Post by Karen » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:22 am

When I first joined the forum, I'd asked whether anyone had integrated OC with International Checkout (http://www.internationalcheckoutsolutions.com/), but didn't get any response. I asked because I have them on my current (soon-to-be old) cart. I paid that hosted cart provider $500 to integrate it with their software (OMG!) right before Christmas, but even at that inflated price, it turned out to be well worth it.

My US sales average about $50 per order. Using International Checkout, I certainly don't get international orders every week, but I've gotten way more than I expected to, and when I do, they're normally between $100 and $200, with a few being above $300, and 1 last month was my highest-ever single order in 4 years of business - $780.

A little backstory for those of you who already ship internationally, and for those who are afraid to. The biggest risk in shipping outside of your own country is fraud; the second is losses in transit. (Even if you ship relatively inexpensive items via the postal service, there are certain countries - I learned with another business years ago - that weren't worth shipping to, because half of the orders never made it to their destination.)

For awhile with my current webstores, I tried shipping just to Canada, but I really, really don't like using the USPS, for several reasons. After making a few Canadian customers really unhappy using both UPS and USPS (and fighting the latter for 3 MONTHS to get them to pay a claim), I finally gave up altogether. There's also the hassle factor of customs forms.

If none of that bothers you and you're happy shipping your items overseas by yourself, you won't need IC. But I just wanted to spread the love and make sure every single OC seller in the US knows about International Checkout, because THEY do everything.

You'll never have a fraud chargeback, because they take on that risk themselves. You won't even have to replace something in Germany or Japan if it arrives broken, because they inspect everything you ship to their warehouse in Southern Calif. before shipping it on to its final destination. After that, they take care of everything, including customer service.

And this won't cost you an extra penny, if you don't want it to. The costs are borne by your customer. (IC does recommend that you provide some kind of a shipping discount, which they will pass along to the customer - if you help lower the costs involved, you - and IC - are more likely to keep a sale). Since I use flat rate shipping, I made the arrangement of shipping my product without charging anything for shipping, to IC. Whatever I might lose in shipping costs pales in comparison to the few thousand dollars in sales - in 6 months - I made that I otherwise wouldn't have, because I was finally able to ship all over the world without worrying about the usual headaches of doing so.

There are other perks to finally being able to ship overseas; like selling product that wasn't selling here, that I thought I was going to have to liquidate; and no longer having to turn away the plaintive emails asking me PLEASE to ship items to (fill in any country).

You might have guessed that the reason I'm writing all this is because I finally did find a way to integrate their cart with my OC one; it didn't cost me a dime, and now that I've done it, I see no reason why I can't help you all do it, too. IMO, IC has been slow on the draw when it comes to helping their merchant clients find an affordable developer to pass the cart info from your site to theirs, but their new head of business development took a look at OC and coded it for me himself (!!), so now it's available for anyone using OpenCart to use.

Oh, if you happen to be using the standard green cart buttons, I made a button for International Checkout you're welcome to use. You have to sign up with them first, if you want to use the integrated solution, but then you can come back here and download my pretty button. :)
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Post by peteVA » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:52 am

I ship internationally every day and find the various national postal services do quite well with what they call Small Packets. I use Registered or Signed For International Air Mail for maybe 65% of my orders and with one horrendous exception have never had any problems whatsoever.

I ship from the US with USPS Priority, finding that the TV ad is very true - "If it fits, it ships". I have managed to squeeze all sorts of items into their International Flat Rate Envelopes. Cell phones, iPad type tablets, GPS SAT/NAV units, you name it and I can ship it virtually anywhere for the flat rate envelope price.

I also ship from Hong Kong and China and have used Hong Kong Post, Singapore Post, China Post and Swiss Post all with good results. The small packet cutoff is 2kg, a bit over 4 pounds, but for small stuff, it's the way to go.

I accept payment in USD, GBP, EUR, CAD and AUD, all with PayPal and have never been scammed and can count attempted disputes/chargebacks on my fingers and successful chargebacks on my middle fingers alone. This is over a nearly 2 year period with international sales every day and a good average daily sales amount.

