The World Is Not Flat.
(Last updated 12 April 2017)
Don’t “Dis” My IP Address!
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 from a recent discussion on ProBlogger that centered on a certain Internet advertiser who penalizes publishers and clients who happen to live 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.
Is Making Money Really Such a “Hassle”?
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 firearms, 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 really 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” I’ve used). 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’d pass up 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, and he’s s/he’s willing, why aren’t you?
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!
But My Products Wouldn’t Interest a “Foreigner”.
Well maybe so, but who are you to judge? Remember, if they found your website, and especially if they have made their way to you order page, they have to have some interest, right?
Also a lot of people I have talked to along these lines think the answer to end their personal hassles is to set up their web sites to reject people from overseas, especially certain counties. Usually they just figure on doing this by rejecting the IP numbers assigned to certain countries. Easy right?
Well guess what? If you dig far enough you’ll find these words came from a Philippine-assigned IP address, becuase I live in the Philippines. But I’m as American as apple pie, born in Newark, New Jersey and a veteran of 38 plus years in US government service, military and civilian combined.
There are about 7 million of us “expats” in hundreds of countries around the world, and many hundreds of thousands of Brits, Aussies, Kiwi’s Canadians, you name it .. all English-speaking, many paid from our home country and all of us as “legit” as any other potential customer. So why slam your door in our faces because our IP number is different from yours?
The World Is Not Flat.