China's eBay merchants post sharp growth on overseas demand

The US, Australia and Britain are the top three destinations of goods sold online, with merchants achieving 68 per cent sales growth

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 November, 2012, 2:20am

Defying the lingering economic malaise, online sellers from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan are ringing up brisk sales outside their home markets through eBay's international e-commerce platform.

According to the e-commerce giant's newly published Greater China Exporters' Index, about 7,500 eBay merchants from the mainland achieved revenue of more than US$100,000 and posted 68 per cent sales growth on average in the 12 months to June. That robust gain has solidified their status as eBay's biggest exporters from Asia.

John Lin, the vice-president at eBay Greater China, said yesterday the market's eBay sellers were forecast to ship about 200 million parcels worldwide by next year. That would equal the estimated number to be shipped by eBay merchants from the whole of Asia this year.

"Business is booming for Chinese entrepreneurs who use eBay and PayPal as their global sales channel," Lin said.

PayPal, which supports 25 currencies, is the online payments processing system promoted by eBay in more than 190 markets where it operates.

The top five product categories sold by eBay sellers from China in the 12 months to June were consumer electronics, such as notebook computers; clothing and accessories; mobile phones and accessories; jewellery, gems and watches; and car parts.

The United States, Australia and Britain represent the top three destinations for merchandise sold by eBay's sellers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

For trade between mainland China and the US, the ePacket shipping solution processes 100,000 parcels a day and is available to online merchants in more than 40 mainland cities. The ePacket system is a partnership of China Post, the US Postal Service and eBay.

"But eBay's vision of opening new markets across the globe is paying dividends in China," Lin said.

For example, Israel has joined emerging markets Brazil and Russia in the top 10 destinations for goods sold by eBay sellers from mainland China.

The eBay internal survey found that most of the 7,500 large eBay sellers in China, which included 263 with annual sales of more than US$1 million, plan to hire more staff to meet growing demand overseas. About 90 per cent of mainland eBay sellers intend to employ more staff, while 76 per cent of Taiwan merchants and 67 per cent of Hong Kong vendors also aim to do the same.

Hardy Liao, the marketing director at Foshan-based SKG, said the firm had experienced "a big surge in interest from distributors all over the globe" since it became an eBay seller last year.

SKG, which sells items such as steam irons and rice cookers, has steadily expanded its staff and established warehouses in the US, Britain, Germany and Australia to keep up with demand.