Subsidised Shipping outside US!

Here's the situation, shipping to Europe is cost prohibitive it seems and Fotomoto are having serious problems trying to source an EU printer that maintains their strict quality control standards. We could implement shipping discount coupons, but who knows what shipping will be until an order is actually taken right through to check out? The suggestion below could save Fotomoto a huge amount of infrastructure programming and vast amounts of setup costs and take away the problem of expensive shipping for us and our customers in the EU (and anywhere overseas from the US potentially).

Lets take my last order, the shipping came out at $25.49 - now this is obviously calculated live based on the customers address and probably pulled from the UPS database. The back end system could pull down another shipping cost at the same time, one that was from the sellers postcode (my address) in the EU to the customer direct. It could then calculate the difference and appropriate this as an 'overseas shipping discount' and reduce the overall shipping cost to the customer - this could be transparent to the customer.

The cost of this discount could then be split 85/15% between the seller and Fotomoto, the seller funding the larger amount as Fotomoto don't make a great percentage for what is a brilliant service anyway. The back end system could then reduce the seller profit and the Fotomoto cut accordingly. This way I get to pay a little more for the privilege of utilising such a simple and integrated service as Fotomoto even though they are in the US, and Fotomoto get to have happy photographers and customers in the EU without the cost overheads and apparent hassles of finding EU print partners. If Fotomoto want to find international printers at some point, this doesn't need to be a permanent arrangement - but it does stem the flow of overseas photographers leaving (or not considering) the service into the arms of Photoshelter whilst the search continues (I am sooo close - but hey my one sale is no real loss!). Maybe international print partners can be put off until the next round of investment comes on board and then the job can be given greater project funding and approached in a more organised manner?

What does the panel think? :0)
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