Choosing Marketplaces as Your Cross-Border Shipping Choice

Merchants looking to test the global waters can start by selling on ecommerce marketplaces. And that’s exactly what 53.6% of MCM Outlook 2016 respondents said they are doing, whether it’s through Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, Newegg, Alibaba’s Tmall and TaoBao, MercadoLibre, or others.

[Related: Which Cross-Border Shipping Choice is Right for your Business?]

Amazon allows U.S. merchants to sell their goods globally; however, merchants that want to sell goods in other countries have to use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. FBA will help the merchant with the translation, tax and fulfillment of that product across borders. If you have a growing number of orders from a particular region, FBA will also move some of the inventory there to keep the product as close to the consumer as possible. Shipments to foreign addresses are not allowed to be returned, however, even if requested by the customer.

The seller authorizes FBA to, at its discretion, abandon to the carrier any shipment to a foreign address that is refused or damaged, or that is otherwise prevented, or to gift such shipment to the customer on the shipper’s behalf.

eBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP) streamlines international selling by automatically including all shipping and customs charges in the buyer’s purchase price and reducing the retailer’s effort to a simple domestic U.S. shipment at no additional charge.

In addition to the final charges, the buyer sees the amount paid to the seller and the amount paid to the global shipping provider. The seller receives the item price and the domestic shipping and handling amount that you specified directly from your buyer.

According to eBay, it uses experienced international shipping operators to handle the international leg of the shipment. The retailer delivers the package to a domestic U.S. address where GSP takes over. Once the seller has shipped its package to the domestic address, everything else is fully automated.

Last June, Newegg announced that sellers on its international marketplace could now fulfill orders directly to customers, even if they don’t have an established U.S. presence. For example, if a business is based in Australia, that business can ship directly to its Australian
customers who purchased from the Newegg Australia site. Further, sellers can now set country-specific selling prices, enabling them to respond to changing market demands and customize pricing to remain competitive in each partcular market.

This option is available to sellers in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, India, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Poland and Singapore.

MercadoLibre currently operates from two warehouses in the U.S.: One in Florida (for Brazil, Chile and Colombia) and another in Texas (for Mexico). This option is only available for U.S. sellers, but it also means MercadoLibre will take care of the international portion of shipment and deliver the item to buyers.

Tim Parry is Multichannel Merchant’s Managing Editor.

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