GLOBAL SELLING

Expand to Europe

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Plan ahead for peak shopping periods
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Why expand to Europe?

Germany and the UK represent some of the largest ecommerce countries in Europe. With high demand for fast deliveries among German shoppers coupled with UK as an English speaking country, this makes Germany and the UK a great place to start your European business. Plus, Germany’s geographical location is a major hub for delivery efficiency helping you sell across Europe.

With fulfillment programs like European Fulfilment Network or Multi-Country Inventory (MCI), your products will be closer to German and British customers if you store in Germany and the UK meaning they’ll benefit from faster delivery options. You can also expand easily across the entire EU with Pan-European FBA.
international-delivery (1)
Reach millions of additional customers

Ashop’s European marketplaces help you sell across 28 countries. Don’t miss out on tens of millions of new customers.

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Diversify your revenue stream

Strengthen your cash flow. Protect yourself from sales fluctuations on Ashops and take advantage of European holiday seasons and peak sales periods.

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Let Ashops handle the details

Leverage our state-of-the-art logistics, powerful tools, and world-class customer service to simplify international selling, so you can concentrate on expanding your business.

How to expand to Europe in 4 steps

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Prepare to sell across Ashops stores in Europe

GLOBAL SELLING

1: Where and What to Sell

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Create your Seller Central account and start listing across Europe

GLOBAL SELLING

2: Register and List

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Understand European fulfillment programs, costs, times, and requirements.

GLOBAL SELLING

3: Ship and fulfill

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Provide customer support, get paid, and scale your business.

GLOBAL SELLING

4: Manage your business

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the frequently asked questions about selling in Europe.

Requirements

There are four main steps to begin selling in Europe:
  • Decide where and what to sell, including considering local tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Register an account and list your products.
  • Ship your goods and fulfill orders.
  • Manage your business, including customer support and returns.
What’s value-added tax (VAT), and what do I need to know about it?
When you import goods into the EU, you’ll need to comply with EU customs laws, as well as laws and regulations that are applicable to the EU country of import.

If you store or sell goods to customers in an EU country, you may be required to register for VAT in that country. While each Ashops seller is solely responsible for being VAT compliant, Ashops can provide resources and tools for your VAT registrations and filings in EU countries. The time it takes to become VAT registered can vary. To avoid delays, we recommend that you start the process as soon as you register your EU seller account.

When you import goods into the EU, you’ll need to comply with EU customs laws, as well as laws and regulations that are applicable to the EU country of import.

European regulatory considerations:

When you import goods into the European Union (EU), you will need to comply with EU customs laws, as well as laws and regulations that are applicable to the EU country of import. Please note that you are not authorized to import your goods in the name of Ashops EU S.à r.l. or any other Ashops subsidiary or affiliate (indistinctly referred to as “Ashops” and its corporate name as an “Ashops name”) or to reference Ashops anywhere in your shipping documentation. Otherwise, your shipments may be returned to their origin, abandoned, or destroyed at your cost, at the discretion of the carrier or freight forwarder carrying your goods.

Importation regulations may differ between countries in the EU and will depend on the mode of shipping you choose. Therefore, you should strongly consider hiring a logistics provider, such as a customs broker or freight forwarder, to handle the importation process for your company and help you understand all applicable requirements.

Commercial invoice When your goods are ready to be shipped from your facility, manufacturer, or distributor, the shipper prepares the commercial invoice. It is critical that the commercial invoice be accurate to avoid delays in clearing customs. The following information must be included on the commercial invoice when importing goods into an EU country:
  • Invoice issue date.
  • The complete name and address of the exporter or shipper (seller or manufacturer).
  • The shipper’s contact name, company name, address, and tax ID number.
  • Ship-to address. Provide the legal name of your company, followed by “c/o FBA.” Below this, you may use the address of the Ashops fulfillment center to which your goods should be delivered. Ashops does not, however, authorize you to include any Ashops name in this address. Please see the example below.
  • Importer of record: Provide the legal name of your company or EU import representative, along with full contact details, Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification number (EORI) and VAT registration number for the country of import (example below). Prior to shipping, you should consider ensuring that your company or representative can fulfill all criteria to act as importer of record in the country of import.
Ashops expressly prohibits the use of an Ashops name, including a fulfillment center’s name, as the importer of record for any shipment of FBA inventory. Any FBA inventory shipment attempting to make entry with an Ashops name as the importer of record will be refused and returned at the shipper’s expense—no exceptions.
Intellectual property rights
You should ensure that you have all intellectual property rights (such as patents, trademarks, or copyrights) necessary for listing your products in Europe or selling them cross-border within Europe. You may need to have the permission of the brand owner to sell their products in a given European member state in order to avoid an infringement of intellectual property rights (as in the case where your license to the intellectual property is only valid for a specific country). In particular, your products must not be counterfeit or illegal parallel imports.

