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Episode 109

The When, Where and Why of Going International

Kevin Sanderson - Maximizing eCommerce
March 11, 2020

The thought of going International with your eComm business is both exciting and scary. It also seems like a HUGE undertaking. New tax codes, laws, and confusing acronyms to deal with like VAT and GST. Plus we still have the dated mindset that says we only expand internationally once we’ve maximized what we can get here in the good ole U S of A.  Kevin Sanderson will challenge your thinking and bust some myths to help you go international much sooner than you possibly thought…maybe right now. Here’s what we discuss

  • What market your should target first when you go international
  • What markets should you consider 2nd and 3rd when going International
  • What are some non-obvious benefits to going international like lower ad costs and lower competition
  • What about Australia?
  • What steps to take and when to try your first international market
  • Plus much more

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The Maximizing Ecommerce Podcast


Mentioned in this episode:

The Amazing Seller Podcast by Scott Voelker

Jungle Scout - Amazon Product Finder & Research Tool

Helium 10 - Insanely Powerful Tools for Amazon Sellers

Unicorn Smasher - Google Chrome

VAT Registration - GOV.UK

Episode Transcript

Brett:

Well, hello, and welcome to another edition of the eCommerce Evolution Podcast. I'm your host Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce, and today, we're talking about going international, becoming an international company. Excited about this. We've not talked about this topic specifically on the podcast before, and so with me today is an expert on this subject.

Brett:

Hey, Brett Curry here. Before we dive into today's topic, I want to talk quickly about YouTube ads. People ask me all the time, "What makes for a great YouTube ad?" It's true, the ad is the hardest part for getting YouTube to work. Now, I love the campaign structure. I love audience targeting, and I love tinkering with bids and using the smart bid algorithm. I even like budget management. I like all that behind the scenes stuff, but I've seen it time and time again where the exact same campaign structure just limps along with a mediocre video, but you get the right video with the right message that resonates with people, and that same campaign structure just takes off at scales.

Brett:

Over the last couple of years, my team and I, we've been collecting good YouTube ads. We've been watching, we've been paying attention and looking at our own clients, looking at the numbers, finding what are ads that resonate and work on YouTube. We started building this little guide, this little guide that we use internally, and we started categorizing ads and giving them fun names like The Manifesto and the UGC Mash-Up, and the Have It All.

Brett:

Started breaking down what elements in these videos make them work. I was speaking at a recent event, and I just happened to mention that this resource existed, and people clamored for it. Everyone's like, "Hey, I want to see the guide, I want to see that resource, I want to see all these successful ads." That's what we've done. We put together this resource first time ever. Going to share it with a broader audience. It's free, so check it out and get our list of winning YouTube ad formulas with lots of examples. Let this be your inspiration for your next killer YouTube ad.

Brett:

This is a free resource. We'll link to it in the show notes to this show, but you can also go to omgcommerce.com, click on Resources and then Guides, and it's the YouTube Ad Templates and Guide. Check it out, and I hope it inspires your next killer YouTube ad campaign. And now back to the show.

Brett:

I have today Kevin Sanderson with Maximizing Ecommerce. He is the chief maximizer at Maximizing Ecommerce, and so I want you to hear a little bit of his story as well before we dive into this topic. With that, Kevin, welcome to the show. Thanks for coming on, man.

Kevin:

Brett, I'm so excited to be here. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Brett:

Yep, and it's always good to connect with fellow podcasters. You run a podcast as well. You want to talk a little bit about that podcast, and then we'll get into your background and how you became a chief maximizer.

Kevin:

Sure, sure, sure. Yeah, I have a podcast called Maximizing Ecommerce. I bring on various subject matter experts. I look forward to... I've got a calendar appointment coming up here in the next couple of weeks with a big high profile guest that you may know, somebody from Springfield, Missouri. Very excited about that. We're going to be talking about some exciting things in the advertising world.

Brett:

Yeah, that'd be great. Looking forward to it. That guest is me just in case anybody doesn't know where I'm from.

Kevin:

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Brett:

Springfield, MO. That is me. I think most people got that, but some are like Springfield, Missouri? What is that?

Kevin:

Where is that?

