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Do You Need International Shipping Information

When you sell your items online you should consider selling to International Customers.  The majority of eCommerce merchants sell their items to Australia, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States.  When you limit your market to the United States, you will sell fewer items.

Here are some tips for shipping your items Internationally.  The two most popular ways to ship overseas through the United States Postal Service (USPS) is by Priority Mail International or First Class Mail International.  If you ship by Priority Mail you can use the free Priority Mail boxes.  For First Class Mail International you will have to use your own box.

For light weight items it is cheaper to ship by First Class Mail International.  To calculate your shipping cost, go to the USPS website.  Click on Calculate Postage, then on the next page Click “Go” in the Calculate International Shipping Section.  The next page gives you a drop down menu where you can select the destination.  Choose package, then insert the weight of your package and click continue.  The next page will show your shipping cost. 

Please make sure that you check out the restrictions for each country you ship to.  You can find this information on the USPS page that shows you the shipping cost.  This link is located at the top of the chart and will state, “Price Charts and Information For ____” and it will include the name of the country you have chosen.

Read these restrictions carefully, because there are some countries where certain items cannot be shipped.  Or the item may need to be shipped by Registered Mail.  Remember, that this is your business, so you have to make sure that you follow all the Country Conditions for Mailing.

You can print your International Labels through PayPal, or you can use your own label and Fill out the Customs Declaration Forms that you can get from the USPS.  There are 2 Different Customs Declaration Forms, PS Form 2976 and the PS Form 2976-A, which will be inserted into the PS Form 2976-E Customs Form Envelope.

The PS Form 2976 is used for packages that weigh 4 pounds or less and this label can be folded over the side of the box if necessary.  However, the PS Form 2976-A cannot be folded over and must be used with the 2976-E Envelope on the front of the package in full view.

Please remember when you fill out the Forms that you check other, and not Gift.  Even if the Customer requests that you check Gift, do not do it.  This would be a violation of the Customs Laws and Regulations.  I hope this has been helpful.

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  1. [...] seller’s shipping costs, we wanted to point out Jan M. Bradshaw’s excellent article “Do you need information about international shipping?” It’s a quick guide to get you started selling to a whole new, international [...]

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