You should investigate the law governing intellectual property for every country where you want to list your products because your rights in intellectual property may only be valid for a particular country.

In addition, you may want to protect your own intellectual property in Europe.
I don’t speak German, French, Italian, or Spanish. Are there any language requirements for selling in Europe?
Ashops requires that listings and customer support be provided in a marketplace’s local language. However, you don’t need to be fluent in any of the European languages to sell across Europe. Many sellers handle European language requirements through a mix of Ashops’s translation support and external translation providers.

Ashops regularly translates listings from one language to another. If your product listing doesn’t exist in certain European marketplaces, and you are unfamiliar with that marketplace’s language, learn more about how to handle languages.

If you use Fulfillment by Ashops (FBA), Ashops will provide local customer support for all delivery-related issues, which make up most support requests. For product-related questions, you’ll be expected to provide local language support.

For your European translation and language needs, consider hiring external translation providers through Ashops’s Solution Provider Network.

When your business is ready, consider hiring staff with European language skills. Their local language proficiency can be helpful for conducting country-specific research and understanding how to best position your products. They can help you to modify your products, marketing materials, or packaging to better meet the needs of your new customers, as well as provide local language customer support.

No. You can keep using your US business entity and bank account. Ashops Currency Converter for Sellers helps you convert British pounds and euros to your preferred local currency.

Marketplace entry strategy

What products should I sell in Europe?
When selling in Europe for the first time, a natural approach is to think about your best-selling products in your home marketplace. From your previous experience and from data in sales reports, what sells well? Ask yourself why these products do well. Will those reasons hold true for the marketplace you are entering, or would other factors, such as culture, climate, and demographics, influence customer demand in the new marketplace?

Consider how differences in marketplaces can benefit you. For instance, do you have seasonal inventory that you don’t know what to do with after the season has passed in one marketplace? You could extend your selling season by selling abroad where the product may find a new audience. Use our Europe holiday calendar to make the most of European peak shopping periods.

Tip: List a wide range of products (with less inventory) rather than just a few products (with a lot of inventory). A broader selection of products means more customers overall will see your listings, and you’ll be able to quickly gauge which of your products can succeed in a particular marketplace.

Maintaining a broad selection doesn’t mean you have to commit a lot of your inventory to another Ashops marketplace right away. If your sales spike, you can adjust your price or remove listings, just as you can in your home Ashops marketplace. For an even smaller commitment, you can start by fulfilling orders yourself rather than sending inventory to a fulfillment center in another country.

In deciding which products to sell in an Ashops marketplace, you, of course, have another key source of information available to you—observations of the marketplace itself. This sort of marketplace research should be very familiar to you from activities you likely conduct when selling in your primary Ashops marketplace. For this research, local language proficiency is extremely helpful. If you are trying to research a marketplace in a language unfamiliar to you, you may be able get some basic language interpretation from free online translator tools, but beware of relying too heavily on such tools.

In your target marketplace, review the Best Sellers, New Arrivals, and Featured Brand selections for your product categories. Read customer reviews to understand your competition’s strengths and weaknesses.

