If you’re a business owner or even a consumer, it’s likely you’ll run into the need for international shipping. What most don’t realize is that international shipping is nothing like domestic shipping.
Many international shipping services are expensive, to begin with. Extra fees from freights, duties, taxes, and customs can accumulate throughout the package’s voyage.
It’s not uncommon to end up paying way more than you expected to ship or receive foreign mail. We’ve got all the terms and details regarding international shipping below so you can stay ahead of the fees and slowdowns.
By far the most confusing and unexpected aspect of international shipping is the extra fees. Duties are what the receiver must pay in order for the delivery of goods from the business to be completed. Duty fees will depend on the value of items shipped, country of manufacture, and HS Code items shipped.
A business must be upfront with its consumers on who is responsible for these extra fees. A customer being surprised by an additional $200 payment isn’t ever a good thing.
If a business wanted to pay duties before delivery, it can use Delivered Duty Paid (DDP). You’d need to collect duty fees, including VAT, upfront.
Foreign address shipping services are USPS International, UPS, DHL Express, Canada Post, and Sendle. Depending on the items you’re sending and countries of transit, they’ll have different rules and rates.
Check beforehand for all the details you need. You can easily get your labels from certifiedmaillabels.com. These include the cost to ship, duties, and fees, shipping times, and a return strategy.
Growth and International Shipping
Companies that offer low international shipping rates have been shown to grow “60% faster than their counterparts” states DHL.
It’s wise to pay attention to where your website traffic is coming from. If you have a lot of international site visitors, you should definitely consider international shipping. Consider where potential customers asking you to ship.
If you are a business owner, it is important to have information solely dedicated to your shipping policies. Anticipating any questions a customer might have beforehand will prevent confusion. Things to cover are the shipping costs, times, methods, and who will be responsible for additional international charges like duties and taxes.
If you are a consumer, most trustworthy brands should have a page dedicated to shipping. If you are placing an international order and are unsure of the retailer’s policies, it is best to contact customer service before placing any orders. If not, you might find yourself paying much more than anticipated for shipping.
International shipping can be a nightmare since there are so many hidden costs. However, it can help businesses reach new markets.
Once you’re accustomed to international shipping either through experience or through onboarding a shipping expert, you’ll find that foreign mail isn’t so foreign anymore!
For more tips, keep reading our business guides.