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Exorbitant Shipping?

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#1 Mr Tutt

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 18:15

This is a question, not a conclusion, so I am looking for opinion. Recently I have been looking at a lot of Conway Stewart pens on ebay. Most of them come from British sellers, and I would say that 75 percent of them carry what I consider exorbitant shipping costs. Fifteen to 20 dollars US seems to be near average. Every now and then, I see a British seller set a shipping price in the $7 to $10 range. Now that sounds reasonable. Are the sellers jacking up the cost without good reason? 

 

I see some of that in the US with many sellers wanting to ship everything at expedited rates rather than standard USPS rates. Granted some folks may be in a hurry, but high shipping charges often turn me off even bidding on some pens. What say you all?



#2 Koyote

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 18:22

$15-$20 from the UK to the US does not seem excessive to me. As I understand it, Conway Stewart pens come in large boxes and these will cost more to ship. Additionally, shipping overseas requires more paperwork and hence sellers' time.

 

Edit: are you talking about used pens, which will likely be shipped in smaller containers? Well, then maybe $20 is on the high side. Would depend on the type of shipping and the quality of the packaging.


Edited by Koyote, 13 April 2014 - 18:23.


#3 Uncle Red

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 18:42

And insurance. 



#4 jar

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 18:45

I would not ship anything including a box of cartridges without tracking. 


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#5 rochester21

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 18:54

So 20 bucks is an exorbitant sum- really ??!

See how much i have to pay for shipping a 35 dollar pen from US to Romania:

 

ejgd9u.jpg


Edited by rochester21, 13 April 2014 - 19:06.


#6 ac12

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 19:18

I also recognized the high UK to US shipping, so when I bid, I factor that in to how high I can afford to bid.

The problem is we are so used to domestic shipping that we forget the cost of international shipping.

 

The thing about USPS Priority Mail, is that it is easy.  If it fits in the box, it ships for the price of that box.  No hassles with weighing the box to figure out the postage.  So both buyer and seller knows how much the shipping will be.  The other thing is that Priority Mail box, provides protection that a padded envelope does not.  However, you can ask the seller to ship different.  I did that a few times, to try to get the shipping cost down.

 

If you want an item, you have to go where it is.

I've had to buy certain photo stuff from sellers in Europe, because that brand is VERY hard to find in the US.


Edited by ac12, 13 April 2014 - 19:21.


#7 Alex2014

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 19:38

20 usd was the smallest amount that I paid for a FP delivered from USA in Europe. Through UPS (ensured) the fee may be over 100 dollars.



#8 daintydimsum

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 19:44

International shipping in the UK is not cheap. Neither is international shipping from the US. So I'm not particularly surprised at $15-20, especially if insurance is involved. Shipping a light pen (in pawlonia box) from the UK to the US cost me about £13 with tracking. So... don't you think $15-20 sounds reasonable? :)



#9 Anoia

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 19:45

This is a question, not a conclusion, so I am looking for opinion. Recently I have been looking at a lot of Conway Stewart pens on ebay. Most of them come from British sellers, and I would say that 75 percent of them carry what I consider exorbitant shipping costs. Fifteen to 20 dollars US seems to be near average. Every now and then, I see a British seller set a shipping price in the $7 to $10 range. Now that sounds reasonable. Are the sellers jacking up the cost without good reason? 

I rarely pay less for international shipping, especially from US to Europe it seems to be a standard amount.



#10 Shaughn

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 19:55

Shipment of a parcel less than 2kg from the Netherlands to the USA : €18,-- postage. Small objects, fitting in a standard envelope, will cost considerbly less.

 

This seller (no affiliation) asks for postage €360 from Italy to the netherlands:

http://www.ebay.nl/i...3a#ht_44wt_1258 That is exorbitant.



#11 Paul80

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 21:15

It works both ways as well, I see a lot of American sellers asking $35 to $45 to post a pen to the uk. Don't forget that if buying on EvilBay to get sellers protection you have to use a door to door fully online trackable service and that is getting more and more expensive.

Sometimes it's not the seller asking a too high price, sometimes it's the Postal Service.

But yes some sellers do go that extra yard in their charges.

Also don't forget that both eBay and PayPal take a cut from the fee charged for posting to the seller does not get the full amount so they might have upped their fees to compensate for those robbing soles running eBay/PayPal.

