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Selling art internationally

memax
Excursionist
28 0 2

I’ve asked this question a few times but not really got the answer I need.

I’m an artist shipping drawings and paintings from the UK. I need to know how to make shipping of my work a seamless process for my customers.

Ideally this would be through a free app, if possible.

Any help greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Max

Replies 10 (10)
PluginHive
Shopify Partner
796 31 90

Hi @memax,

May I know which carriers are you using to handle the shipping process and your order volume? 

I'm not sure if you will find a free app for handling the complete shipping process. However, you can check out the Multi Carrier Shipping Label app that helps you integrate all top carriers like FedEx, UPS, DHL, Parcelforce, TNT, and many more, and automate the shipping process by allowing you to display live shipping rates at checkout, print multiple shipping labels in a single click and also automate the tracking process. The price starts at $9/month with a 14-day free trial. You can try the app in this period and contact the support for any assistance required. 

I hope this helps!

Customer Success @ PluginHive
Shipping Automation | FedEx shipping | Multi-carrier shipping | Shipment Tracking | Australia Post shipping
suellen
Shopify Partner
5 0 1

I have a client selling art from the US and shipping internationally.

They wanted to use Shopify Shipping but that won't work because Shopify Shipping doesn't show dimensional shipping rates to customers at checkout - therefore shipping costs would be much higher than what the customer pays.

We then looked at Shippo because they offer highly discounted carrier rates on major carriers - however, the app doesn't have the ability to show shipping rates at checkout.  They suggest using the USPS Rates Calculator and then setting Flat Rates based on that but that's not showing true shipping costs and it's a big task with over 5000 products!

The only other app to offer discounted carrier rates is Easyship and they do show shipping rates at checkout.  There's a lot of work to set up all of the dimensions for over 5000 products but it seems this is the only way.

Other apps like Multi Carrier Shipping Label could work but they don't offer discounted carrier rates - you need to use your own carrier account and rates are not as discounted as Shopify, Shippo or Easyship.

It just feels crazy hard setting up something that surely thousands of merchants need.

If anyone can help me out with this I'd be super grateful.

memax
Excursionist
28 0 2

Hello,

I'm struggling with that. It seems like all the main carriers used by Shopify don't include the UK - which is frustrated.

It's not possible to know the volume at this point but I will be likely shipping single items at a time.

Thanks for getting back to me.

memax
Excursionist
28 0 2

It's really holding up my store opening. My customers should see up front what they need to pay. And I'd prefer it that way. I only have 20-30 products up at the moment so maybe I should try easyship. If they serve the UK.

Daniel2345
Tourist
5 0 1

Thanks for sharing it, it's awesome

Mac
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
633 55 93

Hi, @memax.

Thank you for reaching out with your question! I’m happy to help.

I understand the importance of offering a seamless shipping experience to your customers and selling art online. The first step is to determine the cost of getting your products in the hands of your customers. Doing so will give you a great idea of which methods work best for your profit margin. You can check out our guide on calculating shipping costs here to learn more about key factors like package size, weight, origin and destination addresses. 

The next step will be to determine your shipping strategy. There are several common methods used by our merchants which include offering free shipping, charging exact costs, or providing flat-rate shipping. I suggest checking out this help document to learn more about finding the best shipping options for your business. Once you have a better idea of your costs and strategy, you can set up your shipping rates within Shopify accordingly.

If you prefer to use a third party carrier app to purchase shipping labels from, you can check out the Starshipit Shipping & Tracking and Zenstores apps on our App Store which have a wide range of domestic and international couriers that sync directly to your Shopify admin. If you have any questions about the apps, or need a hand setting them up, feel free to reach out to the developers directly as they could provide some more information.   

In addition to offering carrier shipping, setting up pickup and local delivery is another great way to speed up your fulfillment time and create a better experience for your customers. When customers are close to your business, you can offer unique, local methods for them to receive their products. More on this can be found on this help document here.

