HK online sellers stocking up in warehouses overseas

May 11, 2015 15:02
Michelle Leung, eBay general manager for Hong Kong and Taiwan cross-border trade (center) is shown with Vincent Wong (right). Photo: HKEJ

Merchandise stored in overseas warehouses by Hong Kong's e-commerce companies on eBay increased 64 percent in the fourth quarter last year from the same period in 2012.

More than one-third of Hong Kong commercial sellers on the United States e-commerce giant have warehouses overseas, eBay said in a report.

Thirty-six percent of these sellers with annual merchandise volumes above US$10,000 have 80 percent of their goods shipped from those overseas warehouses.

The sellers cited faster deliveries as a key reason for using overseas warehouses, giving them a higher profit margin.

Vincent Wong, who runs a consumer electronics store on eBay, told EJ Insight that improved margins can offset warehousing costs and higher taxes in Europe where his warehouse is located.

In addition, faster delivery allows him to offer the latest products, such as the Xioami smartphone, to European customers before these are available through official channels.

Wong and his business partner set up their first overseas warehouse three years ago in England, resulting in sales growth of up to four times since then.

Leveraging overseas warehousing also simplifies traditional cross-border processing, reducing loss or damage.

Shipping performance of overseas warehouse sellers are generally 30 percent more efficient than non-overseas warehouse sellers, eBay said.

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EJ Insight reporter