International Shipping & Ordering: Stories/Tips/Tricks/Advice

Discussion in 'General Beer Topics' started by blue_bleeder, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. blue_bleeder

    blue_bleeder

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    'Merica
    Alright TBers, I need some advice. If this is posted in another thread I apologize. I looked (lazily) and did a search. I have seen posts about using USPS for this but not a lot of talk about tips or dos/don'ts.

    To be honest, I know I am going whole hog here. I started with the locals4locals thing. Knocked out 6 trades so far (all locals) including a 2nd trade with a great guy. I plan on trading with all of them again. I also have a couple of trades in the works.:confused: I have even had the chance to begin a thread in what has become a talkbeer staple, the "give away" beer. So now here I am thinking, "this is getting crazy Barry, you are getting carried away." Maybe, but I sure am having a blast while I am doing it and "meeting" some great people in a great community.

    So, I am looking for comments/pro-tips from peeps that have actually done the deed internationally and can help me do it too. Thanks. :cool:
     
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  2. domtronzero

    domtronzero

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    92040
    Ship USPS. Declare the goods as "collectible glassware" valued at $20. Fill out the customs form at the post office. Pack extra good and be prepared to spend more money on shipping than most of the beer is worth.

    It usually takes some time (a couple weeks and sometimes more, depending on which country you're posting to). But be patient and good luck.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2013
  3. domtronzero

    domtronzero

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    92040
    Oh and make sure you declare the goods as a gift.
     
  4. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Here is the advice claaark13 (LYMI) gave me about a year ago when I started shipping International...

    I've shipped international 4 times now and his advice was pretty spot on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  5. claaark13

    claaark13

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana

    You may want to get a little more into trading before you do international stuff. The stakes are all around a lot higher, and it somehow seems to get murky in determining who is to blame if a box gets damaged/lost. I've personally lost x3 bottles of Fou' Foune, and received 2 other boxes that looked like the Hulk threw them through the wall of a building.

    There isn't a set number of trades you should do before international. I mean, if you think about it, every trade that the Euro guys do is pretty much an international trade. I would just recommend against it until you feel like you're absolutely comfortable paying that much for shipping and willing to accommodate the other party if something goes wrong. If you're there now, enjoy your first international trade. Some of those Euro guys are great. Even the ones who are really just Canadians posing as Dutchmen.
     
  6. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Also, realize that for a 12 bottle shipper you're looking at around $110. It's not cheap but it's certainly worth it if you want the gueuzez.

    And if you don't have a scale take it to UPS or Fedex to get weighed before you complete the customs form.
     
    Evan1212, gpawned and blue_bleeder like this.
  7. blue_bleeder

    blue_bleeder

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    'Merica
    We ship out between 50-100 boxes a day via UPS and FedEx and have a USPS account (they actually come here to pick it up) but it is all domestic shipping so the USPS international is going to be different for sure. Not worried about accurate weight, got that covered. Looked at the shipping costs and it looks like a 15 lbs box is going to run me about $89ish or so to Sweden. Not sure how heavy the box will be yet, still working it out with HenrikO. But he encouraged me to ask others here about the best shipping practices on this side of the pond. Didn't see a whole lot on this topic here so I thought I would start asking. So far I am getting a lot of GREAT information. Just need to make sure I don't fuq it up.
     
    Fingolfin, Head-high, gpawned and 6 others like this.
  8. ForkAndSpoonOperator

    ForkAndSpoonOperator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelph-ish
    I have nothing useful to contribute, I just love seeing noobs doing it right and oldheads being helpful. Keep up the good work, everyone.
     
  9. Lefty Hyzer

    Lefty Hyzer

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Location:
    The Region, Indianer
    If u can, use a styro shipper and still bubble wrap the bottles well. Everything else sounds good. Gl OP
     
    blue_bleeder likes this.
  10. blue_bleeder

    blue_bleeder

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    'Merica
    Everything is boxed. Every bottle is boxed and it's all loaded in a box in a box. I mean that shit is tight. You could drop it 3 stories and it would be fine. The box is pretty big and about 30lbs. (I might have gone overboard on the extras) Going to fill out the customs forms today and then take it over to the post office for launch. Any last words of wisdom? Encouragement? I'm nervous but I think I got it all covered. Cheers fellas and thanks for all of your help.
     
