I see many sellers are asking about international shipping, trying to gather as much information as possible while they consider adding this service to their online shops. I hope my experience can help not only Israeli sellers, but sellers worldwide.
So, this is what I've learned about international shipping:
- Use bundles
Ship as much as you can in bundles (using padded envelopes in different sizes) as opposed to boxes. Boxes cost more to ship.
- Be responsible
Use registered mail to provide excellent customer service. Save the receipts (bearing the tracking numbers) in an orderly fashion and make notes of expected delivery dates. This will enable you to rescue "lost" packages, and be proactive with your customers.
The most expensive country to ship to is Canada. I have no idea why that is.
- Peace dude!
Make sure you are not trying to ship to an enemy country (happened to me only once, with Malaysia of all places..).
- Express shipping prices
Express shipping (EMS) to the UK costs 1/3 more than express shipping the US and rest of Europe. That is not the case for regular registered air mail. Again - I have no idea why that is.
- Offering express shipping on Etsy
You are not allowed to sell an express shipping item. Instead, you are requested to advise your customers you offer this service on your Shop Policy Shipping section and instruct customers to convo you for details and pricing. Then you should either edit your item price before they purchase, or send them a money request via PayPal (or whatever service you use).