Thinking of expanding internationally? Make the most of the online marketplaces to test the international waters. By using the infrastructures of the established marketplaces means there are low barriers to entry to foreign audiences.
Making the most of the fulfilment programmes run by Amazon (FBA) means it is easy to fulfil orders across Europe. You have access to Amazon’s European Marketplaces through a single seller account, allowing you to reach millions of potential new customers. Amazon will look after customer service in the local language as well as handle returns. They also offer a pay-per-use package where you only pay for the storage you use, and fulfilment charges for items you sell.
eBay, like Amazon, offers exposure to mass markets. Any item you put up for sale can be viewed and purchased by large numbers of people. eBay has localized websites in forty-two countries and is renowned for the safeness of its online transactions. In some locations, buyers can browse for items in their own language as well as see prices in local currencies
EBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP) is an easy way to test out international trade while only having to ship domestically. Shipping and customs charges are automatically included in the buyer’s checkout purchase total and the program is free for sellers. GSP can facilitate orders from more than 30 countries.
The Customer Experience
The benefits of using the marketplaces can include shorter shipping times, reduced transport costs and provide package tracking. A better buying experience means a win/win for both your and your customers.
International VAT Compliance
As your international sales increase, be aware of the international VAT laws. You, NOT the marketplace you use eg. Amazon or eBay, have the VAT obligation. As a starting point, get to know the VAT Registration Threshold which apply in each member country of European Union. Also be aware that if you use a fulfilment centre in another EU country eg. Germany, the movement of the goods to the other country to supply customers in that region triggers an immediate need for VAT registration and does not wait for thresholds to be exceeded.
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