Selling overseas with Amazon and Alibaba

Editor | Sep 10, 2020

Indian online sellers now have the facility to sell overseas. Amazon and Alibaba are facilitating their sellers to reach buyers across continents. The buyers include not only people of Indian origin, but non-Indian enthusiasts who appreciate Indian apparel, shoes, and curios.

Selling overseas is more profitable, and sells in greater numbers. Sanjay Kumar, a Gurgaon based online lifestyle product seller said, “Our products are Indian products, but those that attract Western audiences. There are many Indians now who have set up the same business.”

Selling across borders with Amazon

Amazon’s Global Selling program offers sellers support and guidance to reach out to buyers outside their geographic boundaries. Amazon has listed out a very systematic and clear step-by-step set of instructions for potential exporters. Each page leads the seller to a set of structured and broken down facts and details.

This page talks about where and what a seller can operate under Amazon. This page covers the different taxes, duties and customs in each country. This page talks about registering as a seller. Existing sellers will have to create separate accounts for the country where they want to sell. However, Amazon has a common account for all European countries. This page discusses the shipping options. Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) option is also available. This page deals with customer support and returns.

Selling overseas with Alibaba

Potential sellers have multiple membership options with Alibaba. There are two main seller membership types – Gold Supplier Membership, and Free Membership. Under Gold Membership, there are three sub groups – Basic, Standard, and Premium.

While the help page in Amazon Global Selling is crystal clear and helps clear all doubts, Alibaba’s help pages are quite voluminous and not as user friendly. AliSource Pro helps connect sellers and buyers from across the world. Sellers can submit quotations corresponding to buyers’ needs or demands. These quotations are screened and presented to the buyer, who then picks the product.

Is selling overseas a viable option?

Experts feel that selling to overseas buyers is a good opportunity. Anurag Mathur, advisory partner at PwC says, “From an industrial standpoint, frankly the opportunity is fantastic. Being able to find the right buyer and connect simply driven by specifications will do significant better on these platforms.”

By blurring boundaries, marketplaces are helping local sellers reach out to a broader audience, and not merely limit themselves to the local buyers. In the long run, this will help the seller up their standards.

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