Yes we do. Authorize.net has good tools for it. We charge a premium on shipping overseas but they pay for it! We've had great success shipping to UK, Sweeden, Greece, etc.
I've heard people say they ONLY ship to the U.S. and I'm not sure why. I don't know if it's because of taxes...tariffs or what. Anyone know anything about this?
Bubzeebub, many people have been defrauded by people ordering internationally. You need to be careful. The card companies don't do a good job of managing this problem, they don't seem to care so long as they get their money and their customers are catered for.
The main reason for not doing internation business is fraud. It's a huge problem on an international level. It's really a shame because if some people could do international business it would almost double their sales.
Even requiring the security code on the back of the card doesn't deter the international fraud? How much different is that than any safeguards used here in the U.S.?
Authorize and even 2CO give a lot of tools against fraud. For instance I don't accept orders from Nigeria. The tarrifs havn't been a problem for me. At least no one has complained. Never had a chargeback and never had a returned item from overseas and I often get repeat customers.
You DO need to be careful with regards to fraud but I think it's worth it.
But isn't this the case anywhere? ...regardless of country? I see a lot of websites not even selling to CANADA!
|For instance I don't accept orders from Nigeria. |
It alwayts amuses me when I get those. Heck, today alone I got 4 orders with US billing addresses and Nigerian or Phillipines as teh shipping address.
I mean, really, does any company really fall for that? heck, at this point, I've blocked several countries from even seeing my website, since the only orders I've ever gotten from them are fraud.
At this point, my overseas customers consist mostly of UK and other major eurpoean countries, as well as australia. China, the Phillipines, and any african or middle eastern country is off limits to us (nothing personal against those countries, they just hit us with attempted fraud everyday).
|I see a lot of websites not even selling to CANADA! |
The only problem I've ahd with Canada is a few customer's orders getting either "lost" or geld up in customs (for fees). I'd say about 1 in 30 orders to canada is a loss for us (more than low enough to absorb) If UPS was cheaper, it would solve alot of our problems, but most customers don;t want to pay $25 shipping on a $10 item - so we're stuck with USPS Priority Mail
why is it that Nigeria is so notorious for this sort of thing? Is it some larger conspiracy? Does the govt. there turn a blind eye to it all?
Go there and find out. Just spend a few hours in Lagos and you'll have the answer to your question.
So what countries do you deny sales to?
We don't accept orders from all african countries, with exception of South Africa. Also, no orders from Indonesia and the Philippines. Never got an order from China, but will probably deny that order as well.
Orders from Bahrain, in our experience are valid. But I don't know about other middle east countries.
We ship worldwide, but if in doubt, we won't accept the order. We only turn down about 15% though. Out of the ones we send out our loss rate, for whatever reason is around 2 - 3%.
As well as the above mentioned countries we never send out to Portugal, and Spain seems to be getting pretty bad, as does Italy. We took a bit of a gamble a while back, and decided to send out to China, we've not sent many out, probably only 5 - 6 items, but never had a problem with them.
The other reason that some companies do not ship internationally is the actual product varies. What I sell, most are destined for Europe only and they should not be exported to the US. If the customer had a problem, then the manufacturers would not cover that. The product may not even work outside of the designated area.
One example is CD's : CDWow in the UK were threatened by record companies for selling Eastern European CDs to Western Europe. Amazon were also going to be checked out.
Another could be toys: safety standards vary from country to country.
I think it does depend on what you sell as to whether you can sell outside a particular boundary.
|We've been selling world wide for a number of years. At the very beginning we got two fraudulent orders--one from the Ukraine, one from Indonesia. However, we took no damage from them because by the time we went to have the transaction authorized, the stolen credit cards had been discovered and the transactions were denied.|
Since that time we've limited the countries we will accept credit card orders from to Western Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan and a few others. The rest have to mail us international money orders or do wire transfers. This takes care of a lot of the fraud and stolen credit card users. Also, we tell international customers to expect a week or two delay while we fill out all necessary papers. It's worked very well for us.
