Dropshipping internationally is not easy but you can overcome some of the hurdles along the way by learning the necessary steps and formulating a plan.
Whether you intend it or not, almost anybody from anywhere in the world can find you online when you’re running a dropshipping store. Although it’s great in broadening your fans and audience, selling to customers internationally comes with more responsibilities. There are several things to consider like shipping prices, speed of delivery, and currency conversions.
Before you start dropshipping products in any country, here are important factors you have to think about.
#1 Regulations of the Destination Country
Countries from all over the world have their laws, clearances, and restrictions when it comes to shipment from abroad. If you want to sell to international customers you must learn and understand how importation works in their countries. Not complying with their countries’ rules and regulations can lead to penalties which may range from the settlement of fines to seizure of the shipment.
#2 Shipping Carrier
ePacket is a shipping service widely-used by dropshippers however, it is only available to 39 countries. If you’ll be shipping goods to countries not supported by ePacket, you’ll have to look for other shipping methods that may cost higher than the former or the product price itself. When it comes to choosing the right shipping carrier, consider the shipping options, shipping rates, delivery time, package size, tracking tools, and policies. Some international shipping carriers you could look into are USPS, DHL, FedEx, AliExpress Standard Shipping, and UPS.
#3 Shipping Rates
Every shipping carrier has its shipping rates. Factors like the shipping company, package size and weight, custom regulations, country of origin, and destination country influence the cost of shipping. Check the shipping features, services, and guides of the potential shipping carriers on their websites to know their shipping rates.
#4 Delivery Time
When it comes to dropshipping, delivery time is an important consideration especially at the international level. As delivery time varies from country to country, the products will take longer to arrive in some countries. You have to make sure to allow a specific amount of time to ship customer purchases but not too long that the customers will complain about the slow shipping.
Make sure to partner only with a dropshipping supplier that offers tracking services. As there would be higher risks with dropshipping worldwide you would want to monitor the shipments easily. By tracking the progress of your shipment you can immediately know if there are issues along the way such as delays in delivery or if the package is being held at customs. You can also provide the customers the means to track their packages themselves so they will be assured that their purchases are on the way to their destinations.
Shipping products internationally takes a lot of risks. As packages have to travel by land, sea, and air to arrive at their destinations, the probability of delays, errors, and loss is not controllable. It would be smart to get insurance to cover losses when they happen. Choose the most reliable insurance company that provides a lot of coverage. Analyze their requirements, coverage, and policies to know which one can meet your needs.
#7 Customs Clearance
Consider the customs clearance when it comes to dropshipping internationally. There are required documents that must be complied with to avoid delay, fines, and seizure of shipments. Dropshipping suppliers that ship the package must pay the customs fees that are often based on product cost and the proposed destination. They will also pay taxes like shipment fees, warehousing fees, and other applicable fees. The price listings are maybe different from one supplier to another because of their location and scope of services.
#8 Currency and Exchange Rate
If you will be converting product prices to the local currency of your customers, you may lose or gain money depending on the current exchange rate. Currency conversion happens during transactions such as payment capture, refund issuance, and chargeback activation. You can, however, avoid this risk if you set your currency to USD which is a currency that is popular all over the globe.
Dropshipping internationally to any country is something you can do from anywhere in the world. However, you have to consider the responsibilities that come with a worldwide operation. Not just the local laws in your state or country, but the other countries as well where your customers are located.
To avoid troubles in your dropshipping business, weigh the risks of dropshipping worldwide, be familiar with the destination countries’ rules and regulations on the importation, and take care of the legalities of your dropshipping business in your own country. It is best to consult with a lawyer so you can get the right interpretation of rules and regulations for both your country and the countries where you want to sell your dropshipping products.
DISCLAIMER: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.