I have only sold to the UK so far but am considering including Europe and possibly worldwide to increase my sales. I make fabric flower brooches and accessories so the postage wouldn’t be too high. What are your thoughts and experiences?
I have found it very straight forward . I don’t sell a lot overseas from my Folksy shop but lots from other sites.
You can collect some stickers for customs declarations (for non EU sales) from the PO , so that you have them to hand.
Good luck , hope it generates more sales for you.
I’ve sold worldwide for many years and I find it frustrating, so much so I decided not to add European & international postage to any items inside my Folksy shop. It’s the Royal Mail side of things that frustrates me, not going to the post office to ship the items.
The thickness of the packages is what bothers me most because if I ship for instance like last week 1 pack of 30 tags to USA, the small package had to be sent 1st Class by Large Letter, where as if I sent it within the UK, it would have gone as a Letter no problem. It just gets all confusing with the European & international pricing but that’s just my personal opinion. x
I get the occasional overseas sale and it’s fine - just make sure you charge enough p&p to cover your costs and make sure it’s packaged well.
I’ve had no problems at all selling to overseas customers. The Royal Mail website is very easy to use and the pricing structure is simple, as long as you weigh your final package carefully. Make sure it is robust enough to withstand the journey, label it clearly (with a return address on the front too) and add a customs label if outside the EU. Check your postage costs will cover the actual cost of postage and packing. There is a £20 compensation limit for standard airmail, or £50 if you send by International Tracked, so take that into account. The tracked service is an extra £5 approx, which is a lot but may be worth it if your items are expensive or hard to replace. Try it - I’m sure you’ll have no problems.
Approx half my sales are international, I’ve not had any major problems yet.
Make sure customers are aware they may have to wait several weeks for delivery and put a return address on the package.
Some countries (where the post is a bit iffy) I have added tracking onto the postage price and other countries have the option to add tracking (on my etsy shops, we haven’t got the option on here)
Custom orders and personalised orders always go with tracking.
The only place I don’t offer international postage is ebay.
Just pick up a leaflet from your local Post Office which gives all the details of parcel sizes and prices, then it’s easy to put the right postage charges on your listings. Don’t forget to weigh your item WITH packaging in case it pushes it into the next price band.
I’ve sold to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many EU countries (though not on Folksy ) I don’t tick the “Rest of the World” option because there are places I wouldn’t want to try to send to (Nicaragua, Somalia, Iraq . . . ) and this is the only way to maintain that control.
So far I’ve only had one overseas sale and that was to Canada. I lost out abit on the postage costs but that was my own fault for not doing enough homework on overseas costs. Also I sent signed and tracked which was costly. Looking back I know international standard service would have been fine.
The parcel wasn’t tracked all the way to its destination either which was a disappointment having paid extra for the service.
I’ve not heard from the customer so fingers crossed the parcel arrived safely.
I’ve altered my postage now and will use international standard service if I receive any more overseas orders.
The kind lady at the post office gave me a few declaration stickers and airmail stickers for next time
Also when you receive an overseas order the Royal Mail website is a good place to find out about how to send your item. I was amazed to discover from a fellow folksy seller that post to other countries may need to be written out differently. Eg return address written on the front top left of the parcel…
I’ve sold overseas a handful of times, but I ask customers to get in touch for a P+P quote because prices vary a lot so I find it easier with a postcode. This is why I don’t add international postage on Folksy- but ask people to get in touch instead.
That’s what I mean @dikeeblebeadsandjewellery It’s quite deceiving with the tags, I stack them inside the packets and split them evenly but if there just slightly higher than the letterbox there’s the extra shipping cost to pay and it’s me who funds it.
I sell overseas and I haven’t had any real issues (apart from 1 order which went to South Africa) I send everything under £20 by International Standard and everything over £20 by International Tracked & Signed.
P.s. I always stick the return address on the back of the parcel and this has never been questioned by the Post Office, but I’m going to double check this with Royal Mail after reading this thread
Yep, no problems. I make sure I cover my p + p costs. The post has changed recently, it seems a bit cheaper too, posting sizes.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply, there is some really helpful information and I will take it into account when I decide whether to offer delivery outside of the UK.
Just make sure if you have product liability insurance that you are covered (mine only covers me for the EU) I think a few insurance companies are wary of covering USA (probably because the have a reputation for suing at the drop of a hat) and there might be other exceptions or additional costs, but if you think you have the market for it then give it a go
I’ve sold abroad on the other site we are not allowed to mention! Mainly to USA / Canada - I’ve had no problems, the items seem to arrive pretty quickly. I do insist on tracked and signed for shipping though, (except for one very low cost item I sent). I ask customers to contact me for a shipping quote, then email them back with it, they can then decide if they want the item, if so I add the shipping to the listing.