I handcraft surfboard shaped mirrors, I get a lot of enquiries from overseas, but postage costs put them off, any ideas please ?
If you are selling to private clients in single units or small quantities, international transport costs are always likely to be relatively high, compared to domestic UK rates. Also, if your pieces are long, or awkwardly shaped, some small parcel carrriers may not be interested, as they often have automated handling systems which may impose limitaitons on sizes or dimensions of pieces.
The large players in the small parcel market (ie the household names) will offer discounts on international tariffs, but usally only based on a regular volume of consignments, which may be a problem for an occasional exporter. There are also a number of companies who act as sales agents or whoelsalers of small parcel services, and who are often more willing to offer reduced rates for relatively small volumes of business.
If you have regular levels of business within a specific country, you might be able to investigate the feasibility of setting up a warehousing facility using a local warehousing or transport company. This might allow you to ship larger volumes to the warehouse (cutting down on your unit cost for the international journey), and allowing you to do a local delivery to your client from the warehouse, reducing costs and speeding up the delivery time to your client.
You might also consider working with a sales distributor in that country, who would buy in bulk from you, and resell in that market. This would reduce your costs, but also your profit margin.
Thanks for your detailed response Mike.
I handcraft individual items and ship low volumes.
As a sole trader who’s every material is subject to vat, and I am not vat registered, I find it a struggle, and not being able to post makes it even harder at times.
I’d be interested to know how your items are packaged currently. Do you transport them in the UK by courier? If the packaging is suitable for an overnight express carrier, then using a parcel broker website like ours would most likely yield the best results in price for low volume shipping.
Parcel Brokers operate by consolidating low volume shippers traffic with thousands of others via a website platform. You just log in, choose a service and price and then receive the shipping labels for the courier you selected and the courier collects from your address and delivers direct. With options from TNT, FEDEX, DHL, UPS and discounts of up to 70% from their tariffs, this may be the best option.
Please feel free to contact me direct and I can run through some pricing examples for you.