I am curious to know how many artist here in the US are getting sales outside the country and what countries are the sales coming from. Also, how does one calculate shipping costs in advance.
I just had my first international sale at the end of February. It was to Chad. I have lots of Instagram followers from that part of the world but this painting was sold through eBay so not sure if that had anything to do with this sale. It was shipped through eBay’s Global system where you just send it to a US address and eBay sends it on to the buyer. They take care of customs, too. Thankfully, since this was a matted and framed watercolor and would have cost more for me to ship it than what I made on the sale.
I just had my first international sale of two paintings to one customer and it was to Canada. I have not yet received word that the paintings arrived (the customer promised to email me on their arrival). USPS told me the package would first go to Chicago for customs and would wait until there was enough for a shipment to British Columbia. Unfortunately I had miscalculated the shipping…$8 too little. I was adding $5 on top of my US shipping price. Now I will be adding $10 and hope that works.
I have sold to Canada a couple of times and shipped through PayPal. It wasn’t a problem but some countries in Europe have such high customs and shipping that it would double the price of the painting.
I have made sales to the US and elsewhere from a foreign country (here - the UK!) and this is what I did: took two paintings of my standard sizes to the Post Office, wrapped as they would be to ship (but not sealed) and asked the staff to weigh and price the shipping for me, together with the cost of insuring either size. I know that the US does not charge customs on imported art from the U.K. so I didn’t have to worry about that. That figure was then dropped into the shipping page on the DPW site.
The only other way I know of doing it is via a company that handles the whole thing, end to end, such as FedEx, and that way the customer gets their painting much much quicker than via Royal Mail and USPS.
BUT the cost is higher than customers on DPW would be prepared to tolerate, in my limited experience.