E-commerce has provided huge opportunity to entrepreneurs who want to sell internationally online from India. Products like handicrafts, apparels, artificial jewellery etc. are in great demand in different countries. So, there lies a vast potential for Indian suppliers and now is the right time to take the plunge.
Compare it with offline trade. If you have been struggling to find buyers abroad, you can understand how tough it is to procure export orders.
But now, different global marketplaces have made it easier for anyone to sell in multiple countries. Online marketplace which are an ideal choice for beginners have opened doors for traders and manufactures to sell their products globally.
You can start with low investment to become an exporter. Now an ordinary trader can start exporting by with low inventory.
Almost anyone with a passion to sell overseas can start exporting easily through these marketplaces. All you need is the basic knowledge to use internet and some working capital to sell internationally online from India.
The main advantage of selling through marketplaces is that problems related with global e-commerce like listing products and shipping are resolved to a great extent.
Though thousands of exporters are doing quite well on these marketplaces, many experienced sellers still hesitate to get their products to the international market.
Need some inspiration?
Read this article in Economic Times about how successful sellers doing global exports.
Once you have enough experience with marketplaces, you can start selling from your own store using software like Shopify.
Important things to know before you sell internationally online from India:
- Sell in local marketplaces to know how everything works and to gain experience of online selling.
- Get your IE code number. You can apply online here: Director General Foreign Trade.
- Learn about all the documentation, customs procedures etc. Hire a tax consultant and take his advice on every aspect of exporting goods. Do your homework thoroughly before launching to avoid costly mistakes.
- Fix the MRP after carefully adding all the costs like taxes & duties, shipping, return shipping, rate of exchange etc.
- Make sure to comply with local laws of the country you want to sell in. Understand cultural differences, trade laws between countries and consumer preferences.
- Don’t make product choice based on your experience with domestic selling. Product choices, demands and standards vary in countries. Do research to find best selling categories and latest trends in target countries.
- Be very particular and strict about the quality or you will lose the trust of customers. Foreign buyers won’t give you a second chance.
- It’s illegal to sell counterfeit products and to infringe any intellectual property rights (copyright/patent/trademarks). Be aware of the prohibited/restricted goods as well.
- Profitability increases and sometimes multiplies as you get better price abroad in foreign currency.
- You have less competition with other Indian sellers so there are fewer chances of over saturation of a particular product.
- You get an international exposure.
- Once your business grows, you can travel there to explore more opportunities.
While selling on global marketplaces it’s quite difficult to identify the products that will have great demand. Even if you do lots of research, you may not have an exact idea about which products you should sell.
Following is the list of the best marketplaces to sell internationally online from India:
Alibaba, world’s leading site for global trade, provides opportunities to Indian exporters to list their products for international selling.
Join as a free member and apply for Gold Supplier Membership to gain credibility. You should create a detailed company profile with maximum number of products displayed. Alibaba also gives you an option to create a mini site.
You can also avail of the value added services that comes with Premium membership for greater product visibility and sales. These services are:
- Extra inquiries package
- Product Posting Service
- Product Showcase
eBay has made it quite easy to sell internationally online from India. You can list your products on eBay India site and make it available worldwide or by opening a separate account on eBay site of the particular country you want to sell in.
But, eBay recommends opening seller account directly on the international eBay site of your target country because of these advantages as listed on eBay site:
You can use Payment options that are preferred by international buyers (e.g. PayPal).
You list your items in the currency that the international buyer is comfortable with.
You can list your products in the right categories which makes it easier for a buyer to find your item.
You must read this step by step tutorial to get equipped with all the knowledge required to sell internationally online on eBay.
Has marketplaces in 11 countries. Start with selling to US customers then you can add more countries. You will have to create a separate account on Amazon USA site even if you already are selling on Amazon India.
- Phone number
- International Credit Card
- Tax Information.
You will also need to complete online tax interview as a non-US resident.
You can ship products yourself or through FBA ( Fulfillment by Amazon). As shipping is a big challenge in international selling, FBA is the most suitable option as it reduces headaches like providing local address for product returns, faster deliveries, greater visibility, local language support etc.
Set up your shop at Etsy to get access to over 24 million buyers across the globe. Then, select shop’s language, country and currency to price your listings.
As per their policy, sellers can only sell:
- Handmade items made or designed only by the seller. Of course, you can hire people or outsource work for manufacturing.
- Vintage items (at least 20 years old).
- Craft supplies like fabric yardage and patterns. Commercially made materials that are ready to be used as finished goods are not allowed.
Option for Indian sellers to accept payments at present is through PayPal only.
Sellers just have to pay US$ 0.20 listing fee plus 3.5% commission on every sale apart from bearing PayPal payment processing fee.
This is an Indian marketplace where you can sell handmade, unique or refurbished and vintage products. Unlike on Etsy, here you can sell handmade products even if you haven’t made it yourself, with manufacturer’s permission to resell.
The commission charged by Craftsvilla is 25%+ service tax which is quite heavy.
For international orders, Craftsvilla provides bundling services to the sellers. After getting orders from abroad, sellers have to send the products to Craftsvilla office in Mumbai.
Also, check these B2B sites for global selling:
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is based on what is mentioned on the listed websites, is correct at the time of this blog post and may change in the future.
SELL INTERNATIONALLY ONLINE FROM INDIA