In July, my editor at asked me to look into a two-year-old company called iShopUSA, which claimed to take the hassle out of international e-commerce that is, selling stuff to customers outside the United States for companies of all sizes doing business online.

With more people in more countries going online and shopping, and the weak U.S. dollar making U.S. goods even more attractive to overseas buyers, now would seem to be a great time for U.S.-based e-commerce businesses to go global. Until you consider the hassles and risks like navigating international customs and tariffs; credit card fraud, which occurs nearly three times as often on orders originating from outside the U.S. and Canada; and the added costs of providing international customer service.

But iShopUSA promises that if you sign up with them, they’ll take care of all that for just 10 percent of each sale and no upfront costs. And the service is delivering. Dozens of businesses, including the two small businesses I interviewed, and, have signed up with iShopUSA, and rave about the solution.

To learn more about iShopUSA, international e-commerce, and to help determine if iShopUSA is right for your business, read my article, “International E-Commerce: Going Global Just Got Easier.”

Even if your business is purely domestic, you still need to be online and have a good website. What do I mean by good? I mean visually attractive, easy to navigate, and regularly updated. As I learned from researching my article, “Selling Travel Online: It’s Not Just for the Big Guys,” whether you run a boutique travel agency, book adventure tours, or are trying to sell just about any service or product, your business won’t go anywhere without an online presence.

The good news is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a good website or the help of a celebrity like William Shatner to market your business. To find out how, check out the Web Design and Marketing sections from my Clips page, which include several articles full of advice, tips, and tools from experts as well as small- and mid-sized business owners and managers like yourselves.

(1) Comment   


jSnowden2 on 15 December, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

Another great solution for handling international shipments is Bongo International

I’ve been using them for over a year now and they consolidate my US purchases for free and ship them right to my door, saving me a lot of money.

They have a lot of international shipping info on their website, and a live chat option for any questions. BongoUS also offers a pay-per-use option while other mail forwarding companies require you to pay a subscription fee

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