3 Tips for International Selling

Some sellers have no problem offering international shipping—for others, shipping something across the big pond is a source of great stress. If you haven’t been shipping internationally, you might be interested to know that earlier this year the Boston Consulting Group estimated internet purchases would almost double by 2016. As buyers in countries such as China, Mexico and Brazil begin buying more online, there could soon be more than 3 billion people accessing the Internet and making purchases worldwide.


With estimates like that, it is easy to see that selling internationally can provide a significant opportunity for online sellers. Here are some tips to help you get started.


Start with small items that are easy to ship. Not every item is a good candidate for selling internationally (it’s hard enough sometimes to package and ship a big bulky item that you want to ship domestically!) Don’t overwhelm yourself—start out with something small and lightweight that can easily be dropped in the mail and sent on it’s way. Also, if the idea of shipping breakable items to parts unknown will keep you up at night, consider starting with clothing or other items that you know will arrive safely.


Study the regulations. You can find international regulation data on the website of each carrier as well as the Department of Commerce. If you are selling on eBay, you’ll find some good information about what you can and can’t ship to different countries there as well. For example, some countries may have regulations prohibiting certain books or videos that they have deemed to be offensive. You may find that the best way to familiarize yourself with all the regulations is to choose one country at a time and start shipping there one by one first. You can then slowly increase the number of countries you want to ship to as you learn the regulations.


Use Fulfillment by Amazon. This is a great way to sell internationally. When you use FBA to sell items internationally, Amazon takes care of all the shipping details. You don’t even have to worry about the shipping regulations because Amazon is on top of those too. They take care of everything for you. Your item sells. You get paid. Amazon ships and the buyer is happy. It really doesn’t get any easier than that!


This guest post was contributed by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio and an active Facebook Group ThatKat.



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