Home – New Forums Logistics Selling to the U.S.A

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  • #986508
    S Hjorth
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    Hi all,

    We are a small team of 3 blokes who sell a range of mainly mens rings. Our site is at madtungsten.com.au. We have started building a good base of customers and of late we are getting quite a few orders from the U.S. We use Fedex- they arent really cheap but are super quick- 3 days to the U.S – same as the domestic ground shipping transit in the U.S. We have done little marketing and believe the interest is coming mainly from pinterest/ google images, etc.

    The U.S is the biggest market for our products and we are looking for a way to break in. The idea has been to get a .com site running so we can promote with adwords and slowly build organic ranking- moreover to hold stock locally in the U.S to cut transit time and costs. Moreover we can get rid of import duties and taxes for the end customer- we will be liable for local corporate taxes for which we have established an LLC in the U.S

    Looked at options like Shipwire for storage and fulfillment – ridiculous pricing as it works on per SKU- we need a tailored option as we have about 16 Skus per ring being all different sizes- so costs up to $3000 USD per month in storage- they cant change this- a few others who are reasonable- have higher shipping costs as they cant get the volume of the big guys. It works out cheaper in some cases to ship from here than across U.S by Air.

    Now our big question is has anyone broken into U.S market – if so what was your route. Of course there are options like Aus post who have a consolidated agent- but they only deal with high volume stock holding and transactions- we arent there yet. Hope this is the right place to ask this.

    #1158176
    Anonymous
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    Hi there S Hjorth, and welcome aboard.

    Thanks for joining the forum today. I think a few people around here have been through similar investigations, so I’m hopeful they’ll be able to add some helpful info to add to your own research.

    In the meantime, I love products and copywriting – nicely done :)

    Hope you enjoy being part of Flying Solo,
    Jayne

    #1158177
    Jenny Spring
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    S Hjorth, post: 182366 wrote:
    Hi all,

    We are a small team of 3 blokes who sell a range of mainly mens rings. Our site is at madtungsten.com.au. We have started building a good base of customers and of late we are getting quite a few orders from the U.S. We use Fedex- they arent really cheap but are super quick- 3 days to the U.S – same as the domestic ground shipping transit in the U.S. We have done little marketing and believe the interest is coming mainly from pinterest/ google images, etc.

    The U.S is the biggest market for our products and we are looking for a way to break in. The idea has been to get a .com site running so we can promote with adwords and slowly build organic ranking- moreover to hold stock locally in the U.S to cut transit time and costs. Moreover we can get rid of import duties and taxes for the end customer- we will be liable for local corporate taxes for which we have established an LLC in the U.S

    Looked at options like Shipwire for storage and fulfillment – ridiculous pricing as it works on per SKU- we need a tailored option as we have about 16 Skus per ring being all different sizes- so costs up to $3000 USD per month in storage- they cant change this- a few others who are reasonable- have higher shipping costs as they cant get the volume of the big guys. It works out cheaper in some cases to ship from here than across U.S by Air.

    Now our big question is has anyone broken into U.S market – if so what was your route. Of course there are options like Aus post who have a consolidated agent- but they only deal with high volume stock holding and transactions- we arent there yet. Hope this is the right place to ask this.

    Hello — great job so far!

    One of my clients has just picked up a US distributor and an Israeli one. I’d suggest your best route would be to look for a distributor. Essentially, it is an agent who will buy a stack of your products, then sell them to stores. They carry the stock, and in general take on a big part of the risk of carrying inventory that may or may not move.

    This was a very clean arrangement for my client.

    There are plenty of contracts and paperwork to be filed as getting products into the USA can be a bit complicated. They have certain quotas and so forth. But once you are in with a distributor, you should see some impressive volumes.

    Jenny

    #1158178
    S Hjorth
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    Jenny Spring, post: 182498 wrote:
    Hello — great job so far!

    One of my clients has just picked up a US distributor and an Israeli one. I’d suggest your best route would be to look for a distributor. Essentially, it is an agent who will buy a stack of your products, then sell them to stores. They carry the stock, and in general take on a big part of the risk of carrying inventory that may or may not move.

    This was a very clean arrangement for my client.

    There are plenty of contracts and paperwork to be filed as getting products into the USA can be a bit complicated. They have certain quotas and so forth. But once you are in with a distributor, you should see some impressive volumes.

    Jenny

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for your input- I can see how this would have been a perfect solution for quite a few businesses including FMCG and other mass market goods- ours being more of a niche- changes it slightly- we did consider the agency route and spoke to a couple who were keen on distribution on consignment basis rather than a purchase basis. We supply wholesale to a few jewellers locally on an order basis however are looking at ending this as its the same effort and lesser margins- so unless there is a volume we would look at a direct retail route opposed to wholesale. If you do come across something in the future please do let us know- as I see from the quality of your answer that you are one who can crack it. Cheers!