Although I, too, think it depends on what you sell, how well international marketing works. My experience is that if people order something from us, they really want it. Which influences their attitude toward paying custom and import taxes.
I think it's great having a global market.
There is a darn good reason not to ship outside the USA. The best reason of all. The only reason. Because you probably won't make money exporting! There are some exceptions, of course.
|I've heard people say they ONLY ship to the U.S. and I'm not sure why |
Not just "people" but many major US websites such as Walmart.com And they have stores outside the US!
Do a survey of your major competitors: The smart, experienced ones that really money selling on the web. Ignore Dotcom type startups run by 22 year old egomaniacs planning IPOs.
We don't export. Not even Canada. Shipping our kind of products to Canada and dealing with exchanges is too difficult.
Repeat business is the key ingredient to success. You're unlikely to get many reorders from customers on the other side of the world. Can you top a Hungarian website when it comes to providing good service, fast delivery and low cost to Hungarian customers? You don't have a chance in most cases.
I haven't seen much discussion of this topic, but we have studies that show that the closer a customer is to us (within the U.S.!) the more likely he is to reorder.
So why not devote 90-100% of your energy to providing super-service to the 50 million American's who live within a day or two shipping time from you?
The web may instantly span the globe, but fast, dependable shipping doesn't.
>So why not devote 90-100% of your energy to providing super-service to the 50 million American's who live within a day or two shipping time from you?
This is like saying only design for IE as it has over 90% of the market. Would you turn down a 10 - 15% pay rise for hardly any extra work? Just up the postage costs, and let them decide if they want to order from you or not.
|Would you turn down a 10 - 15% pay rise for hardly any extra work? |
Hardly any work? We did export briefly...to Canada, and found it exhausting to deal with shipping and export tariffs (on our specific products). Sizing (on say, shoes) and even colors have different meanings outside the U.S.
Returns and exchanges were more complicated. Some people bought only because our products look cheap...to someone paying in Canadian Dollars! Shipping time to Canada (by UPS) was slower than to a similarly far away place in the U.S.
I'm sure things would be vastly more complex dealing with non-English speaking countries, many time zones away. We often have to phone customers when they make ordering mistakes. (email often isn't answered)
We could increase our SALES 10%-15% but I'm not sure our profits would rise at all. Besides there are many easier ways to increase our profits 10-15%.
The fact remains: MANY really smart U.S. retailers (Walmart for one) don't export.
It all depends on the product you sell - if you ship by postal, it's quite straight forward to do (one custom form).
Most of our international customers don't complain about shipping terms (we charge extra) or shipping time (out of our hand once it hits the postal system).
Once the shopping cart is done - we optimized it for US audience - tweaking it for international customers hardly cost any time or money...
Curious: what is the Post Office shipping time from say Chicago to Warsaw, and what does a 5 pound package cost to send?
Well being based in the UK rather than the US this is where I would check this type of information:
From experience it would take around 4 days for delivery.
I don't know what 5 pounds from Chicago to Warsaw by mail would be, but I can tell you that 4 pounds from Santa Fe to Zurich by Air Parcel Post is $20.25 plus insurance.
Some of us DO make a profit on export sales.
I have been runing an E-commerce business out of South Africa for around 3 years.
Due to location and the nature of my business 99% of my click through is international.
My market propably breaks down,
20% great britan
10% Asia "a lot of business to singapore"
5% rest of world mexico,canda,japan etc
So when I look at 35% of my business coming from a market place other than the US it is obviouse it all depends what you are selling.
It is also my expierence that many international clients "not from the US" are flexable about payment methods and willing to do anything from a wire transfere to international money order.
Just my humble opinion, As an international based business and at times customer I had to throw in my support for international orders :-).
P.s Glad to see people including south africa in a list of trusted countrys.
I only take orders in the US because we have all the money and the rest of the world hates us.