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#12 peecee57

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 21:34

Expect a further increase again as Postal charges went up in the UK on March 31st



#13 Cryptos

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 21:43

I have paid considerably less to get something from the US to NZ - from Amazon, a Leatherman multitool (so not very light) for $7 shipping! And I had an item sent as a smallish package from Italy that cost 9 Euros shipping.

 

However, what irks me on Ebay is their proprietal shipping program. This inflates all the shipping charges irrespective of the true cost of shipping and is seen, by me at least, as a form of profit-creaming by Ebay itself and not the the individual traders. Personally I think that traders on the 'Bay should not specifiy shipping on auction items because as soon as hte auction starts the shipping cost is locked in. Give the buyer the opportunity for communication regarding shipping.

 

Amazon's shipping policy is unfathomable, and it often pays to wait for the right promotion.


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#14 gmax

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 21:51

Two weeks ago I had to spring $46.05 for postage of a single pen from the USA to Ireland via USPS. I'm still waiting.

 

So yes, transatlantic shipping is outrageously expensive, and this will be my last foray across the pond for a long time.



#15 macball

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 22:03

The eBay example given is an extreme case because of the use of the eBay Global Shipping Program. As Pitney Bowes saw their business in metered mail disappear to email they engaged in a new business enterprise with eBay. Sellers often get enrolled without knowing much about it. It seems like value especially when the seller isn't paying for it. The idea is that Pitney Bowes collects tax and duty for the buyer at the point of sale and collects a fee for this "improved service" that expedites the item through customs. It involves sending the package to a clearing house in the south east US before being relayed for shipping through a second party.  In Canada-US transactions this has been problematic because there is no "problem" with USPS - Canada Post that needs to be fixed by Pitney Bowes in the first place. There are no delays in customs (in the order of hours to clear) and USPS - Canada Post has a shared tracking system whereby the seller can see the entire item movements on the USPS website and the buyer can see the same info on the Canada Post website. Furthermore, there are for all practical purposes no taxes or duty that needs to be collected. USPS shipped items worth $100 or more come right to my door with no taxes, duties, fees or anything else. The eBay GPS system SLOWS the item delivery because it is shipped back and forth across the US rather than directly to me. That is days worth of extra shipping to save an hour in customs. It is also VERY expensive because it involves collecting non-existing taxes and duties and charges to collect them.

 

I do not purchase items listed with GPS services. If I really want the item I ask the seller to ship by USPS with tracking. If the seller doesn't want to do that then I pass on the item.

 

Other courier services such as UPS do this as well and I never accept packages from them. I predicted UPS would go out of business and the eBay GPS system would be shut down within months because they could not compete with USPS but that has not happened yet. I do not work for USPS, Canada Post, or the US or Canada Customs Service. All I can say is that they provide the fastest, safest, and most reasonable shipping.



#16 Inkysloth

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 22:25

If you think someone' shipping fees are over the top, you can check the costs of shipping from the UK to anywhere here: http://www.royalmail.com/price-finder

Ebay taking a 10% cut on postage charges *on top* of their listing & final sale fee takes the mickey IMO, and it annoys me that as a seller I either have to swallow that cost or charge an inflated postage charge to make up the difference.

#17 KBeezie

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 23:25

Domestically 6-10 is average from US to US for priority shipping. From China to US typically free or less than 5 USD. But from Japan to US almost always 15 to 25 (depending on first class of EMS/Priority). 

 

Depending on from where to where, 20 USD may not be as high as you think. Though Ebay does charge a final value fee on the shipping cost as well, probably to try to encourage lower shipping cost (as opposed to starting listings low and having something like 30$ shipping). 

 

The () I see often on Amazon though, like a bottle of ink from Japan for around $1 but has $35 shipping just so they can show up on the first page of a list sorted by price. (Saw some Pens in India do the same thing on ebay, $1 for pen buy-it-now, $15 for shipping).

 

Simply put I factor the shipping as the total cost of the item, so I look at that total and decide if it's still worth it from there. 


Edited by KBeezie, 13 April 2014 - 23:26.


#18 proton007

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 07:53

TBH I've found shipping *from* the US ridiculously expensive for the time it takes. Not to mention the amount of shipping options they have, it's all very confusing (First Class with signature is cheaper than Priority without. In reality they take the same amount of time).

 

Shipping from Germany, Spain (Europe in general) has been a breeze. Same for UK. Delivery times are consistent to about 1.5 weeks.

