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Important Precautions to Take When Shipping to Europe

Shipping to Europe

Shipping to Europe

If you’re selling an item on eBay, through an online shop, or even by phone, and are shipping to Europe; then there are many considerations you need to take into account. Europe is a large market for many different products and so shipping to Europe is something that your company should be able to offer. By following some straight forward advice it’s possible to do so without coming unstuck.

First of all, when shipping to Europe it’s important to recognize the laws in those countries. Depending on what you’re selling, these laws might be different and a product might be confiscated at the border. For example, until recently it was illegal to buy or sell the bodybuilding supplement GABA in the UK while it was perfectly legal to use and distribute in the US. If you’re shipping to Europe and you don’t check the laws regarding your sale first, then you might find that the item gets stopped at customs. Neither you nor the customer will receive any compensation for this and that can cut into your profits as well as leaving you with an unhappy client and tarnished reputation.

The difficulty here is that the continent is made up of multiple different countries, each with different laws and regulations. This can make it hard to keep track of what’s permissible and what isn’t when shipping to Europe – especially as these laws so often change. As such you need to include some kind of warning or notice at the point of sale that places responsibility on the buyer to find out the laws in their own country before making a purchase. This way you won’t be liable should something be seized by customs before it arrives when shipping to Europe in any country.

Another important matter to consider when shipping to Europe is the packaging. Obviously it’s always important to package your items carefully, but when your goods are travelling to another continent this becomes even more crucial. In a way your sold item will be acting as an ambassador for not only your company, but industry in your country, so try to make sure it’s presentable and doesn’t get damaged en-route. If the item is breakable then use bubble wrap and additional padding to keep it protected. At the same time ensure that the box or envelope it arrives in is carefully sealed closed and can take pressure from other post in the bag etc. For shipping to Europe or any other countries, this will help your goods to survive the flight.

So you’ve checked the laws in the country you’re sending to (or instructed your buyer to) and you’ve packaged your item in a way that’s secure and protected. Now you just need to ensure that your item makes it to the correct destination. First of all then you will need to pay the right amount of postage. This again varies from country to country so make sure you get your package weighed and speak to someone about the stamps needed. Similarly make sure you have written out the address in the correct format; this too can vary in some European countries so may require research. If you are regularly shipping to Europe and/or sending items in bulk, then finding a shipping company that can do this for you will save you money and ensure your deliveries arrive safely and promptly. There are many such companies that will handle shipping to Europe for you.

3 Comments so far

  1. Mustang   May 30, 2010 7:06 am

    Hehe, thanks for the article. I was looking forward to reading some useful information about it. It’s a good thing to bubble wrap your items when shipping to europe. You never know how they are transported.

    Soon I will have to start applying some rules about shipping to europe so if you have more info, please share. Thanks.

  2. Blart   May 30, 2010 7:26 am

    Many people are shipping to europe nowadays. I monthly receive a package from USA. Most of the people sending to me things are shipping to europe various products. None of the products I received were damaged. So shipping to europe is safe, in my opinion.

  3. Petey   February 24, 2011 4:21 pm

    I sell a lot on ebay and amazon.com. I never knew that there were different rules and regulations when sending stuff to Europe. Lucky for me I have never had to ship to anyone in Europe. I am glad that I read this so I can be informed from now on.

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