Brett:

Yeah, exactly.

Kevin:

Is that where the Simpsons are?

Brett:

Which I heard, I mean, I don't know if it's Springfield, Massachusetts I think is where the Simpsons hail from, but I don't think that's ever been confirmed.

Kevin:

Maybe one day-

Brett:

We'll claim them though.

Kevin:

... we'll know for sure.

Brett:

Yeah. Maybe. Maybe. Great. Kevin, give a little your background. What'd you do prior to e-commerce, and then why e-commerce, and why Maximizing Ecommerce, chief maximizer, all that stuff.

Kevin:

Sure. Sure. Basically, I was climbing the corporate ladder for a while, worked for a couple of different Fortune 500 companies. My position in one of them had been eliminated. It wasn't just my position. We got taken over by another company, and my level in the new organization didn't exist. I was basically asked to walk the plank. A good friend of mine in the insurance business hooked me up with the job at his insurance agency, and they're going through rapid growth. I was working really hard, and I was very happy for them and the things that they were doing. I was just like, "Wait, if I'm going to work this hard, I'm going to work hard for my own dreams."

Kevin:

I started thinking, "What would be the avenue to do that?" I'd always been kind of a wantrepreneur, and I had discovered actually the Amazing Seller Podcast from Scott Voelker, and he was walking through very systematically, step-by-step how to get started, so the short of it is I took basically a season's worth of earnings as a high school football official, invested that into my first product-

Brett:

Awesome.

Kevin:

... and then kept reinvesting, putting money in where I could. Then about three years later, which is a little over a year ago, left my job to do all this full time. The way I look at it is had a lot of great mentors. Scott is now a friend of mine, but sometime-

Kevin:

... when I started listening to him, I-

Brett:

... for sure.

Kevin:

Yeah, he's a great guy. I-

Brett:

I knew his business partner Matt. I don't know Scott as well, but he's super smart.

Kevin:

Yeah, Scott Voelker is an awesome guy. Scott Voelker's awesome guy. He and a lot of other people have been very giving with information, kind of like what you're doing here with this podcast. You're a virtual mentor to a lot of people, and I had a lot of virtual mentors as I was coming into the business, so the way I look at it is podcast is a way to give back. If we keep giving back to other folks, eventually it'll come back to us, but the goal is to, the way I look at it is give without an expectation of receiving.

Kevin:

I enjoy coming on podcasts like this and getting to chat more with you and sharing something that hopefully your audience can take away with that will help them, maybe just keep pushing that ball just a little bit farther down the field to use a football analogy.

Brett:

That's great. Actually, I'm glad you mentioned football. I want to divert just a little bit because I did not know you were a high school ref. I want to talk about this briefly. I mentioned on the podcast before, I think a lot of people know, I am currently coaching my son's varsity basketball team. We homeschool our kids. He's on a homeschool team. We play public schools and a lot of tournaments, and we're pretty good team, but being coach is super stressful. I do like it. I'm about to retire. This is my last year  so much time.

Brett:

I'd love to say that I've always gotten along with the refs that ref our basketball games. I've gotten into it with a couple, mostly professional and cordial, but I'm just curious, do you think reffing high school sports, because I've got a connection here, and I may be way off base, but-

Brett:

... do you think that helped prepare you at all for being an entrepreneur, or do you see any correlations there or handling the pressure and the emotion, all that of sports, any correlation to business at all?

Kevin:

Yeah, there's a lot of... so there's a lot of like... you're kind of on an island there by yourself. The funny thing is about being an official, anytime a coach at the beginning of the game says, "I'm easy to deal with, this is going to be a great game," I know-

Brett:

It's not.

Kevin:

I know pretty much this is going to be a train wreck because it never quite works that way because everyone's emotions get in the way.

Brett:

Really? Really?

Kevin:

Oh, we keep the side lane clear. We... Oh, then their side land would be a mass and... It was always a lot of fun. I did it for 10 seasons. I actually didn't do it this past fall, but it's definitely does prepare you because you're thinking on your feet. Everybody thinks it's really easy when they're watching Mike Pereira or whoever it was that's the former NFL head of officiating comes in and analyzes the play, and you see it in slow motion. When you're trying decide-

Brett:

From lots of different angles, and you got all kinds of time, and there's no pressure on you, you're.