 

The best has been Japan, $12-15 EMS with a 3-4 day delivery.


Edited by proton007, 14 April 2014 - 07:55.

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#19 KBeezie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:24

TBH I've found shipping *from* the US ridiculously expensive for the time it takes. Not to mention the amount of shipping options they have, it's all very confusing (First Class with signature is cheaper than Priority without. In reality they take the same amount of time).

 

Shipping from Germany, Spain (Europe in general) has been a breeze. Same for UK. Delivery times are consistent to about 1.5 weeks.

 

The best has been Japan, $12-15 EMS with a 3-4 day delivery.

 

Well 'first class' is basically the lowest class mail you can send other than like media mail for specific media. The Signature confirmation is just a delivery confirmation so doesn't affect the speed of delivery. With USPS (not counting UPS/Fedex, basically) you got (pricing being more or less like a single pen)

 

First Class (guess... 'economy' shipping etc) , on average domestically it's around 2-3$ 

Priority Mail, little faster than First Class, and includes tracking (and domestically includes I think $50 insurance) average starting at around 5.80 to 10 dollars

Express Mail the more expensive option aside from Express Overnight. easily 15-25 domestically

 

Those are the 3 base, the rest are just add-on features, which some of them already include, and so internationally won't be any less than those domestic average prices. 

 

For Japan to US for me, it's been $15 average for 'economy' shipping and $25 for EMS. 

 

Point being, some of the exorbitant prices aren't the seller's markups, when in doubt calculate it yourself at the respective website, when I did the same over at Japan Post's website, the $25 I spent for EMS was only about a dollar or so over the actual shipping cost for my weight guestimate. 


Edited by KBeezie, 14 April 2014 - 08:26.


#20 Bananabender

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:32

Postal service with tracking to Australia from Germany US$8-12. From Japan US$10-15. Servicebfrom both countries pretty good.
Quoted from US ,US$35-49 . All purchases from o'seas under $1000 are tax free .

#21 Sridhar

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:32

Irrespective of flea bay taking a 10% cut on postage costs, I think shipping from UK is about 50% more expensive than shipping from the US in the most basic form. The reason I say this that it takes 10 pounds ($15.4) to ship a small packet by Royal Post (International Signed for) from UK to India and it takes $10 to $11 by USPS (First Class with tracking) from US to India.

 

In actual terms the difference could range from $4 to $5 on a small packet (say a vintage pen packed in a pen tube). Some sellers from the US insist on Priority Mail which jacks up the cost two to three times.



#22 Houston

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:34

Agree with all the folks saying that, to someone who lives in the UK, this doesn't seem the least bit exorbitant.  We pay a lot more for lots of things, over here.  And Her Majesty's customs agents are rabid, to boot!



#23 KBeezie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:36

Irrespective of flea bay taking a 10% cut on postage costs, I think shipping from UK is about 50% more expensive than shipping from the US in the most basic form. The reason I say this that it takes 10 pounds ($15.4) to ship a small packet by Royal Post (International Signed for) from UK to India and it takes $10 to $11 by USPS (First Class with tracking) from US to India.

 

In actual terms the difference could range from $4 to $5 on a small packet (say a vintage pen packed in a pen tube). Some sellers from the US insist on Priority Mail which jacks up the cost two to three times.

 

I think because priority mail includes tracking (signature confirmation isn't the same thing, though for the purpose of wether or not it's been received it suffices), and includes some amount of shipping (otherwise I think it's like $1 per $100 coverage, assuming the destination country can insure it). 

 

Also with US Paypal accounts, especially with collectibles, a lot of times the faster the package has been confirmed (PP/Ebay insists on things like Priority so it can automatically track the package), the sooner the seller may have the funds released to them. 



#24 KBeezie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:37

Agree with all the folks saying that, to someone who lives in the UK, this doesn't seem the least bit exorbitant.  We pay a lot more for lots of things, over here.  And Her Majesty's customs agents are rabid, to boot!

 

:P I was going to say, isn't Customs worse than the shipping? Here in the US if the item is under 2,000 USD in value you usually don't have to worry bout customs duty provided the item isn't on a restricted list (if it's under 200 value most of the time it's simply passed thru customs), but doesn't the UK charge a hefty duty fee on even a $10 item? 



#25 Cryptos

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:38

I've had stuff sent by family from the UK to NZ and it has come by ship! On the other hand I have had a book order from the UK that arrived stamped Royal Mail two days after I ordered!

