Have you ever sold something on Etsy? If you answered “yes”, guess what? You’re a startup! Any new idea, service or product that you can dream up that has earning potential qualifies as a startup. Lots of people have great ideas for products and with globalization, e-commerce and the many technological advances that make it (in theory) easy to become a startup, now could be the right time for you to expand upon your entrepreneurial journey.
Different jurisdictions and borders all have different rules, taxes, regulations and restrictions for what can cross in and out of their countries. There are a lot of things that can impact your bottom line, like HTS codes, Country of Origin regulations and different free trade agreements. At A & A, we’ve been helping people take ideas for products and ensure that they are packaged, papered, prepared and presented legally for market, wherever those markets happen to be.
Here is what your customs broker should be doing for you.
Make it easy for you to make money
We love finding ways to expedite your processes, find you savings and maximize your returns on investment. You needn’t be deterred by this list, in fact, we hope it gives you peace of mind to know that this is all in a day’s work for us. We love providing satisfaction for our customers and seeing your business ideas come to fruition, and to profit your bottom line.
Check yourself (or let us do it for you): scams are out there
First and foremost, be wary of scams. It’s an unfortunate reality that there are lots of people out there looking to take advantage of the lack of knowledge that many have when it comes to importing and exporting. Be sure to do your research (or better yet – ask us) if anything seems suspicious.
Tariffs cost how much?
Each country has its own set of tariffs, so you’ll want to know in advance of importing or exporting your wares how much you may be charged, or need to charge to remain profitable. We have a handy calculator that you can use for free, here.
Make those links pay off: the dollars are in the details
Ensure your website is optimized for your specific market, from cultural considerations to payment security and accessibility. People need to feel comfortable and confident making transactions on your website, from currency to applicable taxes. You’ll also want to ensure your website is optimized for mobile shopping, which based on numbers from 2021, make up almost 72% of all online purchases!
Rest assured by being insured.
Insurance is another essential piece of the puzzle. Some products, like children’s items, are especially vital to manage insurance properly for, which at A & A, we’ll do it for you.
Free trade, fair trade…where, how, what, why?
Canada has very specific free trade agreements with some countries and then none with others. Save yourself the mental hassle of learning all of them by letting A & A manage them for you. Let’s chat.
IP: is your idea original?
IP – or intellectual property rights are extremely important to be aware of. What might seem like a first-of-its-kind, billion dollar idea, may in fact, already be patented by someone else in another country. Let us manage that for you.
An inco-what? Forgettable but important terms – for us to worry about.
Terminology is abundant with international importing and exporting. Have you heard of “incoterms”? No? Most people haven’t, they are often 3 letter abbreviations that are hard to keep track of but pack a serious punch if you step out of line with them.
COVID – still a factor
Think COVID is over? We’d all love that to be so, but it isn’t, and for the foreseeable future, business, particularly importing and exporting will continue to be impacted for health assurances when it comes to COVID-19. Everything down to shipping and packaging is impacted, and it will remain your job to know what is required by each region’s health authority – unless you work with A & A, and we’ll do it all for you.
Your return policy will need to be iron-clad. It will save you time, money and headaches down the line to have a solid, easily followed return policy. Remarkably few (5-15% of Amazon orders) customers actually go through with returning items once they’ve been shipped, and the easier you make it for customers to feel secure in your particular return policy, the less likely they are to return your shipped product.
Call us today and let’s get your business up and running. You take care of the creativity, we’ll take care of everything else. When it comes to getting your startup started and managing the complexities of supply chain logistics, call us, we’ll both be glad you did!