Kevin:

Oh, yeah, it's like, they're like, "Oh, yeah. I agree with that," or, "I don't agree because my team, it would go against my team," so you're the impartial person who's trying to decide "is this past interference, is that holding?" The thing of it is... I'm not as familiar with basketball, but I know there's a lot of similarities, that there's the rule book and then there's a case book.

Brett:

Yes, yes.

Kevin:

The case book is more like how you apply, and it gives you situations similar to like how a certain rule is because they don't want you just calling everything-

Brett:

Exactly.

Kevin:

... verbatim the-

Brett:

Exactly.

Kevin:

... rule because real life is gray.

Brett:

It is. It is.

Kevin:

Brett:

There's so much gray, and I love that. A couple thoughts that I had, and I think there's some correlations with coaching as well. Coaches and refs can get into it, but there's some similarities there. You're on a bit of an island as a coach as well. Things go well as the players, things go poorly as the coach. There's so much emotion in that. I mean, which fine. That's the way it probably should be, but there's so much emotion wrapped up into it too, and parents get all upset and stuff like this.

Brett:

I think the tie in the business for me is if you can learn to silence or suppress some of the emotional response and just look at things objectively... You can never get 100%, but if you could just kind of objectively look at, "No, I think this was holding," or, "No, I think this is the way to take my business," lots of fears, lots of chatter, lots of whatever, but no, looking at this objectively, this was the way to take the business. Anyway, I think that's cool. I think we would have been buds if I was the coach and you were the ref. I think we would've gotten along.

Kevin:

Definitely.

Brett:

I mean, I may have told you a time or two when you sucked, but-

Kevin:

Like, "You missed the holding call," or, "Wait, why would you call-"

Brett:

Exactly.

Kevin:

"... that? You called more on our side than their side."

Brett:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I did-

Kevin:

it's like-

Brett:

I did have a situation recently where there was a foul call in one of my players, and the ref was like... I said, "You just got to explain this to me. How did he foul on this?" He's like, "Well, he had both hands on him." I said, "Well, he didn't actually have any hands on him. He had his hands out." Anyway, it was fun stuff like that. Anyway, that was a little bit of a sidetrack-

Kevin:

We could go down a whole-

Brett:

... on just-

Kevin:

... rabbit hole on that one.

Brett:

We totally could. Let's talk about going international. I want to look at a few areas, and we'll dive into some specific I know you're an expert in this arena, but I think looking at the when and why and where of going international. Maybe let's talk about those first two first, the why and the when. What advice would you give people, because this is the strategic part of it, and then we'll get into some more tactical stuff too, but why international... other than just make more money, but why international and when?

Kevin:

Yeah, great question. As far as the why, and if you think about it, you've got a business, and you're constantly trying to get eyeballs on your offers, whether it be you're using paid ads or if you're going on Amazon or off Amazon or a combination of both, whatever it is you're trying to do. The more people you can get to it, the better. The nice thing about selling internationally is now you've got new eyeballs that you wouldn't have gotten the chance to get otherwise.

Kevin:

Think of it this way. If you're in Canada, and you could buy something that's Prime is going to be delivered in a day or two to your house, maybe sometimes two or three days, because bigger country and not as many warehouses, but either way, if you can buy it competitively priced in your currency, and it gets there quickly, you're going to do it, and you've been trained to do that by going into amazon.ca. It's like you're going to start doing that.

Kevin:

Now, all of a sudden, just like we've trained our customers, or Amazon, I should say, has trained their customers to buy Prime stuff in the US, same thing in Canada, same thing in Europe, and the European marketplace is in pretty much all over the globe. It's like leaving money on the table if you're not going internationally because then that money you could make from selling your goods faster... so let's say you're ordering, let's say a thousand units at a time. Maybe if you're getting 10% of your sales in the US, in Canada, you're selling 10% faster essential, and so you can reinvest that money back into it. Maybe you were looking to hire somebody to run your paid ads or you wanted to launch a new product or hire a virtual assistant or whatever you wanted to do to invest back into your business-

Brett:

And more volume-

Kevin:

... you can do that.

