EBay Inc. is helping Chinese merchants sell more to online shoppers outside of China by providing them with warehouses where they can store their merchandise, enabling faster delivery. Sales by Chinese eBay merchants fulfilled at overseas warehouses increased 145% in the last quarter of 2014 compared with the same period in 2012, and the number of Chinese merchants selling on eBay increased 199% during that period, eBay reported in Beijing this week.
By the end of 2014, about one-third of large Chinese sellers on eBay had started to fulfill orders via overseas warehouses. For almost half of those large sellers who use overseas warehouses, more than 50% of their orders are processed through those warehouses abroad. EBay says it defines large sellers as merchants with annual sales of more than $100,000. Previously, Chinese merchants on eBay mainly shipped via international delivery services, and the average delivery took two to three weeks, eBay says.
More than 10,000 Chinese merchants sell billions of dollars worth of products annually to global consumers on eBay.com, eBay says.
“Overseas warehouses enable China-based sellers to localize their services and improve their consumers’ experiences in global markets,” an eBay China spokesman says.
EBay says its data show that sellers that store products in overseas warehouse increased sales threefold, saw a 30% increase in positive customer reviews and increased their average price by 30%. The local warehouses are particularly helpful in increasing sales of larger items, such as electronics, auto parts and home and garden products, eBay says.
EBay says it has been working with independent logistics companies to operate the warehouses outside of China. Among them is Winit Corp. which has provided overseas warehouse services to Chinese merchants since 2014.
Headquartered in Shanghai, Winit operates four warehouses, one each in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. Winit’s U.S. warehouse, which is in California, has more than 49,000 square feet (15,000 square meters) of storage space and can process up to 19,000 orders each day, Winit says.
The top five best-selling product categories via eBay’s U.S. warehouses for China sellers in are, according to eBay:
- Mobile phone covers, chargers and batteries
- Auto parts
- Covers for tablets
- Laptop batteries and chargers
- Products for hiking and camping
The top three fastest-growth categories via the U.S. warehouses are:
- Women’s lingerie and sleepwear
- Motorcycles parts
- Laptop accessories