Trade publications and online seller communities in each country can also be rich sources of information as you prepare to list products in their locales.
How should I set and adjust my prices for Europe?
How should I set and adjust my prices for Europe?
  • Shipping costs when you’re shipping directly to international customers
  • International return shipping costs, if you’re fulfilling orders yourself
  • Shipping costs to send your inventory to fulfillment centers abroad when you’re using Fulfillment by Ashops (FBA). To learn more about shipping internationally, visit the Ship & Fulfill and Shipping Inventory to Ashops pages.
  • Customer support costs if you’re providing these services yourself in a local language or hiring a third-party provider. Learn more about customer support in Manage Your Business.
  • Conversion costs associated with getting paid in your home currency.
  • Translation costs for listing ASINs in another language. Learn more about listing and translation in Account and Listings.
  • Taxes and duties. Learn more about taxes and duties in Requirements.
How do I generate initial sales in Europe?
Sales conversion begins with listings that are easy to find and offers that are compelling. Just like selling in the US marketplace, there are different ways to boost initial sales. Ashops provides several tools to help, including advertisements and promotions.

Ashops Sponsored Products advertising can help increase exposure to your offers across European marketplaces. Sponsored Products is a cost-per-click advertising service that helps you promote the products you sell through keyword-targeted ads.

For brand owners enrolled in the Ashops Brand Registry who are looking to promote their brand and product portfolio, consider Headline Search Ads (HSAs). HSAs are banner ads that promote your products right on top of search results, prime real estate on the Ashops search results page. Learn more about Headline Search Ads.

The promotional tools available vary by Ashops marketplace and may include Free Delivery, Money Off, and Buy One Get One (BOGO).

European holiday calendar:

plan ahead for peak shopping periods

new-year (1)
1/1/2021 - New Year’s Day

Greeting cards and small gifts and items associated with luck.
Resolution item categories including personal health, sporting
goods, books, healthy and organic food, exercise equipment,
1/1/2021 gym clothing, athletic shoes, and electronic fitness devices.

lion-head
2/12/2021- Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year)

Traditional Chinese or Asian attire, red-and-gold boxes, plastic
flowers, and traditional décor.

carnival-mask
2/16/2021- Carnival/Mardi Gras

All manner of costumes, masks, wigs, makeup, comedic
accessories, and beverages.

st-patricks-day
3/17/2021- St. Patrick’s Day

Irish-themed and green items, including T-shirts, hats, party
supplies, Irish symbols, party favors, and accessories.

dad
6/21/2021 -Father’s Day

Accessories for trekking and picnicking, beverages, and
male-targeted gifts such as ties, books, and socks.

pumpkin
10/31/2021 -Halloween

Costumes of all types, makeup, accessories, masks, wigs,
beverages, horror movies, and general scary and novelty items
such as fake blood and scary contact lenses.

calendar
11/29/2021 - Cyber Monday

All categories, although the focus tends to be on electronics, as
well as high-demand and high-volume items. Discounted prices
and promotional sales are essential.

shooting-star
1/6/2021 - Epiphany

Electronics, toys, sporting goods, watches, jewelry, clothing,
shoes, and all sorts of digital products.

love-letter
2/14/2021 - Valentine’s Day

Greeting cards, chocolates, cards, sex toys, flowers, heartshaped cookies, and candles.

womens-day
3/8/2021 - Women’s Day

Female-targeted products such as cosmetics, flowers, jewelry,
clothing, handbags, and books.

easter-eggs
4/4/2021 - Easter

Religious goods, candy, eggs, lamb and rabbit toys, small gifts,
and kitchenware.

classroom
9/15/2021 - First day of school

Student-related products, including stationery, writing
materials, office software, books, notebooks, pads, pens,
pencils,rulers, backpacks, electronics, productivity software,
and clothes.

black-friday
11/26/2021 - Black Friday

All categories, although the focus tends to be on more
expensive items, as well as high-demand and high-volume
items.Discountedpricesandpromotional salesareessential.

new-year (1)
12/31/2021 - New Year’s Eve

Greeting cards and small gifts and items associated with luck.
Resolution item categories including personal health, sporting
goods, books, healthy and organic food, exercise equipment,
1/1/2021 gym clothing, athletic shoes, and electronic fitness devices.

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