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Topic: International Shipping  (Read 14729 times)
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Joined: 30-Mar-2004

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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2004 08:38:19 AM »

It can get a little complicated shipping internationally...
First off, you need to make sure your international customers know
1) Payment has to be in US $$
2) What payment methods to use (Can you take international money orders, for example? Or just Paypal?)
3) That shipping will be much more than the quoted price for US customers.

Your options with payment methods will depend on the country. Check with your bank/credit union to see what payment types you can deposit. I do NOT take Canadian Postal money orders because my credit union has to mail them to Canada for "collection" and it takes a month or two months (yep, MONTHS) for the money to actually get back to me. It is very easy for anyone to send you a money order for an auction using www.auctionpayments.com or they can use Western Union to send a regular old wire transfer or money order for other stuff (Like off your website). When I accept paper money orders from other countries I require that they be drawn on a US bank. I know that people in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Mexico can definitely get these. Money orders will usually have the bank's name and address on the front-- it'll be obvious the money order is drawn on a US bank because they bank's address will be in the US.
Paypal is probably the easiest, but just keep in mind that if the buyer ends up to be a fraud you do NOT get your money back. Paypal will remove the money from your account and there is nothing you can do about it.
Of course you can always accept cash in USD. This is usually the easiest for Asian countries other than Japan and Singapore.
You may want to specifically list the countries you can ship to. I only ship to Japan, Australia, Canada, and the UK because I know I can accept payments from those countries. I have had problems shipping to Germany (the girl had to pay more than the item was worth in taxes because the item got held up in customs- it was trading cards!) and the Netherlands. My major problem with shipping internationally was people being surprised at how much it costs or not realizing they couldn't send me a money order in their own currency.
If you're going to ship internationally, you'll want to buy a postal scale. Because the rates can vary so dramatically with just a small weight increase, it would be easy to undercharge and end up losing money.
Also, you don't want to use surface mail. Items are frequently damaged this way and it often takes two or three months for items to get to their destination. Require the buyers to pay for Global Priority (which is often CHEAPER than airmail) or airmail.
Anyway I hope this helps a little! In the end, you have to really decide if it's even worth it... You may just want to ship to Canada- it's around the same cost in shipping and payment is much easier than from anywhere else...

Dolly Parton is my spiritual leader, and Clint Eastwood is my sewing buddy.
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2004 08:49:15 AM »

Anyway I hope this helps a little! In the end, you have to really decide if it's even worth it... You may just want to ship to Canada- it's around the same cost in shipping and payment is much easier than from anywhere else...
Wow.  Thank you!  Smiley  Seems like I should just ship inside the US and maybe to Canada for the time being, at least until my business gets a little "bigger."  Shipping internationally may be more trouble than it's worth for me at this time.  But it's good to know what the options are, just in case.  Wink
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