Brett:

... to get better terms with your suppliers and things like that, maybe change the-

Kevin:

Absolutely.

Brett:

... cost economics of your business.

Kevin:

Yeah, I mean, there's so many things you could do with that money. It also adds a little bit of an insurance policy on your Amazon listing because a lot more competition comes in more quickly and to Amazon in the US than goes into Canada or UK. I mean, there's still competition, but you don't see the same players.

Brett:

Yep. Yep. We'll underscore this in a little bit because I know this was one of the things that intrigued me about the topic and why I wanted to have you speak on it is you mentioned leaving money on the table. A lot of people think there's a ton of work involved, but it's not as simple as copy and paste, but you already got your listings built. You can make them international, we'll talk about how to do that in a minute, and instantly start getting more sales. Let's talk about the ease and just a minute. What about the question of when. When should I do this? I'm just starting in the US or I'm at a million or two a year. Do you have any advice or any thoughts around when we look to go international?

Kevin:

Yes. I think oftentimes people push it out, I think, farther than they necessarily need to. I decided I was going to go fairly early on because I was testing a bunch of things because when I first started, I had like one product, and I was starting to add ons, more products. I was trying eBay. I was trying my own Shopify store. I was-

Brett:

When you say early, like first year, second year?

Kevin:

For me, it was my first year.

Brett:

Nice. Okay.

Kevin:

It was... I had... Let's see. I started in February of '16 was when I first start getting sales in my first product, and it was probably around September that I started getting sales in Canada. I was trying a bunch of different things at the same time because when I was still fairly new, I had time because I didn't have as many products and as much sales, so I had time to try different things. That's what I got the most traction on early on was going international, so then I took what I learned in Canada and then went into Europe. Europe's a little more complicated because that works differently than it does... Sales tax in Canada's pretty similar to the US except it's, really, for the most part, just the federal government you're dealing with there.

Brett:

Nice.

Kevin:

Yeah, which makes it much simpler. I basically had one product and three or four... I don't remember the exact number. I had a bunch I was working on putting in the pipeline at the time that I went into Canada. The nice thing was it really bumped up my holiday sales because, just like in the US, we're very consumer-driven, we're buying lots of stuff with the holidays. Same thing in Canada and, really, Europe too.

Brett:

When you first launched, it was in your first year, so total sales are still growing, you're still a new company at that point, but into that second year and beyond, what percentage of your sales became international?

Kevin:

Yeah, so between Canada and Europe, it's generally ranged in the 25 to 35% depending-

Brett:

Great.

Kevin:

... on the year.

Brett:

That's great.

Kevin:

Last year, it was over 30% of my sales-

Brett:

That's a huge bump. That's a massive bump just by taking the same products, same listings, making them available in other places. We'll talk about some specifics in a minute. Your advice is go early, and if you're already seeing success with products, now's the time probably.

Kevin:

Yeah. The nice thing is oftentimes people think like, "Oh, I need to get a whole new minimum order quantity," so what you could do just to take a step back is you can just go on amazon.ca or amazon.co., .uk. North America and Europe, this works. Pacific, like Japan, this doesn't work. But you could take Jungle Scout or whatever, Helium 10 or Unicorn Smasher, whatever you like to use and see, for the most part, those tools work, and you can see approximate demand. As long as there's some demand, it's worth trying. Sometimes people will look and say, "Oh, well, it's not the same sales as the US, so it's not worth a whole new order." Well don't order whole new stuff just for that. Take small portions of your existing order and test it out, and if you run out, oh, well. Restock the next time.

Brett:

Yep. Yep. Got it. That makes a ton of sense. You mentioned Canada and Europe. Are those the first two places to try and in that order for most people?

Kevin:

Yes. I would say Canada, then the UK, just to be more specific, although UK is now technically not part of the European Union, but as we're recording this, the plan seems to be that all the trade arrangements are going to stay for the most part, pretty much the same, at least through the end of 2020.

