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Have you tried selling your stuff to oversea customers?



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Have you tried selling your stuff to oversea customers?

I have deep passion in cross stitching, handmade crafts such as making greeting cards and gifts from recycle items. I had planned to  sell them online at Listing dock and Ebay but I have a BIG problem. I am residing in Malaysia. I believe that majority buyers would be in foreign countries such as US,UK,Canada, Australia. Now, how do I suppose to add in the postage fee into my cost since the postage fee is different for each country? Furthermore I do not know the weight of the items after packaging.

SO, how do you estimate your cost without losing out? Have you tried selling your items to oversea customers?

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manmad
It's hard to sell something overseas in small quantities, because of the taxes, so I am not really sure how you can do it, your best bet is to try selling it in pairs, or at least a lot of your products at once, so you can send it for free, I am not exactly sure how the fees work, but it depends on what exactly you're trying to sell.



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peachpurple
Thanks very much, at least you understood my situation.



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DarthHazard
Selling in bulk is always a good idea even when you are selling locally because it allows you to save money and it's also good for your customer because you can also give them a bit of a discount because of the fact that they are buying so much from you. Selling in bulk internationally is a great idea because you can reduce the amount spent on taxes and delivery as well.



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dzannerz
Yes manmad is right because you can loss more for a shipping rather than your passion in doing those products. So maybe if ever your about to do that I suggest that you gather more customers in each country so you can send you products for them at the same time, by these you can mainimise the cost of the shipping fee.



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Martinsx1
This is exactly how it works with selling stuffs overseas, it comes with extra add cost that won't be favorable to the seller because you will end up incurring cost that would almost cut off all your profits from the sale. Even sending money across comes with charges that takes a cut off your complete fund. There was this transaction that I had and roughly €300 was sent to me but my bank charged me close to €30 for the transfer.



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treecko142
Yeah, and the shipping fee can get really high, and you're forced to increase prices but the buyer won't buy the item anymore due to the price and the shipping fee, so unless you have a big company, it's not worth it.



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Tronia
You could perhaps also look into selling on Etsy, that's way more centered around the work that you do - handmade and crafted. The fees are really, really hard to give because you didn't provide enough information about specific details that are needed. Also, some sites have a fees calculator and a special section where you can estimate the overall cost. You will need to know how much the product weights though so just weight it and write it down.

Note that different platforms have different fees for listing and more. I wish you the best of luck Have you tried selling your stuff to oversea customers?



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peachpurple
Thanks, I had looked into Etsy, still could not understand the postage fee part. Since I am from Malaysia, sending handmade craft or card by air mail is a huge problem since I do not know the weight.



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DarthHazard
The only time I have sold some stuff is just getting rid of stuff that is around my house to either get rid of it or to just earn a bit of money on the side. I always just tend to sell to customers in the United Kingdom because it's just a lot easier. International shipping is complicated especially in terms of tracking so it's just better to send to locations in the same country. Plus it's a lot cheaper for you and the buyer.



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peachpurple
thanks for your advice, then I should start selling to Malaysia customers only. Until I can understand the oversea postage fee, then I could go for that. Better not take the risk.



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JoeMilford
I've done this quite often too, Darth, but I can't imagine anyone overseas really trying that hard to get some of my "junk" shipped to them, lol. I think that the best way to sell this kind of stuff is to do so locally--with a garage or yard sale. You can also take things to consignment shops or the like. The shipping costs alone, as you mention above, can kill or at least marginalize your profits when making international sales of physical items which only have moderate to low value.



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jaymish2
I agree with [email protected] Etsy is the best option for crafts. Your success will depend on how well you market your products. Go with the environmentally sustainable line and your cash will be rolling in.I know of a company in Ethiopia that makes shoes from recycled raw materials. They are doing very well and most of their clients come from America, Canada, and Europe. This is despite the fact, that the shoes are very ugly. I wouldn't buy them!People support them because they create jobs and help preserve the environment.



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peachpurple
Thanks I will try Etsy again. This time, I will ask the admin about the postage fee and then decide how much I should top up into my cost.



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wiseagent
I've sold many things online (dvd's, blu-rays, mugs, books, stamps and the list goes on) but nothing that was so geographically far from my original destination, haha. I think I just never thought of this possibility so far.

Who knows in the near future? It's a possibility. Have you tried selling your stuff to oversea customers?



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Barida
Selling overseas can be beneficial once you could be able to have that connection to sell to countries where your country have a favorable exchange rate. That should be a factor when you want to try out.



