The more the merrier! That’s so true when it comes to sales.
An online seller always looks for ways to increase sales. I’ll tell you a sure fire way to improve your sales numbers.
You want to know about it because you’re an online seller or you’re looking to be. How I know?
Because you’re reading this blog, DUH!
Even if you have a physical store, you’ll benefit from this too. Here’s a little background: eBay Power Up magazine recently interviewed John Burger who’s eCommerce and Online Marketing Director of Precision Time Company (you can download the magazine if you want to).
They sell watches in their physical store and in their eBay store. John Burger made an excellent point and that’s the subject of this post. He said:
Since we started offering international shipping in June 2011, international sales now make up over 50% of our total eBay sales.
Yes, accepting international orders and ship internationally is an easy way to increase your sales. My own international sales make up even more than that of Precision Time.
My international sales make up more than 65% of my total sales! The number of my international visitors is in average 40% more than US visitors.
When you start shipping internationally you put your items in front of hundreds of millions more potential buyers! Imagine how much more sales you can have by having that much more customers.
Decided to go international? Not so fast!! More traffic and sales doesn’t come all free and effortless. There are benefits and drawbacks to worldwide shipping. I summarized them below. Review them then determine for yourself if global shipping is for you.
- Increased sales: I talked about it above. That’s the best benefit of offering international shipping.
- You can charge shipping fees with no FVF on shipping: eBay will not charge final value fee on international shipping if you offer free domestic shipping so you actually charge shipping without paying FVF on it.
- You will be eligible for global Top-rater Seller status: in addition to US TRS, you can be global Top-rated seller. You won’t get any FVF discount and I’m not sure if your listings a boost in international search results. That’s why I put this “benefit” in the last place.
- Feedback increase: The more you sell the more the number of feedbacks you get. Buyers generally prefer to deal with someone with decent number and percentage of feedback.
- Returns: If something goes bitter for the buyer, eBay and PayPal usually make you accept the return and issue full refund. That means you would lose expensive international shipping costs.
- Package can get lost or damaged: I strongly recommend buying full value shipping insurance. That way you can file a claim if package is lost or stolen. I’ve hit hard in this area. In many cases I lost a portion or all of the item value because I didn’t have shipping insurance. For that reason, I won’t ship with USPS Priority Small box because it’s not eligible for shipping insurance. USPS has lost more than one of my Priority Small Flat Rate boxes containing iPods. Be careful with this.
- The “Shipping and Handling Charges” DSR can take a hit: Unless you offer free international shipping, it’s very likely that you get less than 5 stars or even low DSR in the Shipping and Handling Charges because you won’t have seller protection in there. Some buyers leave less than 5 stars in this category no matter how low is the shipping charge. Offering free international shipping is not feasible for many sellers unless they sell really light items and they don’t mind pressuring the profit margin to protect their DSR.
Hopefully I could be of some help so you know a little more about global transactions. Do you ship internationally now or are you going to? What’s your experience?