I may be unusually lucky or dumb, but the combination of PayPal (Mostly MassPay), national postal systems and DHL has worked out very well for me and I've shipped to places I've never heard of and stopped to look up on a map.

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Post by Karen » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:08 pm

That's great to hear.
Do you have a program that streamlines the completion of customs forms?

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Post by Qphoria » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:15 pm

I actually contacted them when you first joined to get a look at their API. They wanted too much information from me so I stopped inquiring. I've found no other cart modules for them.

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Post by Xsecrets » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:51 pm

so how does it work once you click on the button it basically takes you to a cart hosted on their site where the shipping is calculated and payment is taken via whatever methods they support?

Pete sounds like you must sleep in a bed of four leaf clovers. ;)

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Post by peteVA » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:27 pm

Karen wrote:That's great to hear.
Do you have a program that streamlines the completion of customs forms?
No, most of mine are shipped from China and there is just a "post-it note" 3 inch square form (CN22) that they lie on and swear to, always with some made up name.

Well, first off, I do not sell on eBay, Amazon or other places where you have to dance to their tune. And with eBay, where the scammers seem to congregate. I do wholesale dropshipping to those who do sell on such places and let them worry about the feedback and the other BS involved.

And, most of my buyers are "known" to me by interaction on various wholesale and dropship forums. I always have others on the forums who will vouch for me and I can get a read of who I am dealing with, as well. 40+ years of selling to businesses has taught me what to be paying attention to.

I've had my PayPal accounts since 2001 and can count the actual chargebacks on the fingers of one hand.

But, I play be the rules. I ship dozens of times a day to "unverified addresses", usually as a dropshipper for others and while agreeing to my terms they say they will not file claims against me for "undelivered" claims against them it's never been a problem.

Most people around the world are honest and I treat them that way. I recently sent an order to Argentina, which does not offer delivery confirmation by postal services. I normally do not ship there other than by courier, so i will have a signature, but the people in China screwed up and sent by HK Post. I refunded the guy about $50 in DHL fees and crossed my fingers.

10 or 12 days later he is asking about the shipment and I figure I can kiss $100 or so goodbye. I tell him I'll start a trace and see what comes of it, but the next day he emails that he received it and wants to know if I can get some other items with Spanish installed.

So, there may be something to the four leaf clovers, but I think a lot has to do with trust and judgment. Mixed with a bit of experience. :)

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Post by Karen » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:58 am

Xsecrets wrote:so how does it work once you click on the button it basically takes you to a cart hosted on their site where the shipping is calculated and payment is taken via whatever methods they support?
Yes, exactly. The code passes your cart through to a populated cart on their site (with a smaller version of your logo displayed so the customer doesn't feel totally discombobulated).

They do have a non-integrated version, too (http://www.myamericanshopper.com/), but that requires customers to copy and paste every single item into the cart. It does, however, have the advantage that customers can consolidate purchases from multiple stores to save on shipping; kinda like Bongo, I guess.

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Post by Karen » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:06 am

Qphoria wrote:I actually contacted them when you first joined to get a look at their API. They wanted too much information from me so I stopped inquiring. I've found no other cart modules for them.
The change was made only to the cart template - don't know how you'd make a module for it. But since it's only for US shippers, I don't know how many folks will need it.

I've fixed one slight bug and am inquiring about another, then it will be ready for public consumption. (It's actually working on the site I'm finishing up, if you want to see how it works http://205.134.249.57/~tcadmin/) I can certainly post it as a shipping method extension, with instructions, if that would be helpful.

I'm just so jazzed that I didn't have to pay large wads of cash this time to get it up and running, 'cause I couldn't do without it.

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Post by scanreg » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:58 am

1. Does the customer stay on your site, or do they get redirected? If redirected, are customers sent back to your site?

2. How do you get paid? Do they separately pay you through paypal perhaps?

3. Who are these guys? How can you know you can trust them?

4. Do they provide sales reports and stuff to keep the accountants happy?

Been searching for ages for a good international shipping solution

Thanks

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