When chatting with successful UK Kickstarter campaigns, one thing which kept cropping up was the amount of US backers that pledge with some having over 50% backers overall from America.
We would always encourage to open your crowdfunding campaign up to the world and don’t be put off if you lack experience in logistics.
Customs, Clearance, Duties & Taxes
When sending stuff over the Atlantic all yours sales must go through customs to be cleared. You will need a custom invoice for your shipments. This will decide how much tax & duties YOU will need to pay. So ensure it is completely correctly and clearly.
Bonus Tip: Describe each item in the package. Don’t be vague like containing ‘Clothing’ write ‘Trousers for Men size 32′
NO duties and taxes if total package value below certain thresholds:
- Gift value is under $200
- Formal threshold is $2500 (if shipment over $2500, it will go through formal clearance)
Packaging Your Goods
You will need to ensure packaging arrives in the condition they were expected. Easy rules to follow
- When sending fragile goods, invest in double corrugated cardboard for the outer packaging
- For more protection, you can buy triple corrugated box to be extra cautious
- Use bubble wrap for internal packaging. Fill the gaps with left over bubble wrap, newspaper & foam.
Know the Hidden Shipping Costs
When a UK based Kickstarter ships a tshirt from Manchester to London, there is a single shipping rate. But send that same t-shirt across to the US and a whole new set of duties and taxes apply. Understanding the total cost of sending an order internationally is referred to as the “landed cost” and it is important that Kickstarter campaigns understand this cost before sending an order.
Envisage what a customer may do if there is suddenly a $50 duty added to an item when it arrives at their door. They might reject the shipment, and the campaign will have both lost the sale and the cost of freight.
Fortunately, major carriers offer tools or APIs that make it possible to calculate the landed cost and integrate shipping tools into a merchant’s eCommerce platform.
Use Fulfilment Services
Lastly, it is possible to take the headache out of shipping internationally, simply hire a fulfilment service like Collext to manage your USA Kickstarter pre-orders.
In most cases, the crowdfunding project will pay a flat fee per order and the fulfilment service will manage packing, labelling, shipping, and monitor all of those annoying rules and regulations.