I was recently asked to review three companies that make it simple to sell in foreign markets. In essence, these three companies can help any company market their products to foreign consumers with all costs included. They all have reliable service and no foreign collection, duty or tax issues. Considering the current administration's efforts to increase exports, these three companies provide a service that you might want to consider.

    International Checkout is a seven year old, privately owned company that offers to integrate with the seller (at no cost to the seller). Orders are placed on the merchants’ website and linked to a new checkout window. For example, an international customer would shop directly at www.DrMartens.com, add their items to the shopping cart and then click a button that opens a new International Checkout window to complete the purchase. Merchants are not required to give a discount off their web price; however, they may choose to do so to offset the shipping and handling costs to the customer. The international customer pays in local currency and the seller is paid in US dollars on a US credit card. Over 400 merchants are already using this service. The company guarantees against international fraud and is the only service of the three reviewed here that ships to any deliverable destination in the world (including military addresses). Testimonials on their website by worldwide consumers are impressive. http://www.internationalcheckout.com/ 

    FiftyOne has developed a very sophisticated software program that integrates with your shipping software to handle international transactions in more than 90 countries worldwide. They let international customers complete their purchases entirely within the customer branded environments. FiftyOne tends to attract larger merchants that focus on brand building and customer relationships. They also have a global distribution program that handles air consolidation and works with DHL and local area small package carriers for competitive pricing and service. They launched in 1999 E4X and have four years of experience with their current platform of broader services. FiftyOne deals with enterprise level companies that have over $10 million in US sales revenue. Pricing varies according to shipper volume, is user specific and unpublished. Shippers are charged a percentage of the sale depending upon volume. http://www.fiftyone.com/

    TradeGlobal is a privately held corporation that operates on a transaction fee-based model. TradeGlobal delivers outstanding customer service while allowing the merchant to control the transaction. Unlike the other two companies, TradeGlobal does not handle the orders physically and instead acts as an information technology partner. They do not purchase the goods from you so the international order settles on the merchant account. The company supports the merchant’s shopping cart at check-out and provides all information for a delivered price to a foreign destination. TradeGlobal provides shipping tools so that orders ship direct from the merchant to the international consumer. The company also provides international consumers with two shipping options (expedited and standard). Their flat rate fee is less than $10 if you ship using their transportation account. If TradeGlobal’s transaction fee is passed along to the consumer the retailer maintains full margin on international orders. http://tradeglobal.com/home.aspx 

    All three companies have the expertise to assist you with going global! Here are two ways to compare them.

    I Type of Service:

    1) If you are an enterprise-level shipper wanting to maintain control of the transaction, FiftyOne has software flexibility and a distribution program that makes them the recommended choice.
    2) If you are shipping small packages all over the world, International Checkout has the world distribution system to get your products where they need to go quickly and reliably. Many of their customers are brand name mid-market companies. You ship to them and they manage all the international shipping and sales follow up. So if you want international sales with minimal investment from your staff, this is the company for you. 
    3) If you want shipments to go direct from your DC to international consumers and are interested in low-cost, flat-fee processing cost shipment to major international cities, Trade Global is your best choice. 


    II Fee Structure:

    Company                               Who is billed                       Fee Structure
    International Checkout         Your Client                 Percentage of each sale
    FiftyOne                                You                              Percentage of each sale
    Trans Global                        You                                 Flat Fee (approx. $10/trans) 


    For more information on going global, please feel free to contact me. 


    Thomas M. Stanton, International Analyst, Licensed Customs Broker can be contacted atwww.afms.comtom.stanton@afms.com, 503 246 3521 or 503 704 6015 CL.

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