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How to start selling internationally?

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 1:10 PM
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Hi everyone. I've got some questions about selling internationally.

  1. How do you figure shipping?
  2. Is there customs that have to be paid and who pays them?
  3. Can you ship internationally using USPS or do you have to use a different service?
  4. What kind of items sell best internationally for someone who lists random things? LOL. (I don't have  store, I list what I have.)

As you can see, I'm a little nervous about offering international shipping and I don't even know how to begin. Also, I've noticed a lot of people mention problems with shipping to Canada or Italy. Why is that?

  Something for everyone, come check it out!

by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 1:10 PM
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Sharron_
by Bata Team on Jun. 9, 2009 at 1:31 PM

I wouldn't recommend selling to Italy.  Just google Italy postal system....that will tell you enough!.

Actually here's a post I found: http://www.slowtrav.com/valerie/italy_post_office.htm


USPS International Shipping Calculator.

http://ircalc.usps.gov/

Here's my advice:

Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope or Priority small Flat Rate Box....aren't trackable.  (so I believe) and max weight international is 4lbs.

Priority med or large Flat rate box are trackable* and have insurance built in up to a certain amount.  If you *purchase insurance as well then you can track the item...not sure otherwise if you have to buy tracking. But it is expensive.

First Class....basically at your own risk!.  Ship it and hope it gets there....so use this for someone that sounds trustworthy and only for an amount you can afford to lose.

I have been sending packages to the UK for 3 years to my family (birthdays etc) and never has one got lost and that's with first class. 

also with Ebay I haven't yet had any packages go missing internationally.  (although I have only shipped to Aussie and Canada...but none of them had DC or were tracked).  It's a case of trust!! Yep mad isn't it!!.  But I now have one to send to Italy (if he ever pays) and quite frankly I don't expect it to arrive for about a month if ever!

Sharon. 

Edee has lots of advice on it and I think I am going to start following some of it too!.







Krystallized
by Bronze Member on Jun. 9, 2009 at 1:57 PM

To answer your questions (to the best of my knowledge):

 1) You'll want to weigh the package very carefully, as each ounces can mean more $$. You can ship anything first class as long as it weighs under 4lbs, anything over has to go priority. All you have to do is fill out an International slip, it takes a few seconds and is very easy to do. They have a green slip for > than 4lbs. and a white one for anything <4lbs. Most likely you'd have to ask the postal clerk for them.

2) Yes, there are customs that get paid---by the buyer. Be careful, certain countries don't allow certain things to be shipped. It's really not a big deal if you're shipping average goods.

3) Yes, I always use the USPS.

4) I don't know, but I would imagine the same types of things that sell here in the US are the same for International buyers. I deal with children's clothing and oddball household goods, maybe a book or two every now and again. Certain brands that people enjoy cannot be purchased over seas in their country. You'd be surprised how many American folks I've shipped to outside of the US, and...they make for some of my best (returning!!) customers!

 Never had I encountered a problem shipping Internationally. I don't know where you've heard Canadians having problems with packages...they're #1 customers for me, followed by Germany, Australia....

 Hope that helps you some.

Oh yea... I don't use the eBay calculator. I always put something in my auctions stating if you are an International customer, please ask me for a shipping quote...and they will.

 

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