How do online sales make life easier?
How to properly sell on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and AliBaba
As you prepare to expand into overseas markets, you are faced with the choice of setting up your own online store or using an available sales system. When considering the second solution, you have four of the largest global platforms to choose from: Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and AliBaba. However, which platform should you choose and how can you properly conduct your online sales through this platform? For example, do you need external services, such as human translation services or online English translation services?
We translate the product descriptions
Online sales - brief information about the sales platforms
Let's start with a brief description of the four platforms. Amazon.com was founded quite a long time ago in Seattle in 1994. The name itself refers to the Amazon that Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) chose as the river that represents the scale of product flow in his online store. Time has shown that he was not wrong. Today, Amazon.com is the world's largest online store, with sales of over $ 118 billion in 2018.
The story of eBay is a little different. Compared to Amazon, the platform initially assumed that it was a pure auction site, on which users had the opportunity to conclude a trade at the price of the highest bid. The service went into operation in 1995 and, thanks to its dynamic growth, is currently the largest platform of its kind worldwide. You can sell and buy in 37 countries.
Chinese e-commerce platforms
AliExpress is an online sales system that offers products mainly supplied by Chinese manufacturers. The idea for this service was to offer local Chinese products in a global market. You cannot currently offer products from Germany, but this will most likely change and it is only a matter of time. Mainly because AliExpress launched such an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses from Italy, Russia, Spain and Turkey in 2019.
At AliBaba, the situation is a little different. The company was founded in 1999 and is to be understood as a global wholesale market. It is the main e-commerce platform in China and one of the largest platforms in the world. This is also evidenced by this company's $ 486 billion worth. Here you can buy and sell products and have access to manufacturers from all over the world.
How do I sell on Amazon?
As mentioned above, Amazon.com is the largest online store in the world. The offer includes Amazon label products (e.g. the Amazon Kindle e-book reader). However, it's worth noting that half of its sales come from products supplied by Amazon's partners. So possibly from companies like yours.
Types of accounts on Amazon
Each user can choose between two accounts: Standard and PRO. You don't have to pay any subscription fees for the first account. You only pay commissions on sales which are typically around £ 1.00 per item (but this depends on the category). This account has some limitations. You can only sell up to 33 items per month.
PRO account users have vastly greater options. If you choose this solution, there are no quantitative restrictions. However, you need to take out a monthly subscription of GBP 25.00. Amazon may not charge a commission in the event that individual items are only marginally sold. If the turnover is higher, there is a commission, which is usually between 10 and 15%.
Logistics on Amazon is a big advantage
The ability to reach customers around the world isn't the only benefit of Amazon. The logistics system is a great and very pleasant advantage for sellers. If you choose to work with Amazon, you don't have to worry about keeping your products safe. Amazon offers logistics centers. There are eleven such centers in Germany, the sixth of which is under construction.
How do Amazon Distribution Centers work?
Thanks to such a solution, you have the option of shipping your products directly from an Amazon logistics center. From there, they are sent to your customers worldwide. The warehouse staff pack and secure your shipments for a small fee. The cost of such a service depends on the size of the package, but is usually not more than 5.00 EUR.
If you decide to sell on Amazon, you don't have to set up your own online shop in addition to the logistical advantages. That way, you don't have to worry about administration, server maintenance, and other expenses. You also benefit from the world-famous Amazon brand.
Amazon sales tools and human translation services
The retail giant is continuously improving the tools for sellers. You have the option to create special offers immediately and to configure price management automatically. The second option in particular is worth considering. Once the appropriate principles have been established, the system lowers the prices itself if a cheaper competitor steps in. Unfortunately, the additional options are mostly available to PRO account users. Despite all the love for technical solutions, there are still some adjustments that are better made by people. Human product description translation services are a good example of this.
How do I start my sale with the platform?
The first step after setting up an account is deciding: What do you actually want to sell on Amazon? Much depends on the business model you choose, but JungleScout is a very useful tool. It helps you track sales trends on Amazon and find new market niches. It offers numerous functions with which you can optimize your business in this largest online shop in the world.
You can also take a completely different approach to selling on Amazon. In general, there are 5 methods you can use to sell products:
- Arbitrage Transactions - This method uses a price scanner that is connected to the transaction system. When you find a product that you think can be resold at a profit, you can scan the price and compare products that are already on Amazon. If analysis shows that you can make money from such a transaction, you can buy products from a retail store and sell them online for a profit.
