Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri June 24 2016 21:36:56

Is Brexit Uncertainty Impacting Online Sales?

By: Ina Steiner

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The UK will withdraw from the European Union, and it will presumably have a minimum of two years to draw up new trade agreements with the EU, its biggest trading partner. 

Prior to Thursday's referendum, marketplace sellers in the UK seemed unconcerned about the immediate impact of a Brexit vote, believing their country would have plenty of time - and leverage - to forge new agreements with the EU. (See more background in Thursday's Newsflash.)

As the reality of Brexit was sinking in on Friday, some eBay sellers in the UK voiced their concerns. "If you remember the recession, the biggest problem with the recession was not the economic downturn. The biggest problem was customer fear. The fear stopped them spending money. Your customers changed today. The world changed today. We have no idea what the consequences will be but our businesses are now under the threat of uncertainty."

Some eBay sellers even said sales had stalled immediately after the referendum. 

But one user replied, "Just when I thought I'd heard it all on here, someone blames their lack of sales on brexit. Unbelievable!"

On Amazon's US discussion board, a seller questioned the impact on that marketplace. "Will the exit of the UK cause a major disruption in how Amazon runs its International Business," the seller asked. "They certainly won't be the door to the rest of Europe anymore."

Another saw it more positively, writing, "Amazon sellers and Amazon itself have had lots of problems with EU regulations."

On another thread on the Amazon UK boards, a seller explained the impact Brexit could have on the cost of inventory:

"Our products come from both the EU and the far east. The products from the far east may have a smaller import duty imposed by the UK than the one imposed by the EU. so we may benefit there.

"However the products we sell that originate in the EU may now have duty on them.

"The only positive thing I can see is that all retailers will have to adjust their prices by the same margins, either up or down dependent on the changes in import duty."

CNBC reported on the issue, noting that Brexit would impact trade, "massively affecting Amazon's business in Europe," but it devoted a lot of its coverage to an issue some may not have considered: cheap labor.

Noting Amazon's investments in the UK and its plans to open two new UK fulfillment centers and adding 2,500 new permanent jobs in 2016, it wrote, "There's a good chance that hiring could become more difficult, as Amazon relies on low wage, often immigrant workers to staff its fulfillment centers,... who may suddenly find it harder to work in the UK."

We'll have more on Brexit next week. In the meantime, do you think UK's departure from the EU will make cross border trade more difficult? And do you think there will be be a chain reaction?




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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Jun 25 06:33:17 2016

Jeff Bezos , owner of Amazon, is a member of the "Dirt Cheap", whilst stuffing his own pockets.
It is This type of person that needs to be eliminated from the economic landscape in order for life to become better for us.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 25 08:06:13 2016

Congradulations to the people of the UK for finally pulling up their boot straps and facing their own future.....

Instead of being told what to do by Germany they can now do what they think is best for them.

You go United Kingdom Happy freedom days. Scotland will be next.

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 26 03:40:34 2016

Scotland wants to stay in the E.U.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sun Jun 26 04:30:32 2016

It's not all over till the fat lady sings; the BREXIT referendum is not binding; the ultimate decision for the UK to leave the EU still resides at Westminster, and the vast majority of the elected members of that body are opposed to leaving ...

By the way, it's been reported that Herr Drumpf was unfamiliar with the term "BREXIT"—LOL ...

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jun 26 08:28:45 2016

There is also a petition to push forward a new referendum. It's a very divisive issue that doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon.  

The people have spoken however...the horse is out of the barn.

As how it would impact sales, with the fall of the pound sterling, it might actually bring on some cross border sales.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 26 11:29:00 2016

No one needs to be in the EU or the UN or any other cockimany group

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This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Sun Jun 26 13:34:23 2016

The currency fluctuation following BREXIT will impact exchange rates for purchases on eBay, Amazon, etc. An item listed for 50 Pounds Sterling ($1.478) $73.90 on Wednesday will now be shown at ($1.325) $66.25. That's fine if the Seller bought the item from a second hand shop; but if the item was purchased new from Hong Kong or Paris then the price may need to be adjusted upward to reflect the new restocking cost. Otherwise the Seller may be left holding the bag.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Jun 26 14:46:31 2016

Bon voyage to the New World ODOR.
What a stupid idea That was.

