Hi! I am setting up my store and will be selling sweatshirts that I make ( I am based in the US). I was wondering how I can go about setting up international shipping, as I have an audience outside of the US who would be interested in purchasing my products. Someone I know uses USPS first class international and the shipping rates come out to about $13, but everywhere I check, the lowest I can find is in the $30's. How can I get that lower pricing and also make international shipping available in my store settings?
Shipping internationally is typically very expensive. Most of the time USPS stands out among the rest. USPS will almost be the cheapest option unless your package is heavy or there are any special shipments that USPS can't ship. But the problem is USPS tracking is slow to update or it doesn't provide tracking at all.
You can easily find an approximate rate using these factors from the carrier websites. For example, you can check FedEx rates from https://www.fedex.com/ratefinder/home and UPS rates from https://wwwapps.ups.com/ctc/request?loc=en_US. FedEx would be a good option since they are fast and provide excellent tracking info. Also, since you are shipping international, you need to take care of the customs duties as well, which is handled well in FedEx.
If you are using FedEx for shipping, you will have to use an app like FedEx Rates, Labels & Tracking app to handle the FedEx shipping since Shopify doesn't directly handle them.
First Class International are indeed very cheap and can definitely cost around $13. May i know the weight, ship from and ship to addresses so that i can check it in USPS calculator? $30 which you may be getting may be using some other configuration.
In addition, to lower the cost, it is always wise to have a warehouse outside the country who can collect bundles of your clothes and then ship them from there at cheaper rates. Have you tried that? In addition, if you are looking to have shipping rates from multiple carriers, one for domestic and one for international, with special services based on some products, you can use the Multi Carrier Shipping label app for this purpose.