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Blank629
It is hard to sell items overseas especially if you just started your business. Based on what I see in some people who sell online items, they always start to sell their products at their own country. Meaning, try to build a name first in your own country. After you gain some reputation and valued customers, I think it is the time that you can sell items overseas. But first, you must research about the different rules and regulations of that country and all related issues concerning selling items overseas.



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peachpurple
@Blank629
thanks for your advice, I will try on selling to customers in my own country first. Then I will search about the postage fees for foreign countries.



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treecko142
Yeah, you should always open at a small-scale first and think about opening overseas when you have seen success locally. There are some additional fees that aren't feasible for a starting business.



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overcast
I have worked on some of the freelancer sites. So I did sold the stuff to the oversea customer technically. However if you mean selling the physical product then no, that's not something I have managed to sell. And that is something I am planning to do with the dropshipping. And that is something requires the shopify. And not sure how many among us would be able to make use of the shopify options in that case for the starters though.



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Barida
You've got to make research about shopify, if you're interested in selling items through the site. As a starter, learning from what others have done can really benefit you at the end.



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overcast
I am working with one client on shopify. The amount per year seems to be above 350$ and more. So that's something definitely to consider as well. I have found out that it's kind of expensive. And also it takes more time and money to take off the shop. I'd say on that note it'd be reasonable to invest slowly into shopfiy.



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gelotologist
I've never tried selling stuffs online yet but I have been thinking about it since I'm trying to do dropshipping. Like I know for sure that it will be a problem since people buying overseas might have some tax problems and it would cost them much more.



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Barida
You can do it better at local markets or you should check out the policies by your country government that support mini exportation. It's not always easy when we are starting out.



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overcast
I think dropshipping also falls into the same. But here you are not doing the shipping. And that in itself is going to be really wrong. You can see that it can be really good option for people who are into selling without having to keep the stock. Here the sales will be offshore for sure.



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peachpurple
oh, so you don't have to keep stock, just sell the item online and somebody will do the shipping? Is it alike a 3rd party?



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peachpurple
I had heard of dropshipping too. I think this is a good idea to sell something that I don't have in hand, I don't have to keep stock and no capital. This is a good idea.



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peachpurple
Dear gelotologist
I agree with you, it would be difficult to sell my stuff overseas since it may involve tax, service charge, postal service, declaration form, more expenses than I expected



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wallet
I have tried this only once but when I saw how expensive is to send the package with the plane, and I have told the customer that the travel cost is expensive than the item itself...it gave up on buying it, and this is understandable.



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wiseagent
The amount required to ship the packages is something that can be really scared depending on which countries will be in the transaction. The more geographically distant they are, the more expensive they are values.

This is extremely discouraging.



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peachpurple
Yes I agree, that is the reason why I do not know the postage fee since I have not started to sell anything yet. Furthermore, the rates might change due to different countries exchange rates



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Barida
But I think some of the sites we sell things through can offer to pay half of the transportation cost. Maybe it's not on all sites.



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wiseagent
I'm aware of this, but I think unfortunately this option is not available on all websites dealing with this type of trading (something that I think should be 100% allowed, following - obviously - the appropriate rules).



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peachpurple
oh you had faced this problem too? That is what I am afraid of. Imagine the cost of postage is higher than the item instead. Not worth it isn't it?



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TimothyAlex
I am sure there are online calculators that can help with shipping. In fact, I think eBay has it built into their system if you choose to use it. I''m in the US and have purchased from Asian suppliers in the past. It takes extra time to arrive compared to Europe, but it wasn't that costly.



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augusta
I will say I sell to overseas indirectly as per an affiliate marketer since my job is just to bring in buyers that where I stop my service but for my personal stuff I sell it within my country for now


For your handcrafted stuff I think you can use the marketplace like Esty or here listingdock list your products and take it up from there.



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PedroP
I have never thought about selling things overseas but there have been lots of talks around here about people buying things from Ali Express and making a decent profit by selling them on other national sites around here



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wiseagent
I've heard a lot about Ali Express, however, most of the comments I've read about him are not so encouraging. I think I would not risk buying anything using this site (unless it was something very difficult to find).



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PedroP
I have bought quite a few things there. It's legit I assure you. The only problem is that things take a long time to arrive. (2-3 months) My advice for you is to search for a cheap item you like and give it a try. You won't regret it!



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wiseagent
2-3 months? Holly crap... Haha!

This is a long time waiting for an order, but if it's the only option... It's better to use a safe place to make the purchase (but it has to be something very special, haha).

Thanks fot the feedback.



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Barida
That's good business for people to buy on Aliexpress while selling via other sites afterwards. I would definitely have a look at how possible it is for me.



