eBay started in 1995 as a CtoC (personal transaction) pez exchange site (flea market). Currently, eBay is also support global trading through cross-border EC in the BtoC and BtoB areas. Although some people may mistake it as an auction site, it is now a global e-commerce marketplace centered on new sales like Amazon, where new sales exceed 90%. It is also possible to sell used products and single items whose prices are difficult to be determined in an auction style. In recent years, products from Japan have been selling particularly well. (Update: July 23, 2021)
The world's largest
cross-border EC marketplace
According to a survey conducted in 2020, eBay's share of the top 10 e-commerce sales in the U.S. is ranked third after Amazon and Walmart, maintaining its share as one of the largest cross-border e-commerce marketplaces in the world.
In Japan, eBay is not very popular, but in Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia, mainly in the United States, eBay is very popular, while in Australia, eBay is more popular than Amazon.
Comparing with Japanese Yahoo! that has about 10 million users, eBay has 180 million active users in more than 190 countries around the world! It is the world's largest cross-border EC marketplace.
Market: Over 190 countries worldwide
Sellers: Over 25 million
Buyers: Over 182 million
Products: Over 1.4 billion
Annual Transaction volume: Approximately 10.3 trillion yen or more
Cross-border EC transactions: Approximately 30% or more of the total
Source: Terapeak / eBay.Inc
The Merits of eBay
Enable Selling in more than 190 countries around the world
You can expand your sales channels to huge market size and users all over the world. Japanese products have high demands among overseas buyers, not only new products but also one-of-a-kind and second-hand goods are purchased at a relatively high price for their good quality, as authenticity is the firmest in the world.
Reliable payment method
eBay has introduced Managed Payments as an official payment service for eBay sites in Japan and around the world. Payoneer U.S. bank account at the time of registrationis required, which is a major change in the rules. From now on, you don't need a PayPal account, which was necessary when doing business on eBay.
When you purchase an item, you may be worried about whether you will actually receive the item and as a seller you maybe worried about whether you will be able to collect the proceeds. eBay transactions are relatively low-risk because they are prepaid. Once the transaction is completed, the proceeds will be reflected in Managed Payments in 1-2 business days. The funds are then transferred to your Payoneer account after eBay's sales fees are deducted, and automatically transferred to your local bank account. Since sales proceeds are received automatically, businesses say it is easy to manage and has good cash flow.
In addition, you can easily receive sales proceeds and process refunds from the eBay management screen. In the event of a problem with a buyer, eBay will intervene to resolve the issue, so you can buy and sell with peace of mind. This is one of the merit which buyers can feel secure in their first cross-border EC transactions.
Can be easily linked it to your own e-commerce site
eBay has opened its API to the public, making it possible to link eBay with cross-border e-commerce sites on your domain, such as Shopify and Magento. Synchronizing order information, linking inventory, etc. can be achieved by using applications and extensions. This method has made it possible to streamline operations, such as being able to check order information on the management screen of your own e-commerce site without having to go to eBay. Users all over the world are using this method to successfully run their cross-border e-commerce businesses.
You can find information on products that have sold well
eBay provides multiple ways to research information on sold items. By using Seller Hub's research function (Terapeak), you can narrow down your search by keyword, seller's country, etc., and conduct detailed research on what products have sold well, what products will sell well in the future, and what characteristics the products of well-selling sellers have.
Easy to attract customers
If you have an online shop on your own domain, it is important to take measures to attract customers in order to sell your products. You have to attract customers through SEO measures, social commerce using SNS, listing advertisements on Google, etc., but it takes a lot of time and money. With eBay, there are a variety of marketing tools available within the eBay marketplace, such as "markdowns," "coupons," and "promoted listings. eBay itself is also very good at SEO, so even if the seller doesn't do anything to attract external customers, there is a good chance that the seller will be listed at the top of the list when buyers search.
The Demerits of eBay
There is a charge for products sold
When your products are sold, you will have to pay a commission to eBay, so we recommend that you calculate the commission to determine the selling price before listing your item. eBay will charge you differently depending on the product category. Please note that sales and commissions are calculated in US dollars, so your profits may fluctuate depending on exchange rate.
All the communication will be in English
All communication with customers and eBay will be in English. Of course, it is possible to understand the contents using automatic translation, but machine translation has its limits, and the meaning may not be translated correctly, especially for product information. In particular, if the meaning is not correctly communicated when dealing with troubles and complaints, the troubles may worsen, so it is necessary to separate human translations from machine translations and make good use of them.
Your products may not sell well immediately after listing
In most cases, eBay has a selling limit of 5 items or 250 USD right after opening an account. In order to increase the sales limit, you need to wait for about three months while repeatedly buying and selling products up to the limit to gain credit, or negotiate directly with eBay, and the limit can only be eased or increased once a month. As a certified eBay Japan consultant, we are able to immediately ease the restrictions for our clients.
In addition, the number of transaction evaluations (feedback) is also becoming more important, and a strategy to acquire a good sales record and customer evaluations is required. For example, you can't make 10 million yen in sales in the first month, so you need to take some time to develop your account.
Must sell products in accordance with eBay's policies
If you violate the rules set by eBay, your sales might be suspended (your account will be suspended) or your account might be deleted, so it is necessary to understand the latest rules and list your products correctly according to the rules. You are advised to be extra careful when listing cosmetics, foods, etc. on eBay
It may lead to price wars
The number of Japanese sellers is increasing rapidly. In Japan, with a declining birthrate and an aging population, an increasing number of sellers are focusing on their overseas strategies to increase sales through exports. In some cases, there will be some categories that have to be price-competitive with competitors, so it is necessary to thoroughly investigate and analyze how to keep shipping costs and prices low, and make your cross-border EC profitable.。
The flows to sell on eBay
In order to open a store on eBay and sell products, you need to register an eBay seller account and open the store. It may be uneasy because it is all in English, but our cross-border EC consultant will carefully support you from opening the eBay store to listing and attracting customers.
