The World Is Not Flat!

Here’s an item I felt I had to write that’s a little out of my ordinary money making and blogging tips … but it sure does have a lot to do with making money online.  I was inspired to write this (just in time for the big Holiday Rush, by the way) from a recant discussion on ProBlogger that centered on a certain Internet advertiser who penalizes publishers and clients who happen to love outside the US.  In the many comments regarding this article is a common thread, mainly from US folks pointing up the alleged "hassle" of  international shipping.

Thousands and thousands of US business folk, both large and small throw away billions of dollars in profit per year because they seem to think that the US is the only country in the world … that the Earth is flat and roughly in the shape of the USA.  (by the way, I am a natural-born US citizen, so don’t throw any brickbats at me … I’ve lived outside the US for years and have seen this ostrich attitude for myself for years).

In today’s’ online world, selling a physical product is easy, and selling it internationally is not really that much more difficult.  If you are selling forearms, human remains or certain illegal drugs, just click on to Barry Bonds, but if you are selling most kinds of merchandise you are out and out crazy to ignore the world market.

I’ll Lose Money Because Some Foreigner Will Crook Me:

Well this is normally not necessarily so.  Of course you need to read your merchant agreement with your credit card providers, but the beauty of credit cards is that, if you comply with their rules, the risk is essentially on them … not you.  It’s also quite easy to accept PayPal, international money orders or the old standby, Western Union.  You get cash dollars in your hand and it’s pretty hard to get cheated when you do.

The Paperwork Is Too Complex:

It just ain’t necessarily so.  In today’s world you can use services like UPS, FedEx, and DHL (there are others too, these are just the "big three".  They get packages anywhere in the world, on time and certainly in the case of UPS (my personal favorite) you can do everything from your computer in minutes … including printing labels, getting boxes and labels sent to you and having a friendly messenger pick up the packages.  Yes there may be an extra form or two, but that can be handled on-line and it consists of nothing more than filling out some addressee and contents data … which you will already have in your My UPS account, for example.  You’s pas sup a "juicy" order because of one or two more clicks on a website?

It Costs Too Much:

Well costs can vary a lot, depending on destination and mode of shipment, but guess what?  You don’t care … it’s all free to you!  Unless you want to run some special promotion or build business in a certain area, the customer pays the freight … and it’s extremely easy to find out what "the freight bill" will be … so how long can it take and how much "hassle" can it really be?  Again, the customer pays the freight!

I believe this continual harping on so-called "hassle" is a code word for "I’m too set in my ways to learn how to expand my business".  In about .001% of the businesses that ship physical product there may be a "show stopper" regarding international shipping … for virtual, electronic products there essentially are no borders … so for those of you who refuse to explore international sales, don’t tell me you can’t make money online if your real problem is you can’t submit a form from a website … there’s a whole world out there who can buy your product … stop ignoring them!