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Topic: non book overseas shipping questions

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Subject: non book overseas shipping questions
Date Posted: 4/23/2013 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I know this isn't a book shipping question but I thought someone might have some advice or experience they'd like to share.  I am shipping a box to Norway (no books) with some various items; little things they can't get there, or can get there but are very expensive, like socks, floss, and chapstick, etc, just a box with various goodies, nothing perishable (well I suppose at some point the sour patch kids wont be good anymore), and it's probably $100 worth.  I've never shipped a box overseas, any idea which shipping would be the cheapest (usps, fedex, ups) and any advice for packaging (it's a plain brown box)?  TIA

mistie -
Date Posted: 4/23/2013 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,021
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You can get quotes online for all three (with box measurements and weight). I would expect USPS to be the cheapest by quite a bit.(as long as you'rr not pciking an express service).  I would suggest doing this before heading to the PO, as international shipping costs can be a bit of a shock.

You will need to fill out a customs form to be attached to the box.

As for packing - make sure everything is well paded and protected, as with domestic parcels, they can get rough handling.

Date Posted: 4/23/2013 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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You can check rates at shipgooder.com but for international, use USPS even if its more expensive up front, because the other guys hit the recipient up for all sorts of fees. Customs clearance fees for example. You can fill out the customs form online and save you and the post office lots of time
Date Posted: 4/23/2013 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Good information, thank you. I hadn't even considered fees on the other end. Goodness! Is this something all shipping agents do? It appears as though USPS will be the cheapest but will my recipient have today fees on their end? I couldn't find anything that addressed that issue on the USPS site.
mistie -
Date Posted: 4/23/2013 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,021
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The USPS customs form has a box to check what the item is being sent as - you need to select the "gift" option, and for the items you describe,this would avoid the recipient getting hit with customs etc.

Just FYI, I sent my husband a parcel via an express FEDEx service to Canada - I described the item as clothing on the customs form (which it was) and he received a bill for approximately $30 (I think the value I listed was $200-$300). I then realised it should have been " used clothing" and no  tax would have been charged @@.

Date Posted: 4/24/2013 6:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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today = to pay, geez iPad autocorrect typo, sorry about that. Thank you for the information.
Date Posted: 4/24/2013 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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select the gift option if it is really a gift, otherwise select the true option.

As far as I know if you use USPS they do not get hit with the other fees on the other end, except for sometimes a customs fee- which is different than the customs clearance fee the other guys charge. 

Every country has their own rules and regulations about what can be imported into the country and the quantities allowed. It is up to the sender to check before shipment.

If you want to see some crazy import rules-check out Italy's, some of the things are "no sewn items of any kind" and "toys not made wholly of wood"

Date Posted: 4/24/2013 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I've mailed a couple packges to the UK via USPS.  You will need t use a customs form and accurate declaration, and mark it 'gift' if applicable.  Postage is pricy but no fees for the receiver.

ETA - I used Flat Rate Priority Mail box b/c it was something DD needed ASAP.  The Priority rate only applies while in US hands.  Otherwise you might consider a new shipping container, it's possible a re-used/recycled packaging could cause a customs problem with the orgional contents?



Last Edited on: 4/24/13 2:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
mistie -
Date Posted: 4/24/2013 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,021
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"select the gift option if it is really a gift, otherwise select the true option."

The above quote is obviously correct. I had just assumed the OP was sending a care package to a friend overseas, on re-reading, I may have mis-interpreted the original information. To clarify, I was not suggetsing marking gift, unless it was indeed correct.



Last Edited on: 4/24/13 3:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/24/2013 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Thank you all.  Yes, these are all gifts, so I'm good there.  :)

Date Posted: 4/30/2013 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I was reading up on the rules for mailing things to Norway and it says that "cosmetics" are not allowed.  I am sending a sealed package of 3 chapsticks, just the tube kind one would keep in their purse.  Do you think that is considered a cosmetic? I would hate for that one $4 item to cause the whole box to be a problem, should I just leave it out, to be safe?  Any opinions or thoughts?