10 Top Tips for Selling in Germany Part 1
This week we are going to focus on tips for selling to Germany. Plentymarkets, originally a German company but who also offer their multichannel solution in the UK with offices based in London, have gathered together their top ten tips for attacking the German market.
We’ll be examining their first five tips one a day throughout this week and then on Friday you’ll be able to download an eBook containing the additional five tips.
Plentymarkets tell us that they recommend Germany as an ideal location for UK sellers. Germany is not only the most populous country in the European Union, but is also Europe‘s largest economy and the world‘s fifth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. The German e-commerce market is booming. By setting up shop in Germany, you can tap into this lucrative economy and give your business the international reputation that it deserves.
Tip #1 Language
The former West German chancellor Willy Brandt is famously quoted as once saying “If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.” The second half of his statement translates to, “then you must speak German”. This clever saying highlights the fact that language is the most important factor when selling to German customers.
Buyers naturally feel more at home when reading product descriptions and information in their own native language. If buyers are presented with a wide range of offers to choose from, then they will naturally favour sellers who not only provide the right item at the right price, but also in the language that they are most comfortable with.
As the German e-commerce market is quite developed, buyers can afford to be picky when it comes to language. This makes it essential for sellers to invest.
There are several tools you can use to translate your offers – some marketplaces will offer translation services, perhaps just the titles but others may translate your descriptions as well or already have foreign language product pages you can list your offers against.
Machine translation is often a quick way to get started, but as this is often literal translation it’s no substitute for using a translation partner with native speakers. You’ll be able to find translation partners in our Tools and Services Guide.
There are many multichannel management solutions on the market, but you always tend to end up with more features than you really need. plentymarkets offer a product configurator, where a retailer can decide which parts of the software are needed meaning you will only pay for what you really need.
we had to stop selling in ebay.de since it is judged on it’s on in seller standards.
we were not selling much to germany, austria and switzerland, and so we were only judged on 12 months (as opposed to 3)
we had some bad luck with stock management issues, and we had to cancel a few transactions to ebay.de – this in turn sent us to below standard in germany which in turn triggered a selling limit on ALL EBAY PLATFORMS. i was over the limit (due to amount of stock i had listed) and my whole account in ALL countries was paralysed. i couldn’t lower quantity of stock or anything from my 3rd party selling system. i had to try and learn file exchange which was a nightmare.
as an ebay seller for many years, this experience really shook me to the bone. as ebay sellers we are so vulnerable and it suddenly hit home that eBay can kill your business with a flick of a finger – no matter how old, how big or how good a seller you are or have been.
my advice – don’t sell to ebay.de unless you know you can sell enough to get into the 3-month evalutation.
Amazon DE is a fantastic market for us and equal volumes to the UK. We do employ a German to write all our descriptions but is well worth the investment.
Never tried eBay.de as do barely anything on Ebay UK so wouldn’t expect to do any better on ebay.de plus it would no doubt be hard work setting up on eBay as they usually make everything more complicated than it should be !