While chatting with some other Etsy shop owners a few weeks ago the subject of shipping to Canada came up. I was quite surprised to find out that a lot of shop owners only ship within the US. The shop owners I was chatting with, being Canadian, were dismayed by this and did not understand why that would be as they ship to the US from Canada with great pleasure.
I can only surmise that it might be because one must fill out customs forms, go into the post office to purchase postage and unless you pay an exorbitant amount for shipping you are not able to track your shipment.
I have always shipped to Canada and appreciate the relationships that I have made with our neighbors to the north. Customs forms don’t scare me one bit and I usually grab a few each time I go into the post office. I fill them out at home and arrive at the post office ready to do business.
I do have a slight issue with not being able to track my shipments as I continuously stalk my packages until they arrive at their intended destination. But that may be just a control issue on my part.
Shipping charges are generally not much more than shipping within the US and I have often refunded my customers because I overcharged for shipping.
The main drawback is the shipping time. I have seen a package take a week and then I have seen them take a month or more. I always make sure my Canadian buyers are aware of the extended delivery time and keep in touch with them while they await their package from my shop.
I recently had the opportunity to ship to Australia. I was nervous about that, again that control issue rearing its ugly head. The package arrived in a timely manner and in perfect condition. I conquered my overseas shipping fears and hope that I have gained a repeat customer.
My point here? If you are not currently shipping outside of the US for whatever your reason(s), think about giving it a try. Expand your customer base and make some business relationships with our neighbors to the north.