Another Friday Feedback is in the books, read along to get up to speed!
On August 17th, 2018 our own Andrew Maff sat down with TJ Hyland, the Key Account Manager at WorldFirst. Listen in as they discuss how WorldFirst helps Amazon sellers with international payments. How they help repatriate sellers' earnings back to dollars at better exchange rates than what the marketplace would do or what bank would do and much more!
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Follow along with worldfirst on international payments for amazon
Andrew Maff: This is TJ.
TJ Hyland: Nice to meet you.
Andrew Maff: So, TJ, I would love it if you would give us a little background about WorldFirst.
TJ Hyland: Absolutely. So WorldFirst in general, what we do is we help with international payments. But in regards to our e-commerce business and our online seller business, what we do is we help with people who are selling online overseas. So a company based on the U.S. selling on Amazon UK, and what we do is we help repatriate their earnings back to dollars at better exchange rates than what the marketplace would do or what bank would do or anything like that. That's at its simplest form.
Andrew Maff: High level. Appreciate it.
TJ Hyland: We help people who are selling around the world, so most of our U.S. clients are selling in Europe. So in the UK Euros, Canada, and then we also support Amazon China, Japan, Australia, and other marketplaces as well. Amazon, as you know, is just kind of the big guy.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. So obviously Amazon giving people the ability to scale into Europe is not anything new by any means, but it is new-ish. So in the past four, not even four, three, five years as Amazon made it easier for people to scale into Europe or into Australia now or anywhere new, are you guys finding just an influx of just sellers who are looking for help with currency, and exchange rates, and everything along those lines?
TJ Hyland: Absolutely. The biggest one that we see is American-based sellers expanding to Canada because the pan-North American account is all is one login. Same thing with the European account where you have one login and you can control Amazon UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain. So Amazon's really stepped up their game in term of logistically putting everything together to make it easier for sellers to easily enable FBA to go to Canada, or the EU or wherever. A lot of sellers now are expanding into Canada. It's a pretty hot market at the moment.
Andrew Maff: Yeah, we've had quite few who have ... that seems to be the first step is you go to Canada, and then you go to Europe, and then you kind of venture out from there. We did just get a question for you. Can you help pay back taxes?
TJ Hyland: Yeah we actually can. So kind of a little bit more about how we work, what we do is we provide local receiving accounts in the regions that you're selling. So if you're selling in the UK, we'll provide you with a British pound. Amazon will transfer those pounds to WorldFirst free of charge, and then once the pounds are in the WorldFirst account we can then pay them directly out the BAT authorities, or euros to the European authorities, Canadian dollars to those authorities as well.
Andrew Maff: Beautiful. Now I know that there are sellers who maybe work with some kind of vendor out in Europe or anything along those lines, and sometimes you can actually get a discount by working with them if you actually pay them in their currency as opposed to paying them in the U.S. and then they have to convert it and all that stuff. So is it possible for some sellers to actually utilize the money that they have with you to pay vendors in Europe or anything along those lines so they don't have to worry about that whole currency situation?
TJ Hyland: Absolutely. So if you to pay vendors in the UK euro we can absolutely do that with the funds that you have on account. The other one that's really popular is a lot of people source from China, and a lot of Chinese vendors will just sort of invoice you in U.S. dollars because they know that's easier for you than paying into local currency. But when they do that invoice in dollars, they do add an extra percentage in there so that they don't lose when they have to convert it into local currency. What we can do is whether we take your pounds that you have and transfer them directly into Chinese Yuan, we can do that for you and then you won't be paying that extra percentage, or we can help with if you just had dollars in your account, if you don't even sell overseas on Amazon we can help with domestic sellers who have to pay in local currency into China as well.
Andrew Maff: Okay. Alright, so let's have a little fun with it. What is the mistake you see sellers making like all the time? Is there anything on the currency side of when they first start working with you, or anything along those lines, just horror stories?
TJ Hyland: I think the biggest mistake that people make when first expanding overseas, and especially like we said a lot of people expand to Canada first is they expect the same sales that they're gonna have in the U.S., but the market's just not the same. So they only send a few SKUs or maybe five of each item, and they don't sell as quickly, and they get disappointed, and then they pull out and they don't do it. If I was to recommend a marketplace to expand to first, I would absolutely say expand to the UK first. Veery similar demographic in terms of the U.S. British people are much more inclined to spend a little bit more. What I find that if you sell something for $10 in the U.S., you can sell it for 10 pounds in the UK. So the exchange rate right now, it actually just took a nosedive over the last couple days, but it's around 1.3. So you would be getting quite a bit more money when you do bring your pounds back to dollars, which can offset the cost of VAT or shipping it overseas and stuff like that.
