Free eBook! Complete Guide to USPS International Shipping

July 22nd, 2015 Comments off

International buyers will make up 86% of the e-commerce market in 2015, according to eMarketer.  With the demand for American-made products higher than ever, e-commerce sellers in the U.S. cannot afford to ignore the growing segment of international customers that is expected to reach a record high of 1.06 billion buyers in 2015.

Check’s out Stamps.com’s new eBook (PDF), Complete Guide to USPS International Shipping to get a comprehensive understanding of how to ship packages across the world using the USPS.

blog_intl_shipping_guide_newThe FREE downloadable eBook (PDF) includes information on:

– How International Shipping Works
– USPS International Mail Classes
– Packaging Tips for International Delivery
– USPS Customs Forms
– International Product Restrictions
– International Shipping Tips
– and much more …

DOWNLOAD THE FREE GUIDE NOW!

 

International Shipping: What are Customs, Duties and Taxes?

October 17th, 2014 Comments off

blog_globeIf you are selling products online and you are not yet selling to international markets, you are missing out on an easy opportunity to grow sales. eMarketer estimates that global e-commerce sales will reach $1.5 trillion in 2014! And they expect the international sales to grow at least 15% EACH YEAR through 2017.

International buyers want U.S. products and buying directly from the source is usually much cheaper than buying from a retailer in their own country. 68% of ALL E-COMMERCE SALES in 2014 will occur outside of the U.S.!

And while many sellers think selling to international markets is hard due to Customs Forms, language barriers and longer shipping delivery periods, sellers are usually surprised to see how easy shipping overseas is.

Check out the recently published articles on how to get started:

In this week’s article, we discuss some other important topics to be aware of when selling to international markets.

blog_customs-clearance Customs Fees:
Customs Fees are a cost that the host country charges to manage the flow of goods in and out of the country. All products go through Customs before going to the buyer, and there is a fee associated to manage this process. For e-commerce sales, the BUYER typically is aware of this fee and is the responsible party for paying the fee.
blog_tariff_big Duties/Tariffs:
Similar to Customs Fees, Duties/Tariffs are a type of tax placed on value of item, plus freight and insurance by country. Duties/Tariffs are designed to protect local businesses and industries in the host country. While there are some exceptions, the BUYER is the responsible party to pay the Duties/Customs fees.
blog_taxes-due_big Taxes:
Taxes are not charged by every country, and they can vary based on the value of the product. This is an additional fee that a local government such as state, province or city, charges for delivering the package into their region. Similar to Customs Fees and Duties/Tariffs, the BUYER typically pays the fee.
blog_us-census-bureau International Transaction Number (ITN):
The ITN is a requirement from the U.S. Postal Service if the product you are shipping is over $2,500 in value. You can get the ITN number for your product at the US Census site. In order to get the ITN, you must first file a document using the Electronic Export Information (EEI) form. Once the EEI form is processed and approved, you will receive your ITN which should be included with your shipping documents.
blog_harmonized-codes_big Harmonized Codes:
Harmonized codes are another important issue. These are a standardized set of numbers developed by the World Customs Organization to process customs quicker. They are built for commercial shippers that send a lot of the same product. HS codes can speed up the customs processing time, so it’s a good idea to use them. Get more info on Harmonized Codes.

How to Fill Out a USPS Customs Form

October 1st, 2014 Comments off

Expanding your e-commerce sales into international markets is a great way to grow revenue.  And when shipping to international destinations, you must declare the contents of your package on a Customs Form so the destination country can inspect the product and determine if a duty or tax is required.

While some people think the process of completing a Custom Form is complicated, it really is a very simple process. And Stamps.com has made the process easy by AUTOMATICALLY filling out most of the required fields in the custom form!

blog-customs-form_oct2014b

 

There are four main section on a U.S. Postal Service Customs Form that require attention (example above is CN 22/PS Form 2976, commonly referred to as “1 page form”):

#1 Merchandise Info:  This is the area that you state the product description and value. If you use Stamps.com, the data can be automatically imported from your data source such eBay, Amazon.com, Etsy or your Shopping Cart.

#2 Address Info: This is the “from” address stating where the package is coming from, and the “to” or delivery address for where the package is traveling to.  Stamps.com automatically imports this info from the original data source (eBay, Carts, etc.) into the Customs Form

#3 Signature and Date: The USPS requires all international shippers to sign and date the Customs Form.  But with Stamps.com, you are a known shipper” and no signature is required.  Stamps.com automatically includes your name and date on form.

#4 Electronic Round Stamp: The USPS requires all Customs Forms to be stamped at the Post Office, providing an official “proof of mailing.”  But Stamps.com automatically prints an “electronic round stamp” on the Customs Form.  This allows you to

The USPS has three separate Customs Forms to use, depending on the type of mail class used, the value of the product and the destination country.  Generally speaking, all the three forms contain similar info.  It comes down to the number of copies that are included on the package.

Get more info on USPS Customs Forms.

Simple Step to Start Selling into International Markets

August 26th, 2014 Comments off

There are over 1 Billion buyers worldwide and e-commerce sales are expected to be over 1.5 TRILLION dollars in 2014 (Source: eMarketer) — that is 20% higher than 2013! The international market is a HUGE opportunity for online retailers and it’s only getting bigger.

International buyers want U.S. products and buying directly from the source is usually much cheaper than buying from a retailer in their own country.

blog_intl-shipping-stats-2013

U.S., the UK, Australia and Canada represent 44% of total E-commerce Sales in 2013.

Easy First Step – Start with English Speaking Countries
One simple method to get started is to start selling into the main English speaking countries such as Canada, the UK and Australia.

  • Along with the U.S., these countries represent 44% of the entire international e-commerce market.
  • Communication with these buyers is easy since English is the main language used.
  • All of these countries have good internet coverage and developed postal infrastructures already established, so packages can be easily delivered to the buyer.

Don’t miss out on this simple step to grow your sales.  Start selling to international markets today!

Sources:

http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Global-B2C-Ecommerce-Sales-Hit-15-Trillion-This-Year-Driven-by-Growth-Emerging-Markets/1010575
http://www.emarketer.com/Article/B2C-Ecommerce-Climbs-Worldwide-Emerging-Markets-Drive-Sales-Higher/1010004

How to Print First Class Mail International Labels (Video)

July 20th, 2012 Comments off

If you are shipping small, inexpensive items such as books, beauty products, clothing, or accessories (up to 4 lbs.) overseas, First Class Mail International is the lowest cost option to ship your packages.  Costs can be up to 60% cheaper than Priority Mail International and more than 13 times cheaper than UPS or FedEx!

But since First Class Mail International does not include any form of Delivery Confirmation, this mail class is not for all products.

Stamps.com allows you to easily print First Class Mail International.  Customs Forms are automatically integrated into the software making international shipments quick and simple!

Call us toll-free at 1-888-434-0055, Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 6 PM Pacific Time.