Expanding your business by reaching out to potential customers across the globe is never a bad idea.
It is common knowledge that Amazon and eBay are the most popular marketplaces that caters to sellers and buyers around the world. While, IOS had shared tips to sell on eBay from India, one can find helpful links on Amazon’s website on global selling. So leaving these known portals, let’s explore other ecommerce sites for selling overseas.
Marketplaces to consider:
Established in 2011 by wife-husband duo Monica & Manoj Gupta, it is one of the largest handicrafts portals in India that ships globally. They charge 20% commission + service tax on sales. Sellers also get assistance in shipping, finance and uploading products on the website. Invoicing, shipping and additional taxes will be at seller’s discretion. Read about their seller policy here and go through their manual to know what & how to sell on Craftsvilla.
International arm of Jabong, the emphasis is laid on listing Indian ethnic wear for Men & Women besides other categories such as home décor and jewellery. The procedure to sell here is register via Sell on Jabong form, the ecommerce team evaluates and get’s in touch with you if the product catalogue appeals to them. Additional import duties, taxes, clearance charges are to be paid by the customer. As they provide free shipping worldwide, sellers can benefit from it.
With nearly 30 million active buyers, Etsy is a marketplace for handmade, vintage and craft products that is bought and sold around the world. Sellers can set up a shop on Etsy with no membership fees. You pay $0.20 to list an item for 4 months and 3.5% fee on the sale price. Your payments are protected by Etsy’s team of specialists & automated fraud detection systems and seller’s get paid in their local currency. Their online knowledge centre is pretty handy with tips and tricks to market your products better.
Great news for sellers is that Infibeam sells everything under the sun (not just handicrafts and ethnic wear) and is probably the only Indian online marketplace that provides International Shipping. Fill up their merchant sign-up form and if your application is approved then their representative will get in touch with you. As sellers on Infibeam, you can set your own shipping rates and policies.
An NDTV venture, Indianroots is an online shopping site that brings together India’s best designers and finest craftsmen and makes their creation available across the globe. It is one of the most popular ecommerce portals with international consumers, thanks to the brand name associated with it. Sellers can write to them on firstname.lastname@example.org with business proposal.
If you are a proud owner of a quirky new brand or a vintage boutique, then ASOS Marketplace is a right platform for you. A separate marketplace model of ASOS, UK’s largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer, they invite vintage, independent labels or multi-brand premium brands on their platform. Currently 3 Indian brands are listed here: Tlolu, Tadpole Store and Basics Life. More information on commission and challenges with selling on ASOS Marketplace is mentioned below.
Founded by Meghna Rao and Shamim T, Aniika caters to US based customers. It is a curated marketplace that retails ‘India influenced’ lifestyle products sourced directly from designers & artists. Once you become their seller, you need to stock your products in Aniika’s Bangalore office, post which your store will go live on the website. While there is no membership (introductory offer only) and listing fees, a commission (30 %) is deducted from the total sales along with expenses incurred for shipping products to their warehouse. Go through their seller FAQs to know what & how you can sell on Aniika.
Mumbai based High5Store is another marketplace that sellers can consider to sell ethnic Men & Women wear and home décor items internationally. Register via this form and their representative will get it in touch with you after reviewing your form. You can read about the process to become seller here and why you should consider selling on this portal here.
Grace Lown & Kobi Balulu from Tlolu, an English-Israeli brand based in New Delhi said, “Asos Marketplace has strict rules on how the products are depicted in photographs for the buyers to see. Other than this, if you have a high quality, original product- either men or womens’ clothes or accessories then it is a wonderful place to be”, when asked how easy is to get onboard with ASOS marketplace. Speaking about the economical aspects, they said, “Asos Marketplace charges £20 a month rent, plus 20% commission on any sales made. If you have a low-price product, this may seem steep so it might not be the place for you.” (Coming up soon: Full interview of Tlolu’s founders. Stay tuned!)
Samarth Mungali, CEO of Tadpole Store that sells handpicked products in fashion & home category shared the challenges faced while selling on ASOS marketplace. “Since the fulfilment has to be handled by the seller, often the cost of shipping turns out to be substantially high for some international geographies. Further, if a customer unfortunately has to return a product the returns shipping costs are very high and a seller has to compensate the same, unless the items are being sold as final sales.( in which case there are very few customers willing to transact for an item online where there is no possibility of return).” He also added, “The structure and guidelines put forth by ASOS for product images are often prohibitive and there are instances where a seller would want to present a product differently for a better representation, but the same would not pass through the guidelines of ASOS.”
Things to remember
- Only high-quality products have the potential to sell on foreign shores
- Distinct product is the key. For instance instead of making a clichéd Indian printed kurti that can be mass produced, present that print on a contemporary design and you have got new buyers
- Get Import Export Code for your business. While IEC is not required to sell through some portals like Aniika. But it is mandatory when you wish to sell through portals like eBay that act only as facilitators between a buyer/seller. Find out how you can apply for IEC
- Study taxes and regulations for each marketplace and country you wish to trade in. May sound boring but very important. Main points to cover are tax & customs, intellectual property rights, markings & labels, environment, health, & safety and product compliance. Hire an expert who can break it down for you and help you understand in layman terms or best do the needful for you
- Tie-up with a reliable and economical logistics partner. This will help to control your shipping cost and make your delivery system more efficient.
- Mention accurate & practical delivery and shipping time frames and stick to it
- Do not try to sell off damaged, wrong or know-off products
- A Paypal account can come in handy
Don’t be afraid to take a different route, experiment and take risks, if you wish to grow your business and make it a world-wide known brand. As T.S. Eliot rightly said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.”