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Question about international shipping
Old 11-19-2004   #1
Pherdinand
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Question about international shipping

Hi.
As i wrote in the other thread, just received my contax from overseas.

I payed 40$ for the shipping and it was sent insured by "US Global express" or stg like that. However, on the box it says, $23,80.
Are there extra costs (insurance, priority etc) that are not mentioned on the box? or should i consider the difference (16$ !!!) as "handling costs" pocketed by the former owner? -He used a bubble plastic bag and crumpled newspaper and a single-wall cardboard box, so i would not say it cost him 16$...

Any idea/experience?
Thanks
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Old 11-19-2004   #2
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I'm going to guess it was Eb*y or something like that. There are indeed sellers who put down large S&H costs up front, or spring them on you after the sale. It is an added cost that you have to add to the sale price you are willing to pay. Unfortunately, many people look only at the sale price. Even if you buy from a commercial company, there will be some S&H there, just presumably less due to volume.

I would say $16.00 is a little much, but I have seen worse. Actually, $23.80 seems like an awful lot for shipping to overseas, but I don't know what if any added costs the Netherlands post office requires from the US Postal Service to accept and deliver there. I just hope the lens turns out to be worth all you paid for it in pleasure you get from using it. As long as that is the case, you have paid a good price.
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Old 11-19-2004   #3
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The $24 charge for the Contax IIIa with lens and the basic $100 included insurance sounds about right. The Global Express is the only service available that supplies an international tracking number. $40 sounds like the seller pocketed $16. A 4lb package, my "round number estimate" for a camera and lens, would have cost $30 to send. The F2 with lens weighed in at 4lb going to Spain, and that ran just over $30 with insurance. $40 sounds like he wanted to be paid to fill out the extra paperwork...
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Old 11-19-2004   #4
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thanks guys.

Yes, Brian, i had that feeling. There was not efen a tracking number for it, by the way. The insurance nr was beginning with FV and on the US website they say, insured packages with FV are not traceable... anyway, he did NOT put there any extra handling costs upfront, that's why i'm a bit pissed about it. See here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWN:IT
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Old 11-19-2004   #5
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It's not uncommon for sellers on eBay to bump up the shipping a bit. There's a seller of Russian equipment who doesn't state the shipping price, and one that I saw quoting either US$25 or 30 to ship a 50mm lens! That lens was going for $0.99, one bid.

If I'm interested in something overseas, I send an email asking for shipping costs. A couple of weeks ago I bought something from England and the seller gave me the choice of 3 shipping options and it worked out well.
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Old 11-19-2004   #6
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It sounds a little high, but not as much as I thought. I have gotten pretty good at using the USPS web site and calculating shipping. Assuming a package weighing 2-3 lbs, Global Express with $500 insurance as I calculated it came out to $32.00.

http://ircalc.usps.gov/details.asp?t...ubmit=Continue

That is a big link, sorry, you can start a the home page an go from there too.

http://www.usps.com/

$23.80 may be the postage portion, and the insurance may be over and above that. Let me see if I can replicate that $23.80 charge. Be back in a second.
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Old 11-19-2004   #7
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I couldn' t create that $23.80 postage charge. The "best" I could do using Brian's 4lb weight estimate with $300 insurance based on your selling price was to create a shipping charge of $37.00. He may not have pocketed a full $16, but it does seem that he estimated the shipping charge at the high end.
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Old 11-19-2004   #8
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well, 23.80 (or 23.85?) was the only amount i've found on the shipping box/papers. That's why i ask if there's any extra that they don't mark on the outside. Anyway, i sent him a friendly e-mail about this and the only-sometimes-firing shutter. He has a feedback of over 1000 of which over 99% positive.....

EDIT: and i have none so, wish me luck! (maybe he won't even reply)
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Old 11-19-2004   #9
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Pherdinand,
There are no extraneous charges by the US Postal Service over and above what is on the label. Some eBay sellers charge a "reasonable fee" for packaging, others charge a preposterous amount. Personally, I double box (with new good quality corrugated boxes). Camera or lens is placed in an archival plastic bag then wrapped with large bubble wrap and placed in either a 4x6x8 or a 4x4x4 box which is then placed in the center of a larger box surrounded by packing peanuts -- this entire arrangement costs me less than $3.00 and I absorb the cost with the sale, charging only for the actual shipping charge. My view is if someone is buying a camera or lens for $500 to $2,000 (or more on occasion) the least I can do is pack it properly and throw in a few bucks worth of packing material! Cheapskates have always irritated me! Best wishes with your transaction and I hope you enjoy the camera.

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Old 11-19-2004   #10
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I did think of one extra charge: The USPS charges $10 to pick a package up at your house. So if a seller does not drop the package off and stand in line line most of us do, they will pass an extra $10 on to the buyer to have the package picked up. I have seen this done. Whether or not the seller paid the charge, you can bet it will be cited.
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Old 11-19-2004   #11
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Or if you go to one of those UPS or Mailbox stores, they charge a handling charge over the shipping costs.

D2, I think the postage stamp on the package from the USPS only shows the cost of the actual shipping. I do not believe the insurance is shown on there. A separate blue insurance lable is placed on the package, it is bar coded but does not show the amount of insurance bought or cost. I will know for sure when I send out my next package.
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Old 11-20-2004   #12
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The USPS label includes the price of insurance. It also shows tracking, confirmed delivery, and any service associated with the outgoind price of the package. It would not show the extra handling or pickup fees. Global Express mail includes the first $100 and tracking number in the basic fees. After the first $100, shipping costs extra.

