Sunday, February 05, 2006

International Shipping, Customs Delays. Some Thoughts and a Mini-Rant

The internet has brought us together as a people, but the stupidity of "countries" lives on.

I send orders all over the globe. It's kind of fun in fact, imagining my products going to Singapore, Turkey, Iceland, Brazil, New Zealand and a variety of tropical islands.

But that is tempered by wondering how motivated the local customs official will be when it comes time to pass the shipment along to my customer.

The majority breeze through in a few days. Others, well, they seem to languish in supplement purgatory. All the while, my poor customer is sweating bullets wondering if I ripped them off, the package fell out of the plane, or the local customs agent will decide to levy a 500% import tax.

The good news is that all of our international shipments are accounted for. Only one was rejected and returned by local customs. So our success rate is approx 99.999%. Total customers that have paid money and had nothing to show for it 0%.

But we never know, and have absolutely no way to guess how long customs clearance will take. Nor do we have any idea if your customs will levy some kind of local taxes on you.

Free trade is beneficial to all, but so many entrenched interests have their filthy, sticky little fingers in the pot, it bogs down what should be a quick and clean transaction. Want a better process? Well, you have to take that up with your local authorities.

In the meantime, keep those international orders coming in. We ship 98% of orders within 12 hours of receipt, can't ask for better than that.