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PedroP
I have considered a lot too but the only problem is that things take quite a long time to arrive and sometimes are delayed and stuck in customs. That would kill my profits!



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Pixie06
I have tried to sell only small and lightweight items online. The postage and shipping costs are not really high for those types of items. I prefer to sell locally for many reasons. I am in a better position to understand my customers, know about my competitors and I am knowledgeable about the local laws.



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Soulwatcher
I don't ship anything overseas. I sold a video card to someone in Hungry one time and the shipping was $48 and that was the slow shipping. The shipping cost almost as much as I sold the video card for and worst of all I offered free shipping. Needless to say that was a costly lesson and one that I am never going to repeat again!



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vinaya
I am a writer based in Nepal. The only thing I have ever sold online is my articles and ebooks and most of my buyers are based in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. I have never sold physical items online. I often brood on the idea of selling physical items popular in my country to the overseas customers. However, I have not been able to do because I am not sure whether I can do this. Shipping cost a lot of money and I may not make enough money by selling items to the foreign buyers.



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Barida
There are export policies in my country that can enable anyone sell to other countries while they bore some cost of doing so. So, it's all about discovering if there is any in your country at the moment.



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Judas2018
In my freelancing work I've had customers from other countries purchase from me regularly. I don't mind doing work for them just so long as the language barrier between us isn't too much of a complication to getting the work done and learning what it is exactly that they are looking to have done for them.



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wiseagent
I think any kind of problem - related to the work of the freelancer - can exist and be bypassed, with the exception of the language barrier. I really can't work that way.

In my opinion, this is the worst problem that can exist.



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Steve5
Oversea customers like having the option to buy from select sellers.

It helps to have something that's unique. If you're selling something only you or a few people can provide, then it will be easier to gain new customers for your products and services. I agree that you should consider selling in bulk as this will allow both you and your customer to save on expenses.



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Judas2018
That's true. Mostly because overseas customers come from countries that are structured or set up differently from America. So their job, career or project needs often differ from the ones of Americans or even Europeans.



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JoeMilford
I have sold stuff overseas, but so far I have not had a lot of payment or transaction issues because all of my customers either use PayPay or Payoneer, and, in my experience, those are both pretty reliable. Mind you, I have not sold a lot of merch overseas, and most of what I have sold is in the UK, but I can see how difficulties could most definitely arise due to the different financial infrastructures and regulations regarding transactions in different countries. Most of what I sell comes from a publisher with international distribution, so that makes it easier for me as well.



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Judas2018
I haven't had any issues either. But I sell digital goods so when you're in that arena, little to nothing can go wrong selling to a customer in another country. It seems that for physical goods is where the problems arise. Because postal deliveries and methods vary from country to country. Packages can get lost, stolen, damaged - or miss their arrival date by miles.



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JoeMilford
Interesting--I did not think about this distinction, actually, but I should have since i do sell ebooks, and that is pretty much a guaranteed and instant deliverable product. The physical ones ARE the ones which come up missing at times, and that can be problematic and expensive. However, digital sales of digital products seem to a pretty safe bet. Good point here.



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Judas2018
Indeed. I remember ordering a small pair of earbuds from China a few years back. Cost me around $4.00 and they never made it to me here in America. Granted - if I had spent $14.00 on those earbuds, their disappearance would've hurt more. But it was a lesson learned. The other way around, I am sure many American pieces of mail en route to China don't make it to their destination either.



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JoeMilford
My ex just told me about losing $130 dollars on an oversea purchase that she made with bitcoin and through her bank account. The whole thing looked pretty shady to me, but she would not heed my advice about it. I am not one to say, "I told you so", but she says now she should have listened to me. There is always a bit of a risk when ordering from oversea and international markets which you are not familiar with. I think it is best to do your research first before trusting your hard-earned money with sources you are totally unfamiliar with. There are just too many crooks out there.



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Judas2018
Yeah I just had a shady job offering from a company looking to hire a freelancer to promote their company and increase their brand presence in the marketplace. I met the buyer who is from the UK through a freelancing site. He then invited me to a google hangout session where he attempted to recruit me and asked for all sorts of personal information (drivers license, bank accounts, etc.). Needless to say, I blew it up pretty fast and just reported him to the site overseers. Granted - it's okay to speak to a potential client on google hangout or any chat system if invited.

