS and GET RID OF international buyers that make excessive claims- LET US WARN OTHER US SELLERS that an international buyer claims INR's- DO SOMETHING Ebay and stop SPINNING THIS SMOKE.
MH  

Perminate Link for eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets   eBay Working to Broaden Sellers' Access to Emerging Markets

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Mar 29 11:33:37 2013

"As someone mentioned, selling to Brazil or Russia is like donating your items and then of course having to pay a fee for that donation."

Truer words were never spoken.   But you can add all of South America and Mexico to that, as well as Greece and Italy.



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