[42] A Guide to International Orders for your Handmade Business

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Deciding to accept international orders in your handmade business can be a big decision, and can seem overwhelming and a bit scary.

However, I truly believe that if you can work out a way to do it, you will find it more than worthwhile. You will vastly expand your customer base, and therefore grow your business faster than you could only selling domestically.

If you are interested in offering your product to international customers and you don’t know where to start, or you’re unsure if you’re ‘doing it right’, then this episode is for you.

It it, I take you through a checklist of the things you need to do in order to set yourself up to sell your craft overseas.

While selling internationally is different for every country, there are some general rules to follow to ensure both you and your customer are protected throughout the whole process.

 

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Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Should you be selling internationally?
  • Some products can be a barrier if they are large or delicate.
  • You will never know if it is for you unless you try!
  • ‘Don’t let the fear, or the workload, stop you from doing it’. {Jess}
  • You need to do the work to calculate shipping, as customers want it to be easy or they will most likely not bother.
  • Do your research. Who will you ship through? How much will it cost? How long will postage take?
  • Perfect your packaging so that it is sturdy and protects your item.
  • Communication is key in this process!
  • Never assume that your customers know. Sending a personal email can combat misunderstanding.
  • Blog Post: Are you using your customer correspondence to tell your story?
  • Podcast Ep 3: How to provide outstanding online customer service. 
  • Make your policies clear. Is tracking included? Insurance?
  • Make sure you have a policy that addresses that the customer is liable for import duties or customs charges.
  • Does sales tax apply?
  • There is always going to be a chance that you undercharge at some point.
  • If undercharging on postage occurs you are liable and not the customer.
  • Know the postage rules and systems to stop this happening.
  • Scams – do they happen?
  • Have a replacement policy rather than a refund policy.
  • If something goes missing always confirm the address, refer them to your policies and remember to trust your customer.
  • Keep receipts from the postal service.
  • ‘Keep your integrity but stick to your guns when something goes wrong’. {Jess}
  • Miscommunication is usually the number one problem.
  • ‘Have a relationship with your customer rather than just a transaction. {Jess}
  • Remember that different countries will have different rules. If you aren’t comfortable – don’t send there.

 

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