Most readers already know my story and the goal behind BenzForce so I don’t want to cover a lot of old ground. Originally my goal was to bring the rest of the worlds Mercedes offerings to the USA but how things have changed. While setting up our online store, I didn’t want to deal with a lot of the complexities needed for international shipping. Shipping costs for international orders are extremely high and with margins so tight on replacement parts, there is little room for error. In order not to lose a significant amount of money, box-sizing and weights have to be spot on. Therefore, I just enabled shipping for the lower 48 states in the USA and had a message pop up to the users asking them to email me for a quote if they live elsewhere.
The orders and emails were coming in but it was highly inefficient as I literally packaged the items, weighed them and got individual quotes for the customers. After volume picked up, UPS finally came around and put me on a decent price plan allowing me to enable international shipping. Now don’t get me wrong, ALL shipping costs are high but it is certainly better than it was. Since turning on international shipping we have shipped to Australia, UK, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Ukraine, Norway, France, Taiwan, and Jamaica. There are still some cart/shipping issues to work out but ordering and fulfillment have become much easier.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this is not the actual orders but the reach to those building these cars around the globe. If people from all these countries are buying then that means, even more, are researching, reading and looking for information on our Mercedes niche. For many years, the forums at superturbodiesel have been the standard go-to place for swaps and performance. With the addition of Facebook and Instagram, more channels are opening up to disseminate information and options to acquire parts. Overall I think that is pretty cool!