Hi everyone, i'm relatively new to shopify.
I'm based in the UK and am planning on running a store dropshipping items from China to certain regions of the world.
I have a product, i have a supplier and i am happy with my purchase price and the shipping arrangement.
My cost including shipping is roughly £75 depending on destination country and i'm selling my product for £150.
My supplier is sending my product from china to the destination country via DHL Express with estimated delivery of 5-7 days to the countries i was looking at selling to.
in my learning it was recommended to look to dropship to 'The big 4': UK, USA, Canada & Australia.
not wanting to go live without having all the details to hand i have been doing my research and i have come across the Customs fees, Import Taxes, Handling Fees etc.
I understand each country has its own policies, trying to decipher this for the US and Canada seemed a bit tricky so put my attention to selling products to UK and Australia.
My understanding of these fees and taxes are that they are the responsibility of the buyer, in my situation the buyer is my customer and therefore if they order something from my store, it is imported to their country from china and they are expected to handle any fees that come their way as a result. Please correct me if i am wrong.
I do not want these charges to come as a surprise to my customer and am trying to find a solution to make them aware that these can apply, possibly give them an estimate for how much they will need to pay in their country.
My main concern is that i will make a sale, my product gets shipped to the destination country however it is held in customs and the buyer is sent a message advising they need to pay X amount for the product to be released and delivered to them. As a result my customer refuses delivery and the product is sent back to me i then have to potentially pay for the return of the item? potentially have to refund the customer? leaving me out of pocket and creating more work. Also if my customer is dissatisfied they could leave negative reviews on my pages damaging future business and turning away future customers. If this happens routinely this will be a surefire way of the business going down the drain.
My understanding is that no fees will be charged to my customers in Australia unless the imported good are valued at $800 Australian dollars or more? However the Uk clients will have to pay Import VAT and Customs Duty and potentially a handling fee?
Sorry if i have gone on too long but i am really looking for some clarity in this field as it seems difficult to find information out there on this.
I would really appreciate any information, or how anyone else in the same situation has dealt with this in the past.
Thanks in advance :)
I'm also new here and trying to figure the same thing out. In the meantime I have made my customers aware they are responsible for duties in my shipping policy. You can have something like this:
"Customers are responsible for all international duties upon arrival. Please check your local government agency for these costs."
You can word it however you want as long as it's on your site and not a surprise to you customer. If they don't read your shipping policy then that's a whole different issue. As long as it's on your site you are somewhat protected if they decide to dispute it.
Also, I believe I came across an app that may collect taxes and duties for $10/month. But I am not willing to fork out more money until I get more sales.
Ideally having these paid at checkout by the customer would be best, that way transactions are completed more smoothly.
Anyone else have ideas?
I am concerned about the same thing and I have decided to take advantage of the banner section of the checkout page. We are going to create a png that includes my logo but also has text that tells International customers that they are responsible for duties/VAT fees upon package arrival. It's literally the only solution I can think of that will put the info in front of the end user and not require someone to go to the shipping page.
I figured I would share my idea with you all, in case you felt it would be a solution for you as well.
Having the customers pay on their end is a real pain. When I first sent shipments from the US to Canada, UPS wouldn't allow them to pay online and they had to be there in person to make the payment (I don't remember why).
In addition to the duties / taxes, the carrier charges a brokerage fee, which I wasn't expecting. I asked UPS and DHL if they could give me a flat rate for this going forward so that I'd know what to expect, to no avail.
Here's how I'm now going about international shipments. I look at the fees that were charged for those first few shipments. Now, instead of having the customer pay for them upon arrival in their country, I have the carrier (in my case, UPS) charge my account for all fees (you can't do this in Shopify shipping, you can do it on the carrier's site). When the customer makes the purchase on my site, a "handling fee" appears for their country, which is actually the amount I expect them to be charged for the taxes and brokerage fees and is explained as thus in my shipping policies. This is easy for me because most of my products are around the same cost and weight. You may have to set up different specifications for how this could work for your products.
I like the way you handled the duties/taxes for your international customers. We're just now expanding our shipping into Canada from the US. We wanted to be billed for the duties and taxes so that our customer could avoid the hassle you mentioned but UPS said that there was a $15 surcharge for the shipper to pay those so we've decided to set it up with the customer paying. Were you able to avoid the surcharge somehow?