Starting business, cannot anticipate volume. Want to have products shipped from France to the U.S. on an as need basis based upon unanticipated sales. Quantity approximately 20 items in a shipment or can be as low as one or two. Brokers want to charge $150.00 for a shipment regardless of the value which makes it not profitable to hire a broker. Please advise.
There is no legal requirement that you use a custom broker. But it is often advantages for you to do so. Most companies set price that takes into account the costs of using a custom broker. Frankly, if your price point does not make it profitable to import the products if you use a custom broker, then you need to rethink whether this business is economically viable. Here is a link to information on custom brokers. https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/418/~/importers---who-needs-a-customs-broker-to-help-clear-goods-through-cbp