As a small business owner (e-commerce or otherwise), there is nothing worse than having to fork out money to get overseas goods across the US border — and since the inception of president Trump’s import tariffs, it has only gotten worse.
In fact, it has been estimated that since these tariffs were first introduced, they have negatively affected over 460 billion USD worth of imports and exports.
And the scariest part?
These increased tariffs are costing American consumers an absurd 57 billion USD per year.
Really, is there any wonder that consumer spending is at an all-time low? Is it any surprise that small businesses across the nation are struggling to make a profit?
Which is where Canadian Fulfillment comes into play.
How to Eliminate Import Tariffs with Canadian Fulfillment
Canadian fulfillment describes the process of importing overseas goods to Canada, and then getting them shipped from Canada to American consumers.
While this may sound like a roundabout way to import your products, it can be an extremely profitable approach, as it can completely eliminate import tariffs and duties.
And it all comes down to getting your imported goods classified as a Section 321.
You see, Section 321 is a category of imported goods that pass over the US border on a daily basis completely free of tariffs.
However, there are some rules and regulations associated.
To gain Section 321 classification, the estimated retail value of your imported goods cannot be more than 800 American dollars. Moreover, the shipment of goods must be imported by one person, and on a single day
Importantly, if you try to break up your shipment into smaller orders, it will still not gain classification if its total value exceeds the 800 dollar limit.
All of which means that without Canadian fulfillment, you cannot get your shipments classified as a Section 321.
How to use Canadian Fulfillment
There are a couple of ways to approach Canadian fulfillment.
The first option?
Well, you can hop onto Craigslist and find someone in Canada who is willing to act as a middleman on your behalf.
Once you have found this person, you organize to get large shipments of overseas products sent to them — then, when you get an order — you have them ship it out to each individual customer.
And while they will take a small percentage of the profit, it will be markedly less than the cost of importation — creating a win-win for all.
Although I would argue that this option is fraught with danger.
There is always a chance that this person simply takes all of your products and sells them without you. While this is an unlikely scenario, it is still one that needs to be considered.
And of course, you cannot be guaranteed that they will ship your orders off in a timely manner, or that they will take an appropriate amount of care when packaging your products — which could get you some negative reviews for something you simply cannot control.
Which is why I would opt for the second option.
Using a Canadian fulfillment company.
What is a Canadian Fulfillment Company?
In essence, a Canadian fulfillment company is exactly what it sounds like — a company that lets you redirect any shipments of overseas products through Canada.
These guys have ultimately created a way to remove the same import tariffs that destroy small American businesses. They simply receive your large orders for you, and then ship them to individual consumers in the USA.
Much like the guy on craigslist, they act as the middleman — albeit in a much more professional manner.
Over the last few years a number of companies have started to offer this service, and while they do have an associated cost, it is much less than the import tariffs that you can expect to pay without this fulfillment service.
Import tariffs and duties have become the bane of many business owners’ existence. In many scenarios, the cost of importation has even become more expensive than the cost of the goods themselves — which is not efficient business.
However, with Section 321 and Canadian fulfillment, you can eliminate tariffs for good, and return your business to a state of high profitability again.