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  • International Shipping

    For those of you that offer your customers international shipping, how do you go about doing it? I want to offer international shipping, but have had more than one instance of that person stating they did not get their package. So, currently we only send to US and Canada. What have you found to be the cheapest and safest method? Delivery confirmation or tracking is a must!

    Sean

  • #2
    We only ship via Express Mail International. Although tracking is very limited once the shipment leaves the US, at least with this method you can see if it has been delivered. The shipments are supposed to be insured up to $50.00 (I think), but good luck to you trying to collect a claim with the US Postal Service--I have never been successful so I never add additional insurance. Since the customer has to sign for and pay duty taxes on the shipment, it's unlikely that someone other than the intended party would go to that trouble.

    We have had a few go missing, but I'd say that's 1% of those shipped. We do ship all over, including UK, Iceland, Netherlands, UAE, Hong Kong, etc. As long as the sale looks legit we ship it. Sometimes if in doubt, even though the credit card cleared the security filter, we'll send an email asking them to confirm something about the order. If bogus, we never hear back and we then cancel the order. If legit, they usually answer right away.

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    • #3
      We ship all over. The vast majority of our non-U.S. orders go to Spain. We've had 2 packages not arrive (they've been our between 4 and 6 weeks, so there is still a small glimmer of hope I suppose.) But yeah, these would make up for about 1% for us as well.

      We ship internationally via USPS Priority International and USPS First Class International. Be warned though, First Class Intl. has NO tracking that you can give your customers.

      Yes there are headaches, but overall international shipping has been WELL worth our while!

      Mike
      www.KarensCookies.net
      Cookie Decorating Simplified

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      • #4
        We ship very successfully all over the world, about 20-30 packages per week. Canada, UK, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, North Korea, Israel, almost anywhere you can think of.
        We give customers a choice between USPS Priority and Express. I can probably count on one hand the number of packages we have sent that have never arrived or never come back to us in 4 years.
        You have to be somewhat more mindful of fraud with international destinations. I posted a message a few weeks ago that was re-written into a blogpost:
        http://www.3dcartblog.com/preventing...onal-shipping/

        One other tool I use often is http://binbase.com/csv.php?module=search

        You can type in the first 6 digits of a credit card number and see information about the bank that issued the card. Sometimes I use it to make sure the card was issued from the same country it is shipping to.

        If I have a nagging feeling about the validity of an order but have nothing substantive to prove it, I will contact them and say I need more information to complete the order. A scan of a credit card or drivers license. If they comply, I can be sure they are legit.

        I am also looking forward to offering UPS international shipping with 3DCart. They are extremely fast, reliable, and trackable. The costs are hard to estimate with a simple calculation so we do not offer them on our current site, though. For some packages at large weights, the price is not much more than USPS. They give us 50% off the retail rates. Still though, USPS is usually the better deal.

        My favorite international shipping story.. we once sent a 2-pack of AA batteries to someone in South Korea. The batteries were $6, shipping was $20. They were happy :)

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        • #5
          Post has zero tracking and can take forever. we worried and customer worried the whole time.
          Our about our third ever Int was parcel post about six years ago on Ebay (took 10 WEEKS to Japan! and in the dark the whole time). Since then we also ship priority/express only. The customer satisfaction is much higher (usually @ or less than 10 days) and we have at least some info on the package. We make our PO scan it when we drop it off. Right now only to Canada, UK, Australia is in my comfort zone though have made exceptions on a case basis. Knock on wood, never lost one or a return.
          Last edited by mondo; 12-02-2009, 04:25 PM.

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          • #6
            cbsteven

            The problem with UPS int is the additional fees the hit you or your customer with to process though customs.

            With USPS the price is what it is to get it in their country plus possible Gov. tariffs from the receiving country. With UPS you or your customer may get hit with a huge fee from them for customs processing.

            Been a while since I checked this so do your research but as little as last Feb had a conversation with one of our suppliers on this was still true.

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            • #7
              As far as I know this is only true with the cheapest level of UPS shipping, like UPS Standard to Canada. The Worldwide Express level of service has all fees built in, except duties and taxes, but that will be the same no matter what.

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              • #8
                We too have a good discount with UPS, but foreign shipments ultimately cost the customer twice as much as USPS Express Mail International.

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