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

Sun Jun 26 16:04:33 2016

I stopped selling to the UK a few years ago because of the unjustifiably high International First Class shipping prices, high import duties resulting customers abandoning parcels in UK Post Offices, and mandated astronomically expensive return shipping costs to sellers. I also believe ebafia's global shipping program is a monumental rip off for both sellers and buyers.

I don't see any of the above changing as a result of Brexit.

Britain will likely go into a recession which would decrease business even if I still sold to them.

Until ebafia makes all buyers -- especially international buyers -- FULLY responsible for their buying decisions including paying for return shipping if a parcel isn't picked up and develops an HONEST Global shipping program, the number of countries I ship to will continue to dwindle.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Jun 26 17:55:08 2016

The UK is one of the few countries that I actually ship to.  But, like Ming said, postage rates have made sales to collectors there a non-starter.  Even Canada, barely 500 miles to the north, is prohibitive.

Funny how these phony trade deals subsidize imports on our dime but we can't catch a break on exporting.

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by: Clothing Seller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 27 03:33:00 2016

Brexit is the most insignificant "news story" ever when it comes to doing business with eBay.  It's a non-issue.  Our issues are that we are micro businesses trying to operate on the backs of large corporations and crooked government officials who are being blackmailed by the Chinese government.  Until things like Brexit happen, the new world order will always keep greed a #1 priority at the expense of those deemed less significant.

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This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
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Mon Jun 27 05:51:48 2016

We voted to leave the EU because of too much uncontrolled immigration and because we dont like bossy,arrogant bullies telling us what to do. The one time politicians (like the war monger Blair) and his cronies now getting all excited about another referendum etc should remember the second point.
In reality Brexit makes buying goods from the UK cheaper in real terms,postal rates etc are irrelevant really for sellers,all of you will pay the same charges so if you cant sell then thats your fault. The British have always fought best when they are up against it. I'm glad my countrymen stood up yet again against domination by a foreign power,remember,a long time before all this EU malarky it had the worlds biggest navy and an empire the largest in history. We dont have to ask anyones permission to stand on our own two feet.

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

Mon Jun 27 06:46:08 2016

@baconsdozen,

Funny, many of the U.S. states feel the same way about the U.S. Federal Government—"interfering" in the business of the states at every opportunity. Do you think that any of those U.S. states also should try the same thing—again?

Just like eBay "interferes" in the business of all the sellers trying to make a living thereon—It's the American way—LOL ...

But, by all means live in the glory of your long past empire, if that makes you feel any better ...

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 27 06:47:24 2016

If eBay profits are short in the next quarter I feel pretty confident that they will blame it on Brexit.  :)

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 27 09:38:42 2016

In my case, no. eBay has made it so expensive and risky to sell internationally that I no longer bother.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jun 27 16:45:23 2016

"postage rates are irrelevant so it's your fault"
Insane postage rates are every bit as relevant as high fees and poor visibility.  If you can't understand that all of that is built into prices, don't come here and lecture us.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Tue Jun 28 00:27:01 2016

If I lose any business over Brexit I will consider it my contribution to 'the cause.' Haven't felt this passionate over European politics in decades.  

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 28 07:30:05 2016

I only ship internationally to Canada.  No effect on my sales.

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jun 28 09:03:26 2016

There is more to selling to those in the UK that is a consquence of the Brexit. The US stock market has dropped well over 800 points in the last two market days since the vote. When people see the stock market falling they may tend to not spend on on-line purchases depending if something is a want or need.

As to how the Brexit thing has effected our sales individually, I think it is hard to determine why we might or might not have sales. My June sales always tend to be low, but has the slowness of the last few days been because of Brexit, or regular slowness or what, no one can really know. For those that want or need something to blame for poor sales I guess they can always blame it currently on Brexit.

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 28 09:23:32 2016

People like PC should stick to commenting on e-commerce rather than engaging in political discourse and other topics which they obviously know nothing about.

Baconsdozen got it right about Brexit and Trump happens to be the only candidate out there who understands how our businesses are being destroyed by China.

Your idols HRC and the other commies are all about the New World Order that is just another dictatorship bent on destroying Capitalism.

By the way, that is what our small businesses are all about- Capitalism.

But I assume to much to think that the know it alls have actually read any books on history or economics.

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