With the growth of the internet and e-commerce, it has become much easier to sell your products internationally. Understanding international posting and using an overseas courier service is much easier, more transparent and quicker than ever before so it is easy to start sending your products around the globe. If you haven’t yet gone international, here are some tips to start.
Get the basics in place
Most of the time, selling overseas isn’t too much different to selling here in the UK. Yes, you need to know about posting or overseas courier services and the different prices and timescales involved. And yes, you will need to take payments that might be in a different currency.
The key to this is to get good basics in place. Have a solid payment processing option available that can handle multiple currencies – if all else fails something like PayPal or Stripe will do a good job for a small percentage of the cost. You can also get payment platforms that automatically transfer the currency for you.
Understanding VAT and when you need to charge it is also important when you are selling abroad. You might want to work with an accountant to go through the basics and make sure you know what you need to charge and when. There’s also a lot of good advice online but remember this might change when the UK leaves the EU.
Perhaps the biggest logistical part of selling internationally is the shipping. There are plenty of options depending on the size of the product you sell, where it is going and how quickly it needs to be there. For small parcels, Royal Mail is always available and if you only sell occasionally, this might work.
For medium to large parcels, then working with an overseas courier service is often the easiest and most cost-effective option. Look for companies that cover the areas you are shipping to and how long it will take to get there.
Other tips to consider
One of the concerns about selling abroad is the risk of fraud and this is something you want to have protection for just to be safe. Most banks and credit cards offer some kind of fraud protection, but you may want to look into something specifically for business if you plan to sell abroad on a regular basis. Try to get verified information about every customer before sending an order and get payment in full.
Part of selling abroad is to market abroad so don’t forget to make sure it is clear on your website what you offer. Make sure terms and conditions such as posting cost, delivery times and refund policies are clear and legal. This protects both you and your customer in the unusual situation that something goes wrong. If you use sites such as eBay, you may want to consider listing on country-specific versions of the site to get extra exposure.
Finally, make sure you have a facility in place to handle customer service queries in other languages. Email, chat or messaging apps may be a good idea where you can take a moment to get a translation of the query before answering.
Selling internationally opens your customer pool by millions of people and doesn’t need to be complicated. Lay the groundwork, work with the right companies for international courier delivery and make sure you have good, strong policies in place for success.
For more information on the overseas courier service that Cheetah Couriers can offer, get in touch with us today.