Kevin:

Now, that could change, so anything we say here, take with a little bit of grain of salt, but for the most part in Europe, what you can do to get started is to basically take your listings, put them in the UK, and then what you could do is then let's say you wanted to go to Germany, get your listings translated, go into Germany, and you can actually take your inventory from the UK, and they'll ship it to German customers, and you would just pay that-

Brett:

So then you're still just sending to the fulfillment centers in the UK, and that's-

Kevin:

Exactly.

Brett:

... supplying both UK and Germany.

Kevin:

Yes. Now, one of the things Amazon really wants sellers to do, and this is something I strongly suggest people think twice about, is to do what's called the Pan-European fulfillment program. What that means is... Think of it this way. If let's say you send inventory into Charlotte or California or wherever. Amazon's going to take your inventory, move it to wherever they feel like because they can get it closer to the customer. That's what they do in the US, and it makes really no difference. In Europe, it gets more complicated with now all of a sudden you're supposed to register for VAT in different countries. You have to register for VAT in like seven different countries if you do the Pan-European fulfillment program, so always start with just UK. Don't turn on Pan-EU-

Brett:

Yep. Yep. Yep. Makes sense.

Kevin:

... unless you want to pay like seven, eight grand for VAT compliance.

Brett:

Got it. Got it. Totally makes sense. Let's talk Canada first. Canada's a place, that's where, typically where we would go first. English speaking, very similar to the US in a lot of ways. Talk about what does that process like. You want to do a few of the details without going line by line on any documents obviously, but how do we get started selling in Canada, and why is that easier than we might think, or how-

Kevin:

One of the things... Yeah, great question. One of the things I like about Canada is this just north of the border, so longterm, you could theoretically, and people do this where maybe you tell your factory take a certain portion, send some of it into Canada, send some of it into the US once you have data of what you need, but you can take... as long as you have some inventory on hand that's not in Amazon's warehouse in the US, let's say, you can take some of your existing inventory, ship it into a Canadian fulfillment center, and turn on your listings in Canada. To do that, what you got to do first is register with Canadian government basically for their sales tax called GST/HST, as well as get what's called a nonresident importer status, so-

Brett:

Do you recommend getting help doing that? I mean, do you need an accountant, do you need an attorney? Is this something that people can just do on their own pretty easily?

Kevin:

You could theoretically do it on your own. I have a service where I just do everything for people-

Brett:

Awesome.

Kevin:

... but it's 100% something you could do on your own too.

Brett:

Cool. Cool. Okay. Great. Great. Let's keep walking through that a little bit.

Kevin:

All right, cool. You get registered. I think usually takes four to six weeks to get registered. UPS is probably one of the best ones to use to ship your goods. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't want to get involved in going across the border, so you're on your own. Now, one little tip I have for people, it could take [crosstalk 00:21:04]-

Brett:

Well, so what does that mean? That means you've got to do self-fulfilled Prime at that point or-

Kevin:

Let's say you're sending something into an Amazon Fulfillment Center. Let's say it's in.

Brett:

Got it. Got it. Got it. Okay. You're just getting stuff into the fulfillment centers in from-

Kevin:

Exactly.

Brett:

... from the US. Got it.

Kevin:

Exactly, because I think the best way to do it is to have inventory in the country because-

Brett:

Right. Totally make sense.

Kevin:

... you're going to have the best experience with a customer and get the most sales as a result. Basically, you have to create your own shipment into the country as opposed to in the US. Amazon gives you really good rates. If you're using UPS, you can use promo code EASY, E-A-S-Y, or promo code FAST, F-A-S-T. Both of them seem to work, and it's about 40% off.

Brett:

Cool.

Kevin:

You can reach out to UPS and also have them set up a brokerage account for you because you have to pay fees when you go across the border.

Brett:

Nice. Got it. Okay. You get the product there, and then... So really, any additional paperwork that's required, and then once we kind of have that wrapped up, let's talk about what we're doing with our list things to kind of make them friendly for the Canadian market.

Kevin:

Yeah. As far as the Canadian market from... Here's the thing I'll say. I can't find the exact number, but I've looked this up. It's anywhere, estimates are between 75 and 90% of Canadians live within a hundred miles of the US border, so the words they use are pretty much the same as the words we use. I mean, it's very, very similar. Europe, it starts getting a lot different, or sometimes even in the UK, it's almost like you're speaking a foreign language with some of the words in some ways.

