3 considerations for sending corporate gifts internationally

Today, more US-based companies are global than ever before. As the pandemic pushed companies to adopt remote work models, it has become increasingly common for workforces to be split across city, state, and country lines.

Importantly, this shift has also been reflected in customer bases. Especially in industries like B2B tech, limiting product adoption to a single country has become rarer, with most businesses likely to acquire customers across geographies.

At the same time, with more global options available to employees and customers alike, showing appreciation to those who enable and buy from your business has become paramount to retention and, in the case of customer relationships, account expansion.

Corporate gifting has been an important part of relationship building for years, but with a maturing understanding of what types of gifts make people truly feel appreciated and the new demand for sending items across borders, corporate gifting— and international corporate gifting, specifically— can feel significantly more fraught than it did 5 and 10 years ago. 

Still, with a few key considerations in mind, you can treat international customers and employees with the same kind of gift experience you provide to their domestic counterparts.

Here are the 3 most important things to keep in mind to make international corporate gifting easy this holiday season (and all year long).

1. Take note of international gift tax

Corporate gifting budgets are often thinly spread; you’ll have even more fees to consider when you’re sending gifts across borders. When items are shipped from one country to another— even when they’re gifts— the recipient may be asked to cough up the item’s import duty fees before it can be delivered to them.

Of course, asking our recipients to pay for the gifts isn’t exactly the spirit we’re going for to show our appreciation. Luckily, there are a few ways around this.

First, consider the total value of the item you’re sending. Depending on the destination country, you may be able to avoid import duties altogether if the item falls under a certain category and within a certain value range. Of course, this requires you to know which country your recipient is in, and a little research to figure out what will be exempt; tools like this one can help you calculate how much will be owed before the item can make its way to your recipient.

If you do know the destination country and address for your gift, you can also choose to select an item from a local vendor and have it shipped within the country to avoid duties altogether. This can be tricky when language barriers are involved, but can present a more sustainable option that boosts the recipient’s local economy — a double win!

If sustainability matters to you, but you don’t have a good handle on where all of your gifts will be headed (a common hurdle in the corporate gifting space), Loop & Tie is a gifting marketplace that allows the recipient to provide their address and offsets the carbon emissions of every gift shipped. Loop & Tie works with a shipping partner to pay for the item’s associated duties on your and your recipients’ behalf; the all-inclusive price of the gift you send covers this service, so you don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to taxes.

Loop & Tie and other similar gifting services also allow the recipient to choose their gift from a selection you provide — an important factor when you need to consider how cultural differences should influence your gift selection.

2. Cultural differences should influence your gift selection

While we often think of the types of corporate gifts we typically send as universal, you’d be surprised how easy it is to make a cultural misstep when gifting internationally. For example — in China, gifted clocks and umbrellas are considered bad luck; two items that are commonly branded and given to employees!

More importantly than the items themselves, in many areas, there may be business norms that prevent your customers from receiving gifts altogether. In the UK, for example, a vast majority of businesses disallow employees from receiving gifts to avoid running afoul of the 2010 Bribery Act.

For this reason, you may want to consider taking your international gifts online, where various services include options for the recipient to decline the gift you sent. This saves you money by avoiding pre-purchasing an item that can’t be delivered and is more sustainable in its avoidance of unnecessary over-production.

Some online international gifting services may also allow your recipient to defer their gift to someone else, or a charity. Loop & Tie, for example, includes several charitable donation options in every gift collection, so the recipient can choose to make a positive impact instead of declining their gift outright. 

3. Some types of items may be prohibited for international gift delivery

While it’s perfectly fine to ship a bottle of wine to a recipient in the US, international destinations don’t take as kindly to receiving alcohol. In fact, there are several types of items that will seldom make it to delivery when shipped overseas, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Perishable food items
  • Medical devices

Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive, and restrictions can vary by destination. Before sending a gift to an international recipient, make sure to brush up on local import restrictions, and make sure to avoid the big no-nos listed above. While sending these items to another country isn’t breaking any laws outright, they simply will not be eligible for international gift delivery and will be returned to you. 

When doing your international gifting online, it’s important to ensure that if the gift you send can be replaced by the recipient, that none of the possible selections or alternatives fall in the above categories, either. Loop & Tie’s Standard International Gift Collections do not contain any non-importable items, so your recipient is guaranteed to have their item delivered without any snags.

Take out all the guesswork by using Loop & Tie

Using Loop & Tie to send your international corporate gifts is the easiest way to ensure everything goes smoothly, and that you know exactly how much you’ll spend. Here’s how it works:

  1. You pick one of our Standard International Gift Collections, based on the amount you’d like to spend per recipient. The price of the collection is all-inclusive— if you choose to send a recipient the $150 collection, for example, you’ll spend $150 every time, with no additional fees for shipping, handling, duties, or anything else.
  2. You deploy the gift to your recipient using only their email address.
  3. They select a gift they really want or defer it to a charitable organization.
  4. They provide their exact shipping address through Loop & Tie, so you don’t have to worry about collecting and storing them.
  5. Their gift arrives with no extra considerations for you or them – just good vibes all-around. 

Ready to surprise & delight your recipients? Send a gift now.

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