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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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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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…….

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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).

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daintydimsum

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.

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: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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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
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Ink Stained Wretch

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?

 

This is slightly off topic, but it's still about exorbitant/ridiculous shipping rates, and this is a story about intra-U.S.A. shipping rates.

 

About a year ago, I think it was, I had ordered some bottles from the late, lamented Sunburst Bottle Company. I'd wanted to order some extra polycone caps for the bottles, but they were out of them just then. I was told to check back in a week or so. I did that and they said that I should check back on April 1, or so. I did.

 

What I found was that Sunburst Bottle Company had been taken over by another company and that company said they did have the caps in stock. I had been quoted a price of under $3 for all of the caps. And I'd pay under a dollar for shipping via USPS. But this new company insisted that they did not ship USPS but were exclusively FedEx shippers on all items. So the shipping would come to over $15. Wow!

 

Of course I never agreed to this and never got the polycone caps :angry: .

On a sacred quest for the perfect blue ink mixture!

ink stained wretch filling inkwell

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Try living in Oz! Everything is exorbitant! Actually Asia and UK to Oz isn't too bad but since the USPS price hikes 18-14 months ago, getting anything form the US is not worth it. For the most part it costs US$40 dollar to get anything here (with tracking).

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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.

It's a sales tax - everything sold in the UK (pretty much) is subject to VAT, stuff being imported is just as liable for taxes, it's just "luck" that ebay sales saw people avoiding the tax for so long!

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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.

Maybe that is the case, but everyone knows very well that S&H is added into the item price.

 

Sellers aren't suddenly paying S&H to everywhere in the world out of the goodness of their hearts.

 

I was just trying to point out that as a solution, it's not always perfect. Then again, in the UK, not much is.

 

It would be wonderful if it was already paid, and there are some listings that offer 'no additional fees'. However, when I work out what the amounts should be they are never correct.

Edited by Chrissy
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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!

HMRC aren't the rabid dogs, it's the courier services and Royal Fail who will march the package up to customs and then charge YOU handsomely for the "service".

 

The bit that really jars me off about the whole customs thing is that £17.99 you're home safe. £18.01 and you're paying VAT and duty where applicable on the declared value AND the cost of postage.

Born British, English by the Grace of God.

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