Can you tell me a little bit about your artwork? What are the dimensions required for packaging? Are you shipping domestically or internationally?

Mac | Social Care @ Shopify 
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memax
Excursionist
28 0 2

Hi there,

 

Sorry for the incredibly late reply.

Most of my work is now being done on panels as they are easy to pack and ship. The largest size I make for my store is no bigger than A4; again, to simplify the shipping process. 
I'm afraid I'm a complete novice at the shipping side of things and have pretty much stalled the opening of my store as a result. I'd love to get this resolved but have run into a brick wall when it comes to this.

I'm wondering; is there a simple guide to how to set up products ready for shipping? Something like: measure each item, weigh each item, record in back end of shopify etc.? Sorry for my overly simple questions...I'm a real novice at this and kind of out of my depth it would appear.

 

Thanks for your message, it was very informative and a great help. 

Mac
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
633 55 93

Hi again, @memax

Thank you so much for following up and no worries at all for the late reply. 

 

While I understand how shipping can be quite complex due to the various factors involved, I will do my best to provide the necessary steps to set up products ready for shipping. While we have an in depth guide on this directly on our Shopify Blog called Ecommerce Shipping: How to Ship Products to Customers, I will go through some key details with you. 

 

Firstly, you will want to measure and update the weight of each product you are offering. This will give you a good understanding of your total shipping costs, and allow you to provide your ideal shipping strategy. For instance, are you going to offer free, or flat-rate shipping to your customers? 

 

Next, you will want to find your ideal packaging for your products. This involves finding the right dimensions for your shipping package and updating this information on Shopify. 

 

Once you have the key information in our system, you will want to set your shipping strategy and determine which carrier you would like to go with, such as USPS, UPS, or DHL. Following that, you will update your shipping rates and profiles accordingly. 

 

You will also have the option to set up local pick-up and local delivery which truly helps reduce shipping costs to local customers. Let me know if this is something that interests you. 

 

Feel free to go through the article shared above and let me know if you have any questions at all. I'm here to help you along the way! 

 

 

Mac | Social Care @ Shopify 
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memax
Excursionist
28 0 2

Thanks so much for the reply, Mac.

I'll be shipping drawings and paintings so they come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Also, I'm unable to prepare the items for shipping in advance because this might effect the pieces being in prolonged contact with the packing material (so I won't be able to provide details on the final package dimensions or weight, unfortunately). So all I'd be able to do is prepare once an order has been placed and take it from there.

I am seriously considering offering free shipping as this might provide a workaround to this problem; then, once I've a better idea of the costs, I can reconsider whether it's worth calculating the shipping for each item going forward. Do you have any opinion on this; perhaps there is something I'd need to consider first before going ahead with a free shipping option?

Thanks again for your help.

Max

Mac
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
633 55 93

Hi again, @memax

I'm glad I was able to assist you thus far. 

 

Thank you for providing that context as it gives me a great understanding of your situation. If you are looking to offer free shipping, you will need to ensure that your product pricing is set high enough that it will allow you to maintain profits. We have a great document that goes into more detail on our Shopify Blog here. Essentially, you will need to factor in the average shipping cost of your products and add a percentage of that to your product price.

 

If your profit margins are not competitive, or your product pricing appears to be too high, you can look to add a flat fee for domestic and international shipping. This will allow you to cut down on your product prices, and charge the customer a fee for shipping based on their location. For example. you would set a $5 flat fee for shipping in your domestic country, and charge around a $20 flat fee shipping rate for international buyers. Check out our guide on how to set up shipping rates if this interests you. 

 

Another possibility could be to set a rough estimate of your dimensions and weights if you are looking to add carrier calculated shipping. Doing so will allow you to charge your customers a rough estimate based on their shipping address directly at checkout. 

 

Let me know if you have any questions, or which route you decide to go with! Talk soon! 

Mac | Social Care @ Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog