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Demystifying Shipping: Entrepreneur Campaign Management Tips & Best Practices

You’ve got questions! We’ve got the answers. Fulfillment and shipping might not be the most glamorous aspect of running a crowdfunding campaign, but they are critical to completing a successful campaign. After all, delivering your innovative products to eager backers is what it’s all about! While every campaign is unique, there are common questions and concerns that we frequently encounter, so we want to take this opportunity to answer a few of them for you.


What are the best shipping options to minimize costs? Also, how are perks treated for customs tax purposes when moved to and from different countries?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to minimizing costs. It depends on the product, where you’ll be shipping, and the couriers you choose to use. In general, shipping costs account for around 15% of the funds raises. You’ll want to build that into your operational costs to ensure profitability. Easyship’s handy crowdfunding quote generator will help you start your budgeting, and will include shipping rates.

Postal services like USPS and Royal Mail will generally be slightly more affordable than express courier services like UPS and FedEx, although there is a tradeoff, as you can expect increased delivery times and less reliable tracking. You’ll also want to pay close attention to packaging, as that can increase costs.

Utilizing a global fulfillment network can reduce your shipping costs as well. This allows you to have warehouses closer to your manufacturer and backers. You will also save costs on taxes and duties since you can ship from the same country or continent, allowing you to avoid customs.

On that note, perks will be treated like any other shipment going cross-borders. Taxes and duties depend on the importing country. In most cases, we recommend paying the taxes and duties for your backers to avoid surprise charges and delays at customs.


What are the top shipping tips for completing a crowdfunding campaign?

Oh, yes! We have a few tips for you.
1.)  Think about shipping and fulfillment from the very beginning. Do not wait until the end. That can lead to unexpected costs that can eat into your budget. 

2.) Be transparent with your backers. Communicate frequently and clearly with them to set expectations on factors like timing.
3.) Consider global fulfillment for larger campaigns and international shipping. As we said before , this can cut down on costs, and reduce the shipping time.
4.) Choose your packaging wisely! Packing efficiently can save weight and space, which will reduce your costs.
5.) Find a partner that offers shipping options. Do the research and get your estimates before selecting a courier. 


How did COVID change the crowdfunding shipping landscape?

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had an impact on global supply chains, and shipping to certain destinations has been delayed. As the holiday shopping season ramps up, there are signs of normalcy returning. However, there has been an increase in costs, so crowdfunding campaigns need to make sure they’re budgeting — both time and money — appropriately. 


What are some of the countries with the toughest shipping restrictions?

Every country has certain restrictions and regulations on shipments that can make it difficult to easily import certain products. You’ll need to research each country to determine their regulations as well as their import taxes and duties. In particular, India, Russia, China, and Brazil are large countries that are known to have tough restrictions.


What are 5 International shipping documents every shipper needs?

Having the correct documentation is critically important for international shipping, so it’s important to know which that you need, and even more important you fill them out correctly. Here are a few of the most important: 

  • Commercial Invoice: This is a receipt of purchase. Perhaps the most important document for international shipping, it is required for a package to clear customs. Typically, the invoice includes details of the transaction as well as shipping terms.
  • Export Packing List: This is used by freight forwarders when a shipment needs to clear US customs. The list includes cargo, including weight, dimensions, safety measures, and packaging type.
  • Purchase order: This is not a receipt, but the notification that a vendor has acknowledged a completed transaction. The document lists order details including products sold, date of transaction, who completed the purchase, and the destination, how much it costs, the products involved, and the date of the transaction.
  • Bill of Lading: A bill of Lading (BOL) is a contract between the freight carrier and shipper (business). This document, which references the shipping destination, the goods included, and how they should be handled, confirms that items have been received for shipment.
  • Certificate of Origin: As a part of international trade law, this document declares an item’s country of origin is usually certified by the consulate or chamber of commerce. It is required to ensure that duties and free trade agreements, as laid out in treaties, are being enforced on exported goods.

Download the Shipping for Crowdfunding Guide

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