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eBay’s 2017 UK Retail Report

By Chris Dawson October 16, 2017 - 9:00 am

eBay’s 2017 UK Retail Report is out and it’s well worth spending some time browsing.

There are some amazing numbers in the report – for instance it reveals that 5.5 million parcels have now been shipped via eBay’s Global Shipping Program. If you’re not using GSP then it may well be time to consider doing so as it’s matured and obviously popular with buyers.

Whilst the US, France, Italy, Germany and Australia are the top five destinations UK eBay sellers export to, the report reveals that the average number of markets a sellers ships to is twenty. Sales to other locations may be a little sparser but they all add up so if you’re not offering shipping to as many countries as possible then you could be missing out on a slice of margin.

eBay’s 2017 UK Retail Report also gives some retail insights such as ten of the UK’s most wanted items over the past year and the five top products exported by British sellers. The top ten most wanted items in the UK also have graphs to show you which months demand was highest as well as a break down of popular search terms by month of the year. Through search, eBay have unveiled an entirely new list of consumer wants – the things they know shoppers are looking to buy even before they commit to spending. This allows eBay to identify what the really big trends of the year were. Fidget spinners and air conditioning units are both new entries this year.

It’s also increasingly obvious that shoppers watch TV with their phones in hand. eBay’s 2017 UK Retail Report reveals the top ten influencing programs and films of the year (with La La Land, Star Wars and Suicide Squad leading the pack) and they know that BBC dramas like Taboo and Sherlock are also big influencers.

There are a ton of other interesting insights in the report, so when it’s time for your morning coffee break have a browse through to pick up the data points that are relevant to your business.

  • Dave T
    1 month ago

    eBay’s GSP……….I have only experienced this as a buyer…….predominantly from US sellers.

    I have found it to very expensive for the buyer, takes longer and the tracking is all over the place as its handed from the seller to USPS to WN to 13ten to Yodel and it finally gets to me.

    As a seller, I am far happier using RM’s Small Parcel service for UK and International or eBay’s Shutl offering in the UK (mainly to get good UPS prices) or Interparcel so I can access discounted ParcelForce services within UK and discounted UPS services worldwide

    • 1 month ago

      Interesting insight Dave T – I had not thought about it from the customers point of view, not that I have got round to using it yet.

    • alan paterson
      1 month ago

      However, you don’t get the same protection from potential bad feedback or INR claims if you send your international parcels yourself. GSP protects you from most potential mishaps. Is it worth it ? I too find it a little bit more expensive than my international Royal Mail prices. I suppose it depends on the value of your product you are sending……..

    • 1 month ago

      @alan paterson

      Is GSP more expensive? I thought the seller was only responsible for posting the item to the GSP depot

    • rob
      1 month ago

      Tyler, it probably works out more expensive for the buyer but as a seller you get better protection if things go wrong like the parcel gets lost after it has got to the shipping centre. I had one the other week where they put the wrong label on some wall paper and a customer in Germany ended up with a jigsaw puzzel. ebay refund the buyer and I keep my money.

      Guess it just depends on what price you can get international postage for and do you want to take the risk of having to refund higher postage fees if they want to return for any reason.

  • northumbrian
    1 month ago

    5.5m parcels
    royal mail have not handled ,
    as a seller its poor tracking or non existing tracking
    pathetic insurance was the deal breaker for us,
    global shipping only for us
    we were tired of inadequate cover , false claims from buyers ,
    buyers buying 20 items then holding you to ransom for combined shipping discount

    • 1 month ago

      Royal Mail have probably handled the vast majority of those 5.5m parcels, picking them up from UK sellers and dropping them off at the ebay GSP centre. If that’s all they’re interested in doing, fair enough, don’t blame them.

    • northumbrian
      1 month ago

      yes of course royal mail have probably handled a large number of the 5.5 million
      and lost out on the international profitable part

  • Rob
    1 month ago

    Would much rather use GPS and let ebay/GPS pick up the cover for any mistakes or cost of postage if a buyer wants to return an item. Yes may take a few more days to get there but they are full tracked and only have to worry about the item getting to the GPS centre.

    For all those that complain that ebay won’t make it thou the end of the year or is finished. They seem to be doing a good job with this programme.

  • alan paterson
    1 month ago

    Its just a shame that Pitney Bowes seem to be the ones making the biggest profit from the GSP. I believe thats the only reason GSP is more expensive than normal Royal Mail International business rates. Pitney Bowes processes the GSP parcels and take their cut. Not my favourite company. I have heard sellers accusing Ebay of making profits on the GSP – I don’t think thats the case (other than the normal listing and seller fees) Pitney Bowes seem to be adding 15%.

    I would be interested to know anyones thoughts if they know for sure why GSP is more expensive than Royal Mail International business rates and any insight in Pitney Bowes involvement.

    Couldn’t Ebay look at matching Royal Mail International rates?

    • 1 month ago

      I have just enrolled, so will see how it improves sales or not. I am guessing it will.

      We post to GSP
      Pitney Bowes operate GSP
      Pitney Bowes post our sales items to the buyers

      How do Pitney Bowes get paid? Somebody has to pay for the service.

