Israeli sellers ramp up overseas eBay sales

eBay

Many of the items exported by Israeli sellers are considered expensive in Israel and are usually imported.

The number of Israeli sellers on eBay rose by 40% in April compared with March, eBay has told "Globes." eBay also said that there was a 46% rise in sales of products by Israeli sellers over the same period.

The new Israeli sellers on eBay are small and medium sized businesses, 60% of whom do not have their own website. Israeli sellers sold goods worth an estimated tens of millions of dollars in the first quarter of 2020. 85% of products currently being sold on eBay by Israeli sellers are new products.

In the first four months of 2020, Israeli sellers sold 800,000 'isolation products' ranging from hygiene goods to leisure items. 500,000 of these products were sold in March and April. eBay says that these are exceptionally high numbers compared with regular times. Although there is a relaxation of the lockdown in Israel, there is not in many other countries worldwide, so that sales by Israelis of such items as games and home fitness accessories are still on the rise.

eBay head of business development and operations Israel, Emerging Europe and Africa Anna Pelkin said that the trend in higher sales was continuing in May. She told "Globes" that the rise of the number of sellers on eBay is typical of many countries at the moment.

While the coronavirus has opened up new online opportunities for sellers it has also posed logistical challenges, especially in terms of shipping, due to the fall in world aviation operations. Parcels for the most part had been sent on passenger planes. Postal operations within countries have also been affected. For these reasons large online companies like Amazon temporarily halted shipping to Israel.

Pelkin said, "The trend we are currently seeing is that many sellers are being exposed to a revenue stream from overseas buyers that they didn't previously have and so our estimates are that they will develop this channel with all their strength.

Pelkin stresses that the low threshold for entry and the assistance provided by eBay in developing pages and platforms make it easy for new sellers to develop this sales channel.

"Our advantage as Israelis is our entrepreneurial character and ability to identify opportunities. Overnight companies have changed their business model to adapt themselves to the new world. 60% of new sellers did not previously have a sales website. Direct sales allow them to change practices such as sales through distributors or focusing only on business customers by making direct contact with the end customer."

The categories in which Israelis are selling on eBay are fashion (23%), home and garden (19%), jewelry (11%), electronics (10%) followed by cosmetics, art, games, Judaica, vehicle spare parts, and more.

In addition to domestic sales within Israel, the top four overseas countries for Israel eBay sales are the US, UK, Canada and Germany. One major surprise is that many of the products sold overseas from Israel are considered expensive in Israel and much cheaper abroad such as nutritional additives, vitamins and minerals, sunglasses, smartphones, and mobile phone accessories. Presumably the Israeli sellers know how to be competitive.

In the first quarter of 2020, most Israeli eBay sales to the US were vitamins, sports shoes, and video games, categories that are usually imported to Israel rather than exported. Sales to the UK and Canada were mainly hair color products (up 400%) and video games (up 300%).

In the first quarter, Israeli sellers sold over 800 digital thermometers to China (where they were probably manufactured in the first place), 2,200 decks of cards, and 8,500 guitars as well as 5,700 video games, 3,000 home fitness products, and 7,500 pairs of sports shoes. Out of 14,000 items for pets that were sold, 2,500 were to businesses for dogs.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 17, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

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