- Wholesale - the most typical method that uses large quantities of products to make a profit margin and then sells them on Amazon to make money. There are some drawbacks to this solution: You need to have seed capital to make purchases. Second, you might end up investing too much. If it turns out that you are not buying the right products that are in line with market trends, you will not be generating sales to cover your costs.
- Selling under a private label - this method also applies to traditional trading. It is assumed that you create your own brand, buy products, place your own labels and resell them. This makes it possible to create an image of a private label, which is a huge advantage. Because of the above, in time you can become independent from Amazon and start selling in your own e-shop. However, you do not have much influence on the quality of the products offered - if the manufacturer releases a faulty batch, you are responsible in the eyes of the customers.
- Craft - uniqueness of the offer is a great advantage. Especially if you are selling your own products. Before you start selling on Amazon, check out how well other similar items are selling. This solution has a certain disadvantage: if there is a lot of interest in your offer, you have to act quickly to produce a sufficient number of products.
- Dropshipping - this method is becoming increasingly popular. According to the assumptions of this method, you are selling someone's products under someone's trademark. You are only responsible for optimization and promotion. You do not need any start-up capital, as this business model first generates sales and then bills the manufacturer. The disadvantage of this solution is that you have no influence on the quality of the products as well as on other aspects such as logistics and shipping.
How do I sell on eBay?
The well-known auction platform eBay now offers slightly different sales opportunities. One of the differences is the fact that you are not dependent on decisions made by a trading giant. When working with Amazon, you need to be aware that it is an e-shop that can change the terms of the contract if they find that it is more profitable for them to sign up in a particular niche. There is no such risk on eBay.
How does eBay work?
The platform has a Europe-wide reach and is also strongly represented in the USA. The principles of selling are similar: first you need to register an account in the auction system, read the rules and publish their offers. Today this is no longer only possible as an auction but also as a fixed price. You can then manage the offers to close deals (in case someone makes a purchase). Let's start with the basics
Setting up an eBay account
You need to set up an account first. Before doing this, you need to register as a user and then verify your account as a seller. There are several ways to verify your identity:
- With the phone
- By mail
- With credit card
You need to be aware of the fact that most transactions are made in Euros. The same applies to all costs that arise from sales. However, there is also the option of transactions being carried out in pounds or dollars. You can set up automatic payment of fees paid directly from your account so you don't forget about them. Transactions with customers are often processed through PayPal. You should therefore set up and verify a PayPal seller account.
Sales on eBay
To start selling, you first need to know the product restrictions. The list of products that are banned from sale is quite a long one. It includes police products, fireworks, weapons, live animals, protected species products, and much more. Please refer to the relevant page for more information. It is a good idea to analyze active and completed bid prices. Based on the above, you will learn how to manage the prices of your products.
You need to publish your products and make sure they are properly described. Use catchy and easy language and set the price (including shipping costs), etc. When a customer buys something from you and pays for it, you will be notified. Remember that the products should be shipped after you have received a payment confirmation. You can also provide details of when the item will be sent after receipt of payment when creating the offers.
Sell goods overseas through online English translation services
eBay is an international service that allows you to sell to different countries. To start such transactions, you need to translate your product descriptions. English should be the minimum. You can use online English translation services to do this, for example. You can set the shipping costs yourself depending on your contract with a transport company. Before you publish an offer abroad, find out about the sales restrictions in the country to which you want to send your products. It may turn out that your articles are prohibited in Austria, for example due to the applicable laws. Further information can be found on the eBay website at this link.
How to Sell on AliExpress?
As mentioned above, it is currently not possible to sell from Germany on AliExpress.com. It should be noted, however, that the service will become available for other markets. Companies from Italy, Spain, Russia and Turkey can already trade on AliExpress. For this reason, it is most likely only a matter of time before German entrepreneurs will also be given this opportunity.
Selling on AliExpress - the basics
To sell on this platform, you must meet the following conditions:
- You need to manage a company - in order to set up an e-shop profile, each user needs to go through a verification process on AliExpress through their AliPay account.
- Optionally, you can create a brand on the platform. You can choose an official store brand, act as a franchise or specialty store. If you don't want to create a brand on AliExpress, you can skip this step.
- You have to pay an annual fee.
