Whether you own a small business and want to expand internationally, are a budding entrepreneur with big plans, or you’re simply thinking about selling unused items to make some extra cash, you may be faced with posting items abroad.
While shipping items nationally is simple enough, when it comes to international delivery, there’s more to consider. To help you get it right, here are 5 essential tips for sending parcels abroad.
Each company has its own list of prohibited or restricted items. For example, the restrictions that apply when sending a parcel to Spain may not be the same for Australia. This means it’s essential to check before shipping. If in doubt, contact your courier or speak to a customs official, to avoid sending mail that is classified as illegal.
It goes without saying that international postage generally takes longer than shipping within the UK. As such, before posting, research the available services. Getting an accurate estimate of how long parcels will take to arrive will allow you to inform customers. This avoids disappointment of late parcels, which could result in negative reviews.
When sending any parcels, it’s important to properly package. However, when it comes to shipping abroad, this is vital. This is because a parcel will go through many sorting and handling processes, which increases the risk of damage. To reduce this, fill empty internal space to prevent items moving, choose sturdy materials, and make sure it’s sealed correctly to avoid parcels coming open during transit. This will avoid the expense of replacing orders.
Just as when sending items in the UK, dimensions are important. Always check to make sure weight and size are accurate, before booking a service. This will ensure you have paid an accurate price and avoid any surcharges for heavier or oversized parcels. Whether you’re a private seller or a business, this could eat into your profits.
While addresses should be double – or even triple – checked to make sure a parcel will arrive at its intended destination, international shipping requires further labelling. For example, if sending outside the EU, parcels must have a customs label detailing contents. If this is missing or filled incorrectly, parcels may be refused or held at customs for an extended period.
Sending parcels abroad can require a little more time and research, but if done properly, it should be a simple process. Use these tips to ensure your parcels arrive on time and undamaged.