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Seven Tips for Attracting International Buyers

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News Team
News Team



Looking for a way to boost sales? Silly question. Who isn’t, right? Offering your items to an international audience is one of the easiest ways to make it happen.


It might sound intimidating, but international selling and shipping doesn’t have to be scary. In this blog post, we’ll share tips for making your listings attractive to global buyers to maximize your international selling opportunity.


Let’s start by talking about how to do international shipping on eBay. Your first option is to ship your items directly to international buyers. List an item, and to give your buyer an accurate cost, you have to figure out international shipping costs, import taxes and forms, etc. If the item sells to an international buyer, you mail the item to them directly.


If you’re hesitant to ship directly, there’s another way. You can sell all of your eligible items through eBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP). It’s as easy as domestic shipping – all you need to do is list your item and select GSP as a shipping option. If it sells to an international buyer, you ship it to the Global Shipping Center in Kentucky. After it reaches the Global Shipping Center, it is shipped to its final international destination.


The Global Shipping Program has lots of benefits for both buyers and sellers, including:


  • Global reach with the ease of listing domestically. First, determine if you are already enrolled in GSP, by checking HomeMy eBay > My Account > Site Preference> shipping preferences. If you need to enroll in GSP, you can opt all your eligible items into the program at once.


  • Seller protection. The Global Shipping Program protects sellers in cases where the item is lost or damaged during the international leg of the trip.


  • Buyers see the all-in costs upfront. They see one price for shipping, which includes all shipping, import charges and taxes.


Get all the details, including extensive FAQ’s, on the GSP site.


 Seven top tips for attracting global buyers.


No matter which shipping option you choose, be sure to make your listings as attractive and understandable as they can be for a global audience. Here are our seven top tips for getting your listings internationally ready.


  1. Consider that the buyer might not be fluent in English. When creating your listing, all of the standard listing best practices But, you’re your description easy for non-English speakers to understand or translate.
    • Leave out subjective words like “excellent” or “flawless”
    • Stick to the facts: describe the item in plain, simple terms
    • Don’t confuse your buyer with lengthy rules on how to buy from you
    • Make sure your return policy is clearly stated


  1. Use Product Identifiers. Adding identifiers like Brand, MPN, or GTIN may help increase the visibility of your items, both on eBay and in search engines like Bing and Google. Get the full story on why they are so important.


  1.  Make sure the buyer understands exactly what they’re getting.
    • On clothing or other small items, include metric as well as imperial measurements
    • When describing capacity for items like coffee mugs or kitchenware, include measurements in both ounces and milliliters. Here’s an easy converter.
    • Don’t add a US coin to show scale – this may confusing to non-US residents.
    • For electronics, disclose the type of plug – different regions use different types, and your plug may not be compatible in all countries.
    • For items like cell phones, we recommend you confirm with the potential buyer that the phone will work in their country and on their network


  1. Consider global demand. Do some research to understand the demand of your items in different countries. For instance, if a product is rare or popular overseas, you may be able to get a higher price.


  1. Be aware of different terms for items in other countries. Take some time to research relevant keywords. For example, what we call a “sweater” in the US is called a “jumper” in the UK. And, women’s “underwear” in the US are called “knickers” in the UK.


  1. Do what you can proactively to prevent returns. While some of the reasons that international buyers may return items are out of your control (changed mind, just didn’t like it), focus on the ones you can control.
    • “Doesn’t fit” returns may be prevented by taking lots of measurements in both inches and centimeters.
    • “Doesn’t match description or photos” may be prevented by uploading detailed, close-up shots and using all 12 images in your listing.
    • “Doesn’t work or defective” return claims might be avoided by double testing. Make sure the item works when you list it, and again when you prepare to ship it. Avoid damage by packing the item securely and giving it the Shake Test.


  1. Finally, thank them. eBay seller Kathy Terrill likes to include a handwritten note saying “thank you” in the buyer’s native language.


Are you shipping internationally? Mention a few countries you’ve shipped to in the comments.


I am an international buyer and I use freight company services. They have mutual offices here and in the US and UK. This is the best thing for international buyers.



I want to share your posts on my Breaking eCommerce News FB page, but when I go to Share and FB, the photo doesn't transfer over. Is there a way to correct that?


This statement is misleading and appears to be an attempt to scare sellers into using GSP. "Your first option is to ship your items directly to international buyers. List an item, and to give your buyer an accurate cost, you have to figure out international shipping costs, import taxes and forms, etc. If the item sells to an international buyer, you mail the item to them directly. ". There are no import taxes for the seller to figure. It is up to the buyer to be aware of those costs. And there really aren't complicated forms to fill out. Most good shipping programs do this automatically for you. It's as easy as shipping across town. I know, i do it all the time using USPS, FEDEX, AND UPS. I've had statically more problems with missing mail on domestic packages than ive had on international packages. The GSP is more expensive for buyers as well in that they are charged for essentially double shipping. They are also charged customs fees which may or may not be charged to them when shipped directly.

by wrthster1 · Adventurer

I think the eBay Global Shipping Program is a great program that is easy to use.   It takes many of the complexities out of selling internationally.   As an eBay Consultant, I always recommend it to my clients.

by jeannasmom · Adventurer

GSP is absolutely a rip-off and not worth the money!   Most buyers don't want to pay double for what is already expensive. international shipping.  


I tried to use calculated shipping for my international buyers because I see a lot of complaints about GSP cost. The calculated price shows one figure before hand, then the buyer pays two thirds less. I eat a lot of costs. One would think that after years of the same old problem that this would be fixed. What gives?


Why Does The Lady In The Picture..  Nevermind.


Recently sent a swimsuit to Australia  , a vintage Voice-O-Graph from the 1950s to the UK. 


by sale_usa · Rising Star
Rising Star

 Does anyone know hoe to add U.K. site visability to auctions/sales posted here in the U.S.?  Btw, the GSP is not the answer I'm looking for becasue that doesn't make your items visable over there -I've looked into it.


The advanced listing form has a checkbox with a dropdown selection for UK visibility for 50 cents. It's under the international shipping section.