300 million people in the US to market your product to is nothing to laugh at. However, if you are not offering international shipping you lose about 7 billion potential customers. That’s a lot of revenue.
Of course, the problem is, how do you ship to customers outside of the United States? Naturally, there are some obstacles you will have to deal with, but once you do that, you will see just how beneficial this can be for your business.
Here are five easy steps that can help you offer international shipping and get ahead of your competition:
Decide How Far You are Shipping
Your competitors might be outperforming you simply because they offer international shipping and you do not. Don’t be afraid to enter this market. Advertise that you have started shipping your products outside of America and watch the response from current and potential customers.
When shipping internationally, you should also be aware that some products are not welcomed in certain countries (such as shoes in Italy). Also you can’t ship anything that’s flammable, explosive, contains toxins or chemicals.
So, before you start shipping anything internationally, consult USPS’ lists to see what is and what isn’t allowed.
Think About Using a Global Shipping Program
EBay’s Global Shipping Program has made life much easier for anyone looking to sell their product. GSP enables US-based sellers to conduct business as usual and still have their products seen by potential buyers all across the globe.
Once an international order is received, the seller simply sends the wanted item to a fulfillment center in the United States and from there the center ships the item internationally. The best part of this is that you, as the seller, are only paying domestic shipping costs, which are significantly lower than international costs.
Select Your Method of Shipping
You should also pick your shipping method. One of the options at your disposal is the USPS Priority Mail Express, which offers shipping materials and boxes free of charge. This method is quite safe in regards to lost shipments and the buyer receives the item in a shorter amount of time compared to some other options.
Learn About International Rates
Don’t worry; knowing about international rates isn’t as hard as it sounds. The best way to go about it is to use flat rate boxes or envelopes from a carrier of your choosing (USPS for example). If what you are looking to ship can easily fit into the flat rate box, the rates will be consistent and you can calculate without much problem how to set your prices for international shipping.
If you are selling through eBay it gets even easier. Over there, you only pay domestic shipping fees to send the item(s) to the fulfillment center and they then deal with taxes, fees and customs for you.
The most important thing to do if you want your international shipping endeavor to be successful is to be well prepared. Make sure you have enough packaging materials for your products to get to their destination in time and safely (undamaged).
In addition, take a look at the type and cost of insurance each service is offering and also if your products require insurance.
As you can see here, offering international shipping will take some time and, of course, money, but the end result will be million new potential customers to sell your products to.