The Business Guide To Shipping Items Internationally

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Thanks to major corporations like Amazon and eBay, a lot of people have high expectations for companies shipping internationally. For example, 62 percent of international buyers expect free shipping on items being sent from other countries. 

Are you unsure of how to meet these expectations? Do you want to expand your offerings and ship overseas and don't know where to start? 

Read on to learn some great tips on how you can handle shipping items overseas for your business. 

Common International Shipping Challenges 

There's a lot that can go wrong when you're shipping items overseas. Here are some of the most common challenges for which you'll need to prepare: 

International Rules And Regulations 

Every country has different rules and regulations in place when it comes to delivering packages to its residents. When you're first getting started, it can be hard to keep all these rules straight. Violating them can lead to delayed deliveries and unsatisfied customers, though. 

High Shipping Fees 

Shipping internationally is much more expensive than domestic shipping. Many consumers don't understand how significant the price difference is, which leaves companies grappling with how they can recoup the cost of shipping while charging their customers as little as possible. 

Shipping Insurance Limitations 

Not all shipping insurance policies are created equal. Some policies will only cover packages shipped to places in the United States (and maybe Canada). You have to be extra diligent when it comes to choosing an insurance plan to make sure it meets your needs. 

Supply Chain Visibility 

Customers and businesses alike can benefit from being able to track their packages and see where they are and how long it'll take for them to reach their destination. When it comes to international shipping, though, supply chain visibility can be more difficult to manage. 

Customs 

Of course, there's also the matter of customs. If a shipment gets stuck at customs, everyone loses. This is why it's so important to understand the rules about what products can and cannot be shipped to specific countries, as well as the rules regarding item descriptions. 

The Right Way To Ship Items Overseas 

International shipping definitely has its challenges. It's not impossible, though, and the benefits can outweigh the drawbacks if you approach it in the proper way. Here are some tips to help you handle overseas shipping with ease: 

Start Small 

When you're first getting into the international shipping game, it's best to start small and focus on countries close to home. This helps you ease into the process of learning the ropes and overcoming challenges like those outlined above. It saves you from taking on too much, too soon as well. 

Assess The Demand 

Be sure to take note of where the demand for international shipping is coming from, too. How many people are asking that you ship overseas? Where are they located? 

Answering these questions helps you decide which countries to focus on shipping to first. It also helps you avoid opening up the option for international shipping before it makes sense from a business standpoint. If only a couple of people want overseas shipping, now might not be the time to spring for it. 

Consider Language Barriers 

Another factor to take into consideration is potential language barriers. You might want to think about expanding shipping to countries that speak a language you (or someone else on your team) already speaks. This can help you avoid confusion and create positive relationships right from the start. 

Learn The Rules 

Wherever you're planning on shipping your products, make sure you learn the rules and regulations before you begin. Do your research and find out what they require when it comes to bringing in items from other countries, and make sure you abide by those rules. This will help your customers get their products faster, and it'll help you ensure you remain on good terms with the folks in charge. 

Use Multiple Carriers 

Sometimes, it's best to use multiple carriers. Working with multiple carriers helps you to save money on shipping costs, and it can help you with issues like package tracking and insurance. Consider the prices and policies of different carriers and choose the ones that are the best fit for each shipment (based on what you're shipping and where you're shipping it). 

Invest In Insurance 

It's always a good idea to invest in insurance. It's especially important to do this, though, when you're shipping items to other countries. 

Insurance helps to protect your business and gives you peace of mind as a business owner. It gives your customers peace of mind as well. 

Be Transparent About Pricing 

Often, when people abandon a cart at checkout, it's because they're unhappy with the shipping prices. This is why it's important to be transparent about shipping from the beginning. 

Be clear about how much international shipping will cost and how much the customer must spend if they want to receive free shipping. If you're transparent, you'll lose fewer customers and will likely see higher satisfaction rates. 

Use High-Quality Packaging 

If you're going to ship items overseas, you need to use high-quality packaging that can withstand the journey and protect your products. Look for packaging materials that are durable but still affordable. Consider how much weight they add to the delivery (and the extra costs associated with that weight) before you decide on a specific material. 

Consider A Third-Party Service 

You might also want to consider working with a third-party logistics provider. They will take on the heavy lifting for you and ensure your company is represented in the right way. If you don't have the time to handle all these aspects of international shipping on your own, hiring a third- party provider can be a great way to maximize your time and save money in the long run. 

Start Shipping Items Internationally 

Today If you're ready to expand your business and start shipping items internationally, now is the time to start. Follow these guidelines and you'll have an easier time overcoming the international shipping challenges that many businesses face. 

Do you want to learn more about growing your business and running it in the most effective way possible? 

If so, check out some of the other resources on our site today. From marketing to finance, we cover everything you need to know as an entrepreneur. We provide plenty of top articles on shipping, ecommerce, logistics, packaging, and much more.

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