How do you handle import duties when drop-shopping?

New Member
4 0 0

I have a successful store for my own self-branded products, but I'm new to drop-shipping. Using Oberlo, I've just added some products to my store, which sells only in the US and Canada. (My retail prices on these products range from $10 to about $120. I sell gear for kayaking & canoeing, by the way.) Most will ship from China via e-Packet. Everything is technically subject to import duties, but I'm under the impression that duties are rarely changed on small consumer products in practice. (That's been my experience when ordering products that ship from China on Amazon.)

1. Is it true that duties are rarely charged on small items that dropship from China to US/Canada?
2. Are duties sometimes imposed on such products?
3. How to you inform your customers that duties WILL or MIGHT BE charged? What wording do you use? I don't want them to be surprised when the postman tells them they owe duties, but I don't want the prospect of additional charges to scare them off if those charges are rarely imposed.
4. If you're using Oberlo and dropshipping, I'd like to look at your store. Please provide a link. (I presume that my focus on paddlesports isn't going to compete directly with your store.)

Many thanks, all.

Shopify Partner
254 8 36

Hi @Robert_Holtzman! Gabby here from the Community Engagement team at Spocket.


I'm not really a dropshipper but I'd like to give you some of my insights regarding your concern. First off, if you don't want to worry about adding the amount to pay for duties, you can try using apps like Spocket - everything is automated in terms of order fulfillment. The supplier calculates duties as well as taxes for you when your customer makes a purchase. You can find out more about this with this video: Automated Order Processing. To answer your questions though:


1-2. This I can't confirm but from what I know, this varies per country so it's best to check the policies for countries like Canada and the US. But as I mentioned, if you use apps like Spocket, you wouldn't really have to worry as the supplier does this for you.

3. I think being straightforward about it should work - you can add this when they add to their cart or check their cart. Depending on your branding (you might have a specific tone you want to use so you can adjust this based on that), the default for this would be: "Custom duties and taxes are calculated upon checkout."


Hope these help!


Hello @Robert_Holtzman 


Whether it is traditional eCommerce or dropshipping, the import taxes only buyer responsible. Sellers cannot help with that.


The tax is not the same for all regions and all products. 


So please mention in your TOS or Shipping Policy, that Import taxes are customer responsible. We Help Shopify Dropshippers
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