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Experienced in expansion: marketplace tips from successful online sellers - World First Blog

Who better to turn to for advice on cross-border selling and international marketplace expansion than the very people who have been there and done it? Here, we offer our favourite tips from a selection of World First customers who have been there, done it and have the revenues to prove it.

Tip #1: Think like a buyer

When listing your products on a marketplace, be sure to take a step back and think about how it looks from a potential buyer’s point of view. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself; “What would I like to see if I was the buyer?”

Tip #2: ‘Busy’ and ‘successful’ are not the same thing

The aim is to make sure that you are profitable and not just busy fulfilling orders, dealing with returns, and looking after admin. Successful sellers ensure that they are busy doing the right things.

Tip #3: Get your pricing right

Sounds obvious, right? But how do you know what is ‘right’? Work out your margin carefully and make sure you are competitive whilst also factoring in all your costs and local tax requirements. Tax rules and regulations vary enormously by country so make sure you do your homework. And don’t forget that your time is a ‘cost’, so make sure you allow for that too.

Tip #4: Stock-up. Golden rule: do not oversell!

Successful businesses are able to strike the balance between being able to fulfil every order that comes in quickly and efficiently and not tying up capital in unused stock. It’s a fine line though. If you can’t fulfil your orders quickly, your reviews and ratings will suffer and that can damage your brand. Get your back office as automated as your funds will allow.

Tip #5: Look after your public-image

It may sound obvious, but high-quality, hi-res images of your products are essential. It might be a good idea to invest in a quality camera – or even a quality photographer – to present yourself and your products in the best possible light. You need to look as professional overseas as you do at home.

Tip #6: Commit to selling internationally

It may seem to make sense to test things out by ‘going international’ on the cheap, but if your translations, distribution and returns policy, for example, are not up to scratch, you’re unlikely to succeed. No-one likes waiting to receive orders, no matter what market they are in.

Tip #7: Avoid fees and protect your margins

International expansion will inevitably add layers of complexity to your operation, but you needn't let transfer fees and uncompetitive exchange rates add to your headache. If, like lots of marketplace sellers, you are a low-margin, high-volume business, fees and uncompetitive rates can damage your margin. Through World First’s great exchange rates, we could help you make significant savings compared to using a bank (or the marketplace’s default currency option) when bringing back your hard-earned sales.


World First is a specialist currency exchange provider helping thousands of online marketplace sellers save money on their cross-border transactions. How? By making sure you avoid hidden foreign exchange costs with access to free international receiving bank accounts and great exchange rates.

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