Create an eBay account
Get an eBay account as well as an international payment account such as Managed Payments, Payoneer, etc.
Transaction setup and preparation
Decide which products to sell, and set overseas sales prices, international shipping costs, return and refund rules, and operational rules such as shipping and logistics.
Translate the product title, description, company profile, development story, brand, spec information, category, transaction rules, customs payment, shipping and delivery, payment, return/refund rules, and buyer support into English and then list the product.
Transaction / Shipping
Confirm the payment once the transaction is concluded, then pack the item with the specified shipping method, and ship it out as soon as possible.
After the shipment is completed, contact the customer with the tracking number and notify them about the shipment, and then evaluate the buyer to finish the transaction.
eBay Store Plans and Fees
On eBay, various paid store plans are available according to the seller's listing and sales status. All plans can be selected regardless of whether they are corporate or individual stores, and you can start your business for free if you are within the free product listing frame. If you have a large number of products and sales, you need to choose the right store plan to start your eBay business.
|A plan to start for FREE
who want to experience cross-border
|0USD/ Month||200Items||35 cents/ Item||Standard 12.35%
|Starter Plan||4.95 USD~/ Month||250 Items||30 cents/ Item|
recommended for individual store owners
|21.95 USD~/ Month||1,000 Items||25 cents/ Item|
|Premium Plan||59.95 USD~/ Month||10,000 Items||10 Cents/ Item||Standarad 11.5%
recommended for corporate stores
|299.95 USD〜/ Month||25,000 Items||5 cents/ Item|
|Enterprise Plan||2,999.95 USD〜/ Month||100,000 Items||5 cents/ Item|
Source：Research by j-Grab Cross-Border EC Lab
There is no initial cost when registering for an eBay account, but various fees are required from listing to completion of the transaction, and they are roughly classified into four types.
- Listing fees incurred when listing products
(There is a free listing limit.)
- Sales commission
when an item is purchased
- Payment fee
charged by Managed Payments when receiving payment
- Cost of an eBay Store Paid Account
Source: Research by j-Grab Cross-Border EC Lab
The fee charged when an item is sold on eBay is a sales commission of up to 15%, depending on the category of the item listed, and upon receiving the purchase payment of the listed item, it automatically deduct the commission and paid to your Payoneer bank account through Managed Payments. Overseas commissions can be discounted by 0.4%~1.35% depending on the total sales amount of the previous month.
|Sales price + delivery price|
|Commission for a successful bid||Settlement fee|
Commission and profit
Source: Research by j-Grab Cross-Border EC Lab
Products from Japan which are selling well
eBay is the world's number one global e-commerce mall where Japanese products also sell very well. From traditional crafts, rare items sold only in Japan, limited edition items, authentic brand items, watches, accessories, cameras, musical instruments, figures, trading cards, etc. those are generally distributed in the Japanese domestic EC market, to clothing, accessories, cosmetics and health foods are also available on eBay. Also, unlike Amazon, eBay has many collectors in the field of second-hand goods (USED), which are very popular for Japanese art, antiques, watches, and well-known branded goods in general.
Prohibited Item Listings on eBay
Before sellers list an item, they should carefully check whether the item is allowed by the destination country's laws and eBay. Even if it is legal to sell in the seller's country, it may be illegal to sell overseas. If you do not sell in accordance with the policies set by eBay, please be noted that your listing will be deleted or you may be subject to eBay account deletion or suspension.
Drug and medical device policies prohibit, for example, contact lenses, while other products are permitted in certain circumstances (including certain types of medical devices).
Examples of prohibited exports from Japan include narcotics and psychotropic drugs, marijuana, illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, child pornography, and goods that infringe on patent rights, design rights, trademark rights, and copyrights. For more information, our cross-border EC consultants will be happy to help you.
What can j-Grab do for you?
j-Grab is a "eBay Japan K.K. Certified Consultant”. j-Grab offers an eBay sales support plan that is made possible because we are familiar with eBay's sales methods, the latest rules and policies of eBay. Also, our representative, Yamada, who is a certified consultant of eBay Japan Inc., and a founding member of eBay Japan, as well as our senior consultant, Yokokawa, who worked as the head of marketing at eBay Japan.
For corporate sellers, we offer a plan that provides thorough support for eBay sellers from opening a store to attracting and managing customers, as well as a plan that allows j-Grab to manage all or part of eBay sales on your behalf if it is difficult for you to assign an eBay representative. We offer a wide range of support services, including a large expansion of sales quota, support for various eBay internal settings, advice on obtaining TRS (Top Rated Seller) certification to maximize sales, eBay internal promotion, and Japanese language support in case of trouble.
We also offer exclusive consulting contracts to help you absorb eBay know-how and techniques in a relatively short period of time.
If you are an individual or a sole proprietor, don't worry. For those who can't afford the cost, we offer a special advisory support plan that allows you to become self-sufficient in one year.
For those who are going to open / sell on eBay, those who have already opened an eBay account but sales are not increasing, those who have lost the price competition and are selling on eBay without profit, those who want to succeed by linking eBay with Shopify and Magento, those who want to become a top rated seller (TRS), those who are having trouble selling on eBay due to suspended, please feel free to contact J-Grab, a company with over 2,500 companies with over 20 years of experience in eBay and cross-border EC support.
Edit: j-Grab Cross-Border EC Lab