Dec 28, 2012

Processing and Shipping International Amazon Orders: Some Hot Tips

Merchants need to take extra care when shipping international orders. There are a few mistakes you could be making that are actually costing you a handsome sum without your knowledge. Here are a few tips on how to avoid mistakes and reduce costs when shipping internationally.

International Returns

Now this is a big ouch. Dealing with local returns can be such a bother and international ones are even worse. We’ll start with this point first as it is one of those processes that many people are unaware may be costing them more than just a possible lost sale. We will mention two things you should consider when dealing with international returns to help lessen the pain and hassle.

* Specify the correct country of origin – Products shipped from the US, but made in another country should have the manufacturing company noted as the country of origin.

* Use the correct harmonized code for the return – This will prevent you from being charged import related fees such as duties and taxes. A returned item should not be marked as an import item, but you need to use the right code. The specially designated harmonized code for returns to the United States is 9801.00.10. That code allows you to import items back to the US once they did not undergo any improvements while overseas. The code helps to reduce shipping cost on returned items.

Avoid Shipping to fraudulent countries

While you can use fraud-prevention tools to verify a credit card in the US there is no such tool to help you identify fraudulent international credit cards. Shipping internationally is a big risk and your best measure is to keep in mind the country of origin. The following countries are enlisted as the countries from which the most fraudulent orders originate.

Belarus, Estonia, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Nigeria

Philippines, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Yugoslavia

Singapore – Indonesians use Singapore or Malaysia as the destination country because the post offices in these countries will figure out where to send the package

Use a Web App to Track Global Shipping

Web apps that are offered by international shipping companies such as UPS and FedEx to make your shipping experience easier and more efficient. The apps will supply you with details such as cost estimates, country-specific compliance rules along with their laws and tariffs.

Pay Attention to the Shipping Options Your International Customers are Seeing

Many ecommerce operators make the mistake of allowing international customers to view shipping options that are more suitable for the national customers. If you allow this to stand you could lose money on the shipping cost as most people will certainly try to place their order using the least expensive shipping option.

Set your shipping option to default for US shoppers so that they only see what you want them to use (Overnight, Priority, Express 2 Day). When international clients click on their country they could see options such as Express, International Air and Slow Boat To China.

Dealing with international shipping can be a hassle, but it is a risk many people take as they try to expand the reach of their business. The process can be a nightmare for you as well as your customers if measures are not put in place to deal with possible hiccups and mishaps along the way. Without these measures, you leave yourself open to disappointments due to shipping returns, fraud, loss of revenue due to undercharging for shipping and non-compliance with the rules of the destination country. Take the time to learn various tips and strategies that share ways you can avoid making mistakes and losing money on your international shipping.

Ted Hosford is a business software consultant. He enjoys sharing his extensive experience on various business blogs. Find out about Amazon shipping solutions, visit the link.

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