But according to the rules of most freelancing sites - once clients you meet at a freelancing site - try to lure freelancers into offsite contracts not protected by the sites terms of service policy itself - then it's a major red flag. That didn't worry me as much though since I have done business through paypal before. Invoices and all. But anytime someone asks for drivers license, bank account and credit card info for any job. Much less a remote (online) job where I'd be working a 1 month contract as their brand ambassador - that's a major warning sign.



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mildredtabitha
I have never tried selling for people outside my country because I have felt that shipping for them must be another long process. As everyone else have said, shipping in bulk is cheaper but you will still have customers that want one pair. You can get friends who are specializing in the same business as the one you want to advertise here so they can tell you how they manage to sell to people outside your country and also how they price items.



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Judas2018
It costs a fortune to send an item overseas, period. That's before you get to the size of the item - which also factors into the overall price.



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jaymish
In my country, they are many people who specialize in exports. Normally they export textiles. fruits and vegetables, flowers and ornaments. The best way to do this is through the export council. They have contacts from other countries for anyone that is willing to export goods and services. You are likely to get a lot of help from them as exports are a good foreign exchange earner for the country. They are also some organizations that support organic products made in third world countries.A good example is the fair trade organization in the United Kingdom.



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Baburra
I think it's only less complicated if you only plan on doing it once in a while, wherein it can still be considered as gift sending rather than an actual business. If you are going to start sending items on a regular basis, I imagine there will start to be more legalities involved and taxes and papers can probably be especially more complex. Not to say that it is impossible or would necessitate a large company just to get it done, but probably it's best to start as professional as possible if it's something you're planning on doing in the long run.



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potentialwriter
Yes, I have been selling some personal stuff to customers overseas through online advertisements. I have a WordPress website well optimized for traffic and added my sitemap to Google in order to boost traffic. I write contents of 1500 - 2000 words in length and add relevant images just to ensure that traffic comes as quickly as possible.

i advertise to customers home and abroad, but noticed that more sales come from customers overseas than local customers. So, I decided to always set my target location to countries overseas.



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AmieBotella
I think you have to know each country's rules on sending packages. If you're a seller whose products are small, like you said, crafts or cross stitch, they can be sent by parcels as a personal package. Be specific with the shipping costs and other costs on top of your products. List it separately to inquiring clients so that they can assess the value of your product and the shipping cost. Also, you may want to invest in a weighing scale to have a measurable value of your product when you try to ship them to costumers. Couriers overseas have rates for the specific countries of origin and destination based also on the weight of the package. And another thing. make sure you pack the goods securely that they won't get damaged during transit. I hope your selling works!



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PinkTurtle
I think you should start selling the items in your country first and them if everything works out fine you could start offering them oveseas, it is hard to only sell one item at a time when it comes to exporting things, I would agree with a lot of people who recomend it before me that you should try to sell in bulk to pay less in taxes and shipping! I'll say the weight of the product is the less important thing because you'll only need to buy a balance and that's not that expensive.



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dzannerz
Its a great thing to know to sell things or other in goods in overseas as bulk because you can save time, effort and you can minimise the cost of your shipping fee.



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tiffiecute
I have never gone that far yet when it comes to selling products. I have only sold locally, in my office to be specific. It can be overwhelming I guess to be able to reach that far, to be able to sell internationally, but it would take tons of hard work and years to achieve that point.



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Judas2018
Not really. You can sell digital goods to people overseas with ease. Physical goods take more research though. You really should stick to just a few countries. Mostly ones who have delivery and mail systems that are easy to work with.



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anjanetteclyde1
I have not tried selling my stuffs to overseas customers though I would like to try. However, I am still skeptical in doing transactions far a distance. As myself, I am meticulous and I always make sure that everything is right and in order as much as possible. So if I do transactions afar, it may take time for me to validate and be satisfied of the process and the product. Though I buy stuffs online like clothes, cosmetics and anything around the corner but the seller I transact with is someone that I knew before. He/ she might be a friend of my friend or a school mate in my grade school. In that way, I feel more secure and comfortable doing business with him/her. But then I am not discouraging selling stuffs to overseas customers, in fact I am willing to try. Its just that, as for myself, I prefer to do it with someone I knew and not that far from me.



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honeybabe
It is really hard to sell stuff outside your country first problemis the tax and shipping cost of every country you will send. Better start with you own country and post it any social media or online shopping site. You can start their, who knows you will succeed and have many buyers of your goods/
stuff. Good luck...



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potentialwriter
Yes, I have tried selling stuff to customers overseas at many occasions, but through a website I owned. I created this website with a WordPress theme and performed necessary SEO tasks when necessary. I discovered that traffic changed for better each time I tried improving my website. I always noticed bright changes on my website whenever I tried developing the site.

