The Best Way to Ship and Post Overseas.

  1. Ok, I saw this being discussed on a thread and I thought I should help clarify some thing. I didn't know where to put it so I would be grateful if Moderator could moe it where they deem appropriate.

    I used to live in the US and now I live in the UK. I am very much used to shiping items around the world, as my family live scattered around the globe (Brussles, Monaco, Saudi Arabia, US and Dubai).

    I'm not being a know it all, I work in a design studio that produces items abroad and exports them to countries. I am a concept designer and accountant (yes two jobs one salery grr) there, but I know how it works.

    These are the most realible companies that are preffered for proffesionall use. THATS why their listed. Companies like the Arcadia Group (my worko placo) chose these companies to ship their items as they have a guarantee to live up and always provide insurance, tracking and you do not have to deal with machines but people.


    USPS- The most reliable and efficient way to ship from the US to
    anywhere in the world is USPS. They are much cheaper than FedEx or UPS, and fully insure really good value.

    eg. Fellow forum member chigirl is sending me a Luella Stevie- this is a heavy bag! Shipping cost $55 including insurance AND I can track it so I know exactly where it is. They delivery to my door and even though it takes a little longer than UPS for example (it's been 5 days incl the weekend, i'm expecting it tomorrow).

    UPS- This is a reliable company with more guarantee policies than USPS. They provide an estimate delivery time (unlike USPS, who will tell you an approx delivery date). They provide tracking numbers like above aswell. They are more expensive than USPS.

    FedEx- Possibly the most reliable of the lot, and the most expensive. The provide door to door service upon request. Very fast shipment, item can be recieved in 1 or 2 days.

    FROM EUROPE to the USA

    If you are in the UK, you are lucky. We have The good ol' Royal Mail!
    Including insurance and tracking for great prices and great delivery time.

    DHL/ DHL Global Mail- Only to use if shipping an item from a European country to another of to the USA. No point to use this company if in the UK as Royal mail is cheaper and as efficient.
    DHL is very reliable and do their job so fast AND don't ever break anything. I suggest trusting them.

    Please feel free to contact me for tips on shipping to and fro. I know my stuff, honestly (now i've said that watch how I have a problem with one of my shipment- doesn't it always work out that way?) LOL!

    Hope it helps.
  2. From France to the US (and RoW)

    La Poste is fairly reliable.

    If you're in a hurry, Chronopost is an excellent, online-trackable service that costs less than UPS or other carriers. Insurance is available, etc.

    To France from USA

    USPS is fairly reliable but there tends to be a 1% chance of breakage if you're sending something fragile. Sometimes, the packages will be opened by customs. Packing very securely (don't skimp on bubble wrap and packing peanuts) is a MUST because the French side is reasonably honest but CARELESS in handling.

    Generally speaking, transit is between estimated time and 2 months after estimated time if there is a large glut of transit (Chrismas time, I'm looking at you) going through customs.

    To France from UK

    Royal Mail signed-for is the ONLY way to go. Too much thieving.
  3. Thanks for the additon Perja!
  4. I'm really glad I found this thread. I have had SO many problems with overseas shipping for my ebay business. There is little recourse when overseas buyers claim to have not received packages. I generally use USPS, which is MUCH cheaper then other methods, but the buyers still complain about high shipping prices, and often claim that they are able to pay much less with other sellers.

    My question is this. Would you all recommend that I continue as I have been, with relatively high shipping prices and stringent standards about overseas buyers? How do I do this without alienating the MANY trustworthy overseas buyers that are out there?

    Sometimes I am very tempted to end overseas sales altogether. I have some TERRIBLE experiences. One of these (from Taiwan) claimed not to have received a $600 Chanel bag and filed a complaint, and then he/she was subsequently kicked off both ebay and paypal for unethical practices. Unfortunately, even though it was clear to me that this buyer was simply a scam artist, paypal forced me to issue the refund...VERY frustrating!

    Anyway, sorry for the vent, but thanks for a great forum. I am thrilled to have discovered this site!

  5. Great thread :biggrin:
  6. Lavoieb- Well firstly ALWAYS INSURE! It does not matter how trustworthy the company are, poo happens. Insure.

    Second- you can offer two options for your customers. One to ship UPS/FedEx or another more expensive service that will guarantee a door to door delivery, fats shhipment and accurate tracking.
    Also offer them a cheaper and slower method that still offers insurace and tracking, but not insurance for the whole item or not accurate tracking.

    I also have another suggestion, if you do ship abroad alot (one package every other day, or 3 a week) then you can start a accound with a shipping company. This means you can pay them once a month at once, and they may negotiate ower fees with you. They will also offer to pick the item up from yor door and provide you with materials such as lables, boxes and envelopes. I use UPS service at work for this and we ship items out every other day and its 24hrs delivery to Europe from the UK and 48 hours delivery to the USA.

    If you have any more questions feel free to PM me.
  7. I'd like to add, that if you use ANY courier service, chances are, you WILL get changed Customs/import duty. As I understand it, the percentage of packages checked going via courier, is way higher than regular mail. I've been told the reason for this, is if someone wants to pay for a courier, chances are, the contents will have value. You will also get charged your courier's "admin fee".

    Now, this isn't to say that by using Royal Mail, or from the US, USPS, you won't get charged customs, but you will NEVER get charged any "admin fee". And those admin fees aren't cheap. For example, I once purchased an item, with a retail value of $40. Because it was sent via courier, it was stopped at customs, so I paid the duty, and the postage, but also had to pay an £18 admin charge! Another thing to consider. On that occasion, I'd paid extra postage for a speedy service, but because the package was held in customs, it took a week to arrive anyway!

    From the US, I always request USPS global service, and pay for the extra insurance. That way I get a tracking number, and insurance to cover any lose/damage.

    Good luck!

  8. Great thread with useful information. I rarely ship overseas, so it's nice to have some clarification on what works. Thanks!
  9. Being located in the Netherlands most of my ebay sales are overseas transactions. I leave the shipping choice up to the buyer:

    -Standard Airmail or Global Priority –> responsibility of the buyer if item is lost/broken
    -Global Priority with registered mail or insurance/declared value for high ticket items.

    From US to Europe: I usually chose Global Priority or Parcel Post airmail for small items.

    I do appreciate it when US sellers are flexible in the shipping options they offer. For relatively inexpensive items it is often not worth it to pay high Global Express rates and insured items do tend to be singled-out for the extra customs duties charges. I think it’s up to the buyer to choose how much they are willing to pay/risk. Fortunately in the 6 years I have bought & sold online I’ve had very few shipping problems :smile:
  10. Thanks for this thread. How about shipping from the U.S to Canada?
  11. i live in the us and always use global priority mail to ship to any other country. it's a flat rate for up to 4 pounds, so i don't have to deal with any hassle. and that way if any annoying ebay buyers think i'm ripping them off, they can go to and see for themselves.
  12. thanks for all the help! and DHL from europe is AWESOME. I get packages in TWO DAYS! =D
  13. Hi Ladies,
    I am SO glad that I found this thread. I live in the US and purchased a bag overseas recently. She shipped the item on April 17 and told me this:
    If you are an international customer, your item has been posted via Signed For Airmail services and will be with you over the course of the next 7 to 14 days.
    She also said something about USPS taking over the package when it gets here.
    Can someone PLEASE tell me when I should be expecting it? or maybe what Signed For Airmail is?
  14. I know that this may take longer and cost more, but just to be safe, I usually send my parents and friends in Asia pacakages USPS registered mail. They always get their packages and I've never had a problem.
  15. What a great thread!