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International shipping

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dpmasunder, Sep 2, 2005.


  1. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    I'm curious about which companies builders are using to ship their instruments to international customers.
    Does anyone have a particular carrier they favor for price and/or speed and care? Are there any to avoid?

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    UPS and Fedex are speedy. But they are extremely expensive. For budget Int'l shipping, no one beats the USPS. It'll take a long time to get there, but cost more than half less.
     
  3. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    Unfortunately my postal service, Australia Post, won't touch a parcel over 105cm (41") long. Bastards :lol:
     
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Monday I used USPS air parcel post to ship to sweden. $70 UPS would have been $260 I guess you will have to remove the neck from the body......t
     
  5. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    I'm also in Oz and I import/export a lot. These are my suggestions for importing a bass.

    - Neckthrough or in a full case: Fedex, then UPS/DHL. I've had speakers sent via Bax before (a while back) and they were slower, but cheaper.
    - Bolt on: get the seller to remove the neck and USPS it. With USPS, Global Priority or EMS are a lot faster and seem to avoid the Customs bottlenecks at this end and aren't that much more expensive. GP and EMS from the US are about 5-7 working days. Std airmail can be as fast but usually isn't. I've got a bass in transit at the moment that was sent on 12 August and isn't here yet and I'm not unduly concerned at the moment.

    From some other countries, eg Japan, EMS are fastest and cheapest and will take a full size bass in a std case no worries unless it's something oversize like an Explorer bass. Last one from Japan via EMS was sent Friday, and I was playing it Tuesday.

    Don't be too creative on the Customs declaration form as they will ask for proof of purchase, eg receipt from store or printout of ebay winning page. Depending on who you get and on what day, they can be very helpful or slow, beligerent and difficult especially if you make more work for them by not having the correct paperwork to hand. If it's a store sending it, have the receipt in an external plastic pocket; sometimes they won't allow you to open the box to get one that's inside which may mean a return trip.

    Items through the mail with a declared value (price + shipping) >$A1000 need to be 'cleared' through Customs so you need to either fax off all the details and CC info to them, or best, go down there and do it in person. Tip: get there when they open or be prepared to wait. Smaller value items <$A499 usually get through without GST and will just be delivered to your door like any other package.

    Sending via carriers such as Fedex is easier because they are a Customs agent and bonded store themselves, so some of the fees are included as part of the shipping cost. A bass in a case from the US is usually $US250 - 300. When it gets here you need to pay 10% GST on total (price + shipping) and a ~$A50 Customs listing fee. I go to UPS to collect, or I get Fedex to deliver and pay the driver (make it exact).
    Transit times for UPS/Fedex are about the same, as are the clearance times. Don't pay for the 3 day service as it's a waste of money and isn't really any quicker in reality.

    HTH
     
  6. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    Thanks! How about exporting? I make neck through instruments btw.
    Specifically I one to go to the UK soon.
     
  7. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Pretty much the same as for importing. With UPS you don't need an account and you can just go there and send it.
    I build bespoke / custom amps and cabs and other electronics so most of my stuff is smaller and I use EMS as a preference unless weight is an issue. Small items are via Post, insured.
    Cool. Any pics of your work?
    I've been speaking to luthiers OS about a build I want, maybe I should be looking closer to home.
     
  8. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    PM'd, Dharmabass.
     
  9. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Emailling now.