I added my sitemap and chose US as my targeted map location whereas I live outside US. I have made lots of sales to customers in US due to the tons of traffic my website generates for me daily.



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Aree
Overseas? I suppose that term now means just another country.

In that case, yes, I am trying to sell my services to another country. The other country happens to be just next door to mine. In fact, I was in the other country for more than two decades. So I have a pretty good idea of what's going on over there. Now that I am back in my own country, I am still very much in contact with my friends and students in the other country.

What problems do I face?

Not much really. That's mainly because I already know the language of the other country. I can speak and read their language quite well. So selling my services to them is not a problem. I am actually making live broadcasts with extra explanations in their language.



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ballyhara
I'm not experienced in this area, but you can also try to get advice on social media. There's thousands of people on Instagram doing contests, and they ship everywhere, maybe you can try to ask them how do they do it. Also, check some tutorials on YouTube, or ask to youtubers how to do it so. Usually those guys are always sending merchandise abroad, so they must have the experience and can guide you through.



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potentialwriter
When it comes to selling personal stuff or items, it used to sell faster to oversea customers than local customers. People overseas used to appreciate stuff like these and quickly opt for one item or the other. For this deal to quickly work out, it's great to use free Ad posting sites like Craigslist and others depending on the exact location of the world you would want your Ad to show up and run.



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Adesuwa08
I have never sold anything overseas before, though I have friends who use it to make a living, they are doing well with it and I was able to pick a few things of how they do it.

Some of this sites do free shipping, they don't collect money for it depending on your personal relationship (business wise) with them and the type of agreement, there are some who do the shipping for you it depends on your personal interest.



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Martinsx1
Selling crafts overseas is going to be very difficult no matter how you look it. The thing here is that the little quantity is going to be a major barrier for you because of cost. The cost incurred on sending the package would surpass the entire profit you would make from it. I do deal on charcoal export but I don't deal directly, I mostly sell my portion to dealer who now load a full container fit and have it exported.



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Kakashi2020
Yes when I was operating an online shop in Facebook. I market my products by posting in different groups which has mostly members coming from middle Eastern, Russian and European countries. I sell Men's and Women's Accessories, like leather bags and belts as well as fashion jewelries and watches.



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fishbate
Selling products overseas is a difficult task due to cost and transaction difficulties. One major problem with a physical item selling overseas is shipping cost, there are times that the shipping cost is more expensive than the unit itself. This will definitely affect your product price. Another problem is the shipping company itself, there are shipping companies that only have limited variety of shipping package. If your item is not applicable to this packages, you may have to pay extra...



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Kakashi2020
Yes I have sold my items overseas, to Dubai, U.S., Canada, UK and other Asian Countries. It's quite easy I use different parcel services including our governments parcel service, it's cheaper than DHL and FedEx and it gets delivered to the buyers address in several days time.



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aecel
I had tried selling clothes and soap overseas way back but I had a contact person who's working in that country. I would ship my products thru postal office and address it to him. So it's like sending him a package. He was just offering my stuff to his co-workers. But if you're targeting worldwide it might be hard because you need to process some papers and taxes.



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stbrians
In SFI one is supposed to set up their own shop. You list the goods you are selling plus their price. It is prudent for the price to include shipping. Shipping charges can be calculated. One may use Google or get from SMIG.com. Customers come from the site.



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nrnlss
I used to sell handmade accessories before. And there was a person who wants to buy a bulk from me, but I am afraid to sell him a bulk because the order was from abroad and I am afraid that the product will be damage before it is handed to the buyer.



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Jeane
I have thought about selling miniature sculptures to overseas customers but the shipping costs would quite prohibitive because unless I'm selling said sculptures in bulk to someone who'll then sell them as curios, I won't make any money from that business. In future I could try direct marketing. Make phone calls and try to find people who might be interested in the sort of stuff I sell. That way, it would be easier to pass on the shipping cost to the buyer.



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jpk0007
Well, I have sold a few special food items to the overseas customers in the past. I did not use any big company like Amazon or eBay to market my products. It was done through my friends and relatives who stay abroad. I would say that exporting your products in bulk will definitely increase your profit margins. And it is always better to do the marketing and sales on your own to maximize your profits.



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Corzhens
I have a friend who works in Hongkong. During her spare time she does crochet and she is good with her artworks that I suggested she can sell it. But it will be by order basis. For example I want a crochet of my portrait that instead of a tarpaulin I want it in crochet for display. My friend can work on it when I order. But the problem is the time frame because she has a full time job as domestic help and she does the crocheting only on her spare time.



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