Friday, December 5, 2008

International Shipping, Do not be afraid!

Mail Box Earrings by MichellesCharmWorld 7.00

I have run into the CUTEST stuff on Etsy and lo and behold, they don't ship to my country! Or worse yet, they are charging 20.00 and saying they will refund the overage. I like to know exactly how much it will cost and if it is 10.00 I want to know why. Does it come in a box packaged nicely? Lot's of details should be placed here if it's higher than normal.

Love Letters Brooch by MichellesCharmWorld 8.00
It's fairly easy to dive into the world of International Shipping and does not really take much more supplies. In fact it just takes customs forms that come FREE from the post office. It will take a bit more time, so be sure to add that into your shipping price. You cannot ship International packages from home, they must be sent at the post office. PLEASE state your shipping dates in your announcement if you only go to the post office on certain days. I like to get my goodies fast! Ready for the wonderful world of shipping overseas? Let's get started!

Phonebooth Ring by MichellesCharmWorld 10.00

It's a scary start to begin the International shipping phase of a businesss, but once you've started you will never ever regret it! Over 90% of my business is International and i'm not kidding. You could be missing a mass market over there. First things First, get familiar with your local post office. Give them a call and find out their hours, then drop by with your questions if you don't know them all yet. Do they have an Automated Postal System? These machines are awesome for 24 hour posting of your products. Just keep in mind they DO NOT do International boxes or thicker envelopes. Be sure at your first visit to chat about International Shipping to bring a package of your typical sale. (for me I put in a necklace and ring and packaged it up as though it were a sale), AND I brought along another packaged box adding in another necklace and bracelet. I had a list of some of the more popular and expensive places to ship to and had the post office clerk give me quotes on what it would be like to ship to these places. It's a live and learn process, and I have made a couple mistakes. I just learned yesterday that Finland is pretty expensive to ship to. I also learned once that Singapore is almost right on with the shipping domestically in the US. Canada is also the same as the US. Higer priced countries are:
Australia, United Kingdom, Finland and Russia. Lower ones that surprised me were:
Norway, Singapore and Mexico. Be sure to seperate these countries as you go along, because many of them will not want to pay as much as the bigger countries if they have purchased online before and they know the typical amount. Checking the weight online is NOT always accurate for International orders. I HIGHLY recomend the field trip to your P.O alternative for the first time :) Also while there ask the clerk for a STACK of customs forms, so you fill them out at home! I also stamp all of them with my return address label while watching TV and fill out everything I can on it, so I only have to do the customer information when I sell something.

My New Ring, Earrings, Brooches and some Necklaces Boxes

If you have super cute or pretty packaging, be sure to include a photo of it in your listing, it will explain why your pricing is a bit high and may even get you a sale from someone that sees that it will not just come thrown in an envelope. Remember though, don't spend too much time or money on your packaging as you will have to be including the price of these items and your time into your products! Me? If your shipping is reasonable, I don't care if the item comes wrapped in toilet paper (clean of course), in a pasta box and wrapped with a brown paper grocery bag. I'm all for saving the environment! Just get it to me safely. I just started using new boxes that are not your typical cardboard box that still gets crushed by the post office and I love them! Infact I've had other sellers love them too! haha! I've even sold some of my stash to fellow Etsians! These are great and failry inexpensive to tag onto my shipping prices. Hope I have helped some of you lean more towards the International Shipping Market!


jencoe said...

Great tips! I love and will be purchasing the phone box ring. If you change your tag to add "Dr. Who" I can guarantee more views and probably lots of sales.

Michelle said...

Thanks so much! I just changed it heehee!!

Grace said...

Hew sweetie! How are you handling LolliShop's shipping thru Paypal? I can't figure it out to save my life, so I switched over to the Split. I'll just run all of the checkout through my own website. It's just too confusing!

Pnk Geeni said...

great tips. all my sales are international. luckily because we have family in US and UK I know those shipping charges.

Love the phone box ring!

Ally said...

that brooch is adorable
is really made for all mails lovers lol

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