The appeal of selling one’s products online is that it enables you to ship them to just about any location in the world. Having an online store enables you to promote your brand internationally as well as domestically without having to deal with the overhead involved in owning and operating a network of storefronts.

If you’ve been operating domestically and want to expand your reach to the global market, you’ll need to research your international shipping options. There are a myriad of options available but finding the best for your packages is important.

In order to determine if expanding to and shipping to a global market is right for you, here are 6 questions you’ll need to answer before you get started:

  • How should I handle filling out customs forms? There are certain customs forms that you’ll need to fill out when shipping items internationally. So, be sure you fill out the forms correctly. Information such as the recipient’s name and address, the value and weight of the package, and the value of the contents are required.
  • What countries should I ship my products to? It’s best to start small and expand little by little. If you’re company is based in the U.S, start by shipping your products to Canada and Mexico. If that goes well, you can look further to Europe and slowly expand your business.
  • What products should I consider shipping? Not all products should be shipped internationally, like the heavier products that a company might sell. Furthermore, different countries have different restrictions regarding what can and cannot be shipped into them.
  • Which shipping carrier will best accommodate my needs? DHL, FedEx and UPS are private carriers that offer a wide range of priority levels and shipping speeds for international shipments. The USPS provides what we like to refer to as “bargain shipping” in that they usually offer the lowest rates and won’t impose any fuel charges like the other carriers do.
  • Will international sales help me grow my business or hinder my operations? Selling your products on a global scale is a great way to grow your business. However, if you don’t have the necessary resources to do this, your domestic sales could suffer.
  • Would I be better off using a fulfillment service? If you want to ship your products internationally but you don’t want the hassle of calculating shipping rates and all the paperwork, consider using a fulfillment service. Naturally, there’s a price attached to this so you’ll have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

To learn more about shipping internationally, contact the Philadelphia Mailroom today. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.