I am setting up an e-commerce website where I will be selling my own products (laptop cases).
The main problem I'm facing in this entire process is the expensive shipping costs via UPS and FedEx, specially for international orders (I ship from San Francisco). My parcels are around 3 lbs of weight and the size of a standard laptop, and for this type of parcel UPS and FedEx are quoting me almost US$100 for international orders.
Here's the thing: I've checked websites of competitors shipping similar products in size/weight, and they only charge $29 for international delivery! The difference, as you can see, is huge!
I cannot figure out how to bring down my shipping costs for international order. Can anyone share some insight please?
Check out USPS First Class Mail International, which allows up to 4 Lbs. So for example, a 3Lb package to Australia would cost $28 or so. Or, if it fits, via USPS Priority Mail International "Small Flat Rate Box" for around $23.
These are very common questions we get. I hope this helps:
1) Delivery to EU and Australia via USPS: 7 to 20 days depending on service and luck.
2) VAT is calculated by the carriers and then assigned to the consignee (receiver) 99% of the time. You can choose to pay VAT on their behalf but you will have to use an integrated carrier such as DHL, UPS, or FedEx. VAT calculation: shipping cost + insurance + product value + Duties (if applicable) x VAT %. Example of VAT (5%): Shipping cost $100 + insurance cost $5 + product value $100 + Duty (based on product's tariff code) $12 = $217 x 5% = $10.85 VAT
3) Go with DHL Express. They're the worlds largest international shipping carrier.
DHL Express for Shopify Merchants. Check out the New App: https://apps.shopify.com/dhl-discounted-shipping-by-inxpress
This will solve your problem and it's fully integrated with ShipStation if you use them.
Expanding a little more on the customs fees -- we don't deal internationally every day but when we do, we always seem to incur customs fees. What some business do is mark the package as a "Gift" to help avoid the fees associated with customs as most countries do not charge duty on "Gifts". Though this is illegal and not recommended, it may be an option for you if you are truly struggling with international shipping fares. Don't tell anyone but when I first opened shop, this is what I had done most of the time. :-)
Customs can become extremely expensive and that is why we are always hesitant to ship internationally. Of course, we fulfill all orders but international shipments are definitely going to be more expensive than it would be when shipping domestically. I am sure you already understand that.
We use UPS on most of our orders. They provide monthly billing so you don't have to pay for your shipping costs until the end of the month. It is somewhat like a Purchase Order but for shipping. If you do take advantage of this, make sure you pay your UPS bill on time or they may close your account.
Though we have used USPS, FedEx, DHL and a couple of other carriers for international shipping, we find UPS to be the most reliable by far. Not only do they get it there the quickest than any of their competitors but they also provide international tracking information (which FedEx and USPS are awful at doing). UPS is certainly a great way to help get your customer's orders to their doors quicker and safer.
Of course, it may be a bit more expensive but it's worth it if you want to turn your valuable first-time customers into returning customers.
Yes, international shipping is expensive. The only way i can see you countering a rate of $100 is by using readily available USPS Flat rate boxes. For example, a USPS Small Flat Rate Box would cost $35.65 to send the shipment from USA to India.
For the same shipment, UPS would cost a fortune as shown from the screenshot :
Hence for shipping international, it is always advisable to use USPS. Usually automations like choosing the cheapest shipping cost among a list of shipping methods can be achieved by external solutions like StorePep.
There are two main reasons why FedEx/UPS charge higher:
If you are still facing the issue, please contact the carrier for a negotiated rate based on your shipper volume. Also, you can use a dedicated app like the FedEx Rates, Labels and Tracking app to automate the shipment process using your own FedEx account.
If your shipping volume is very low, then you may need to find a shipping broker to get cheaper rates. In this case, you may need to charge the customer Flat Rate or Free Shipping and manually fulfill the orders in Shopify.
In addition to using USPS, you can use FedEx One rates which are also suitable for your shipping scenario. However, to get One rates, it is important to have correct packaging type sent to the FedEx API which needs to be handled using the Multi Carrier Shipping label app. You can use the envelope or Flat rate box for One rates.