Kevin:

But at least in Canada, it's pretty similar. You can pretty much rest assure that what you're selling, for the most part... you may have to make some slight tweaks. You can always look at your competitors and see what they're doing as far as are they converting things to milliliters or whatever the case is, so little things like that you could take a look at. But for the most part, it's pretty much what you have in the US, you could just... it's a dropdown, and people may not even realize that dropdown exists, but you'd probably see your store name and a little flag with like the US flag. You just switch that down to Canada, and then now you go to manage inventory, and you can add in your list options.

Brett:

Awesome. That's awesome.

Kevin:

Real simple.

Brett:

Yep. Cool. Very good. Canada first, then the UK, and then from the UK, you can target other European countries.

Kevin:

Yes.

Brett:

You mentioned Germany. Is Germany usually the second country after the UK that you target in Europe, or does it depend?

Kevin:

Yes. People, for the most part, have pretty consistent good results in Germany. Italy can be hit or miss. Spain and France, for most people, tend to be pretty slow. It's one of those things that... Germany is a pretty good one. For a lot of people, they actually do better in Germany than they do in the UK.

Brett:

Very interesting. Okay, cool. Then what about Australia, another English speaking country. Are you recommending people look at that, or where would that be on the roadmap typically?

Kevin:

Great question because you would think Australia, being a English speaking country, would be a really good one to go into. One of the things about Australia, it's one of the newest marketplaces, and so there was a statistic that between [crosstalk 00:24:30].

Brett:

It's one of Amazon's newest marketplaces?

Kevin:

Yes. One of Amazon's newest marketplaces. They were noticing that, like let's say in the UK and the US, they were getting something like $500 million a year in sales of Australians buying and having products shipped, so they said, "Oh, let's create a marketplace there. There's opportunity there." The challenge is the population's pretty small there. Right now, behaviorally, they're very used to buying on eBay. Last I looked, eBay sales were something like six times higher in Australia than they are Amazon sales in Australia so-

Brett:

Interesting.

Kevin:

Yeah. In fact, I remember it was right before the holidays, a friend of mine was saying, "Hey, should I go into Australia?" and I said, "Well, I'm warning you, it's pretty slow," and he said, "Well, how much have you done in sales the last week?" At the time it was like I made one sale in Australia previously. He said, "Okay, for comparison, how much have you done in Canada?" I had done, let's say it was like 129 sales during the same time period, so it's definitely much slower in Australia-

Brett:

Got it.

Kevin:

... but if you mature to that point, I wouldn't say that's a starter one, but at least it gets your foothold in there because down-

Brett:

Opening up-

Kevin:

... the road-

Brett:

... you'd think you would... Yeah. I mean, if Amazon is one-sixth the size of eBay sales and in Australia, Amazon's going to figure things out, and likely, that's going to get more to a point of parity, or eventually Amazon might win. That'd be my guess. But it makes total sense that's not your first play, but maybe third, fourth, fifth, something like that. You look at it down the road. Let's talk about some other benefits. I know something you mentioned offline, one benefit of looking at Canada is ads are typically cheaper, right? Do you find-

Kevin:

Oh, yeah.

Brett:

Do you find that consistent in some of these other markets, and then aside from ads being cheaper, any other of these benefits that people might not be thinking about immediately?

Kevin:

Yeah. One of the things I would say is another benefit is it's lower maintenance. Sometimes people think like, "Oh, I'm going to have to spend... if I'm spending, let's say, 10 hours a week in my Amazon US, I'm going to have to spend another 10 hours a week on Canada or UK or whatever." Well, I tend to find that that's not the case.

Brett:

Nice. Nice.

Kevin:

One, there's not as much competition, so there's not as much things changing ongoing. Then if you're getting, let's say, 10% of the sales, you probably also have 10% of the impressions, 10% of the clicks, and so you could probably get away with sometimes maybe only checking it once every couple of months or something like that once you get up and going, I mean, once you got it solidified.

Brett:

Less time, often cheaper, lots of economics. That makes sense. It's really..