      I can’t see that Ebay pay them that much out of what we pay them so the money has to come from somewhere.

    • Alan Paterson
      1 month ago

      @ tyler – i have used Pitney Bowes in the past (franking machines etc) and the amount of hidden charges was unbelievable. I know thats not very similar to what they are doing here but it left a bitter taste in my mouth regarding the company in general.

      I would be interested to see if switching to GSP has an improvement on your sales. Would you mind giving me some feedback after a month or two?

    • 1 month ago

      @Alan Paterson

      Yes no problem, not sure how long it takes to go live or what restrictions there are, not all my products have a shipping weight yet, updating slowly, so not sure if that is relevant or not.

  • JD
    1 month ago

    @tyler
    ‘I can’t see that Ebay pay them that much out of what we pay them so the money has to come from somewhere’
    The buyer pays, typically rather more than for most sellers international shipping charges. To non-EU countries the buyer also pays up-front for all charges for customs clearance, taxes and duties.
    If you look at items from US on UK site you will see GSP ‘all inclusive’ prices on items from sellers enrolled in the scheme.

  • JD
    1 month ago

    @tyler
    If you look at eBay item 272889986040 on the UK site you will see (by clicking into the listing):
    Price $299.99, shipping to UK $24.50 and ‘import charges’ (to be confirmed at checkout) $85.68.
    (Item may be available cheaper in the UK or elsewhere in the world – no claims made either way!!)

  • Leader of the Banned
    1 month ago

    The GSP effectively increases the postage cost by 33% for the buyer. Not a great move if you are stuck with enforced IPR, as the postage can not be combined for multiple items. It’s was overseas trade killer for me.

    It would be nice to offer GSP alongside other postal services but it’s all or nothing with eBay….simply because they stick 30% extra on the price it actually costs if we use international signed delivery. They don’t care about us offering our customers choices anymore as long as they get their 10%.

    eBay are slowly removing choices.

  • 1 month ago

    I can only see GSP as a win/win for sellers, like myself, who don’t already offer sales outside the UK.

    The cost of my postage is the same as UK rates and I don’t have to worry about dealing with overseas postal services & returns etc.

    The potential is increased sales with few problems at no extra cost.

    Buyers have a choice, they are given the upfront costs prior to paying for the items.

    We do currently sell to a few overseas buyers, but they make their own arrangements, we post the item to an international forwarding address in the UK that they have set up.

  • 1 month ago

    GSP has been pretty much the only thing ebay has tried in recent times that has been a winner. And here’s the point some of you are missing:

    It wasn’t really designed for those sellers who are happy dealing with and shipping directly to international buyers. It was designed for those who were not, who had entirely dropped international sales on the grounds they were too much effort and risk for the reward.

    The GSP has made dealing with international buyers just like dealing with UK buyers. We’ve not had a single lost item or claim made under it. The time and effort that has gone into processing GSP orders is no different to any other UK order. That’s why they’ve handled 5.5 million parcels.

    If it takes a few days longer to arrive, or costs the buyer a little more (which is debatable depending on parcel weight/size/destination), I am fine with that. The pros heavily outweigh the cons.

  • Tony
    1 month ago

    A French Ebay buyer (supplied through Global Shipping) recently opened a Returns Request saying parts of the kit were missing from his order.

    I disputed this with Ebay Resolutions as I could prove that everything was in the large kit by the exact shipping weight (to the nearest gram) supplied to me by the carrier.

    Ebay Resolutions closed the Return down in my favour, without penalty to me.

    However, the French buyer wins ultimately without having to return anything. Ebay have refunded him the full amount he paid (£83). So he gets his money back in full, plus they said that he can keep the kit – unbelievable.

    I presume GSP Insurance covered this, but it appears to be a loop hole where foreign buyers can get ‘freebies’.

    So I suggest that if other sellers experience similar false claims from foreign buyers and the seller can prove things from their side, to not accept the return and to appeal.

    • northumbrian
      1 month ago

      there is a massive loophole
      similar events have happened to us
      GSP cough up without argument
      which costs us nothing and thats fine by us,
      obviously at the moment the profit is enough for ebay to swallow the loss
      though the dark side of us thinks it would be so easy to order a high value item from The US via GSP and then claim it was damaged or incomplete

    • 1 month ago

      I have had a similar situation, twice with Amazon and once with Ebay, but with UK buyers.

      It is frustrating but to be fair to Ebay, they have shipped 5.5 million packets and earned 5.5M x 8%+ commission of value? that they possibly would not have done, so the % of refunds, per seller, v profit is workable.

  • Simon
    3 weeks ago

    The biggest problem I have with the GSP is that it will randomly decide not to ship certain items to certain countries, you know, little out of the way places that no-ones ever heard of like the US of A – which pretty much takes the ‘Global’ out of ‘Global Shipping Program. It’s supposed to tell you when it does this but in my experience it never does – which means the first you hear of it is some irate would be bidder complaining they can’t bid. I reckon using the GSP on a recent sale cost me about £50 in lost US bids.

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