When you start out in business, you may begin with local shipping, perhaps within the province. As business grows, you may decide to expand to shipping all over the country.
If business is good, the time may come to think about shipping things internationally. You want it to be as simple and risk-free as possible while being cost-effective at the same time. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you when it comes to international shipping.
1. Rates & Services
As a business, you want to have the best bang for your buck. You don’t want to pay more than is necessary, but at the same time, you want to receive great service as well. What you want is to find a nice blend.
There are many courier services to choose from. Some will be better than others. It is not something you want to rush into. Take a look at what kind of product or products you intend to ship. Then, think about the timeline. Then compare the shipping rates to see which would be the best choice. Which countries are your products shipped to the most? See if you can get a good deal.
2. Pay Attention To Restricted Products
Some products you sell in your own country may be alright. However, if you are shipping it overseas, it could be a problem. That’s why you need to look into it and be careful. Every country will have their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to items being shipped or received. For example, you cannot send cigarette lighters to France.
Some items that cannot be shipped to a country may seem quite surprising. Other times, it may be understandable. For example, some items that cannot be shipped through the United States Postal Service include:
- alcoholic beverages
- explosives (quite understandable!)
- poison and many more
This is why it is important to learn about international ecommerce. Try shipping to some countries first and get to know the workings of the process. Then, when you get familiar with it, you can slowly expand to other countries. So, start by shipping to the United States and Mexico first, then maybe expanding to Europe and then, maybe you can ship it to Africa, for example.
3. Know About Shipping Costs
You need to slowly familiarize yourself with shipping costs. For example, if you were to ship a t-shirt within your own province, there may be just a single shipping rate. However, if you decide to ship that same t-shirt where it has to cross a border, there may be new duties and taxes that may be applicable.
As a retailer, it is very important for you and your business to understand the total cost before you send something across a border. Think about it. If a package is received and the recipient has to pay $30 more when the item is delivered, they may refuse the package. Now, you have lost the sale and you have lost the cost of the freight.
You will make mistakes along the way. However, you can try to keep them to a minimum and learn from it. It isn’t always going to go smoothly. The main thing is to keep it as smooth as possible by trying to do all the right things. This will help compensate for those other times.