Kevin:

Yeah. Another benefit that I would say is in Canada that's not in Europe is in Europe the selling price includes sales tax, their VAT, and that can be kind of a challenge of trying to manage your margins, whereas in Canada, it's added onto the selling price just like it is here. One of the other interesting things is with that is you also can get away typically with it adding a little extra to your price relative to the conversion rate because if you look at Canada, you got Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, all these big expensive cities that are basically the same as like here in the US, like the cost of living would be in like San Francisco or New York. Then if you don't live in those major cities, you might live in the boondocks, and maybe there's a general store an hour away from you that's like the size of the 7/11. This is what people have described to me. You're willing to pay just a little extra to have Amazon just bring stuff to your door. It's like a godsend-

Brett:

Totally makes sense.

Kevin:

... to those people.

Brett:

Totally makes sense. Yep. Awesome. This has been fantastic. I want to connect people to you and some more resources and some of the things as they want to dive deeper, but as we wrap up, what are some of the mistakes you see people make? Someone decides to go international, what are some of the mistakes, pitfalls, issues, things like that that people need to be aware of.

Kevin:

Yes. What I would say is check first to see if there's some sales for similar products to yours. Sometimes, people worry about hijackers. There's a problem oftentimes have what's called gray listings in other countries where people will take, like bots will take like a million listings in the US and add them to Canada. They're usually like two, three times with the price should be, and people worry like, "Oh, my gosh, I got to kick these hijackers off my listing." Don't even worry about them. They're not going to get the buy box. All they're going to do is, worst case scenario, if they do get the buy box and get a sale, they're just going to drop ship off of you, off of your US listing, so nothing to worry about there.

Kevin:

Then also too, just make sure you're doing at least your good, honest, try to be tax-compliant. Oftentimes freight forwarders will do a good job of getting people registered to at least be able to get their stuff across the border, but they oftentimes, they don't register people for the sales tax, and so you could end up having the Canadian government come to you and say, "You owe us money," and you didn't collect it, so now you don't have it for them.

Kevin:

At the flip side too, you're actually going to be paying on top of your fulfillment fees a sales tax as well as when you go across the border, on the declared value, you're going to pay their GST, their sales tax in Canada. Those two items would subtract from what you collected from customers, so in essence, your customers are paying that for you.

Brett:

Got it.

Kevin:

But only if you're registered for sales tax and Amazon's collecting it.

Brett:

Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. Okay. That makes sense. Fantastic. Couple of scenarios. One, somebody says, "Hey, I'd like to give this a go on my own, but I want more resources. Kevin hooked me up with some resources." Let's talk about that, and then talk about, for a lot of the people, and I would fall into this category where we say, "I would just rather have someone like Kevin do this for me," talk about that as well.

Kevin:

Sure, sure, sure. If you go to maximizingecommerce.com/brett, I do have a checklist that I put together. It walks you through step by step. I call it a checklist, but I don't know, it's like 14 pages long. It has resources and everything, sort of a mini guide.

Brett:

I'll link to it in the show notes as well, but it's maximizingecommerce.com/brett.

Kevin:

Yes. As far as if you're looking for someone to do this all for you, reach out to me if you wanted to kevin@maximizingecommerce.com and be more than happy to do a free 30-minute consultation to see if it makes sense for them; otherwise, you can use the checklist, and I'd love to hear about someone's success from using it so if anyone-

Brett:

Exactly.

Kevin:

... downloads it and starts getting good numbers, please let me know because I love adding success stories.

Brett:

Yep. That's awesome. Kevin Sanderson, ladies and gentlemen. Kevin, man, thanks for coming on. Thanks for educating us. Thanks for educating me because I didn't know much about this topic. Thanks for helping us go international. It's exciting.

Kevin:

Yeah, thanks for having me. It's been a lot of fun.

Brett:

Absolutely. Check it out. Go to maximizingecommerce.com. I'll link to it all in the show notes. As always, we'd love to hear from you, what show ideas do you have, what topics should we cover, what'd you like to see more of or less of. We'd also love that review on iTunes if you feel so inclined. With that, until next time, thank you for listening.


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