eBay Publishes Small Online Business Inclusive Global Trade Report

March 23, 2023

Since its inception, eBay has been at the forefront of a revolutionary change in international trade. Exporting at a truly global scale was long the domain of corporate giants. However, the eBay marketplace has leveled the playing field globally and empowered small businesses to reach consumers in over 190 markets. Today, we published a new report revealing the tremendous export success by small businesses using eBay in 18 markets globally, running the trade gamut from Net Importers to Net Exporters, and the development spectrum from Advanced to Emerging Economies.  It provides further evidence that eBay’s level-playing field marketplace is breaking the traditional link between the size of a business and the ability to be a successful exporter, which is a clear step forward to a more balanced and inclusive economy.

Our findings include that nearly every eBay small business in the countries covered in the report are exporters whereas the rate for traditional businesses range from only 1 to 31 percent.  Similarly, the eBay small businesses reach customers in far more international markets than traditional businesses.  Country-by-country, eBay small business exporters averaged sales into 13 to 35 international markets, which is three to six times greater than the comparable offline trade performance. And, looked at collectively, each country’s eBay small business community exported like a virtual multinational giant, with 13 seller communities making sales into 200 or more different international markets in a single year. Furthermore, in many cases, the top export markets for eBay small businesses are not identical to the top export markets for traditional businesses. By facilitating exports to these additional markets, eBay is promoting export diversity and resilience. Given that exporting businesses have traditionally been more prosperous and sustainable than comparable businesses that don’t trade, this online trade success points to greater longevity for small businesses on the eBay marketplace.

The report also features numerous stories and testimonials of eBay sellers from this vibrant community of global traders such as Koichi Watanabe, owner of NBZ Japan. He states, I initially entered the domestic ecommerce market as a sole proprietorship, but since I started selling cross border on eBay, have been able to continuously increase sales as a business for more than 10 years.” Anna Packer, owner of Annaesthetic Miscellany, adds, “eBay’s global marketplace has fueled the growth of my business and opened doors for me I never thought possible. It is a platform full of opportunities!” And, Martin Cernic of Move Marine ApS remarks, “We are so thankful for eBay being such a great partner and empowering us to sell our products overseas and reach so many new customers!”  

Finally, the report also includes general policy recommendations that would enhance the ability of small businesses to reach shoppers around the globe, regardless of their location. These include - Raising customs de minimis thresholds; Expanding access to the Internet; Reducing customs import barriers; Treating postal systems as small business trade facilitators; and Supporting AI innovation that boosts cross border trade. 

We invite you to read the full report here.