Using Ebay in Portugal

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Published: August 2017 & Last Updated: June 2022

EBay isn’t used much in Portugal. You won’t find many Portuguese sellers on there, you won’t find many Portuguese buyers, and there isn’t a Portuguese version of eBay (eBay.pt).

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth using eBay — it can be useful — but, generally, there are better options.

Ebay as a shopper

For online shopping, most people, expats and Portuguese alike, go directly to Amazon. Amazon.es is normally the best option for people living in Portugal but, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, Amazon.de is worth looking at to. (A full article on shopping at Amazon from Portugal can be found here.)

However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for on Amazon.es or Amazon.de, eBay can be worth exploring. It’s particularly useful if you’re looking for something unique and specific, like a computer part, and you can’t seem to find it in Portugal.

It’s essentially another Amazon: although you will find some second-hand items on there, a lot of the listings are for small companies that probably exist on Amazon as well. EBay isn’t particularly popular in Spain either, and since the UK has now left the EU, most of the EU-based sellers you’ll come across will be based in Germany. If you’re specifically looking to buy second-hand items from Portuguese sellers, you are probably better off looking at Facebook Marketplace, which is used a lot in Portugal, or one of the many classifieds websites that exist in Portugal like OLX.

EBay is probably most popular in the US and UK and, unfortunately, both of these countries are outside of the EU. That means you’ll most likely pay import taxes on anything you buy that gets shipped to Portugal. But, if the item you’re looking for is only available in either of those two countries, it may be worth it.

EBay does have a ‘Global Shipping Program’ where you can prepay the import charges, however, doing this doesn’t mean your item won’t slide through customs effortlessly. You’ll still get a phone call or email and be asked to produce paperwork showing the item’s value and whether or not the customs charges have been paid.

Regardless of which eBay site you’re using (eBay.co.uk, eBay.de, eBay.es, etc), what you want to be able to see is the cost of the product (including postage) to Portugal. The easiest way to do this is to create an account and register your Portuguese address. Then, when you’re logged in eBay will show you 1) listings that can be sent to Portugal and 2) the final cost, including postage costs.

Tip: if you already have an eBay account, make sure your primary address is your Portuguese address. 

EBay as a seller

As mentioned, eBay isn’t that popular in Portugal. Here, people tend to use OLX or Facebook Marketplace much more and, if you want to sell a second-hand item, you’ll have a much better chance of selling it on there. Plus, eBay charge a commission and sites like Facebook Marketplace and OLX don’t.

If you do list on eBay, the majority of your buyers will probably be in Germany. Previously, you would have had a few buyers in the UK as well, but, because of Brexit, most will only buy from UK-based sellers. However, if you’re selling something unique that they can’t find in the UK, there’s a chance they may buy from you.

Selling on OLX or Facebook Marketplace isn’t much fun. You’ll get a lot of messages, and a lot of people low-balling you, but very few people turning up to actually buy the item. Even though eBay take a cut, at least it only attracts serious buyers (although you do have to watch out for scammers).

Because there isn’t a Portuguese eBay, you will need to pick which eBay site to sell through, and using the eBay.com site seems to be the best option. Happy eBaying!

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Comments

  1. Hi James,I have recently sold my property on the Silver Coast near Obidos. The people buying the property don't want to buy the contents. This includes all bed linen ,towels and furniture for a 3 bed house.Could you recommend any organisation or platform I could use to sell the contents.
    Neil

    Reply
    • Hi Neil,

      Are you in Portugal? Olx or Facebook marketplace would probably be the two biggest platforms for selling second hand things.

      Reply
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  3. "Now eBay does have a ‘Global Shipping Program’ where you can prepay the import charges, however, doing this doesn’t mean your item won’t slide through customs effortlessly."
    But in the terms and conditions of this service, they say we don't have to worry with customs, what do you mean we'll get a phone call? please explain, thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Suzz,

      In my experience what happens is that you go through the Global Shipping Program, prepay customs, fill out the paperwork, etc. but customs in Portugal still phone you to confirm all the details. They may also ask you to send through your receipts for the item and any other relevant paperwork.

      Hopefully, it'll get better with time but that's what has happened to me in the past.


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      Reply
  4. In my experience, and I know many sellers have had the opposite experience(but I sell and buy pretty frequently for a casual ebayer); the sellers are the ones more likely to screw me over. I've had items never sent, electronics and games packaged so badly they arrived disfunctional assuming they hadn't always been that way, people even changing listing descriptions or trying to force me to buy an item despite clear bidding manipulation on the bid history. Cannot stress how important it is to stand your ground as a buyer, how easy sellers can hurt you too using unscrupulous practices.

    Reply
  5. estou com dificuldades em entrar pelo ebay, europa.
    agora tento novamente em portugal, porque as taxas de porte ficaram elevadíssimas !!!

    Reply
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