isavirtue | ordering product internationally

Living as close as I have to the United States is kind of like someone putting a cake in front of you but telling you you're not allowed to eat it. I grew up (and live now) in the Greater Toronto Area - just an hour long car drive to the Niagara border (and not that much farther to New York). For five years, I also lived in Victoria, part of an island in British Columbia that actually dips into the States and is just a short ferry ride to Seattle.

Despite this, when I order something from New York or California, I pay outrageous shipping costs. We are neighbours in theory, but neighbours who charge each other exorbitantly for a cup of sugar. I've only been ordering product in bulk and in wholesale for about a year (though purchasing online for much longer) and I've noticed most american companies offer free shipping to their fellow compatriots.

When I decided I wanted to start selling supplies in the isavirtue shop, I was torn. I have searched far and low in canada for the same type of amazing products I know are available in the states (and for the same great prices!). In some cases I've had luck. But mostly, I want that cake...and I want to eat it too!

Enter the freight forwarder - A company I debated working with for a while. Freight forwarders allow international businesses to order product to their country in a seamless way. They also take 8% of your product value on top of the cost of the product. That's a big hit! I crunched the numbers pretty hard to decide if it was worth it but in the end the upsides won out. A freight forwarder can help you get product or an account with new companies. They'll put in orders for you. Plus they repack everything and try to find one reasonable shipping price for just one delivery!

It was all a bit scary at times and the process has been expensive (with no promise of return!) My freight forwarders were pretty great (overseas operations in california) If it makes sense financially - I hope to use their services again! And in the meantime, I'll keep my eyes peeled for amazing Canadian suppliers :)

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