 

I've given up trying to understand any of it and simply look at the prices in order to make a decision.


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#26 Sridhar

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:41

 

 

Also with US Paypal accounts, especially with collectibles, a lot of times the faster the package has been confirmed (PP/Ebay insists on things like Priority so it can automatically track the package), the sooner the seller may have the funds released to them. 

 

Agreed. You may have a point there…….



#27 KBeezie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:45

 

Agreed. You may have a point there…….

 

Though they can get the funds released even faster than just the confirmation with a positive feedback, but not every buyer (or seller alike) bothers to leave a feedback for a while. Since I rarely sell on ebay, every single item I sell has funds held (and can be held up to 20 days if no feedback is provided or no tracking is provided). But I didn't think Priority mail would be 3x higher than first class, usually it's a matter of about $4 or so more, and eBay been trying to encourage sellers to offer free shipping. 

 

Oh also I noticed that when I do list an item to sell on eBay I do not pick a specific shipping option for each country, there's actually an option where it can calculate the price automatically for the buyer based on their country, and the seller basically mails the package to an eBay shipping center where it is re-shipped off to the destination, I guess to make it easier on the seller to ship internationally. 

 

So a bulk of the cost may actually be consumed by eBay as they stand to make a profit from that on top of the shipping fees (yes they charge you a final fee based on how much you charged for shipping) and item fees they already charge the seller, as well as the paypal fees they charge on top of that (even though you already paid a final value fee). 



#28 daintydimsum

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:52

TBH I've found shipping *from* the US ridiculously expensive for the time it takes. Not to mention the amount of shipping options they have, it's all very confusing (First Class with signature is cheaper than Priority without. In reality they take the same amount of time).

 

Shipping from Germany, Spain (Europe in general) has been a breeze. Same for UK. Delivery times are consistent to about 1.5 weeks.

 

The best has been Japan, $12-15 EMS with a 3-4 day delivery.

 

Actually this is variable, as international mail often is. I've had a First Class parcel take one calendar week to hop over from the East Coast to London. On the other hand, I've had a priority mail package take nearly 4 weeks. Both escaped customs so I don't know what exactly it is. But I frankly give up on trying to understand it. To me it is like the weather -- it might say it'll rain but it may not, yet if it says it won't, it does.



#29 Chrissy

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 09:07

 

:P I was going to say, isn't Customs worse than the shipping? Here in the US if the item is under 2,000 USD in value you usually don't have to worry bout customs duty provided the item isn't on a restricted list (if it's under 200 value most of the time it's simply passed thru customs), but doesn't the UK charge a hefty duty fee on even a $10 item? 

Yes they do but it's more like $20.

 

It has become much more of a problem since ebay decided that it would be better for all, if sellers put their S&H or P&P in the item price and then selected free S&H or P&P. They give sellers higher monthly discounts to do it that way.

 

The problem arises because UK customs only ask specifically for the Item value. They add on shipping costs themselves. So if a seller declares an item as the ebay price that includes S&H or P&P, UK Customs add on whatever the shipping cost was again, and charge for that amount. It's why I don't buy anything from the US anymore.

 

International ebay sellers need to be aware that the value of the item on a Customs form is just for the item. Also, it can even be the cost price the seller paid for it.


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#30 KBeezie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 09:11

Yes they do but it's more like $20.

 

It has become much more of a problem since ebay decided that it would be better for all, if sellers put their S&H or P&P in the item price and then selected free S&H or P&P. They give sellers higher monthly discounts to do it that way.

 

The problem arises because UK customs only ask specifically for the Item value. They add on shipping costs themselves. So if a seller declares an item as the ebay price that includes S&H or P&P, UK Customs add on whatever the shipping cost was again, and charge for that amount. It's why I don't buy anything from the US anymore.

 

International ebay sellers need to be aware that the value of the item on a Customs form is just for the item. Also, it can even be the cost price the seller paid for it.

 

Though in ebay's eyes the final value price is the item's price, since shipping is supposed to be 'free' anyways, and I don't think the automated slip is going to print any differently. (I wonder what % of ebay buyers specifically search for only listings with 'free shipping'). 

 

Personally the horror stories I hear about UK inbound seems to be something that would infuriate me because when I buy something, I expect it to already be paid, not some fun bonus fee before I can even get it. 


Edited by KBeezie, 14 April 2014 - 09:13.






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