You can go to usps.com and calculate the shipping based on weight. Most sellers, including myself, makes an "educated Guess" about the weight with packaging before the auction. Depending on where the item is going the box style and shipping method will be different. I use a priority mail box if within the US but a regular brown box if not. You hate to box, weigh, and then price, so most sellers either set a fixed price or fixed weight. Some sellers obviously always err in their own favor and pocket the difference.
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Old 11-21-2004   #13
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Here's an answer i got from him/her/them:
Quote:
I calculate the postage from the USPS Internet site and add handling. Then my husband takes it to the post office and they send it whichever way is cheaper. That is why there is such a big difference in what we charged you and what it actually was. He and I need to work more closely together in figuring postage. Most of the time it is correct.
heheh.
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Old 11-21-2004   #14
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Hmmm, actually, that does sound believable!
I had a similar experience, sold some item to Spain, got a quote for shipping from the Austrian Post's homepage, and got the quoted amount from the buyer - when I sent the package, it was much cheaper; I did offer the buyer to refund the difference, but he said not to bother, as it was only 3 or 4 Euros...

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Old 11-21-2004   #15
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yeah, i believe them. I was just curious about the whole thing.
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Old 11-21-2004   #16
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The seller pocketed $16 - it is that simple. The US Postal label includes all fees; if it says $23.80, then it cost the seller $23.80.

If I sell something on ebay, in my shipping details, I tell buyers that I include a $3 handling fee on all foreign shipments. That covers the cost of buying a box, (no Priority freebie boxes on international shipments), and the effort of filling out those blasted customs forms.

Sending a camera insured to Europe is generally in the $21-$25 range - I would send the seller an email asking what the deal is.
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Old 11-21-2004   #17
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I did, John - see above Thanks, anyway. I'll go for the 50$ refund he offers...
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Old 11-23-2004   #18
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I just sent the 50mm lens up to Frank, weighed in at 12oz. When I was more active with EBay, ~18 months ago, I sent a lot of items to Canada via insured Air Mail. I was shocked to learn that I could not send it "insured Air Mail" but had to send it "Global Express". The difference in price was $15! So if you want to mail from the US to Canada and insure the item, NOW the price is the same as sending ANYWHERE in the world! Drop the insurance, and it is a little more than sending within the US. Does not make any sense; but dem's the rules!

When did they change the rules?
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Old 11-23-2004   #19
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I just got my Isolette from the Netherlands last week (eBuy sale). Shipping cost to the US was upfront at $23 US + $3 insurance. When I got the package, the shipping receipt on the box said about 25 euros. I thought it was a fair deal. I can't imagine your Contax is all that much heavier than my Isolette. So, yeah, I'd say he skrood ya.
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Old 11-23-2004   #20
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OK - i got back 50$ refund as to the too-high shipping and the failing shutter which works now, so the deal is settled and everybody's happy.
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Old 11-23-2004   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Sweeney
I just sent the 50mm lens up to Frank, weighed in at 12oz. When I was more active with EBay, ~18 months ago, I sent a lot of items to Canada via insured Air Mail. I was shocked to learn that I could not send it "insured Air Mail" but had to send it "Global Express". The difference in price was $15! So if you want to mail from the US to Canada and insure the item, NOW the price is the same as sending ANYWHERE in the world! Drop the insurance, and it is a little more than sending within the US. Does not make any sense; but dem's the rules!

When did they change the rules?
Somehow you were given erroneous information. At 12 ounces the package probably qualified for Airmail letter rate, for which there is no insurance available (but it can be sent registered). If you had sent it Air Parcel then insurance is available. However, it pays to check the rates: some times Air Parcel with the additional insurance comes close to Global Express which includes the first $100.00 of insurance. The differences in price vary from country to country.

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Old 11-23-2004   #22
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Air Parcel Post was almost the same as Global Express. BUT the item did not weigh Enough to qualify; 16oz is the minimum weight. Even so, it was $0.50 cheaper. I swear that I used to be able to insure items to Canada for not much more than the US about 2 years ago. It means that you pay almost $15 extra to insure any light package to Canada no matter what its value is.
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Old 11-23-2004   #23
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I don'y understand the high price to ship to Canada, either. You may have to educate your Postal clerk (I did) but you can send a package that weighs less than 16 ounces by Air Parcel -- you'll just have to pay the 16 ounce rate is all, regardless of whether it iweighs 1 ounce or 16.

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Old 11-24-2004   #24
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Or you can stuff some large screws or stones next to that lens.
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Old 11-24-2004   #25
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FYI, as an addition to the thread.
Yesteday (Nov. 24) I got the Leica M3 from Brian, who sent it on 18th, if I'm not mistaken, by Global Express.
This was fast as lightning! I've never gotten anything from the USA so fast... And they even delivered the package in the afternoon (not a usual thing here, the "regular" postal deliveries go on in the morning round only). The postman said it was because it was sent express...
I don't know whether it was much more expensive than the usual postage, but as a buyer (on the receiving end), I can only sing praises for this postal service....
Also, from my previous regular "air mail" USPS experience, the cost (postage) by regular USPS air mail to Croatia would have been approximately the same. I'm used to postage for packages from the USA being in $15 - $25 range (usually not very heavy stuff). To be honest, I was expecting this postage to be at least $35, if not more... So, all in all, this was a very nice surprise. Not very expensive, and a first rate service.

Read about the camera in another thread

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