10 fundamental tips for your international dropshipping company
No matter how big your country is, there will always be more potential customers outside it. That’s why companies are constantly looking outside their borders, so that they can continue to grow and reach more people. Nonetheless, shipping internationally is not always easy. Whether you’re a company with an entire supply chain or an individual who needs to ship on time, there are a number of tips that will make your life easier.
Tips to improve your international shipping
The most frequent feeling when facing international shipments is that of being lost. Prices, legislation, taxes… Many open fronts and not knowing where to start.
A company may have found a gold vein for its industry or perhaps an ecommerce company is excited to receive purchase requests from regions it has never sold to before. In these cases, even if the enthusiasm is justified, it is necessary not to rush into action.
A misstep can be very costly, as it can put our company’s reputation at risk. If we decide to make the leap abroad, we must first study the conditions under which we are going to do so and whether it will really be beneficial for us.
- Don’t do it all at once
The further we send, the more money it costs us to do so. That is why one of the usual battles is to decide to do it by slower means, such as by boat – to save costs – or by plane, to make it as fast as possible.
One little trick that sometimes does not work is to send a small part of the total by air and the rest by sea. This way, our recipient can start working with that first batch of material while waiting for the rest to arrive. A technique used very often by The Gaylord Box Exchange companies.
- Check the small print
There are as many laws in the world as there are countries, and shipping internationally can force you to take a crash course in the subject. Anyone can assume that things like weapons, animals and food are going to be more regulated than the rest. However, you will do wrong if you are confident and do not study in detail the legislation that affects your goods.
For example, in Vietnam it is forbidden to import calendars if we do so with the intention of marketing them. Make sure you don’t discover through disgust the legislative peculiarities of your destination countries.
- Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you have to do it
In itself, managing to send something to almost anywhere in the world is relatively simple nowadays. But, not all things are susceptible to being sent. Or, at least, it’s not as profitable to do so. Something that is easy to package, small and light (for example, technology items) is much more convenient to handle than heavier and bulkier items, hence the success of ecommerce and the typology of many of its products. But, depending on the case, the cost of transport can be so high that it is difficult to justify the shipment. It is important to keep this in mind and not get carried away by the emotion of having received a large order somewhere in the world that is new to our company.
- Going international does not mean going to any country
Taking the leap out is not the same as having to do it for everyone. We will be doing ourselves a disservice if we succumb to the temptation of adding as many countries as possible to our destinies without being really prepared.
This becomes even more important if it is the first time you are going to ship internationally.
Don’t try to take on more than you can handle; in the long run, you’ll be glad you went at a slower pace, but you’ll be doing it for sure.
Research which countries are optimal to start with, taking into account legal ease, demand on your sector, brand awareness, etc.
- Specify who is going to pay for what
In international shipments, tax payments are a common source of dispute. Be sure to clarify who will be responsible for taxes, duties and other payments that may arise during the shipment of the goods. Most often it is the customer himself, but informing him in advance of these issues will not only avoid problems, but will also improve your buyer’s image of you.
- Avoid delays, do your homework
International transport can be slow, especially if we use the boat. That’s why you have twice as many reasons to do your part so that your international shipments are not unnecessarily delayed. And issues as basic as incorrect documentation or lack of complete information about the recipient can lead to delays that are often lengthy. With more people in between handling incidents, a simple error in the delivery address or lack of a contact person can mean a longer delay than for domestic deliveries.
- Prepare your goods for the journey
In international shipments the goods suffer more. More kilometres of road, sea or air. More transshipment, loading and unloading. However, that is no excuse for your customer not to receive the goods in perfect condition. Good packaging and careful preparation of the goods (whether on pallets, in containers, etc.) will be the best start for a happy ending to the story.
- Play it safe
If, as we have said, the goods suffer more in international shipments, they are also more likely to be broken. Take the time to study and analyse the different insurances at your disposal: the ones you need and/or the ones you want to make available to your own customers. As with legislation, cover may vary from one country to another and this is an aspect you should keep under control.