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Ecommerce Forum

Exporting from the U.S. to Other Countries
Is it even feasible for small businesses?

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3499006 posted 7:58 pm on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is exporting from the U.S. to other countries even feasible for small businesses? It is something I've wanted to do for years, and the fall of the dollar makes it even more appealing.

The problem is that my average order is $15. Parts of the item I sell are made outside of the U.S., which, last time I checked, made it a darn near impossibility to figure out the forms for shipping to Canada or Mexico (NAFTA). And, other countries? Reading different resources just makes my head want to explode.

Some of the items are wholly made in the U.S., which would make the NAFTA form easy, but trying to separate such items on my website, and telling non-U.S. customers they can order certain items but not others seems to not make much sense.

The only helpful resource I was ever able to find is service companies that would manage the exporting paperwork and all that for $25 per order. That pretty much kills any probability of exporting, since that would more than double the average order price, and people will no doubt be able to buy locally for less than that.

So, is exporting even feasible for small ticket orders? Or is it something I just have to forget about?



5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3499006 posted 8:16 pm on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is a freight forwarding company called Aramex that ships items to customers in the Middle East only (as far as I know). The customer has a 'mail box' at Armamex at JFK airport in NY. The customer takes care of all customs paperwork on their end. All the US company has to do is ship to NY. So this opens up that part of the world as potential customers. They also do this for UK customers...don't know the details about the UK operation. If the company name gets edited out, sticky me and I can give you the name.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3499006 posted 8:25 pm on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

FUGITABOUTIT! A tough,tough business. Never tried it myself but had a friend
who was in the export business until he gave up on it.

As you you stated a myriad of forms, customs reports, import, export tariffs.

You have to factor all the cost of that into your price plus S&H.

A modest price product might not be able to compete with local products once
you have added all your cost on.

That being said you can always give it trial and see how you fare.Good Luck!



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3499006 posted 9:24 pm on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

$15.00 dollar orders are not going to be worth it for you.

However, if you ship to Canada, just send it USPS. Let the customer know ahead of time that there may be taxes and/or a small brokerage fee due when the receive the package.

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