Selling Internationally - Is your product in demand?
Friday May 15, 2015 | By Dan Hawkins
by Mic Burns, Volo Account Manager
Selling internationally isn't as easy as eBay would have you believe. There are many obstacles to overcome, hoops to jump through and time and resource to be spent getting the foundations in place.
I've recently discovered a little technique to help gauge demand for your items on international markets. In many cases we've seen items with low supply in foreign markets, which drives the price up (in some cases up to 3-4 times higher than in the UK).
You'll need a Terapeak account to run this process (but don't worry, Volo can help you set this up) - in my opinion you should already have one (!), but if not you can sign up to the free trial to follow this through. This technique works best with branded goods, but can work with more generic searches too.
Log into Terapeak, and navigate to the "Product Research"
Choose ebay.co.uk, enter a keyword or identifier, set the date range to "90 days" to increase the sample set, and hit GO.
In this example I'm using ink cartridges from one of my clients, as they all have a model number. The item I'm researching is a "HP 91 Matte Black & Cyan Printhead HP Designjet Z6100 / C9460A". However, I know the model number will only bring up the relevant item in question so "C9460A" will work fine.
In the "views" section, select the last icon "international sites".
You'll now be looking at the same product search, but this time across international markets.
Right away at a quick glance, you'll notice the 4 successful sales we've just seen on ebay.co.uk, followed by two other eBay sites with both a much higher average selling price AND more successful listings during that same time period. Notice also, the sell-through rate is higher in both cases (more than double on eBay.com). Seems like this item could have a lot of potential for selling internationally in both America and Germany.
Have any of my UK competitors already spotted this opportunity?
Let's find out by taking this a step further! I want to know out of those sales on eBay.com, how many UK ecommerce sellers were in the mix. Jump into the "Show Product Filters" bar, and set the "Buyer Country" to "United States", and the "Seller Country" to "United Kingdom". Click "Apply Filters".
Terapeak now filters only UK sellers who have sold to US buyers (i.e., your cross border competitors).
Potentially great news - there are no sales from UK sellers on the eBay.com platform. Your item is selling for almost 3 x average selling price and at almost 10 times the selling velocity!
Couple of pointers:
If you're researching new stock, you can use this technique to get a feel for potential international sales opportunities.
Sense-check the results. If a seller has a bundle of 5 of the item in one listing, this would skew the ASP (average selling price).
If you're selling NEW items, you likely won't want to see any refurbished or used items as again, this will skew the results. In the filter area we saw above, there's an option to filter on "condition" which will negate this.