Brownells launches international websites, adds new shipping service

Brownells, Inc. simplified online shopping for customers overseas and shipping services at home.

This month, the Iowa-based company launched websites catering to nine European countries and added members-only shipping services for customers stateside.

Both endeavors are the product of years of development, said Ryan Repp, a Brownells spokesman. “It’s more happenstance than anything that they launched at once,” he said.

For the series of websites, it took about two years of preparation. Not only does each country have its own website, Brownells has an in-country partner that acts as a hub and manages payments, which are quickly complicated by international taxes, tariffs and other fees.

However, once an order is placed, it ships from warehouses in Iowa to the desired location within seven to 10 days.

Repp said Brownells sold to European customers before, but the websites will make it easier since information is translated and prices are adjusted.

“We’re trying to make it easy for that European country to do business with us,” he said, but would not say how much in sales it would generate.

The second development is similar to Amazon Prime in that for an annual fee members get free standard shipping and exclusive deals.

Although advertising of the plan — Brownells Edge — is slim except for a banner on Brownells’ website, since it launched Jan. 20 at the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show the company has gained hundreds of sign-ups.

“It’s kind of a no brainer. Economy shipping — seven orders pays for itself,” Repp said about the $50 annual fee.