    SammyD, HenrikO and mixed_master7 like this.
  11. Jeffo

    Jeffo

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    You'll do fine. This really isn't as hard as everyone makes it out to be.

    Fill in the customs form as follows:

    GIFT
    Collectible Glassware
    $20

    Boxes going out of the US usually aren't much of an issue. It's perfectly legal to ship beer here in Europe, and our customs guys just want tax money and that's it. Boxes going into the US are the ones you need to be more careful with. I would suggest using styro shippers going into the US (we can't buy them in Europe; ship a styro to an established Euro trader first and let him send it back to you), and keeping the weight under 10KG. I've only ever had one box in over 75 to the States get picked off, and it was the only one over 10KG. Not that correlation means causation, but a 35 LB box worth $20 is much less believable than a 20 LB box worth $20. You could just increase the value and pay the taxes, but that means closer inspection of the box, which you don't want.

    A 20 LB box costs about $75 or so with USPS. That's what, two boxes across country? It's not as bad as everyone makes it sound.

    Have fun,
    Jeff
     
  12. blue_bleeder

    blue_bleeder

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    'Merica

    Well the box ended up being 43lbs. So we will see what happens I guess.....:oops:. It is double and triple boxed so it is pretty bullet proof. Thanks for the input...
     
  13. stakem

    stakem

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Location:
    PA
    Oh lord...good luck.
     
  14. MULDER1010

    MULDER1010

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Sent a 31LB box to myself from Seattle to Sydney. Crazy expensive. Nearly $200 AU to do do so but 12 bottles is 12 bottles I did not have to carry on the plane back to Sydney and pay Australian taxes on it.
    Yes it is illegal to send beer by USPS but USPS is flat broke and the beer is really not crossing US states. So no harm, no foul.
    As somebody else said it is the box coming to the US is the issue and USPS is not a good caretaker of boxes. Should be fine but to be forewarned is to be forearmed
     
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  15. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    As I found out with my last shipment, don't exceed 44lbs unless you want the price to jump $50. I pulled out a Speedway Stout to get it to 43lbs. I figured an extra Speedway Stout wasn't worth $60.
     
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  16. blue_bleeder

    blue_bleeder

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    'Merica
    It ended up being $129 for the 43 lbs to Sweden...

    You only live once. ;)
     
  17. HenrikO

    HenrikO

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Location:
    Karlstad, Sweden
    YOLO indeed!
    As a point of comparison, for me shipping the same weight from Sweden to the US would run me about $310...
    International shipping. It ain't for the faint of heart or wallet. But traders gotta trade!
     
  18. Mista

    Mista

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    I try finding regulars willing to send 20 kg back every time to lower freight cost as much as possible. I bag each bottle just in case there are leaks and toss them in a 12x styro shipper with some pasta (noise makers to mask the slushing noise) and then request they fill the shipper and send it back. I also only use the shipper one time for international shipments and then reuse it for domestic shipments. For whatever reason USPS destroys boxes!

    Here is a rate table for international priority mail

    http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/notice123.htm#1231081

    Belgium is zone 5

    Here is a list of all the other countries

    http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immpg.htm

    Hope that helps - in anyone from europe wants to go $4$ on bottles and 20 kg msg me and i'm sure we can work something out.

    Cheers
     
    Head-high likes this.
  19. Duffman929

    Duffman929

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Location:
    Illin'
    According to tracking, a shipment to me is sitting at the large facility in Forest Park, IL and hasn't moved in 2 weeks. Local post office doesn't have it. 2 weeks seems like a long time to just sit there.
     
  20. Mista

    Mista

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    customs?

    yeah that is the only down side of using USPS - their tracking sucks and are notorious for losing packages