Tuesday February 18, 2014
Selling on eBay is going through some interesting changes for eBay sellers, requiring some new thinking about both UK and international parcel delivery.
The recent release of eBay trading results for the final quarter of 2013 revealed changes in eBay users’ behaviour with mobile devices, the number of eBay sellers offering free delivery and the growth in international sales. The good news is that we can help you with some delivery tips to make the most of these eBay trends.
Making eBay selling easy with mobile
eBay’s figures showed that 40% of users in Q4 2013 were coming from mobile devices – and with the simplicity of mobile technology, it’s not surprising.
eBay smartphone apps allow you to take photos and add them to listings, scan a product’s barcode which then automatically populates the product information from eBay’s online catalogue, include additional details such as handling times and returns policy and keep track of items listed. What’s not to like about that?
The final part of the jigsaw – eBay’s suggested shipping cost – is something worth reviewing: comparing eBay’s suggested costs with potentially cheaper prices available in the parcel delivery market means that you could end up offering a better range of delivery costs and service options for buyers. This will result in a happier customer and is great for building and protecting your buyer feedback and seller ratings.
But that’s not all. There is also an opportunity to make an extra margin on postage and packaging if you identify high quality delivery services but at a cheaper overall price. For example, rather than opting for a Royal Mail Next Day service at £26, you can find a Same Day collection and delivery service for £18: a better service at a price that should please the customer and allow you to make a bit extra on delivery. Using an online parcel comparison service such as My Parcel Delivery can help you do that.
Free postage tips for eBay sellers
More than 55% of eBay sellers are offering free delivery to buyers, according to eBay’s recent results – and there are good reasons for it.
Free postage and packing tends to boost conversion rates, while you can ensure it’s a viable option for your businesses by spreading the cost among the overall prices of your products. But what must you be aware of when reeling in buyers with the free delivery hook?
- Make your free delivery an economy, 3-5 day service if appropriate for the product being dispatched and offer a premium (Next Day) delivery service as an option to buyers at an extra cost.
- Free delivery on large items needs some understanding of what a large parcel is and what can happen if a seller sends a parcel via a delivery service with limits and possible surcharges if the parcel is too big and heavy. Measuring and weighing the parcel carefully is vitally important to avoid penalty charges or having the oversized item being returned to the sender. Rather than taking chances, it’s better to speak to a parcel delivery specialist adviser and get a comprehensive understanding of the options for delivering your large item.
Selling on eBay – international deliveries
International sales now account for 61% of total eBay sales – a 10% year-on-year growth. But what does it involve if you’re supplying international customers?
It’s not just a case of boxing up a product and sending it off into the sunset! Sellers often need assistance with the processes involved in sending a product overseas and this means having the full details of the person receiving the item, understanding who pays the import duty and taxation, preparing documents declaring whether the product is for private use or sale and being aware of some of the general and particular issues around sending goods to certain countries.
For example this year’s host of the World Cup, Brazil, has recently changed its import delivery regulations which means the sender has to know the personal tax number of the buyer in order for the parcel to reach its destination. Turkey disallows the importing of mobile phones and Russia has a cap on the value of products one individual can receive; those are the rules for just three countries – and we are delivering to more than 200 countries!
Also, depending on whether you choose to send via air or road will affect whether products such as perfumes or containers such as aerosols will actually be allowed through customs.
Once again, getting advice from parcel delivery specialists will smooth the international journey when exporting your products.
So, as eBay’s latest figures suggest, both new and experienced eBay sellers should be looking forward to a period of growth – and ensuring the right delivery costs, services and knowledge are in place are essential parts of your e-commerce success story.
If you’re ready to send a parcel, you can click here to book online now.
But if you want to ask advice on how to send your parcel and what courier company to choose, get in touch with My Parcel Delivery’s team.
Thanks to the Channel Advisor Blog for the useful summary of eBay results from the sellers’ perspective.