As everyone knows, however, eBay is a the world's premier trading site and hosts many, many millions of listings from around the globe at any one time. And there is a way to access all of it as an eBay shopper.
Shopping Globally on eBayTo shop all that eBay has to offer to you, visit eBay's global buying page at global.ebay.com rather than going to the eBay home page you're accustomed to visiting. From there, you'll have access to a truly global range of goods, all listed for sale on eBay.
There are, of course, some differences between the "eBay Global" and the everyday version of eBay you normally shop. Amongst the things to notice are:
- Language drop-down list. At the top of the front page you'll see a large blue bar. Near the center of this bar is a drop-down list labeled "Language." Use this list to select the language that you'd like to search in and see results in. Remember that eBay isn't translating here; your results in any language will depend on how many listings have been posted in that language.
- Country drop-down list. To the right of the language drop-down list is a drop-down list labeled "Country." Use this to tell eBay where you're planning to have your purchase shipped; this will also narrow your search results to include only those sellers willing to ship to the country you select.
- National flags in search results. Once you actually begin to search for your purchase, you'll notice two new things about global search results. First, next to each item in the list is a national flag and the name of the country where the item is located; this tells you where the item is coming from.
- Currency conversions in search results. Some prices in search results will also be in italics; these prices are denominated in foreign currencies, but have been automatically converted to your own currency for you, which PayPal will also do when it comes time to pay—but keep in mind that currency values change over time, so the pricing information may not be exact.
There are also a few things to keep in mind as you shop globally on eBay, if you want to be prepared for what's to come:
- Shipping will take longer. When you make a purchase from a seller in another country, it's simply going to take longer to reach you most of the time. Anywhere from an additional seven days to three weeks is to be expected. International sellers can't speed up their postal systems any more than you can.
- Shipping may be more expensive. To hurry things up, you may be able to arrange for premium shipment services like UPS or FedEx, but these will cost much more internationally than costs you're accustomed to paying domestically. Even standard postal system rates are going to be higher than they normally are.
- Extra patience and courtesy are called for. Remember, when you're buying globally you're often working through differences not only in language, but also in customs and expectations about things like promptness and quality. In some cases you'll have to be prepared for diplomacy and compromise if both parties are to be satisfied in the end.
Buying internationally on eBay can be both fun and fulfilling when you're ready to make the jump to a larger group of sellers. Keep these tips in mind and enjoy your global eBay experience!