Andrew Maff: Nice.
TJ Hyland: The other sort of mistake people make is not utilizing FBA, especially on the international markets. Sending 100 individual packages over to the UK or Germany, wherever you're selling, that'll definitely get really pricey. So I would take advantage of the sort of logistics setup that Amazon has, it's one of the really good things that they've done I believe.
Andrew Maff: Okay. So we know that sellers who are trying to expand into Europe, we always find like you have to kinda like weigh which country you wanna go to. Usually, we have the same, or in most cases, we have a very similar suggestion where the UK is typically the easiest because translations and things like that are more or less exact. There's no translation with the exclusion of like a few words here and there. But we also know that oddly enough Germany has been primarily the top Amazon Europe country. So I know that you kinda have to weigh whether you wanna deal with the headache of getting translations and getting them done correctly and whether or not they're accurate because you never really know, do you trust someone blah blah blah, or do you go to the UK, make it less of a headache, and make a little bit less. So do you guys find that it's a lot more, it's easier right now to just continue going to the UK? Or do you suggest some sellers to try going to Germany or any other country?
TJ Hyland: I think it very much depends on your product. There are products that do, if you're selling watches, for example, you're gonna do much better in, I find, in Italy and France than they do in Germany. I mean that's just looking at the market and seeing what people buy. But what I do find is you can do what's called the European Fulfillment Network, where you only send your products to the UK, and they get fulfilled from there. That's what some of our VAT companies that we work with, that's what they advise as well because then you only have to pay VAT in that one country where you ship your products to. I absolutely think that you should take advantage of the full Amazon offering. So especially like I said, they have the pan-European where you can log in and easily, not translate, but easily list across those four or five marketplaces, you might as well. Especially if your products are already overseas, it can't hurt to do that.
Andrew Maff: So we just got a question. What are the best products to sell internationally? Which is a fantastic question. I mean insight on that ... the best products to sell internationally. I mean obviously the stuff that everyone wants like clothes, for the most part, yeah you should go with styles and things like that, or everyone has a phone, there are certain phones out there, certain accessories like that, but I feel like, I don't know if there's an answer for that. That one's kinda tough.
TJ Hyland: I feel like if I give that answer then I'm doing all the research for you. You need to know what's good for your business, you need to understand what you're selling. Don't just buy something and list it because I said so or you said so. If you're gonna do it, if you're gonna be successful on Amazon I think you really need to understand the market you're going into and you need to understand what you're selling and who's buying.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. I feel like there are not that many products out there that wouldn't sell overseas like at all, like zero sales, but I feel like there are some that would get very minimal sales. Like for instance, if I sold Tervis cups, everyone drinks water, right? But I have a Steelers one. So if I sold that in Germany, I don't think there's that big of a Steelers market in Germany. I'm probably not gonna do that well. So I feel like I would focus more towards like general stuff. But I digress. So these are usually short and sweet, and I don't wanna take up more of your Friday. You can go enjoy beautiful Austin. So TJ, if you wouldn't mind just giving me some closing statements. Let everyone know where they can find more information about WorldFirst, and then we'll call it a day.
TJ Hyland: Absolutely. So you can find us at WorldFirst.com. You can absolutely email me personally as well, TJ. Hyland H-Y-L-A-N-D @WorldFirst.com. Happy to answer any questions you have whether you're thinking of expanding, whether you already sell internationally, there's a lot of things that you can do to increase your bottom line and currency exchange, and being more cognizant of the markets and the rates is one easy step that we can help with.
Andrew Maff: Perfect. TJ, I appreciate it. Everyone who watched, thank you so much. If we weren't able to get to your questions feel free to DM either of us, go ahead and slide on in. We'll have this up on our YouTube and save this up in a bunch of different places too so everyone can look at it later. But TJ, thank you so much. Enjoy your Friday. Everybody else, have a good one, enjoy your weekend. Thanks guys, have a good night.
TJ Hyland: Buh bye.