UPS & FedEx: ultra expensive!

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New Member
2 0 0

Hello everybody!

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?

Thank you!

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Excursionist
89 0 6

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.

shippingwiz@gmail.com
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New Member
2 0 0

Thank you Shipping Wiz.

Regarding USPS... I have 3 further questions for you, I hope you don't mind:

1) How long does it take to deliver an order to Europe/Australia?

2) How do you deal with VAT for international orders?

3) Do you have any problems with customs on international orders?

THANKS!

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New Member
10 0 0

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.

 

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Explorer
124 0 21

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.

Good luck!

"There's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." -Babe Ruth
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Shopify Partner
555 1 19

Hi,

 

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.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 2.49.56 PM.png

 

For the same shipment, UPS would cost a fortune as shown from the screenshot : 

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 2.52.06 PM.png

 

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.

Product Owner @ PluginHive
Shipping Automation | FedEx shipping | Multi-carrier shipping | Shipment Tracking | Australia Post shipping
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Shopify Partner
461 7 39

Hello @KohPhiPhi,

 

There are two main reasons why FedEx/UPS charge higher:

  • Package weight. Please ensure you have configured the product weight correctly.
  • Shipper address or recipient address. When the addresses are outside the serviceable area for the carrier, they charge huge surcharge for such addresses. Do verify the same.

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.

Customer Success @ PluginHive
Shipping Automation | FedEx shipping | Multi-carrier shipping | Shipment Tracking | Australia Post shipping
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Shopify Partner
555 1 19

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.

Product Owner @ PluginHive
Shipping Automation | FedEx shipping | Multi-carrier shipping | Shipment Tracking | Australia Post shipping
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