If you meet these conditions, you can proceed to registering a seller account. First go to https://sell.aliexpress.com/ and then click on “Join AliExpress” in the top right corner. This page is currently not available in German. If necessary, you can use online English translation services to make them understandable. You will be directed to a form where you can activate your account. This is done as follows:
- The registration itself comprises three stages. First you need to provide your email address, set a password and enter the confirmation code received in the email. In the second phase, you need to choose the region where you will be selling your products. You will also need to provide your company's business details. The third step is to confirm the information you have entered.
- After registering the account, you need to log in. In the seller window you first have to define the primary category. Then enter the list of products you want to sell and register your brand as well.
- Before you can start selling on AliExpress, you need to select the payment method. You will be directed to a special page with detailed information on the cost of selling in specific categories. You will also be informed of the annual fee for AliExpress services.
- After following the steps above, you will be redirected to a webpage for managing the shop. If you have your own brand, this is a great place to check.
- The final step is to add products in the language of your choice to the shop and personalize its appearance. In this regard, AliExpress has plenty of options for you to make your offer stand out. Internet translation agencies help with language problems. When you have completed this step, you can activate your shop and start selling.
How do I sell on AliBaba?
Compared to AliExpress.com, AliBaba.com was created with B2B in mind. Find sellers from all over the world, including India, Taiwan, China, and the United States. If you decide to publish your sales offers in this system, you have the opportunity to reach business partners who are active in global markets. But how do you sell at AliBaba?
Sell in wholesale quantities
The first step is to register a seller account with AliBaba. You have three options: free account, GoldSupplier Basic ($ 699 per year), and GoldSupplier Standard ($ 2999 per year). If you choose one of the premium options, your company will be reviewed by independent external experts. If you choose the free account, there is no way to become a verified user.
After registering the account, you will be directed to a virtual advisor. This will help you configure your seller's account in a few simple steps. First of all, you need to define the nature of your business. You have several options to choose from: online shop, manufacturer, trading company, wholesaler, distributor, sales office, individual seller or any other type of activity that you manage on AliBaba. Then you need to select the category of products offered. You also determine which products you have in your offer.
The virtual advisor also guides you through other personalization options. You'll need to answer questions specifying your requirements for suppliers, annual spending on purchases, and so on. Due to the above, the AliBaba algorithm can better understand your company, which makes it easier to use the portal.
Create products and sell them effectively with an internet translation agency
Creating offers on AliBaba.com is very similar to eBay's approach. You need to upload quality photos, prepare a detailed description of a product, and create a catchy title. When writing the product descriptions, you should make sure that you have a good language level. Internet translation agencies can help with this.
After submitting your product, you will receive an SMS with a confirmation code. Now all you have to do is take advantage of the methods that will help you make the sale effective.
It's no secret that buyers buy through their eyes. To improve your sales results, good quality photos will help you showcase all the details of your products. If possible, include the product specification in the title, which is a common practice. A good description with details is also crucial in the customer's decision when choosing your offer. Definitely worth being a verified seller. To do this, you need to switch to a premium plan and use the "Verified Member" option.
Why is it worth having your account verified?
Similar to other sales services, you can encounter scams on AliBaba.com. Despite the fact that it is very difficult to conduct fraudulent activity, it is still possible. Before shipping, pay particular attention to poorly written reviews regarding language or prepayment offers. There are cases when such a seller goes away with the money you paid and you never get the product you bought. Once you've verified your business, your customers can feel safe and secure and prove to them that after closing a deal, you don't just go into hiding. This also increases their willingness to work with you.
Human translation services are the foundation for market expansion
Regardless of the platform you use, correct translation of product descriptions is the most important aspect of your presence in foreign markets. You should pay attention to stylistic and content correctness, but also adapt the language to the standards of your recipients. Your international customers live in different conditions than you do, so they may have a different approach to shopping. Because of this, human translation services are very effective in this industry as it is also the job of a translator to adapt the advertising slogans to the culture of the recipient's country.
How do I sell on the internet? It's easier than ever!
The availability and functionality of the largest sales systems make online sales much easier. Especially if you want to win customers from international markets. Thanks to Amazon, AliExpress, eBay or AliBaba, expanding into the foreign market has never been easier. If you don't want to, or just don't have the money to invest in your own shop, consider one of the options above.
We translate the product descriptions
Born and raised in Germany, at home in Turkey. Copywriter, translator and storyteller with a passion for cultural overlaps
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