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International shipping.

As a Vendor, you can choose to offer international shipping, which is a great way to grow your business. If you are considering shipping internationally, ask yourself the following:

  • Are my products suitable for international shipping?
  • Is there international demand?
  • What are the laws and restrictions?
  • Am I familiar with customs, duties and taxes?
  • Which shipping services will I use?
Product suitability

Is your product suitable for being shipped out of the country? It is important to analyse your products to understand whether they will survive long distance shipping. Ideally, internationally shipped items are sturdy and compact to avoid any breakages. Perishable goods, fragile items and large items are not usually suited for international shipping, so it may be best to keep these items exclusively for your domestic customers.

International demand

Is there demand for your product? Do the research! If you have already had requests for your product from international customers, then you already know there is a demand. But if this isn’t the case, you should carefully research what is currently being offered in countries you want to ship to, the target audience, and how your product would fit into the market. Try to find out if there are similar products being sold and access what the competitors are doing. Keep in mind that international consumers shop differently than your local customers – what works locally might not work internationally.

Laws and restrictions

We strongly encourage you to research the various import and export laws in your country, as well as in each country that you plan to ship to. Depending on the country, the export and import of certain items may be limited, may require special licenses, may be prohibited (completely forbidden) or may be restricted (only allowed under certain conditions. For example, popular USA shipping carrier USPS has these items on their prohibited list: Aerosols, Air Bags, Alcoholic Beverages, Ammunition, Cigarettes, Dry Ice, Explosives, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Gasoline, Marijuana (medical or otherwise), Nail Polish, Perfumes (containing alcohol) and Poisons. Be sure to check out your carrier’s list! UPS has a helpful tool for finding country or territory-specific facts and regulations that may affect your international shipment here.

Customs

Don’t forget about customs! Customs is a government agency responsible for regulating the shipments that enter or exit a country. All shipments need to clear customs first. Your shipping carrier or postal service will provide further info and applicable documentation. For example, an Export Declaration is a form that pertains to the nature and value of your shipment. This tells the customs officials what is in the package and what it is worth – always be honest to prevent any complications!

Keep in mind that your customers will generally need to pay additional costs associated with their international purchases, such as duties, taxes and customs clearance fees. To avoid any misunderstandings, state this clearly to your customers on your product listing’s description and shipping policy. For example:
“Important note for international customers: Import duties, taxes and other charges are NOT included in the item price or the shipping cost. These additional charges are the customer’s responsibility.”

Shipping services

What company will you use to ship your products internationally? You will need to carefully compare all of the options available to you. Important factors to consider are: shipping costs, tracking, delivery times and guarantees. Popular choices in Ghana are UPS and DHL, which are great choices for small business because you will be able to rely on their experience and expertise. Even if their prices may be higher than other companies, their service is probably worth it.

International shipping on CuteMesh.com

If you think your product is fit for international shores, don’t let the logistics of international shipping scare you! Just carefully work through the process and you could soon see yourself breaking into the global market.

To add international shipping to a CuteMesh.com product listing, simply configure your Shipping Zones and Shipping Methods accordingly. You can select the countries and regions that you would like to offer shipping to, then set the costs of the shipping methods (which you will discover when you search for international shipping carriers to use). This can be done on the ↗ Shipping settings page of your Vendor dashboard. Learn more here.

Tip:
You can add tracking details for your international orders the same way as your other orders. See this article for more info.

Warning:
This information is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any doubts about whether an item can be sold internationally via CuteMesh.com, we encourage you to consult an attorney.

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