In this blog, we explore what a commodity code is & the changes to commodity codes to look out for that will affect the trading of goods internationally.
Online shopping is something that we all love to do and, with the UK Postbox Shop and Ship service, you have access to the UK high street from anywhere in the world at the click of a button. However, the landscape of online shopping has changed dramatically in the wake of the various changes brought on by the UK leaving the EU. In this blog article, we will explore how you can use our Shop and Ship service from any location to purchase and ship products from overseas, and what considerations will need to be made concerning the new trade deal from the UK leaving the EU.
How does our Shop and Ship Service work?
If you live or work overseas, and are interested in buying products from the UK, you may well have run into the same, consistent issues. Put simply, some retailers in the UK do not ship internationally, making it exceptionally difficult to obtain the products you're looking for when living abroad. The other main issue is one of cost; international shipping never comes cheap, and the steep costs of doing so can provide further obstacles to shopping in UK markets abroad. This can be especially prevalent when making several international orders- the cost of these multiple orders can quickly stack up.
With our Shop and Ship service, however, you can overcome these issues to easily and inexpensively purchase any UK based products you want from anywhere in the world- so long as the postal providers we work with deliver to your address. When purchasing a product from the UK, you simply ship it over to us, where we will then store it for free for up to 30 days (after which you should refer to our parcel storage fees page for more information on additional storage times). This service is incredibly safe and reliable, with many delivery options available; you can choose to track your parcel at all points during the journey, and some retailers allow for courier insurance to protect you in the unlikely event of any damage.
Why use our Shop and Ship Service?
Our shop and ship feature serves as an easy solution to many of the problems you may encounter when online shopping, and you may get the best use of it in any of the following circumstances:
A Solution for Special Occasions
With UK Postbox, you can take the hassle out of gift-giving for special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas by using our wrap and pack service, allowing you to source exclusive, UK-based products and gift them to relatives in an overseas location. To do this, you simply place an order at your favourite retailers, have the chosen product delivered to us, and we'll make sure that it is wrapped and delivered to the giftee in plenty of time.
As part of this service, you can even personalise your chosen products with gift tags and cards that come pre-delivered to us. So long as we're told which tags and cards go with which items, we make sure to get your presents looking presentable and ready for delivery for whatever the occasion is.
Access to Deals and Sales
With our Shop and Ship service, you essentially gain instant, digital access to the UK market. This is including any time-sensitive offers, sales and promotions from retailers you like, that you would otherwise have no way of taking advantage of. You can order products on sale from top UK retailers, send them to us for storage, and then redirect them back to you for a comfortable, efficient and fun shopping experience in the UK market.
Concierge Delivery Service
At UK Postbox we like to go above and beyond when it comes to our shop and ship services. While many of the most popular UK-based retailers will offer online shopping options, many don't. In these instances, with our premium Concierge service, we can send a representative to your store of choice, purchase the products you want, and have them sent to the desired location as part of the service. This type of service can be beneficial when looking to purchase items from smaller, more niche businesses in the UK that don't have the online capabilities of more prominent brands; it's our way of bringing the UK highstreet to you at the click of a button!
Share the Costs
If you know other people around you or in different areas that would like to buy products from the UK, you can share the products' cost and save yourself some money while you shop. You can get your colleagues, family members or friends, for example, to ship their orders to your UK Postbox Delivery Address. All we have to do then is box your products up with theirs, and you can split the costs; which could be especially useful in events such as Christmas shopping.
Plus, there's no limit to how many addresses you can send the products to; any amount of items can be sent to any amount of locations, giving you complete flexibility on how you manage the shipping.
What changes have we seen from the UK leaving the EU?
Now that the UK has left the EU, online shoppers will need to be aware of the following changes and approaches to shipping products overseas between the two regions:
A Commodity Code is a ten-digit number that is designated to goods, in order to classify any imports from outside of the EU. This numeric commodity code will exist for every type of good, from a product's type and classification, to its materials, to its style and colour. These codes are agreed upon on an international level, for the purpose of making the transition of goods between these regions much easier to process and understand.
What this means for you as an online shopper is that when looking to shop and ship products from the UK to the area you live (or vice versa), you will need to know the product in question's commodity code. This code will need to be supplied within the shipping process in order to ship the products you are looking to buy successfully. To help our customers during this transition period, we have built in commodity codes to our platform, meaning that you can easily find the relevant codes for the products in question and include the information with your shipment.
Since the governmental changes from January 1st 2021, these codes have become a requirement for shipping; this means that a failure to supply these codes when shopping internationally can result in processing delays, additional charges, and even a refusal to deliver goods. With this in mind, it is vital that you understand what these codes are and why they are being introduced. You can learn more about these changes by following GOV.UK's latest information here.
Online shopping since the UK has left the EU has changed dramatically with these changes, and that includes anyone using our Shop and Ship solutions too. When the time comes that you want to do some international shopping for a special occasion, or are looking to share the international expense by sharing the cost with a friend, all of these changes will be factored into our service. But when shopping with your favourite, UK-based retailers from another region, you must bear these changes in mind for the rest of 2021 and beyond.