Friday, February 4, 2011
I love to ship internationally!
I've shipped all over the world!
Only 3 problems I can remember happening. One was a jewelry shipment to Germany, it took forever for her to receive her items (and I had shipped to her several items before with no problem), but, like 2 months later, she finally received it!
Another was a very heavy shipment to Switzerland. This great guy was buying beautiful china for his girlfriend for Christmas. It got stuck in customs, but he did receive it in the nick of time for Christmas!
And the third, is a shipment to Italy. I've heard Italian customs are terrible, and learned first hand, when my shipment was held up for quite awhile. This was a huge order of milk glass, which she finally received, but she has since ordered more from me, and I'm guessing that has also been held up. This customer even said she knows Italian customs are known for being very picky!
When I'm listing and item and know that it will weigh under 4lbs (including the box and packing material), I will go ahead and add the Canada and "Everywhere Else" shipping quote.
If it is over 4 lbs, the post office rule is it must ship priority mail, which brings the cost weigh up.
No--I have not checked in UPS or Fed Ex yet, but I'll be researching that info for sure this year! What I've learned so far, is that USPS is still the least expensive for shipping international.
I created an excel spreadsheet with the weights and cost for Canada and "Everywhere Else". I usually use the cost for Australia since that's one of the highest rates. That way if it is less, I just refund the buyer. I also state in my listing that if the buyer would like to give me their country info, I can get an accurate quote for their country.
Okay-back to the spreadsheet. What I did was to get my rates from http://www.usps.com/
I have a column for the weight, Canada, and I usually check one of the higher cost, such as Australia. I need to get it updated, since the last time I updated it was at least a year ago.
So that's a bit about international shipping. I will talk about the customs forms next. There's one for regular international shipping and then the one I use for anything over 4 lbs, which is a bit more detailed, but very easy to fill out.
Enjoy your weekend!