How to sell on marketplaces In Germany

How To Sell On Marketplaces In Germany

Along with Britain and France, Germany has one of the most significant shares in Europe’s GDP. When using German marketplaces, you can use the selling power Germany has to offer with its population of over 82 million. Using German marketplaces is a great way to broaden the sales of your eCommerce business.

Do you want to know more about German marketplaces, including the advantages and the requirements of using them?

This article will cover everything you need to know before starting to sell on German marketplaces, including where to sell and how to meet the requirements of the websites.

What is a marketplace?

An online marketplace is an eCommerce platform that allows third-party businesses to sell their products. Commerce businesses and brands can increase their sales by connecting buyers with sellers on the marketplace platform. Consider it the online version of a marketplace that allows various stores and stalls to be set up in one place and provides sellers with more access to customers.

Where to sell on German marketplaces

The primary German marketplaces with the highest turnover are Amazon and OTTO. If you are planning to use the German market, you might want to try one or both of these marketplaces first.

If you are familiar with Amazon as an online marketplace, you will understand how the German platform works. OTTO is a leading and well-known Hamburg-based company set up in 1949 that earned almost 1 billion in revenue last year.

Some other platforms to consider are Zalando if your eCommerce business sells fashion products or Mediamarkt if you sell electronics.

If you want to start selling using German marketplaces, there are many resources on German business to help you get started by opening bank accounts, getting a trade license, and registering your business with the tax authority.

What are the requirements for selling in Germany?

If you want to boost your sales using marketplaces in Germany, there are some requirements you need to meet first. Many German marketplaces, such as OTTO as of November 2021, require businesses to have a registered company in Germany to use their marketplace.

Some other platforms like Amazon allow non-German companies to register. However, Germans tend to trust German sellers more, and sales via international companies are often more difficult due to VAT issues. So, it is advisable to set up a company in Germany.

You will need to set up a subsidiary company in Germany, either a Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung or GmbH, which is a limited liability company in Germany, or an Unternehmergesellschaft (UG), which is an entrepreneurial small limited liability company. The UG can be set up with as little as 1 euro, whereas the GmbH requires 25,000 euros in share capital when founding the company.

Setting up a UG or GmbH can take 2-3 months. You can save this time by purchasing a shelf company, a pre-established company with no assets or liabilities and has never traded. If you buy one of these, it will save you time setting up a German company, allowing you to start business operations within days.

How to automate your German ECommerce business

When selling on marketplaces, you can automate your business using the many resources available that support automation. For example, some interfaces support the complete automation of your business’s shipping, warehousing, accounting, and logistics.

You can link your Amazon marketplace in Germany to your other marketplaces by using the Build International Listings tool and adding your target marketplaces.

You can use online accountants and accounting software to ensure your finances are handled without having to spend hours poring over spreadsheets from different marketplaces in different countries. You can also automate your logistics by using a fulfillment company to store and distribute your products.


Selling in Germany can be very profitable and offers online businesses the chance to expand their sales figures. All you have to do is select the German marketplace that seems right for you and decide if you want to acquire a shell company or create your own. Then, establish and automate your business within the country.

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