With online retail, the market is truly a global one these days. You can order pretty much anything to be delivered from any corner of the globe. There are certain pitfalls to avoid and issues to be aware of if you are not careful. Here are our top tips on buying international goods hassle-free.
Use Reputable Retailers
Good retailers, online or offline, are worth finding as you cannot substitute for excellent service, which is something that sellers are also aware of. You may find that you can save a great deal of money by purchasing goods from other markets such as China, but it’s crucial to use shops or platforms that have a decent reputation. If you are unsure, it is easy to check online reviews via Google to read how others have found the service. There are other platforms such as Wish or DHGate that link buyers and sellers and have a complaints procedure if you encounter problems.
Be Prepared to Wait
Inevitably the further away you order from, the longer the goods will take to arrive. If you are in the USA and order from Canada, then the wait will be relatively short, but the products may not arrive for quite some time if ordering from China. This is fine if it’s not urgent, and you can wait for the savings.
Choose Appropriate Payment Methods
Financial security should always be high on your list of priorities and more so when dealing with cross-border transactions, and if you are at all in doubt about a website, never use your bank card. You could always buy bitcoin with bank transfer, and pay that way, or use PayPay as they have a claims procedure if you feel you have been defrauded. Other sites use an escrow service, which is an intermediary that holds funds until delivery is confirmed, and both parties are happy.
Convert Currencies Accurately
Sometimes it can be challenging to get your head around currency conversion when trying to price up goods bought from another territory. There are many currency converters online, and be sure the one you use it up to date. Alternatively, many of these international sites can offer the service of you viewing the prices in a variety of currencies, so ensure your one is selected and you are getting the correct values. If you are paying in a foreign currency, be sure that you are aware that your card provider or bank will charge exchange fees and if the exchange rate is the same as in other places.
Be Aware of Import Taxes
One of the final things to be aware of is import taxes. The seller will almost certainly not list these as part of the sale price as they can vary from country to country. Most governments have a website where you can look up what charges or tariffs will be added to goods coming into the country. Some low-value products will fall under a minimum level and have no additions and others not.