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Thread: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

  1. #1

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    International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    I have sold a few items to buyers outside of the US on eBay with their international shipping program. I have no idea what the buyers paid for shipping but it does not seem to have been unreasonable as I had no complaints. Now when I try to arrange for shipping directly for a buyer on this forum from the UK I am astounded at the price quoted. Does anyone have a workaround for this? It is a severe restriction of trade, limiting cost-effective shipment to only the most expensive items.

  2. #2

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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    Have you tried First Class International USPS? There is a weight and size limit on that but it's the cheapest option I know. It is what it is, prices have been moving steadily upward on International shipping since well forever..

  3. #3
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    What is the weight and size of the package?
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: jonshiu.zenfolio.com

  4. #4

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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    The box is 12X6X14 inches and 6 lbs. USPS is $120 with the maximum insurance of $600. I would like to insure for $1,000. Tracking is provided but no signature upon delivery confirmation. This is not acceptable to the buyer.

    FEDEX, UPS and DHL are all nearly $300 with the proper insurance.

  5. #5

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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    I asked my nearby PacMail operator, a DHL shipper, about it. I could have a similar box shipped to me from a Japanese dealer by DHL, fully insured, tracked and requiring my signature for about $100. He said that there are special corporate accounts that get much lower rates.

    I ordered a print washer from UK and the DHL shipping the dealer added was quite reasonable. It was defective and the dealer refunded my payment and shipping and sent DHL to pick it up at my house. I know that if I tried to ship it DHL to UK it would cost much more than $300.

  6. #6
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Chaves View Post
    The box is 12X6X14 inches and 6 lbs. USPS is $120 with the maximum insurance of $600. I would like to insure for $1,000. Tracking is provided but no signature upon delivery confirmation. This is not acceptable to the buyer.

    FEDEX, UPS and DHL are all nearly $300 with the proper insurance.
    Okay, I looked it up. Cheapest would be UPS Expedited 57.87 plus 13.50 for Shipcover insurance from a site called Pirateship.com. Which by the way has deep discounts on domestic UPS and USPS also.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I use this pirateship service all the time and there is even a real cheap service called simple export rate that's cheaper than first class international for packages under 4 lbs.
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: jonshiu.zenfolio.com

  7. #7
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    Pirate Ship is great, it's allowed me to ship to countries that USPS does not service during the past year's drudgery. Their shipping partners tend to be commercial air freight to ferry things, and so far, it's been a tremendous way to keep customers satisfied not having to wait until USPS gets its head out of its bum

    I have negotiated rates with UPS, which can save a ton on int'l shipping, but DHL just doubled their rates, essentially, so I no longer offer them.

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    Insurance is baloney
    Tin Can

  9. #9

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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Insurance is baloney
    So when I purchased a not cheap Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Symmar XL f/5.6 150mm lens from a vendor in Germany in December, and had it shipped to me in New York, I shouldn't have bothered to insure it. Okey doke

    Just checked what it cost to ship. The lens weighs 740g/26oz and was extremely well packed in its original box inside another box. It wasn't a light package. For standard shipping with insurance, DHL wanted US$89. Priority shipping, which the vendor and I opted for after he spoke with DHL, was $107. Given that DHL was hired by the German vendor, I imagine that that amount included German VAT, which I believe is 19%.
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  10. #10

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    Re: International Shipping Costs Seeem Outrageous, USPS, UPS, FEDEX, DHL?

    Never EVER use UPS for shipments to Canada (or probably anywhere else in the world). UPS charges outrageous brokerage fees which are never clearly defined in advance. The "brokerage" fee is the fee that they charge to do the customs paperwork. Your item(s) will be held hostage until the fee is paid. The problem with UPS is that the fee is some percentage of the sale amount, and is not included in the original shipping cost. You only find out the bad news when your item is waiting for delivery.

    Fedex also charges a brokerage fee, but it's called something different. Fedex uses a flat rate of about $10, so be prepared to cover that. They used to drop that fee if the item was shipped expedited overnight air, but I don't know if that's still the case.

    USPS is the best option for shipping to Canada. The US and Canadian governments have bilateral agreements for cross border postal shipments, and there is no brokerage fee. You still have to pay Canadian taxes and duty where applicable, but that's true for any shipment through any carrier.

    I don't have any direct experience with DHL.

    With the eBay international shipping program, the full cost of shipping is shown on the eBay posting. The costs are still enormous, but at least you know what they're going to be before you bid. People are less likely to complain, since they've already been fully informed about the cost beforehand. I'm sure that's why eBay introduced that system, since there were too many unknowns about international shipping cost before they introduced that system.

    Here is the breakdown of international shipping cost
    1) Shipment cost through carrier
    2) Brokerage fee. Charged by carrier or brokerage company to import goods into the destination country. Customs brokers will handle the importation paperwork and may also handle the paperwork for the taxes and duty
    3) Taxes. Tax to be paid on goods being imported into the destination country
    4) Duty. Depending on the type of goods being imported, there may be a duty applied to those goods.

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