This post is written by our partner Easyship. Easyship is an all-in-one shipping management tool that automates everything from in-cart checkout to delivery, helping eCommerce sellers ship worldwide in minutes.
An essential stage in the lifecycle of an eCommerce business, product shipping can easily influence overall customer experience. In addition to having a good shipping policy in place, it’s equally important to be aware of things such as taxes, insurance and payment methods before you start online selling.
When shipping internationally, sellers become concerned about taxes: mainly, how will they know if it will apply to their shipment, and how should they handle it?
Knowing what the de minimis value is for the countries you want to ship to will be helpful. De minimis values are the value at which taxes and duties will need to be collected. For example, the current de minimis value for the US is $800USD. If you ship an item worth $700USD, taxes and duties will not be charged. However, if the value of the item is over $800USD, you can expect to pay taxes and duties on the item.
Easyship’s countries page has all the detailed tax, duty, and customs information you’ll need to begin your research.
When it comes to paying for taxes and duties, you have the option of delivering the shipment with duties unpaid (DDU) or duties paid at your store checkout (DDP).
Choosing to deliver with duties unpaid can be a little cheaper, as some couriers charge an additional processing fee when duties are pre-paid at checkout. However, if you do not communicate to the customer that they are expected to pay these duties in order for customs to release their shipment, you run the risk of them refusing to pay and abandoning the shipment. This means that you not only have to deal with a dissatisfied customer, but now you are faced with either having the shipment returned to you (of which you would be responsible for return fees and shipping) or you will have to take a loss and leave the shipment at customs.
Ideally, it is best for the customer to pay for any taxes and duties at checkout to avoid any surprises upon delivery, and reduce the chances of abandoning the shipment in customs.
If you are selling valuable products, or the idea of theft or loss at the hands of a courier makes you nervous, you may consider getting insurance for your shipment.
The good news is that shipping insurance is very affordable. When purchasing insurance with express couriers, on average they charge about 3% of the declared value of your shipment.
Some express couriers even automatically cover domestic and international shipments with a value up to $100USD; it’s best to check directly with your courier if the solution you chose has this automatic insurance.
When you’re handling international payments, such as paying overseas suppliers, make sure you do your research before you choose a financial institution to handle the payment.
While many people automatically choose their banks to transfer money with, they often don’t realise they could save significantly more money by using a currency specialist – like WorldFirst.
To discover more about how much you could save when sending money overseas, get in touch with one of WorldFirst’s friendly currency specialists today on +65 6805 4370 or visit the website worldfirst.com/en-sg/.
Michelle Mondonedo is a content marketer at Easyship.
These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed.
All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice.
We have no commercial affiliation or commercial interest regarding the businesses mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.