    #1158179
    PineapplePear
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    Well done to you, especially in a time where our dollar has been high to be nabbing US customers! I’ll be interested to see the outcome to this, in the past anything I’ve sent to the us I’ve used Express Post or Express Courier International (Aus Post) but they are ridiculously expensive, given that most of my items are about 5kg. Your product is small so I wonder if there is a pre pack or satchel that would be reasonable.

    Moving forward to storage on the US side of things, I’m not sure there, but I wonder if it’s worth having a chat with companies like http://qannu.com/ etc that specialise in shipping from the states to AU to see if they offer some sort of solution for the reverse?

    #1158180
    S Hjorth
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    PineapplePear, post: 182534 wrote:
    Well done to you, especially in a time where our dollar has been high to be nabbing US customers! I’ll be interested to see the outcome to this, in the past anything I’ve sent to the us I’ve used Express Post or Express Courier International (Aus Post) but they are ridiculously expensive, given that most of my items are about 5kg. Your product is small so I wonder if there is a pre pack or satchel that would be reasonable.

    Moving forward to storage on the US side of things, I’m not sure there, but I wonder if it’s worth having a chat with companies like http://qannu.com/ etc that specialise in shipping from the states to AU to see if they offer some sort of solution for the reverse?

    Hi Suzi,

    Thanks for pitching in. We will try Gannu too- have tried shipito and bongous- similar to gannu but they have refused this. However we will be using them to consolidate and handle customer returns/ size exchanges, etc. More than the postage cost( we are really pleased with our current Fedex service- they are super fast)we would end up spending more by going to the U.S- but the major reason is its hassle free for customers to send returns back locally and moreover there is always a preference to buy from a .com in the U.S just like how most would prefer to buy from a .com.au site first- for the local factor as well as knowing local rights of a consumer opposed to a foreign site.

    #1158181
    Anonymous
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    Have you considered keeping your stock in Asia and sending it from there? You may be surprised how much cheaper the courier companies are from countries like Thailand or Indonesia. I know people who decided to take their business there because the majority of their customers were from outside of Australia. They now use DHL, UPS or even EMS for bigger orders and save thousands. I exchange samples with my suppliers using DHL and it costs me $105 for 600g parcel. When it comes back with DHL from Hong Kong the same parcel costs $35 to send.

    I wish you all the best with your business and how you will not have problems but I must stress you that using reputable courier also helps in case of scams. They are more eager to cooperate than say useless combo of AusPost/USPost and there are lots of scammers in the US.

    #1158182
    S Hjorth
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    MarcoPolo, post: 182819 wrote:
    Have you considered keeping your stock in Asia and sending it from there? You may be surprised how much cheaper the courier companies are from countries like Thailand or Indonesia. I know people who decided to take their business there because the majority of their customers were from outside of Australia. They now use DHL, UPS or even EMS for bigger orders and save thousands. I exchange samples with my suppliers using DHL and it costs me $105 for 600g parcel. When it comes back with DHL from Hong Kong the same parcel costs $35 to send.

    I wish you all the best with your business and how you will not have problems but I must stress you that using reputable courier also helps in case of scams. They are more eager to cooperate than say useless combo of AusPost/USPost and there are lots of scammers in the US.

    Hi Marcopolo,

    I completely agree with you and it is certainly a real good suggestion- In our case however the issue of the customer having to pay the Duty still comes in since the U.S has a relatively low threshold compared to the $1000 Aud we have here now, the customer gets slapped with the bill. It would work perfect for someone shipping in volume across Australia and other places across Asia, just considering how expensive the local courier costs are here anyway. We are able to pay this( the duty in the U.S) using our Fedex account which comes to around $40 on average per shipment. We used to have a DHL account prior and were told its a lot cheaper to keep our stock in Hongkong but again as with Auspost they only entertain if you have turnover in millions or store pallet loads at their facility. In our case its extremely expensive to insure jewellery with most 3pl providers. We are in talks with a couple of companies in the U.S one in LA and the other in Indiana hopefully something good comes of it.

    #1158183
    Petemac
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    Hi, with your average cost of $40 what is the average weight of your shipments?

    Cheers

    Pete

    #1158184
    S Hjorth
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    Petemac, post: 182836 wrote:
    Hi, with your average cost of $40 what is the average weight of your shipments?

    Cheers

    Pete

    Hi the average cost of shipment is not $40- its the average customs duty and processing fee once landed in the U.S which normally the seller does not pay- the buyer does – Our rates with Fedex as by the account manager is sensitive information which we are unable to divulge- You can contact Fedex directly and they will advise prices based on your volume/ frequency.

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