Top Online Marketplaces for International Ecommerce
Thinking about taking your business beyond U.S. borders? You’re already familiar with Amazon and eBay, but here’s a look at the top international marketplaces you should consider as well if you want to reach customers outside of the U.S.
- Alibaba owns several smaller Chinese marketplaces, including Taobao, Tmall and Tmall Global. These sites each have their own requirements for product type, transaction fees and other selling requirements, and are helpful in assisting sellers in becoming acclimated to the their market.
- Etsy, an American marketplace, attracts artistic buyers and sellers from all around the globe. As a seller, keep in mind you’re limited to dealing in unique, handcrafted and limited manufactured goods.
- Mercado Libre, the most popular Latin American ecommerce site, has a special focus on Mexican and Brazilian transactions. The site features a Cross Border Trade program for foreign sellers and requires listings in the native language of where you’re selling, but offers assistance with translation, payments, logistics and localization.
- Newegg, a formerly electronics-oriented marketplace opened to third-party sellers, has expanded its offerings to sporting, automotive, clothing and other products. Newegg currently features more than 700 third-party sellers, all of who must undergo an approval process before signing on.
- Rakuten, a global network of Japanese-owned marketplaces, is open to buyers in Europe, the Americas and Asia, with special Japanese-market-only perks that include the ability for U.S. sellers to create a branded storefront.
- Sears.com, a distinctly American name, has a large international presence as well. Third-party sellers may choose from three services—Advertise on Sears, Sell on Sears, and Fulfilled on Sears.
Before you start selling internationally, start thinking about these points that are unique to the global market.
- Consider fit. Many well-known American marketplaces deal extensively overseas, but some markets, including Russia and Asia, have their own active marketplaces that are open to foreign sellers. Consider the market share of the countries you’re considering selling in and whether opting for a new marketplace will improve your bottom line.
- Delivery details. If speed of delivery is a major concern for you or the marketplace you choose, consider whether you have the ability or overhead to keep up with the higher costs of expedited shipping. Some international sellers have dedicated outposts in the countries they deal with to help speed things along.
- Return to sender? In some countries, buyers are more prone to making returns than American shoppers. Make your return policy clear, and consider instituting stricter policies, such as limited return timeframes.