Shipping costs account for a larger part of small businesses expenses. For many small retailers, shipping a product internationally is challenging. Understanding the rules and regulations with regards to international shipping can also be daunting. Given the high shipping costs, selling a product internationally can unlock significant opportunities for online sellers but at the same time create a logistical nightmare as well as added costs. However, resourceful entrepreneurs have discovered ways of reducing shipping costs by applying a number of strategies during the process. Below are some of the ways to make international shipping more cost effective.
Understand the Shipping Costs
International shipping requires you as the retailer to understand all the costs associated with the process. It is important to understand at what point certain duties and taxes are applied and for what reasons. For example, sending a product from Los Angeles to Topeka attracts a single shipping rate. However, sending the same product across the border will attract a whole new set of duties and taxes. The basic understanding of the cost arising from international orders is referred to as “landed cost”. It is therefore important that the retailer understands some of these costs before shipping internationally.
Before shipping your products internationally, these products need to be packaged for safe transport. However, different forms of packaging attract varied shipping costs meaning that each product should be packaged appropriately in order to reduce the shipping cost. When packaging, try and think outside the box (no pun intended). For examples, poly mailers are an amazing way of packaging products that do not require a lot of structure cushioning. This means that things like clothing can be shipped internationally in a cost-effective manner since poly mailers are lightweight and can easily adjust to different volumes and sizes of the products. You can also throw in a couple of products into the poly mailers and not be charged on packaging weight or dimensions for the additional items.
Going paperless can save you a great deal of material cost but even more importantly, it significantly reduces the amount of time for filing giving you the opportunity to concentrate on other important tasks. Going paperless also reduces the risk of errors in international shipping. For small businesses, one of the greatest challenges in international shipping is the paperwork involved. For a retailer making frequent international shipments, paperwork and filing world require you to hire additional help which is essentially an added cost to the business. Digitizing your paperwork however will save you both time and money.
While making international shipping is seen as a costly affair, following the above strategies can significantly reduce your shipping costs. Some of the basic costs that most people see as insignificant at the beginning could actually become colossal amounts assuming that you are a regular international shipper.